Carnival Cruise sees 600% spike in sales as bookings reopen despite Covid-19 outbreaks onboard
However, the cruise company has cautioned that there’s no guarantee they will be able to stick to their desired start date of August 1
Carnival Cruise Line reported a spike in bookings just months after the cruise line industry was shut down following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to resume service, starting August 1.
Three of its ships will set sail from Galveston in Texas — Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista — and three others will sail from Miami — Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation, the company said. Two of its ships will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida — Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation, the company added.
All other North American and Australian homeport cruises will be canceled through August 31. All Carnival Spirit Alaskan cruises from Seattle will be canceled, as well as the Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6. All Carnival Splendor cruises in Australia from June 19 to August 31 will be canceled.
Three days after Carnival's announcement, Cruise Planners' Carnival bookings rose by 600 percent, according to TMZ. The sales figures are also 200 percent more than that of 2019 for the same time period, during a time preceding fears of the coronavirus.
A representative for Cruise Planners told TMZ that they were "not a bit concerned about traveling at this time" because many stated they are young and healthy, and just looking to have some fun after being cooped up for so long.
However, the cruise company has cautioned that there’s no guarantee they will be able to stick to their desired start date. During the announcement, the company said, "We are taking a measured approach, focusing on the potential for sailing from a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests."
They added, "We continue to work with various government agencies, including the CDC, as we introduce new onboard protocols, but there is no assurance of a return on August 1."
Cruise ships had become a focal point during the initial stages of the outbreak after multiple cruise ships were hit hard by the Covid-19 virus. Carnival still had passengers at sea as early as April, nearly a month after the CDC issued a March 8 public advisory to "defer all cruise ship travel worldwide". Spokesperson Frizzell told Bloomberg that Carnival wasn’t under any legal obligation to follow the CDC’s advice. "The advisory is not an edict," he said.
Earlier this month, Congress launched an investigation into Carnival Cruise Line's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Bloomberg reported that the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is investigating the company's handling of the outbreak as more than 1,500 cases have been confirmed aboard the company's ships and dozens of passengers and crew members have died.
"We would hope that the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic will place a renewed emphasis on public health and passenger safety, but frankly that has not been seen up to this point," Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio wrote in the letter to Carnival. The letter was also signed by Sean Maloney, the New York Democrat who chairs the maritime transportation subcommittee. "It seems as though Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat."