Despite the challenging economy, Carnival Cruise Lines is reporting strong booking volumes as prospective vacationers take advantage of some of the best vacation values in years.
For the one-week period ended March 1, 2009, Carnival recorded the highest number of net weekly bookings in its history. Additionally, on a cumulative basis since mid-January, net bookings are up 10 percent compared to the same period in 2008, although pricing is at lower levels. Wave season typically runs from about mid-January through early spring and is traditionally the busiest, most important booking period in the cruise industry.
Last week’s record reservations activity encompassed all of the line’s 22-vessel fleet, which depart from a variety of convenient, drive-to homeports throughout the U.S.
Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO, attributed the increase in bookings to the line’s travel agent partners and consumers’ appreciation for the inherent value and affordability of a “Fun Ship” vacation, as well as aggressive marketing efforts. Among the marketing channels being utilized are broadcast, e-mail and on-line, along with targeted sales promotions, including a one-day sale.
“This record booking activity, while at lower pricing, is certainly encouraging. It tells us that despite the uncertain economic climate, consumers clearly need more fun in their lives and view their vacations as a valuable and necessary part of that,” Cahill said. “And Carnival’s unmatched combination of quality, affordability and fun along with multiple close-to-home departure points and the greatest choice of short cruise options in the industry, make a ‘Fun Ship’ cruise the ideal getaway for today’s consumers,” he added.