Crisis management experts who have criticised Carnival Corporation’s handling of the Costa Concordia sinking have done so for their own personal gain, according to a spokesman for the cruise giant.

The US-based spokesman spoke out after Jack Irvine, executive chairman of PR consultancy firm MediaHouse, told the Institute of Travel and Tourism conference in Barbados that Carnival did “everything wrong” in the aftermath of the disaster.

And he echoed the sentiments of Carnival Corporation chief executive Micky Arison, who responded on Twitter: “”I think @costacrociere’s fast recovery speaks for itself.”

“These so-called experts are taking advantage of the 32 people who died in the Costa Concordia tragedy. They are the ones that should be criticised and ridiculed,” the spokesman said.

He also refuted claims that Carnival had not apologised or fronted up to the situation, saying it had made a public apology immediately and put out regular statements.

Referring to Irvine’s personal criticism of Arison’s apparent lack of involvement at the time, the spokesman said the decision had been taken not to send the Carnival boss to the scene as his presence might detract from the ongoing recovery efforts.

But Carnival number two Howard Franks was immediately sent to oversee proceedings, he added.

The spokesman also pointed to the announcement from Costa that bookings in March and April were up 28% on the same period last year as proof that the disaster had not had significant long-term effects on the brand or its sister lines.

“If you look at the financial statements that have been released by us and our competitors recently, it’s absolutely clear that our brands didn’t suffer any more than those of our competitors and we firmly believe that that indicates that we handled the Costa Concordia tragedy well,” he said.