Students risk “jumping ship” on Carnival spring break cruise

By Danielle Ruckert |

A group of Flagler College students and recent graduates chose to board the Carnival Sensation this past weekend and to celebrate Flagler’s “Spring Blink” on the four-day, three-night cruise to the Bahamas. As a majority of the group had traveled with the same cruise for a previous vacation, when interviewed by journalists upon their arrival to the ship, the students had nothing bad to say about the cruise line.

When asked by reporters if she thought twice before boarding the ship, Samantha Busicchia, 22, of Flagler College replied “It was a fluke… And it’s Spring Break!”

Cruising seemed to be an inexpensive way to travel. Fast forward to the present and it is clear that Carnival Cruise Line is putting a damper on the public’s impression of the industry. Just like any other PR crisis, Carnival handled the Triumph fiasco in February by immediately apologizing and compensating those affected. The general public let the issue pass as soon as another scandal or crisis arose.

Unfortunately for Carnival, three of their ships have experienced issues in the last couple of weeks. The Elation had to be escorted back to port by a tugboat, the Dream stalled at port with a generator problem which was accompanied by minor elevator and toilet issues, and the fleet’s largest ship, the Legend, was unable to sail at optimal speed, which resulted in an early end to vacation for those on board.

After his “Spring Blink” four day cruise, Ethan Reynolds, 22, of Flagler College noted that although Carnival was involved in the recent crises, two of which occurred the day of his departure, nothing seemed to change between the company and its customer.

“Carnival didn’t seem to put forth any extra effort to reassure or benefit the customer during their company crisis. If anything, it seemed that there was a lack of effort – maybe because employees were stressed? Our experience was less than satisfactory.”

This group of people experienced rude wait staff, no compensation for their experience, and a general lack of care and effort from Carnival employees.

“We booked with Carnival because it was low cost, but you get what you pay for,” said Reynolds.

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