Arison on Carnival Corp.’s post-Concordia changes

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There was some interesting back-and-forth last week in federal court between Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison and U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz that started out predictably but veered into unexpected territory.

Arison had been summoned to a status conference in the ongoing probation proceedings that Carnival is involved in as a result of Princess Cruises pleading guilty to environmental crimes in 2016.

Seitz was there to hold Carnival’s feet to the fire, in a bid to stop continuing violations of environmental laws that have put her in a position of having to harangue Carnival about the problems.

Then she took a less confrontational tack.

“What do you love about being in your business, Mr Arison?”

Arison, one of the few people in a room full of lawyers and consultants who have actually worked on a cruise ship, recounted his 50-year career at Carnival, which included 32 years as its CEO.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Arison said. “Obviously we wouldn’t be here if we were perfect.”

Seitz then expressed her admiration for how Carnival reformed some of its processes after the sinking of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 13, 2012.

“That was the worst day of my life,” Arison admitted in a hoarse voice.

Arison told Seitz that the Concordia illustrates some of the unique dilemmas in the cruise business that are not always understood by those outside the industry. As an example, he said, Carnival Corp. trains its bridge officers to work as a team. But the Italian Coast Guard, which trains Carnival’s Italian officer corps, had a different approach.

That meant that creating a uniform safety culture across Carnival’s 10 brands was hard to achieve.

“The Italian rules at that time were archaic,” Arison said. “The captain was the master. Other team members [on the bridge] could not question the captain.” Arison said Carnival lobbied hard with the Italian government to change the rules, but only after the Concordia accident were the changes made.

Seitz also had praise for the Arison Maritime Center, which Carnival opened in 2016 in Almere, the Netherlands. There, the company trains 6,500 bridge and engineering officers annually, in state-of-the-art simulators. That also gives the company a roadmap for change, she said.

Arison said that his family — and himself personally — was proud of having created the training centre. “We never put our name on a building in Miami,” he added, despite plenty of offers. “That was one building we were proud to put our name on.”

Costa Concordia captain loses final appeal against prison sentence

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The captain of the Costa Concordia has lost his final appeal bid.

Francesco Schettino was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2015 after a court found him guilty of manslaughter, causing a maritime accident and abandoning ship.

On Friday the sentence was upheld by Italy’s highest criminal tribunal, the Court of Cassation.

The ship capsized after hitting rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio in 2012 killing 32 people.

Schettino had handed himself in to the Rebibbia prison in Rome after the verdict, according to the BBC.

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were aboard the Costa Concordia during a Mediterranean cruise.

Costa Concordia Taken Apart For Scrap Five Years After Tragedy Struck

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Costa Concordia Lounge

The Costa Concordia has finally been dismantled for scrap five years after it tragically sank, killing 32 people.

The ship hit an underwater rock in January 2012 and capsized in Isola del Giglio, near Tuscany.

The vessel had been carrying 4,252 people and 32 of these tragically drowned when the ship sank. The captain of the ship Francesco Schettino was then sentenced to 16 tears in jail for manslaughter. He had caused outrage as he fled the ship before all of the passengers had escaped safely.

His sentence was increased due to the fact he had given false information to the port authorities. The ship had hit the rocks because he was steering the ship too close to shore in order to impress a friend.

The disaster was the worst maritime incident for Italy since the Second World War.

Captain Schettino later appealed his sentence and claimed that Costa was itself to blame, but this was rejected in court.

The wreck of the ship was removed from the sea last year and has now finally been turned into scrap metal in the port of Genoa.

It’s been said that roughly 70 per cent of the 144,500 tonne wreckage will be recycled during these efforts. It will cost up to £1.2 billion to salvage and scrap the ship meaning that it is one of the most expensive maritime wrecks in history.

Since the disaster, cruise lines have worked to make safety procedures clearer and 73% of guests now think cruising is safer