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After revamping its fire suppression equipment and installing backup systems, Carnival Cruises is now offering a money-back guarantee to woo sea-weary customers.
Carnival launched a money-back guarantee called the Great Vacation Guarantee, USA Today reported. This new robust guarantee offers a 110 percent refund to dissatisfied customers, along with a $100 onboard credit on a future cruise and free transportation home. However, in order to qualify, customers must first notify guest services that they are unhappy within 24 hours of boarding a ship.
"We are proud to carry nearly 4.5 million satisfied guests each year, and are very confident in the quality of the vacation experience we provide on board the 24 ships of Carnival Cruise Lines," Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said in a statement. "The Great Vacation Guarantee is designed to provide an assurance to those consumers who may be considering a cruise that we stand behind our product and, if they are dissatisfied for any reason, they have a simple and hassle-free means for receiving a full refund and more."
The announcement comes at a time when trust in the Carnival brand is at an all-time low. A fire in the engine room on the Carnival Triumph in February knocked out power and propulsion. Despite a small back-up generator, basic services were not supported and 2,758 passengers were stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several days before being towed to Mobile, Ala.
"They are really putting their money where their mouth is," Stewart Chiron, a cruise expert and founder of Cruiseguy.com, told the Los Angeles Times. "They are saying they are extremely confident in their product."
Blast from the past
The revised money-back guarantee is a revision of a previous guarantee. In the past, Carnival would return unhappy passengers to the original port. The remaining portion of their unused cruise fare was also refunded to the customer. However, Carnival has spent $300 million to retrofit its ships with extra generators and creating redundancies in its fire alarm system.
"Anything we can do to get people over that hurdle is a good thing," said Carnival President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill. "This year, with the events we went through, it's even more important."
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