The Carnival cruise from hell finally came to an end. Passengers were able to leave the Carnival Triumph on Thursday night, able to return home after what was reportedly a nightmarish experience on a powerless cruise ship.
The entire situation is a PR nightmare. There's absolutely no positive way to spin a situation where your company is to blame for a scenario where thousands of individuals paying for a vacation were subjected to raw sewage, short food supplies and exhausting conditions. However, there is a right way - and a wrong way - to run damage control.
Meet the wrong way, courtesy of Carnival's official Twitter account.
Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) February 15, 2013
If Carnival elects to pull this Tweet down - it wouldn't be surprising - it reads, "Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary."
After announcing through Twitter that guests were leaving the ship, Carnival felt the need to add that the bathrobes passengers were wearing are complementary. Really? This is what you feel the need to post on one of your official lines of communication during an event where people were living in unsanitary, stinky and hot (later cold) conditions?
It'd be perfectly acceptable to tell the guests as they leave to go ahead and keep the robe they've probably been sleeping in or using the past day or two to keep warm, but to post it on Twitter in a manner that makes it look like you're being gracious is despicable.
The backlash on Twitter has already been tremendous. Carnival has a big enough mess on its hands without their social media department making matters worse.
@HowellMarketing I thought the same, Amy! This will become the "go to" case study for PR schools everywhere!