Carnival’s crisis response: What did and didn’t work

Thousands of passengers and crew members from the disabled Splendor cruise ship are back on dry land; experts disagree on whether Carnival’s response was out to sea.

The 4,000-plus passengers and crew members who were stranded for the week on the Carnival Splendor cruise ship, which was left without power by an engine-room fire, arrived safely in San Diego yesterday.

But for Carnival the crisis is just getting started.

With passengers sure to hit the media circuit, Senior Cruise Director John Heald tried to do damage control in a blog post yesterday by reminding readers to remember when they “see the local news reporter with the huge hair talking to Mr. Angry” that there were plenty of other passengers who thought Carnival was doing all it could.

The company has been active on its Facebook and Twitter pages, with updates letting users know that they’re providing passengers with free hotel rooms, flight arrangements, refunds and another cruise.

Crisis communicators say that steady stream of information has served the cruise line well, but the company could have done more. And still have a lot to do.

Take Twitter, for instance.

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