Pauline Frommer Said Costa Is Doomed......

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Poll: Will Costa Continue As A Separate Brand?
Poll Results
Will Costa Continue As A Separate Brand?

Costa Will Continue As A Separate Brand
71
38.38%

Costa Will Be Re-Branded Under A New Name
57
30.81%

Costa Ships Will Be Merged Into Existing Brands
57
30.81%

Voters: 185.  You may not vote on this poll.

#41
Bikini atoll !
646 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Capricruiser
If Carnival Corp. attempted to rebrand Costa, half of Italy would rise up in arms. Costa is an Italian namesake like Fiat, regardless of who currently owns the company. The majority of Italian cruisers choose Costa over the other Italian line, MSC, and very few cruise with Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, etc. My contacts in the Italian travel business say that Costa bookings, at least in Italy, are as strong as ever even though there was a slump right after the Concordia incident.
The other half are in shock that their national product has been blimped by a rogue Captain. I have read posts on here made by Italian members who have voiced their displeasure over Costa. The National italian press were slating the Costa corporation and we still await the legal aspect to start.

With the Rogue Captain already admitting that he had previously undertaken sail bys with the approval of Costa management where they had earlier denied it means that a lot more 'dirt' is likely to arise.

If the Costa management are found as guilty as the Captain through the fact that they allowed these sail bys to take place then they could be done for manslaughter. Do you then feel that the Italian population want to have a company like Costa to fly their flag, I dont think they will.

No I feel a re-brand is likely !

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#42
Wales
2,136 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by stowaway2k
Changed names? No, but after the Lockerbee tragedy, a decline in passenger numbers was instrumental in finishing off Pan Am. It wasn't the only reason, but it was a major contributing factor to Pan Am's demise.
But American Airlines are still flying after 9/11 when many more lives were lost than Locherbie.
#43
Portland
259 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Originally posted by graphicguy
As a marketing professional, Costa is a name that will take a generation to rebuild.

Better to rebrand. If there's one thing Carnival is good at, it's marketing. They need to rebrand each ship, preferably with a new registry.

Revamp the look of the ships as much as possible.

Maybe even give the ships a little reprieve from sailing the same itineraries.

Relaunch with big fanfare.

It would probably take about 2 years for the above to take place, but that's the only saving grace for a line that has had a fire (dead in the water), a shipwreck, a sinking, and a big question mark regarding the training (or lack thereof) of the upper level crews with the entire Carnival fleet.
Rebranding could cost years of rebuilding a huge clientele that Costa already has that return for cruise after cruise. Most of its clientele is Italian and most are repeat cruisers. These cruisers are still booking their cruises. Engine fires on ships and the occasional stranding are not unique to Costa. Experienced cruisers know that and they also know that what happened on the Concordia was an aberration in an otherwise safe line in an otherwise safe industry. How Costa handles the Allegra in terms of taking care of the passengers and giving them great comps and service to make up for the engine fire could go along way to redeeming the brand according to industry analysts. The experienced cruisers will likely keep Costa afloat.

"No, not the end for Costa, which has operating passenger ships for over 60 years," Douglas Ward, author of the 2012 Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, said in an email from a ship off the Australian coast. "But the relentless media spotlight may dilute the brand and perhaps the number of ships in fleet."

"In Italy alone, Costa contributed euro2.2 billion ($3 billion) to the economy in 2010 through tourism, shipbuilding, shipboard suppliers and other related spending, according to a study by Milan Polytechnic."

"Bookings on Costa dropped some 30 percent after the Concordia, and are down around 22 to 25 percent in the wake of the Allegra's generator fire on Feb. 27, said Roberto Corbella, president of Italy's tour operator industry group. But he said the early estimates are not reliable and can pick up at any time. The impact on Costa bookings during the critical first quarter — when most high-season cruises are booked — will only be known next week when Carnival releases its results."

"We have seen that longtime cruise-goers are unfazed, they continue to make reservations. It is the first-time cruise-goer who is waiting to reserve until they feel more confident," Corbella said.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...301c61d317d507
#44
595 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I personally think Douglas Ward's opinion holds much more weight than Pauline Frommer's... all he does is cruise ships and knows alot about the industry in general whereas Frommer's has a guide book for everything.
#45
SW OHIO
1,770 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
VICTORIA, Seychelles – A disabled cruise ship will spend an extra 10 to 12 hours at sea without electricity, air conditioning or toilet facilities because a French fishing vessel that was first to respond to the drifting cruiser refused to give way to faster tug boats, a Seychelles government official said Wednesday.

Joel Morgan told The Associated Press that the cruise ship Costa Allegra likely would have arrived in port Wednesday night local time if the tugs had been allowed to take over. Instead the ship is not scheduled to reach port until midmorning Thursday.

"The Seychelles authorities are not happy about this situation and we would have wished to get the ship into port as soon as possible in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the passengers," said Morgan, Seychelles minister of home affairs, environment, transport and energy.


TLC...thanks for the link. This is the most damning part against Costa. Their dollars once again came before the safety of their passengers and crew.

I suspect Costa's actions with the Concordia, once known, will have the same flavor.

This is why it would be wise for Costa/Carnival to rebrand Costa, and rename/remake the ships.
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#46
1,948 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by chrispb
But American Airlines are still flying after 9/11 when many more lives were lost than Locherbie.
Girlo, I know you're Welsh, and I wont proclaim to be able to correct your words,(hell I wouldnt even try - harder than Gaelic) but as a native of the same region, can I just point out to you and stowaway, that its "Lockerbie"
The per'wee toon o' Lockerbie, was the only thing that ever put it on a map

Cant be long now??? You packed yet??
#47
616 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
If the Costa management are found as guilty as the Captain through the fact that they allowed these sail bys to take place then they could be done for manslaughter.
Something the Accident Investigation Board will be taking into account are the previous sail bys by Costa. A sail by without a proper passage plan - and the Feb 13th sail did not have a passage plan - is a recipe for disaster. A sail by, if properly planned, is safe. A properly planned sail by is no more dangerous than taking a ship out of Southampton or taking a ship up a Fjord.

Was the August sail by properly planned? Was there a passage plan? I don't know. That's for the Accident Investigation Board to find out. If there was then fine. But if there wasn't a passage plan.... well this is another part of the Accident Investigation report that will make interesting reading. If there wasn't a passage plan in August, if sail bys without passage plans took place... well, I know nothing about the Italian legal system but morally, manslaughter charges may be appropriate.

VP
#48
Texas
479 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by graphicguy
VICTORIA, Seychelles – A disabled cruise ship will spend an extra 10 to 12 hours at sea without electricity, air conditioning or toilet facilities because a French fishing vessel that was first to respond to the drifting cruiser refused to give way to faster tug boats, a Seychelles government official said Wednesday.

Joel Morgan told The Associated Press that the cruise ship Costa Allegra likely would have arrived in port Wednesday night local time if the tugs had been allowed to take over. Instead the ship is not scheduled to reach port until midmorning Thursday.

"The Seychelles authorities are not happy about this situation and we would have wished to get the ship into port as soon as possible in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the passengers," said Morgan, Seychelles minister of home affairs, environment, transport and energy.


TLC...thanks for the link. This is the most damning part against Costa. Their dollars once again came before the safety of their passengers and crew.

I suspect Costa's actions with the Concordia, once known, will have the same flavor.

This is why it would be wise for Costa/Carnival to rebrand Costa, and rename/remake the ships.
Why is it damning and what evidence do you have that dollars come before safety? As far as I've seen Costa was in compliance with all safety regulations. The sail-by might now be considered dangerous but I find it very hard to believe that the people outside of Costa that are in positions of authority who are no saying it was reckless and should never have been done, had no knowledge of it being done in the past.

Re-brandning will do nothing but tick off the people who still like and want to sail on Costa which is still a large number of people. Costa has made some mistakes but they will get past it.
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#49
Rome, Italy
2,768 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
If you check out many itineraries in the Costa catalogue or on the website (Italian), you'll see the term "navigazione turistica" which translates to "sail-by." It's usually used in the proximity of an island or narrow straits, and all it means is the ship will pass closely by the coast.
That said, "closely by" means the authorized route which is the safe one. Unfortunately such was apparently not the case with the Concordia on 13 January.
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#50
West Yorkshire
81 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Costa/Carnival have done a good job of presenting this as a "rogue captain" problem and the public isn't seeing it as a root and branch problem within the company or across cruise lines. Their problems would have migrated to every cruise company if people were believing that all captains were huge risk takers and that it was unsafe to cruise as your holiday.

They've done a great job of isolating the captain and I think this will ultimately save the company. It's not my bag but people love what Costa do and before this year it seems to have been a successful brand.
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He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever. Chinese Proverb. Might be worth some posters taking note!
#51
North Carolina, USA
305 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Ratt
Why is it damning and what evidence do you have that dollars come before safety? As far as I've seen Costa was in compliance with all safety regulations. The sail-by might now be considered dangerous but I find it very hard to believe that the people outside of Costa that are in positions of authority who are no saying it was reckless and should never have been done, had no knowledge of it being done in the past.

Re-brandning will do nothing but tick off the people who still like and want to sail on Costa which is still a large number of people. Costa has made some mistakes but they will get past it.
Every hour out in a ship with no working toilets, limited food, and no electricity increases the risk to passengers. To boot, this area of the ocean has a piracy problem.

It should be obvious why the government officials in the Seychelles are furious with the entire situation. Multiple officials in several different countries have come forward to state that Costa's actions with the Allegra are totally inappropriate and did not focus on the safety of passengers, but on cheap cost.

This, once again, is totally going to blow up on Costa. Similar to the Concordia, their entire handling of the incident will be harshly questioned. This incident might be the straw that breaks the camels back for the cruise line.
#52
Arnold MD
1,414 Posts
Joined May 2003
I think if Carnival Corp was smart they would drop "Costa" like a hot potato. Especially after all the lawsuits that are bound to be coming their way
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#53
Wales
2,136 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by Blondie008
Girlo, I know you're Welsh, and I wont proclaim to be able to correct your words,(hell I wouldnt even try - harder than Gaelic) but as a native of the same region, can I just point out to you and stowaway, that its "Lockerbie"
The per'wee toon o' Lockerbie, was the only thing that ever put it on a map

Cant be long now??? You packed yet??
Sorry Blondie, I know the other poster spelled it wrong and I thought my version looked more "right".

Yes, all packed (hence passing an hour or so here). Leaving the house around 3.30 am tomorrow morning. Yawn.
#54
1,948 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by chrispb
Sorry Blondie, I know the other poster spelled it wrong and I thought my version looked more "right".

Yes, all packed (hence passing an hour or so here). Leaving the house around 3.30 am tomorrow morning. Yawn.
BON VOYAGE!!!
Have a great time!!
#55
Texas
479 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by greg-nc
Every hour out in a ship with no working toilets, limited food, and no electricity increases the risk to passengers. To boot, this area of the ocean has a piracy problem.

It should be obvious why the government officials in the Seychelles are furious with the entire situation. Multiple officials in several different countries have come forward to state that Costa's actions with the Allegra are totally inappropriate and did not focus on the safety of passengers, but on cheap cost.

This, once again, is totally going to blow up on Costa. Similar to the Concordia, their entire handling of the incident will be harshly questioned. This incident might be the straw that breaks the camels back for the cruise line.
I think the solution is this, every time a ship is built they will build an exact duplicate. One ship will be designated "primary" and the other will be "backup". The primary will be the ship that the passengers embark and sail on and the backup will follow the primary at a safe distance. If any problems arise at all, the passengers will be moved to the backup ship and will continue their fun filled vacation with only a minor disruption. Of course the cruise lines will also give a very nice OBC since the passengers were inconvenienced by having to switch ships. Don't worry about the cost as the cruise lines will just convert to non-profit corps.

So some government officials are claiming that Costa handled it wrong and we're supposed to put weight behind what they say? I seriously doubt these officials are experts in dealing with disabled cruise ships. Most government officials are as much of an expert in any of these areas as any of us here on CC are.
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#56
Leeds, UK
1,496 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I think we need to remember a few things. Firstly, fires are not unique to Costa, as has been said before. Look at the Carnival Splendor fire, they were in exactly the same situation. Furthermore, as far as we know the fire is not Costa's fault, just as it wasn't Carnival's fault on the Splendor. While the sensationalist tabloids would like you to think that, it simply isn't.

Secondly, regarding the rebranding question. Rebranding an airline is easy. People usually don't care which airline they fly with, they choose out of convenience, which is not how people pick a cruise line. People pick a particular cruise line based on reviews, their own experiences with the line itself, word of mouth and advertising. Rebranding Costa would lose them many regulars, and they would have to build up a reputation in the cruise industry. While the Concordia incident is a huge blow to this, it does not change the fact that Costa as a brand itself is a big part of Europe's tourist industry, and is a well known name in the cruise industry itself. That kind of recognition takes decades to build. As has been said, once the ship is removed, it will slip into history, and people will forget. Costa is a valuable brand, and Carnival will not simply just throw it away.

Thirdly, the cost of such a rebranding would be huge. It would cost millions to rebrand all the ships and reproduce associated materials, which will cost millions in themselves alone. The amount of advertising needed would also be huge, not to mention actually getting travel agents to promote what would effectively be a brand new line. All of these costs put together would likely be greater than the drop in bookings due to the recent events, which won't last forever.
#57
Wisconsin
278 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Holland-America wasn't rebranded when the Prinsendam burned and sank.
(They even had the chutzpah to reuse the name and put a big painting
of the sunken ship in the stairwell of the new one...)
#58
Connecticut
1,892 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by littlesteelo
I think we need to remember a few things. Firstly, fires are not unique to Costa, as has been said before. Look at the Carnival Splendor fire, they were in exactly the same situation. Furthermore, as far as we know the fire is not Costa's fault, just as it wasn't Carnival's fault on the Splendor. While the sensationalist tabloids would like you to think that, it simply isn't.

Secondly, regarding the rebranding question. Rebranding an airline is easy. People usually don't care which airline they fly with, they choose out of convenience, which is not how people pick a cruise line. People pick a particular cruise line based on reviews, their own experiences with the line itself, word of mouth and advertising. Rebranding Costa would lose them many regulars, and they would have to build up a reputation in the cruise industry. While the Concordia incident is a huge blow to this, it does not change the fact that Costa as a brand itself is a big part of Europe's tourist industry, and is a well known name in the cruise industry itself. That kind of recognition takes decades to build. As has been said, once the ship is removed, it will slip into history, and people will forget. Costa is a valuable brand, and Carnival will not simply just throw it away.

Thirdly, the cost of such a rebranding would be huge. It would cost millions to rebrand all the ships and reproduce associated materials, which will cost millions in themselves alone. The amount of advertising needed would also be huge, not to mention actually getting travel agents to promote what would effectively be a brand new line. All of these costs put together would likely be greater than the drop in bookings due to the recent events, which won't last forever.


I suggest you go read the USCG reports out on the Splender........there were serious design, operational and maintence issues.


AKK
#59
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,431 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by Davyjonesrugrat
Yes but aircraft crashes, in the majority, were due to onboard technical difficulties/problems.
Oh really? Let's look at American Airlines as an example and their track record in the last 17 years:
  • 1995 - Boeing 757 crashed in Cali, Colombia killing ALL 159 passengers and crewmembers except for 4 - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 1999 - MD-80 crashed during landing in Little Rock, Arkansas. Captain and 10 passengers killed - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 2001 - Airbus 300 crashed taking off from New York JFK enroute to Santo Domingo, DR killing ALL 260 passengers and crewmembers - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 2009 - Boeing 737 crashed during landing in Kingston, Jamaica in heavy rain and tailwinds. More than 40 passengers injured - REASON: PILOT ERROR
Add to this list the two AA airplanes lost during the 9-11 attacks as well as 2 others that were subject to terrorist threats in 2001 and 2005 respectively, and you have a Public Relations nightmare MUCH worse than the one caused by the captain of the Costa Concordia. Yet you didn't see American Airlines management running to change the airline's name, rebrand, or do any of that nonsense.

Costa is a cruise line with a very long and glorious history and extremely loyal following. It's not some "fly by night" or "startup" operation. It might be hard to see it now since the Concordia incident is still fresh in people's memories, but over time, the bad press will fade (it already has started) and things will go back to normal.
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#60
Connecticut
1,892 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by Tapi
Oh really? Let's look at American Airlines as an example and their track record in the last 17 years:
  • 1995 - Boeing 757 crashed in Cali, Colombia killing ALL 159 passengers and crewmembers except for 4 - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 1999 - MD-80 crashed during landing in Little Rock, Arkansas. Captain and 10 passengers killed - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 2001 - Airbus 300 crashed taking off from New York JFK enroute to Santo Domingo, DR killing ALL 260 passengers and crewmembers - REASON: PILOT ERROR
  • 2009 - Boeing 737 crashed during landing in Kingston, Jamaica in heavy rain and tailwinds. More than 40 passengers injured - REASON: PILOT ERROR
Add to this list the two AA airplanes lost during the 9-11 attacks as well as 2 others that were subject to terrorist threats in 2001 and 2005 respectively, and you have a Public Relations nightmare MUCH worse than the one caused by the captain of the Costa Concordia. Yet you didn't see American Airlines management running to change the airline's name, rebrand, or do any of that nonsense.

Costa is a cruise line with a very long and glorious history and extremely loyal following. It's not some "fly by night" or "startup" operation. Italy is very proud of Costa and it will do anything it can to restore it to its original glory. It might be hard to see it now since the Concordia incident is still fresh in people's memories, but over time, the bad press will fade (it already has started) and things will go back to normal.

I agree with a good bit of your post but, there is going to be more.

1.. We have a year or so with regular news reports coming out about a trial and official investigation reports going on and being released to remind people of the Concordia and Allerga.

2. The trial may very well include Costa excutives and operations people and questionable company operational policies.

3. A year of wreck removal and all the news agencies and enviro groups keeping it in the spotlight and reminding us.

4. Yes Costa has a loyal following ..but that is only *bread and butter* earnings. To stay alive a line needs new first time Costa cruisers....With this terrible accident(and the Allego) new cruisers are not going to be so fast to book Costa or a crusies at all.

5. Yes memories will fade in time, but over the next year or so when all this is going on........will be a hard time for Costa.

6.. Italy loves Costa, yes, but right now the goverment is in no position to help it much!



I feel Costa will survive and will likely keep the brand and livery. However, it will have to lose 50% of its capacity, get lean and then slowly rebuild.

Just MHO

AKK