If you think your job is tough, try being the head of Carnival Cruise Line’s PR department today.

I’m sure that many of you, like me, have been following the story about the Carnival ship that lost power several days ago, and just this morning arrived in port in San Diego, pulled by tug boats.  Just imagine the scene – you have 3,500 passengers who have just spent their prized vacations without power, phones, air-conditioning, working toilets, hot water, or hot food.  It is this last condition that I’m sure appalled passengers the most, as cruise ships are essentially floating buffets.   No one would have cared about the lack of hot showers or phones as long as they had a chocolate fountain and/or suckling pig available at 3am.  Unfortunately, these travelers got none of the above.

But in case you were worried about the board of fare for these passengers in lieu of hot food, the following tells you all you need to know:

Aboard the ship, lines for cold food stretched for hours during the days after the power went out. Navy helicopters flew in Spam, Pop Tarts and canned crab meat and other goods for the passengers and crew, passengers said.  [Washington Post]

Yikes.  That ramen you had for lunch isn’t looking so bad.  As if being trapped on a Carnival ship wasn’t bad enough – Spam, pop tarts and canned crab?  Truly, which is the worst? 

Fortunately, Carnival is offering all passengers their money back, plus another free cruise (of similar or lesser value).   As for compensation for lost vacation, forced exposure to Spam and the generally unsanitary conditions – not so much.   Try explaining that to a tired, poor, huddled mass of 3,500.  Well, I guess it could be worse – you could be on bathroom duty this afternoon. 

On another light note, Conan’s take on the situation, via Twitter:

My kids are demanding I take them on that cruise that only serves pop tarts.

H/t to The Consumerist and the AP for the photo.

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