Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
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Let’s Send the Royal Caribbean Executives Sailing

We all know that front line employees can damage a company’s brand with just one bad interaction with a guest or client. But what about the executives? Can they do similar damage? Well apparently the answer is yes.

Cruise ship.Royal Caribbean cruise lines just made it into the history books for what health officials are calling the worse norovirus in decades. Last reports indicate that nearly 700 people fell ill on this ship. This isn’t the first time guests and crew members have gotten sick on a cruise ship, nor will it be the last time. The executives at Royal Caribbean have had plenty of time to think about how to compensate those on board for what must have been a very uncomfortable sailing. Yet the best they could come up with is providing all sick guests a 50 percent refund of their cruise fares and an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. It’s also reimbursing airline change fees and accommodations for guests who had to change plans for traveling home.

Really? Is this the best Royal Caribbean can do? What if after this experience you never want to set sail again? Are you supposed to be satisfied with a 50 percent refund and a credit that you’ll never use?

Come on executives. Use your head. This is how you further damage a brand that is currently in the headlines, and not for a good reason. Nothing less than a full refund is in order.

If I were running this company, I would put every executive involved in this decision on board this ship and send them out to sea. I bet they’d quickly come up with a more compassionate offering to those who fell ill on this ship. That is if they could stay out of the bathroom long enough to reach consensus.

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