Carnival decides to pay U.S. for Triumph and Splendor events
Carnival will pay an undisclosed amount to the U.S. Treasury as reimbursement for costs associated with the Carnival Splendor and Triumph events.
Initially the company flatly refused to do so, saying it was a law of the sea issue. However, I think they saw this for what it was, a no-win scenario with little hope of public support for Carnival's position. Plus it was a political hot button for Jay "my great-grandfather left me well-off" Rockefeller. Look at it as a legal settlement as in a lawsuit, where they pay, accept no guilt, and the issue goes away.
On the other hand, Carnival may have also set a precedent for the other cruise lines and now the expectation will be they reimburse the government for every incident the Coast Guard responds to. And that is a bad precedent, because it treats the cruise lines differently than every other ship, boat, swimmer, etc., that receives Coast Guard help.