Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

Arnold Donald explains to Rebecca Gibson how Carnival Corporation is overcoming adversity to steer its nine cruise brands back to success after a challenging couple of years There is a bright light at the end of every tunnel. This old adage has sustained many people through crises and is one that Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald is prioritising as a guiding principle as he works with his team to overcome the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Humanity has faced many seemingly insurmountable challenges – in the last century alone we’ve faced war, pandemics, global financial crashes, natural disasters and a whole host of other issues,” says Donald. “They were all terrible times, but people fought to survive and eventually overcame the hardships. The trick is to remember that no matter how long that dark tunnel in front of you is, all you need to do is stay determined and take one step at a time, and you will eventually get to that light at the end of it. And when you do, great prosperity will await you.” Carnival Corporation has adopted this approach throughout the pandemic by staying informed about the virus, collaborating with medical experts to develop solutions, securing liquidity to stay afloat, and working hard to support employees, guests and the communities it visits. “We keep marching forward, prioritising health and safety, and taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise,” says Donald. “We’re now on the final stretch with the prospect of bright days ahead.” At the time of publication, threequarters of the company’s capacity across eight of Carnival Corporation’s nine brands were back in service, including vessels from AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn fleets. P&O Cruises (Australia) is set to restart at the end of May 2022. They are gradually increasing occupancy levels and taking guests to a growing number of destinations around the world. “It’s all going very well so far and we’re hopefully on track to have all our fleet back in service for our summer season,” says Donald. He attributes much of Carnival Corporation’s restart success to its rigorous health and safety protocols, which were developed in collaboration with medical science, public health and infectious disease control experts, and incorporate mandatory measures specified by Cruise Lines International Association. Built on Carnival Corporation’s pre-existing health and safety measures, the new practices have included and may still include mandatory testing for both crew and guests, vaccinations for all eligible guests and crew members, physical distancing, mask wearing where necessary, strictly controlled shore excursions, and more. The brands have made changes onboard the vessels too, upgrading onboard medical facilities, creating dedicated isolation cabins, increasing cleaning and sanitation procedures, and improving the air filtration and ventilation systems. In addition, Carnival Corporation has developed risk-based response plans for each individual ship to ensure infected guests can be rapidly isolated, tested and treated, or transferred to a shoreside medical facility if necessary. “We’re following expert advice and guidance from the world’s best medical professionals and scientists, and we’ve had great cooperation from both our guests and crew,” says Donald. “We’ve safely sailed with more than 2.2 million guests, and we’ve still been able to deliver exceptional experiences, despite all the additional restrictions.” Feedback has certainly been resoundingly positive. “Our net promoter scores have been at an all-time high since we’ve returned to the seas and guests from around the world have told us they thoroughly enjoyed their cruise experiences,” says Donald. “I’ve had the privilege of boarding a number of the ships to welcome back both our crew and our guests and it’s been an amazing to see their joy and excitement. Both our shipboard crew and our onshore employees are very glad to be back KEYNOTE Staying strong “ We keep marching forward, prioritising health and safety, and taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise” 1 2