Christine Duffy received a fair share of criticism when she announced Carnival Ships would remain in the US and would not be sailing from foreign ports. A decision based on the constant ‘Carnival is America’s Cruise Line,’ which the president of the US’ largest cruise line repeated whenever there was a chance.
With a return of cruising looming brightly ahead, and ships expected to start sailing, although in minimal numbers, in mid-July, it seems the former Cruise Lines International Association president was on the money when she decided to keep the ships in the United States.
Advantage Carnival Cruise Line
Sure, the threats were there a few weeks ago when Christine Duffy said she might be forced to send ships to foreign ports if the CDC did not deliver soon. But in hindsight, that might just have been all it was, a threat.
If Carnival Cruise Line would have sent its 24 vessels that currently homeport in the United States to foreign ports, it would have been one of the biggest shocks in cruise history.
Nonetheless, Carnival Cruise Line will be well underway in getting all of its 14 homeports in line and undersigning all the documentation the CDC requires from the vessels.
Carnival could plan to start operating with just three vessels in July, which is likely based on testing the waters, so to say. The cruise line plans a phased restart from that point onwards, bringing ships back into service step by step. The cruise line has also stopped the sale of most cruises in July while it works through the guidelines from the CDC.
Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line:
I like to say carnival cruise line is America’s cruise line. We sail from 14 US homeports around this country. We keep our ships in these communities and these ports year-round; we consider this their home.
It means then that Carnival Cruise Line can now put all of its focus on getting ships sailing from US 6ports. As other cruise lines will juggle the various rules and regulations elsewhere, Carnival can evaluate day by day and focus solely on the most significant market worldwide, with perhaps the most pent-up cruise demand.
The CDC has asked for a 98% crew vaccination grade, and a 95% passenger vaccination grade also makes things a lot easier for Carnival Cruise Line.
While vaccinations have been going at an extremely high pace in the United States, this is certainly not the case elsewhere in the world. Sure, the UK and Israel are in the same ballpark, but that’s where it ends.
It is also where, again, it’s advantage Carnival Cruise Line. Three US ports have so far committed themselves to give high levels of support when it concerns getting crew members onboard the ships vaccinated as soon as possible. Port Canaveral, Port Miami, and the Port of Galveston have all started with vaccination drives for crew members of the cruise ships.
And there is a good reason for this. In 2019 the cruise industry’s contribution to the US economy grew to $55.5 billion in 2019, generating more than 436,000 American jobs.
Not only is it in the best interest of Carnival to have crew vaccinated as soon as possible. Having ships sailing from US ports will create jobs and be a massive stimulus to the US economy.
It is often said that the cruise lines do not contribute and have no benefit to the US economy as the ships are registered in ‘ports of convenience,’ and sure enough, this part is true.
However, with $55.5 billion in 2019 and virtually $0 in 2020 and the first months of 2021 due to the cruise ship ban, the ‘no contribution to the economy’ theory has been thoroughly debunked.
It looks now then that Carnival Cruise Line not only contributes to the US economy, but it also has one of the biggest supporters in its President, Christine Duffy. Carnival Cruise Line, it really is America’s Cruise Line.