Apr 17 - Carnival will spend just $300 million on ship safety after several mishaps on the high seas forced its parent to trim estimates last month. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit is $300 million. That's how much Carnival Cruise Lines is dropping to boost emergency power and fire safety mechanisms in its fleet of 24 ships. The move comes after a series of mishaps that angered passengers. In February, the Carnival Triumph cruise ship floated adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire stranded more than 3,000 travelers without electricity and sanitation for five days. More recently, engine problems forced the Carnival Dream to cut short its voyage and technical glitches on a third cruise forced a ship to b pass a port-of-call. Analysts say the $300 million renovation to beef-up back-up systems is not a surprise, and it is unlikely to have an impact on demand. That $300 million spending tab, however, is just a drop in the ocean for parent Carnival Corp. It took in $3.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter and $15.4 billion for all of 2012. Carnival Corp cut its revenue and profit forecast for the year in March, because of the mishaps. Carnival Corp is also parent of the Costa Concordia which sunk off the Italian coast in 2012.