REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard/Lt. Cmdr. Paul McConnell/HandoutCarnival Corporation will spend up to $700 million to upgrade its fleet of 101 cruise ships.
$300 million of that money will be used to upgrade the 24 ships operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, with improved emergency generators, engine rooms, and fire systems.
The funds will also go to expanding the availability of hotel service for guests in cases where a ship loses power, Carnival announced Wednesday.
Carnival Corporation & plc operates ten lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines.
The upgrades to the 24 ships are a direct response to a string of high-profile failures in the past few months that started in February, when an engine room fire stranded the cruise ship Triumph. More 4,000 passengers were adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five days, with no hot water and few working toilets.
That incident was followed a month later by problems onboard the Dream and Legend ships, just a week apart. The Carnival Fascination failed a recent health inspection after inspectors found live flies, roach nymphs, dried food waste, and many other violations throughout the cruise ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill stood by the company's safety standards, but did not deny there's room for improvement. In a press release, he said:
However, by applying lessons learned through our fleet-wide operational review after the Carnival Triumph fire and by taking advantage of new technologies, we have identified areas for enhancement across our operations.
Carnival will also form a new safety and reliability review board, staffed by outside experts, to provide a third-party perspective on its operations.
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