Carnival to upgrade fleet of ships

The cruise line is improving technology and emergency equipment

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Carnival Cruise Lines is investing $300 million to upgrade emergency equipment and technology on its fleet of 24 ships.

The company has struggled to get customers back on board its ships since February when an engine room fire aboard the Triumph stranded more than 4,000 passengers at sea for 5 days.

"When you have a situation like this there's always an opportunity to learn from it and get better; and that's what we're trying to do everyday," said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill in a taped interview sent out to news stations across the country.

Cahill says the $300 million will pay for an additional generator on all 24 ships in the fleet to increase the number of restrooms, elevators and hot meals available should the power go out.

There will also be upgrades to the fire detection and suppression system, like more sprinklers.

Lastly, the cruise line is investing in more data and communications technology that will give stranded passengers better access to call loved ones on shore.

Carnival says the upgrades will be made over the next several months.

It also announced a new safety & reliability review board made up of non-Carnival employees with experience in the marine and transportation safety industries.

Triumph's next scheduled cruise from Galveston is June 3.

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