Carnival CEO hopes you'll go cruising

11:57 PM, Nov 26, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Carnival CEO hopes you'll go cruising

Carnival Cruise ship "Sunshine"

 

The Carnival Cruise ship "Sunshine" was just renamed, and given a $155 million makeover.

Now the 17-year-old ship is ready to dazzle customers- which is symbolic of the impact Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald hopes to have as the new leader of the world's largest cruise company.

PHOTOS: Carnival Cruise ship "Sunshine" gets makeover 

Among Donald's challenges: regaining customers' confidence.

In February, an engine room fire left the Carnival Triumph adrift for five days in the Gulf. More than 3,000 passengers were stranded with limited food and bathrooms.

PHOTOS: Disabled Carnical cruise ship in the Gulf

And there was the 2012 crash of Concordia, also owned by Carnival, which killed 32 passengers off the Tuscan coast.

STORY: Human remains found near Costa Concordia shipwreck

In the wake of those highly publicized incidents,  Carnival's reputation took a hard hit, but Arnold Donald sees it as an opportunity. 

"A long time ago I learned to focus on the problem. What people write about me is not my problem. You know, the problems we have are 'how do we grow revenues?'."

STORY: Carnival woos skittish consumers with new guarantee

 

The New CEO is about to buy a new house in South Beach. Light years from growing up poor in New Orleans. And he wants customers to know he knows the value of a dollar. 

Donald says he remembers growing up eating sandwiches of butter and syrup.

Warren Donald, Arnold's father, was a carpenter who built their entire childhood home, and while money was tight, the Donalds cared for five children and were foster parents to 27 more.

 

Now Arnold Donald is hoping to give back to his customers, and hoping cruisers will give Carnival a second chance.

"We hope for your continued support, and a good way to do that is to come cruise with us!," Donald said with a confident and genuine smile.

In September, the company introduced a $25 million advertising campaign- its largest in five years. Carnival solicited stories from customers, and more than 30,000 responded. The resulting "Moments that Matter" spot is a montage of their home movies taken on ships.

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