Carnival Cruise Lines: Fire Aboard a Stranded Cruise Ship

Abstract

In the early morning hours of November 8, 2010, fire broke out in the aft engine room of Carnival Splendor, a 113,300 ton passenger cruise ship carrying over 3,000 guests. Although the fire was quickly suppressed, Cruise Director John Heald and the ship’s crew found themselves stranded in the Pacific Ocean, 200 miles south of San Diego. With no electricity, poor sanitation, and spoiling food supplies, Carnival Cruise Lines must determine how best to manage this unforeseen event and ensure the safety of those onboard. This crisis management case exposes the reader to the decision-making and communication challenges faced by senior leaders in the tumultuous environment following such a crisis.

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