Carnival Cruise Lines is apparently sailing away from Europeans headed to more profitable distant shores. Blaming rising airfare costs and other market problems in Europe, the cruise giant has decided to port Carnival Legend in Australia rather than in Barcelona and the Med.
Travel Mole quotes Adolfo Perez, managing director, UK & Ireland form a letter sent to associates:
“This was a difficult decision for us, as we realise our guests truly love sailing with Carnival in Europe, largely because we provide great holidays at great value for money. We are hopeful we will return in the future. Carnival continues to be committed to the UK and Irish markets. Whilst we have relied on you all for our European deployment in 2013, you continue to bring guests to Carnival in the Caribbean…and they love it. In fact, the majority of our UK customers choose a cruising holiday that departs from North America.”
Despite the suggested “market conditions” cited, the fact Carnival has been beset with one catastrophe after another cannot be overlooked. Carnival Legend switching ports of call to Australia in the wake of the two passengers lost at sea days ago overboard from Carnival Spirit, seems a coincidence at the extreme.
Carnival’s fleet has suffered one bad break after another.
- On November 8, 2010, a fire broke out in the generator room of the Carnival Splendor causing a general shipboard loss of power. Splendor was adrift off the west coast of Mexico and had to be towed into port.
- On 13 January 2012, the Costa Concordia (owned by Carnival Corporation) hit a rock off Isola del Giglio. A 53-metre (174 ft) long gash was made in the hull causing power to the engines and ship services was cut off. Taking on water, the vessel started to list and ran aground. 32 people lost their lives.
- On February 10, 2013, the Carnival Triumph’s 3,143 passengers were adrift when an engine room fire left the ship powerless at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. Again a Carnival ship had to be towed into port.
- On March 14, 2013, the Carnival Dream experienced an emergency generator failure while the ship was docked in port at Philipsburg, passengers were flown home vacationless.
- On March 15, 2013, the Carnival Legend suffered a mechanical problem in one of its propulsion pods causing the ship to shift course at reduced speed to return to Tampa.
- Just last week, as we reported, two passengers aboard the Carnival Spirit off Australia went missing. A subsequent sea and air search failed to located the two passengers who apparently drown in the Tasman Sea.
Carnival ships have just about seen it all the last few years. Running aground, rape, sickness, breakdowns, fires, and the latest couple lost at sea, these kinds of stories are not the norm for any cruise entity. The news Carnival’s ships will sail closer to home save the Australian cruises, is not so big a surprise actually.