Cruise company in profits warning

Carnival cruiseCarnival, the world's largest cruise company, issued its second warning of sinking profits in less than three months as revenues fell and voyage cancellations increased in the wake of a series of major mishaps on its ships.

Shares were down nearly 13% in London after the company said full-year revenues, which were expected to be flat, would fall 2-3%, while earnings would also be hit. The expectations were also reduced in March when Carnival downgraded its hopes for revenue growth for the year.
The company operates 101 ships under a number of brands across the world, including P&O, Cunard and Costa Cruises. It suffered a major blow in 2012 when the Costa Concordia ran aground with thousands of passengers on board off the coast of Italy - claiming 32 lives.

Since then, Carnival has been dogged by further problems on its cruise ships.
In March last year, the Costa Allegra drifted without power for three days in the Indian Ocean after a fire on board, before having to be towed into port in the Seychelles.

In February this year, chief executive Gerry Cahill had to apologise to 4,200 passengers on the Carnival Triumph after it was left adrift for five days in the Gulf of Mexico. They were faced with overflowing toilets and scarce food.

The following month, a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream was cut short after what was described as a "technical issue" involving a malfunction of the ship's backup diesel generator.

Shortly afterwards, the Carnival Legend had to limp back to Florida during another Caribbean cruise after a technical fault.

The operator said booking volumes had been driven up by its latest price offer but this had led to lower-than-expected revenues.

It also said it had been hit by "voyage cancellations beyond those incorporated in the company's previous guidance".

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Cruise company in profits warning

If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.

If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.

This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered. 

If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company. 

Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.  

Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.

If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.

If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.

The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.

The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.

If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.


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