A recent Harris Poll published on Reuters in May found public perception of cruise lines has declined substantially. The average perceived quality score is down 13% from the period before the Carnival Triumph engine room fire in February. Carnival Cruise Line scored the worst with a 20% decline on perceived quality.
While shocking to say the least this is not unexpected either. The traveling public is generally the more educated and informed of society due to the fact they have the discretionary income to travel. They are not stupid. Clearly the cruise industry cut some corners that led to all these incidents. However, they are taking steps to increase quality and maintenance. Yet, this new study shows that they have considerable ground to make up to instill confidence amongst the travelers.
Carnival Cruise Corporation has committed up to $300 million to quality and maintenance. It should be interesting to see if this stems the troubling trend.