Princess Cruises Admits Dumping

Princess CruisePrincess Cruises, a division of Carnival, will pay $40 million in penalties for illegally dumping oil-contaminated waste into the ocean. The Department of Justice announced the news and called the activity "deliberate":

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (Princess) has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up.  Princess will pay a $40 million penalty-the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution-and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship.

Assistant Attorney General Cruden had harsh words for the company:

The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship. It reflects very poorly on Princess's culture and management.  This is a company that knew better and should have done better.  Hopefully the outcome of this case has the potential not just to chart a new course for this company, but for other companies as well.

Princess Cruises responded extensively in a statement posted on the website, in an FAQ, and in videos from the company executives. The president's video blames a few employees. A comment posted on YouTube under the video sums up one response: "this video needs taking down and a new one with someone who looks sorry is put up. her reading of this is terrible, like watching a 12yr old at a school play."

Discussion Starters:

  • Read the company's statement and watch the videos. How well do the executives respond to the crisis? What could they have done differently?
  • Does this news affect your decision to take a Princess Cruise? Why or why not?