Carnival Will Spend $300 Million To Prevent Fires And Blackouts On Its Ships

US Coast Guard and Carnival TriumphA Coast Guard boat near the stranded Carnival Triumph in February.

Carnival Cruise Lines will spend more than $300 million on a program to update all of its ships with improved emergency generators, engine rooms, and fire systems.

The money will also go to expand the availability of hotel service for guests in cases where a ship loses power, Carnival announced Wednesday.

The upgrades only apply to the 24 ships operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, which operates nine other lines. It owns 101 ships, all of which will be assessed to see what kinds of upgrades are warranted, the AP reported.

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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