Itinerary Planning: Carnival Staying “Fresh”

Always keeping its product fresh, Carnival Cruise Line has been moving ships around for 2022 and 2023 and will also welcome two newbuilds into the North American market, the Carnival Celebration this November and the Carnival Jubilee next November, Fred Stein, vice president, revenue planning and deployment, told Cruise Industry News.

The Celebration will be sailing alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, while the Jubilee will be based in Galveston, sailing seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean.

The newbuilds and the retirements of Fantasy-class ships are triggering a number of changes. Among these, Carnival has gradually been increasing the size of its ships in Galveston. “We have the Carnival Breeze, Dream and Vista there now,” Stein said. “But that will change once the Jubilee arrives (November 2023). She will essentially take the place of the Vista, which moves to Port Canaveral, taking the spot of the Magic, which will spend her winter in Miami.”

On the West Coast, Carnival sails the Panorama and Radiance year-round from Long Beach, and the Miracle divides her time between Long Beach and San Francisco for her summer Alaska program.

Carnival is increasing its Alaska programs significantly this year, sailing the Splendor and Spirit seven days roundtrip from Seattle and the Miracle 10 days from San Francisco.

Also in Florida, Tampa has two ships, the Paradise year-round and the Pride seasonally.

Baltimore enjoys a year-round program by the Carnival Legend sailing a variety of six-, seven-, eight- and 14-night cruises to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean and New England and Canada through spring 2024.

Two 14-day cruises roundtrip to Greenland aboard the Legend are also being offered in August and September 2023, calling at Nanortalik and Qaqortog in Greenland, St. Anthony and Corner Brook in Newfoundland and Sydney in Nova Scotia

Meanwhile, environmental compliance is playing a bigger role in itinerary planning.

Said Stein: “We always want to make sure that our ships are able to meet all the environmental compliance requirements in whatever areas they are going to be in. That, and ensuring that we operate safely, are the first steps.

“Then we need marquee ports that generate demand. As we tend to cater to the family market in North America, we focus on our major homeports. But then we throw in a little spice every now and then to give something different and exciting to our long-term guests. That is why, for example, we have Europe in the mix.” (The Carnival Pride in the Mediterraean and Northern Europe this summer.)

Homeports need to have good airlift and/or strong local or regional drive-to markets, according to Stein.

Carnival is also focused on offering a variety of durations and itineraries.

“If you look at Miami,” Stein said, “we have a ship on three- and four-day cruises, another on four and five days, one on seven and one that does six and eight days. That gives us variety and a mix of itineraries.

“Within our programs we always try to optimize the best mix of ports that will drive demand, and also in terms of fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

“We try to balance all these things to achieve the best outcome,” Stein added.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Spring 2022

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