Carnival Splendor and 1-way social media response from Carnival
Carnival has to get credit for providing updates in a crisis and for taking to the social media airwaves about it, although the updates aren’t extremely timely.
For example, the latest update — posted about 12 hours ago, as of this writing — about the stricken Carnival Splendor, says the ship is being towed to Ensenada, Mexico, although actually the plan now is to tow the vessel straight to San Diego, according to published reports.
No one is saying it, but perhaps there were safety concerns about disembarking at the port in Ensenada, and then transporting passengers on the nightmare cruise by bus to San Diego.
Carnival has said and done all the right things about reimbursing passengers, but one can find fault with the cruise line’s response on Facebook and Twitter because the communication is such a one-way effort.
For example, beneath CCL’s fourth update about the Carnival Splendor, which was on the first leg of a Mexican Riviera cruise when an engine room fire disabled the ship, there currently are 113 comments from Facebook users.
Many of the Facebook comments are supportive of Carnival and sympathetic about the woes of the cruise line regarding the Carnival Splendor incident.
But, with 113 comments and counting, you’d think Carnival would have the social media resources and personnel available, and wherewithal to comment about the comments — to engage in some dialogue with its fans and customers.
Why not give the cruise line a voice and get in there and mix it up with your customers, most of whom are saying great things about the Carnival experience generally?
Missed opportunity for Carnival.
But, there is no such engagement and interaction.
Apparently, Carnival thinks it is enough to publish an update and walk away.
The cruise line is taking the same approach on its Twitter account. The only thing it has tweeted about the incident is links to its four press-release-like updates.
That shows a lack of understanding of social media — or perhaps a paucity of conviction about the worth of social media communication.
On another note, the Carnival Splendor crisis is a weird one in another manner from a social media perspective.
That’s because much of the communication is disabled on the ship and thus we’ve yet to see much on Twitter and Facebook from the passengers themselves.
Where are the videos and photos of the relatively horrific conditions on the ship?
Rest assured we’ll be hearing and seeing plenty from Carnival Splendor passengers in the next couple of days.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.