Saturday, January 20, 2018
Business

Carnival to spend $700M on upgrades to its fleet

Carnival Corp. on Wednesday announced the extent of fixes needed to ensure its 101-ship fleet avoids reliability problems that have caused high-profile headaches in the past few years. The price tag was giant: up to $700 million, or more than half of what the world's largest cruise ship company made in profits last year.

Upgrades to Carnival Cruise Lines alone — which address emergency power, fire safety and operating redundancies — are expected to cost more than $300 million, the company said in a statement. In February, the Carnival Triumph was left powerless in the Gulf of Mexico with thousands of passengers aboard after an engine room fire. For five days, the ship was towed to land as those aboard dealt with uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions including a lack of air conditioning, hot water and working toilets.

That followed the disabling fire in 2010 on the Carnival Splendor.

"We've had two cruises that have not been good experiences for our guests; that's two too many," said Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill. "We're making this effort because we are the biggest cruise line in the world. If we're not going to lead the way and say we're going to provide a great guest experience every time, I don't know who will."

The fixes detailed Wednesday deal with fire prevention, operating redundancies and backup power. Doral-based Carnival said just over a month ago that it was conducting a fleetwide review, and announced the first phase of the assessment on March 19. But cost estimates announced earlier were much lower: $80 million for expenses related to the Triumph and $40 million in 2013 for repairs related to the review.

To ensure there is enough power to operate toilets, fresh water and elevators in case a ship loses power, one additional emergency generator will be placed on each of the cruise line's 24 ships over the next several months, Carnival said. The cruise line will eventually replace those temporary generators with permanent ones. The additional backup generators should also provide power for storage of cold food, cooking capabilities and Internet and phone communications.

Fire prevention, detection and suppression systems on each Carnival Cruise Lines ship will also be bolstered, with upgrades planned specifically for water mist systems that will produce larger and thicker water droplets than currently in place.

One major problem revealed in both the Carnival Triumph fire this year and the blaze on the Carnival Splendor in 2010 involved redundancies in engine rooms. In both cases, the ships had two separate engine rooms; one was supposed to operate if the other was disabled. But in both cases, cabling that ran between both rooms was damaged, leaving the entire ship without power. According to Carnival, the review that followed the Triumph ordeal revealed that modifications needed to be made to the way some electrical mechanisms in engine rooms are configured.

Carnival owns nine other brands, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. The parent company said "based on the results of the ongoing review, the latest versions of technologies and enhancements will also be implemented on the remainder of the fleet where they are not already present."

Comments
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Published: 01/19/18
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second-oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Published: 01/19/18
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Published: 01/19/18

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Published: 01/19/18
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Published: 01/19/18
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Published: 01/19/18
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Published: 01/19/18
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Published: 01/19/18