Two passengers spent their 10th night atop an overturned Carnival cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean, surviving without bedding, food or electricity. Then on Thursday, the Costa Luminosa docked in Atlanta, Georgia, after crossing over from the Dominican Republic.
Louise Montgomery from Ohio and Nancy Herrera from southern California were named as the passengers who got a lucky break by a weather system nicknamed the “Ramadan bomb” that doused tropical storms, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas and sent seas rising and flooding the crippled Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy.
As CNN reported, “for the first time since they were pulled from their overturned room by crew members on Monday, they got to rest, have a shower and run some water in a shower — all of it for free.” A day later, the Luminosa docked in the same U.S. port of Atlanta, accompanied by a Coast Guard plane and at least three boats to ferry the men and women back to shore.
People await the Costa Luminosa heading towards the port of Tampa. #travel#holidaycabin A post shared by SV Photo B () on Mar 19, 2016 at 9:33am PDT
Carnival, the owner of Costa Luminosa, announced on Friday that it had compensated Montgomery and Herrera with a separate vacation, with a cost of $1,000 for each. As reported by The Washington Post, Carnival has been buffeted by images of bad weather and ongoing reports about unsanitary conditions on board the Costa Concordia, which sank after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy in 2012.
This incident “underscores the many critical challenges that Carnival faces, which are complex and complicated by the economic realities of the industry,” David Hovda, president of Halcyon Advisors, told The New York Times, referring to rising labor and fuel costs. Carnival has been experimenting with its luxury cruise offering to draw in customers, but only recently have executives rolled out the offer to passengers who lived on the Costa Luminosa. “We have a pretty innovative ship design,” said Forrest Watts, a Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman. “This is an opportunity to give them a little bit of a different experience.”
This is the first time that Carnival has offered as much money for bringing back passengers after a ship is found to be overcrowded, with passengers complaining of seawater sitting in their staterooms, norovirus and inclement weather. Even if the company has been generous with refunds and vouchers in the past, the long wait times and poor conditions aboard the Costa Luminosa raise the stakes for future incidents.
Read the full story at CNN.
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