The engine fire that disabled a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico will certainly cost the cruise line money but it is unclear if it will tarnish its reputation in the long run.
The fire broke out Sunday, leaving the Carnival Triumph without propulsion and power for some bathrooms, elevators and kitchens. The ship, carrying more than 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members, is being towed by three tug boats to Mobile, Ala.
Carnival has announced it will reimburse passengers for the cruise fare, transportation costs and other expenses and has also canceled 14 future sailings of the Triumph through April.
[Updated, 3:03 p.m., Feb. 13: Carnival announced Wednesday that it would pay each passengers on the Triumph an additional $500 to compensate them for their troubles.]
Carnival Corp., the parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, estimated Wednesday that the cancellations and Triumph's repair costs will result in an $0.08 to $0.10 earnings per share drop in the first half of the year.
Carnival Corp.'s shares are already taking a hit.
The incident is only the latest mishap for Carnival in the past few years. In 2010, an engine fire also cut power to the Carnival Splendor during a cruise to the Mexican Riviera.
Carnival Corp. is also the parent company of an Italian cruise line that operated the Costa Concordia, which wrecked in the Italian coast last year, drowning 32 passengers and crew.
On the Carnival Triumph, passengers who have contacted family and friends via emails and texts say they were standing in long lines for food and to use toilets. Some slept on the deck to get relief from the heat in the cabins. Others used plastic bags when bathrooms were disabled.