Once we got past the first morning on board the Carnival Spirit with a Hot Breakfast, I knew we were back to a normal cruise experience. Yet something was different this time and it would take a couple of days for me to figure out what it was.
It dawned on me that the usually high level of service and friendliness you experience on a cruise ship was exceptional this time. And it was not as if it was different for us, as no one had tagged us as Survivors of the Carnival Splendor making sure we received better service. No, this new and improved service seemed to emanate from all staff to all passengers.
I got to thinking that the Carnival Splendor has about 3000 passengers that fateful week, and that everyone had been given a future cruise on the house. The purpose was to show them how a cruise experience “should have worked” and to make amends for the bad experience. This means that 3000 people have the potential to be on any Carnival Cruise ship at anytime in the future. The odds of any two families on the same ship in the same week would be slim to none.
Carnival Cruises must have made it crystal clear that all service should be kicked up. Even the food on board was better than ever, but it was the way everyone was treated. Passengers were addressed by name frequently! And not just when you handed them your sail and sign card (name on it) but at dinner. My wife and daughter had unlimited soda cards, and the bar staff started to recognize them and had a Diet Coke ready and smiled as they would hand it to them.
So 10 cheers for Carnival Cruise Lines! They had the right vision and strategically implemented it well!