Top cruise industry players took a beating in public opinion following the fire that disabled the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico last month, according to results of a poll released Monday.
The Harris Poll of 2,230 adults in the U.S. surveyed between Feb. 19 and 21 — less than a week after the ship returned to land following several unpleasant days at sea — showed that perceived quality of Carnival Cruise Lines and other cruise operators dropped significantly.
Trust in Carnival and other lines also dropped, the poll showed. The score that measures purchase intent also dropped for Carnival and some of its main rivals, though the decrease was not as widespread as under the other two measures.
According to the poll, 58 percent of people who have never taken a cruise say they are less likely to try one now than they were a year ago. Previous cruisers were more willing: only 43 percent said they’re less likely to take a cruise vacation now.
Only 35 percent of Americans agree that cruises are a “worry-free” vacation, according to the poll, though that response varied based on experience. A quarter of those who have never cruised said “worry-free” was the right description, while 53 percent of people who have cruised agreed with that sentiment.