Greg Berube is a trusted brand thought leader who delivers results to organizations seeking to develop their brand impact and growth.

A Wrong Gets it Right!


Over the past few weeks, the news surrounding the Carnival Cruise Ship line has been upsetting, troubling and in some cases disturbing. How could this happen to such a ship in this day and age of safety and security?

The worlds’ largest Cruise Lines with tag line “Fun for all. All for Fun”  – hopelessly crippled by a fire in the control room.

It didn’t take long for the emails, photos and tweets from on board passengers and family at home to start the barrage of negative messages – soon the Cruise Line was not only in trouble with it’s ship, but it’s brand was taking a devastating hit on a second by second basis.

Carnival was prepared – and it worked  – the CEO Gerry Cahill took charge and became the champion – he admitted the fault and set about solving the problem to save his cruise lines, brand and revenues.

  • He rallied the troops and circled the wagons – he started internally, and got all employees and stakeholders organized and defined rules and expectations from all senior and intermediate managers.
  • He somehow inspired the crew that was dealing directly with increasingly unhappy, agitated and in some cases ill passengers to get glowing reviews from the public in terms of all their efforts to handle a very unpleasant situation.
  • He got the story straight – he got all the facts – he took his time and made his first interview count. He delivered a message and believed it.
  • He didn’t make the media guess, they didn’t need to draw their own conclusions or connect the dots.
  • He chose a media format – he got in front of the message and he made use of a number of media outlets.
  • He communicated how the cruise line would “make it right” for their customers, before they got off the ship.
  • He met the ship as it docked and he met the people as they got off the ship – he took it and owned it!
  • He stuck to his story – once he decided on the message he kept repeating it, so people would hear, believe and listen to him.
  • He was the spokesperson – the one person – he worked well in the role.

The Carnival Cruise Line will survive, succeed and thrive. Key to their brand’s success is their ability to be prepared and ready to act. If this incident had been ignored or downplayed, the outcome would have been very different – most likely disastrous.

The Carnival Brand will grow in stature – whether you agree with the settlement or not, it’s been proven they are willing to stand up, support and define their Brand.  This position will allow them the opportunity to grow, plus increase revenues.