With the Costa Concordia dangling on a watery ledge, parent company Carnival Corp. reduced its marketing spend and expects no long-term impact on its overall business.
In a regulatory filing in the US, Carnival says it has insurance to cover damage to the ship and the company expects 2012 profits to take a $85 to $95 million hit.
Even before the incident, Carnival Corp. was active in social media, with Carnival Cruise Lines "the first cruise line to exceed one million Likes on Facebook," the company says. It now has more than 1.4 million.
But, Carnival reduced its various marketing activities after the Costa Concordia ran aground January 13 as booking volumes for all its brands in total -- without taking the reduction at Costa into account -- "declined in the mid-teens compared to the prior year, after bottoming out on January 16, 2012," Carnival says.
The cruise line says it is difficult to calculate the bookings impact on Costa Cruises, which operates 14 ships, because of rebooking activity and ship redeployments, although the line's bookings are "down significantly."
"Despite these recent trends, we believe the incident will not have a significant long-term impact on our business," Carnival says.
The temporary reduction in marketing notwithstanding, Carnival says it has been expanding its use of digital marketing and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The cruise line primarily uses Twitter for customer service and public relations.
Carnival also has several blogs, with posts from captains, entertainment directors and other officials.
John Heald, Carnival's senior cruise director, offered his perspective on the Costa Concordia disaster, in a blog post here.
Heald says he mourns for the passengers and crew who died, but adds that cruising is safe.
He also defends the actions of the crew, saying many "stayed at their stations and did what their training had taught them to do under very challenging conditions."
The Concordia's captain remains under house arrest.