Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Carol Ann Hackley
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
The purpose of this study was to examine Royal Caribbean's crisis communications response following the return of their cruise ships to Labadee, Haiti, soon after the Januaty 12, 20 I 0 earthquake. A case study method was used to evaluate both sides of the situation and Royal Caribbean's crisis communications response is evaluated against a target standard of five benchmarks. The first benchmark requires recognizing that a crisis has occurred. The second benchmark involved having an immediate response, by getting the story out first, even if all the facts are not yet available. The third benchmark conveyed the importance of directly communicating with key stakeholders. The fourth benchmark, an all-time favorite, reiterates the importance of telling the truth, bad and good, and keeping it consistent. The fifth benchmark focuses on companies putting people first and conveying a genuine concern for those affected.
This study begins with an introduction of concerned parties, locations and issues. The crisis situation presented is the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010 in Haiti. It continues with a discussion of the communication crisis that resulted from Royal Caribbean's decision to continue cruise trips to its port of Labadee on Haiti, following the disastrous earthquake's widespread devastation. Praise and criticism for Royal Caribbean was equally considered, as was the cruise line's crisis management, specifically its series of crisis communications and their short and long-term implications.
In conclusion, analysis suggested that Royal Caribbean underutilized crisis communication techniques. It is essential that a company have a swift response and communicate to the public what is being done to make sure that a crisis is handled effectively.
Piffero, Melissa A.. (2010). Returning to Haiti: humanitarian effort or corporate capitalism ? : a crisis communication response evaluation of Royal Caribbean International. University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/742
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in PacificSearch
If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).