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Expert: Problems aren’t causing people to cancel their cruise

PHOENIX — A Valley travel expert said despite recent problems on Carnival cruises, people don’t appear to be having second thoughts about getting on board.

Louie Thiele is the co-host of KTAR’s Sunday afternoon travel show. He said very few people have cancelled their cruise.

“They’re all thinking, as many people did on the last two ships that got into trouble, ‘they had that terrible problem on the Triumph, what are the chances of it happening again?’

“The problem that Carnival is very concerned about is their company image going forward, and their future bookings,” Thiele said.

Thiele said three percent of the American population has taken a cruise in the past year, and that’s a lot of people. Bookings were up overall in 2012, but dipped in the later part of the year.

Carnival’s president recently announced the cruise line will go through a complete mechanical review of its ships.

Thiele said the company must improve the damage to its image that has been caused by the recent mishaps, and may have to lower prices to lure more people in.

“Carnival is beginning a brand perception problem, and that could cause the company to have to look at a price reduction,” Thiele said.

He does not know when that might happen.