Even as divers recovered the body of an elderly woman on the third deck of the wounded cruise ship, still wearing her life vest, bringing the death toll of bodies recovered to 16, the owners had a special message for survivors.
Pier Luigi Foschi, president of Costa Cruises is fully confident that the company whose captain jeopardized the lives of 4200 people with 16 confirmed dead, would be able to "find a solution that, in the material sense, would satisfy" the survivors,The Telegraph of London reported
"The company is not only going to refund everybody but they will offer a 30 per cent discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company," said a spokesman for Costa Cruises, a division of Carnival, the largest cruise ship operator in the world, to the paper.
But recently the company denied
making that offer, writing, "The company has never offered any discount on future cruises to guests who were on board the Costa Concordia for the cruise of January 13th."
“They are not accepting their responsibilities at all," Brian Page, 63, a British accountant, who survived by sliding from one side of the deck to another to find a lifeboat, said. "Our only back-up is separate legal action.”
Survivors plan to file a class-action suit Wednesday in Miami, where Carnival is based, seeking $160,000 a passenger — or almost $513 million if all 3,206 passengers were to be paid, according to the New York Daily News
Page added: "It is a ridiculous and insulting offer. I'm very disappointed in them."
Costa disagrees. As the National Post reported
this offer is the "first obvious effort to limit the corporate damage done by the shipwreck."
Costa Cruises: Clarifications on discounts and promotional offers
Jan 24, 2012 - With reference to news reports on discounts and promotional offers, Costa Cruises feels bound to point out that the company has never offered any discount on future cruises to guests who were on board the
Costa Concordia for the cruise of January 13th and involved in the tragic accident.
The information published by a newspaper and reported in various news outlets is totally unfounded, as is confirmed by the English passenger who was quoted by the newspaper. Costa Cruises reiterates that after the tragic accident the company’s priority has always been to provide the maximum possible assistance and solace to the people involved.
From the outset the company has been fully aware of and saddened by the suffering and hardship endured by guests and crew members and has acted with this firmly borne in mind. On a joint basis with rescue teams, the Company worked to provide evacuated passengers and crew members with all the necessary assistance to ensure they were able to return home.
Subsequently it contacted guests by telephone, after they had returned home, to check on their physical and emotional wellbeing, and to confirm that they will receive a refund for the cruise and all material expenses relating to it. As already announced, the company welcomes discussion with its guests and all consumer protection associations to determine indemnity for the hardship endured, with the support of tourism sector trade associations with which it has been in contact for days.
Driven by its sense of ethics and the values of fairness and responsibility which guide it, the Company has also given all customers with bookings for future Costa cruises the possibility, if feeling afraid, to cancel their cruise booking by giving notice no later than February 7th.
All travel agents who work with the Company were informed of this days ago. Costa Cruises would also like to clarify that starting on the day after the accident, all advertising initiatives planned were cancelled out of respect for those affected by this tragedy. The Company was unable to stop only one postal promotion which had already been sent to some customers at the end of December. Costa Cruises is incredulous at the disgraceful and unfounded assertions made about the Company without any form of verification.