Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2021

1 7 Costa Deliziosa embarked on short cruises for Italian guests in September 2020, making her the first Carnival Corporation ship to resume operations KEYNOTE to keep everyone safe while continuing to deliver cruise experiences that exceed our guests’ expectations.” Donald’s confident and optimistic projections put him at odds with industry critics who have suggested that many travellers will no longer trust the cruise sector to provide safe vacations. While he concedes that some people may be anxious, Donald also points out that none of Carnival Corporation’s nine brands have recorded a drop in bookings. In fact, they have remained robust throughout the pandemic. “Feedback from many past cruisers shows they’re confident in our ability to deliver safe and enjoyable holidays,” says Donald. “They know we’ve always followed strict health and safety protocols and that our ships regularly undergo independent hygiene inspections. Plus, we have dedicated medical centres onboard our vessels, so they’re reassured that our trained medical professionals would be able to quickly help them if they do fall ill. These factors make many people feel more comfortable taking a cruise than any other type of holiday.” Donald predicts that the cruise industry’s rapid, diligent and collaborative approach to overcoming the challenges of the past 12 months will make the sector just as strong, if not stronger, than it was prior to the pandemic. “People have endured lockdowns, quarantines, isolation from family and friends, and various other restrictions, so many are frustrated and desperate to get back to ‘normal’ and explore,” explains Donald. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel and we expect that as soon as restrictions ease and countries start to safely reopen borders, huge numbers of people will be booking holidays. Collectively, our brands have a base of eight million repeat guests who were forced to cancel their regular cruises and we know from our conversations with them that they’re very keen to get back onboard.” Carnival Corporation is also expecting to see a rise in demand from first-time cruisers. “People are realising that not only is cruising the safest way to holiday, but it also offers great value for money and the unique chance to wake up with a view of the ocean and explore a new destination every day,” says Donald. “Cruising brings together people from all walks of life and allows them to discover new cultures, cuisines and more – it’s a great human spirit experience. “Just before the pandemic, my wife and I took 105 family members on a cruise and together we enjoyed incomparable experiences that have left us all with lots of happy memories to last a lifetime. I’m looking forward to the day that Carnival Corporation and its brands are able to get back doing the same for our guests – I truly believe that when the time is right, our industry will embark on a journey to a very bright long-term future.” CFR