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To shelter-in-place or go on vacation? That is the question.
And apparently “go on vacation” has been confirmed as the correct answer as bookings soared through the roof just days after Carnival Cruise Line announced they would resume operations on 1 August 2020.
(DELAYED) SUMMER TRAVEL
Many eyes have been on the cruise line industry as it attempts to rebound from the impacts of coronavirus and the continued media coverage about stranded passengers and crew members.
In fact, according to the US Coast Guard, there are still over 57,000 crew members stuck aboard 74 cruise ships in and around US ports, the Bahamas and the Caribbean this week and many more hundreds stuck on vessels around the world.
However, this information does not seem to be affecting bookings for summer travel.
On May 4, Carnival announced:
Beginning August 1, we may operate cruises on the following ships:
– Galveston: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista
– Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation
– Port Canaveral: Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation.
And according to Cruise Planners, an American Travel Agency, reservations surged 600% in the days following the announcement.
“We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation. 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” the cruise line said in it’s press release.
EVERYTHING IS TENTATIVE
Given the surge in bookings and word spreading fast that Carnival would be resuming operations this summer, Carnival published another press release to clarify the information about those initial cruises.
The cruise line said:
Any resumption of cruise operations – whenever that may be – is fully dependent on our continued efforts in cooperation with federal, state, local and international government officials. In our continued support of public health efforts, any return to service will also include whatever enhanced operational protocols and social gathering guidelines that are in place at the time of the resumption of cruise operations. We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation and will continue to keep our guests, travel agent partners and other stakeholders informed.
As I reported this morning, we’ve seen an interesting increase of flying passengers over the last few days. Perhaps everyone is feeling more comfortable these days about travel?
Personally, I’ve been watching the price of cruises over the past few weeks and I have noticed that Carnival, in particular, has been offering rates at extremely reduced rates.
For example, I have seen 4-day cruises during the summer (say, August) pricing around $115. Granted, this on the lower level and an inside room but that’s essentially ~$28 per day for a “hotel room,” unlimited food, entertainment and experiencing several tropical islands. That’s hard to beat when comparing it to the financials of any other type of trip.
It’s worth noting that Carnival is being investigated by the US Congress about how they handled the COVID-19 challenges but I don’t think that will have any affect on when the cruise line resumes operations.
Are you surprised by the numbers? Do you feel more comfortable about travel?