Carnival Cruise Line
|Type||Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Industry||Hospitality, travel, tourism|
|Founded||March 11, 1972|
|Headquarters||Doral, Florida, United States|
|Revenue||US$10.9 billion (FY 2011)|
|$1.9 billion (FY 2011)|
|Total assets||$35 billion (FY 2011)|
|Total equity||$13.4 billion (FY 2011)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Carnival Corporation & plc|
Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line with headquarters in Doral, Florida. The company is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc. Its logo is a funnel shaped like a whale's tail, with a red, white, and blue color scheme. This trademark funnel design is built onto the line's ships. Carnival is ranked first on the list of largest cruise lines based on passengers carried annually and total number of ships in fleet.
Carnival is one of ten cruise lines owned by the world's largest cruise ship operator, the American-British Carnival Corporation & plc. In 2018 Carnival Cruise Line was estimated to hold an 8.9% share of cruise industry revenue and 22.0% of passengers. It has 26 vessels and is the largest fleet in the Carnival group. The ships fly flags of convenience: 18 of the ships fly the Panama flag, six that of the Bahamas and two that of Malta. Its headquarters are in Miami, Florida, United States. The North American division of Carnival Corporation has executive control over the corporation and is headquartered in Doral, Florida.
Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972 by Ted Arison. To finance the venture, Arison turned to his friend Meshulam Riklis, who owned Boston-based American International Travel Service (AITS). Arison and Riklis set up the new company as a subsidiary of AITS. AITS was to market and promote the new venture. In 1974, due to regulatory issues, Riklis sold AITS's interest in the company to Arison for $1, but subject to Arison taking over the substantial company debts. The split enabled Arison to enter into new relationships with independent travel agents. He also promoted his cruises to fun-loving younger people. The format was very successful financially.
1970s: Early years
Carnival Cruise Lines commenced sailings from Miami with their first ship the Mardi Gras in 1972, a former transatlantic liner purchased from Canadian Pacific Line. Carnival would adapt and evolve the green Canadian Pacific livery for their new logo, changing the colors to red,white and blue as seen today.
In 1975 acquired another former Canadian Pacific Line ship, renaming it the Carnivale. The success of the two ships led to the acquisition of their third ship in 1978, the TSS Festivale, another former ocean liner. With the success of the three ships, Carnival decided to build new ships to be able to compete with the rival Miami cruise lines.
1980s: First new build ships
In 1982, Carnival introduced their first purpose-built ship, the Tropicale. This was the first ship where the iconic winged funnel was introduced, designed by Joe Farcus, who would become a longtime Carnival Cruise Line design collaborator, which has since been used on all ships in the fleet.
1990s: Fleet expansion
Beginning in 1990, Carnival introduced the popular Fantasy-Class, beginning with the Fantasy, and completed with the eighth in the class Paradise in 1998. When completed, the Fantasy was one of the largest ships at the time and had the largest atrium at sea. After having done design work on all the previous Carnival ships, Joe Farcus continued as the lead designer for the entire class.
In 1993, Carnival began to get rid of their older second-hand tonnage, and sold their first ship, the Mardis Gras, after 21 years of service with the line. The Carnivale followed the same year, going to newly created Carnival subsidiary Fiesta Marina Cruises.
In 1996, the new Destiny-class was introduced, with the Carnival Destiny. At 101,000 GT , it became the largest passenger ship in the world at the time and first to exceed 100,000 tons. The Destiny-class platform continued to be used in various iterations all the way to the Carnival Splendor in 2008. The same year the veteran ship Festivale, the last of the original second-hand fleet, was retired.
In 1998, the seventh ship in the fantasy-class, the Elation, was the first cruise ship to have the innovative azipod propulsion, used on most new cruise ships today. The Paradise also debuted in 1998, and was the first completely non-smoking cruise when it originally debuted.
2000s: Early modern era
In 2001, the new panamax size Spirit-Class debuted with the Carnival Spirit, the first of the four-ship class within the Carnival fleet.
In 2001, Robert H. Dickinson, then President and CTC, participated in a BBC documentary, Back To The Floor. Dickinson went to work at the lowest crew levels on the MS Imagination in the Caribbean, where he shadowed a Romanian cleaner, Alina. In October 2002, Carnival acquired P&O Princess Cruises for 3.5 billion euro.
In 2001, Carnival transferred their first new build, the 1982 built Tropicale to Costa Cruises. Through the rest of the decade, the line would continue to sell, or transfer the other 1980s built ships to other lines, with the Jubilee in 2004, Celebration in 2008, and Holiday in 2009.
In 2004, Carnival Corporation initiated a development program for Carnival's new ships, the Pinnacle Project, calling for a 200,000 GT prototype, which would have been the world's largest cruise ship at the time. The ship was cancelled, but they then developed a project called Next Generation.
In 2009, Carnival released their biggest ship at the time, the Carnival Dream, a new 128,000 GT ship. Carnival Dream entered service on 21 September 2009. After several voyages in the Mediterranean, she was set to offer weekly Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral from December 5, 2009. A sister ship, Carnival Magic, debuted on May 1, 2011. On December 1, 2009 it was announced that Carnival had placed an order for a third Dream-class vessel. It entered service in June 2012 and its homeport is now Galveston. On May 10, 2010, Carnival selected a name for their new Dream-class vessel in 2012 – Carnival Breeze.
On October 26, 2012, it was announced that Carnival had ordered a new 133,500 GT ship. This ship, built by Fincantieri, was the largest ship they have ever built. The new ship was named Carnival Vista, and sailed her maiden voyage on May 1, 2016, from Trieste, Italy.
A sister to Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, joined the fleet with her inaugural voyage from Barcelona, Spain on April 2, 2018. Queen Latifah is the ship's godmother, and christened her May 23, 2018.
Carnival Panorama, another sister to Carnival Vista, entered service as the cruise line's flagship on December 11, 2019. She became the first new ship to homeport on the West Coast since MS Paradise (now MS Carnival Paradise) in 1998. Both ships sailed from Long Beach, California.
Reports in late June 2019 stated that Carnival was building their first terminal in Japan, in the port city of Sasebo, to be named Uragashira Cruise Terminal. Local officials were hoping that the terminal would be open by late July 2020.
Carnival has had five Presidents in its nearly 50-year history.
|Person||Tenure||Classes of Ships Introduced||Notes|
|Ted Arison||1972 – 1981||Mardi Gras, Festivale, Carnivale||Founder of Carnival Cruise Lines|
|Micky Arison||1981 – 1993||Tropicale, Holiday, Fantasy||Expanded Carnival Cruise Lines. Became Chairman of the parent company - Carnival Corporation in 1993. Led the 1987 IPO and oversaw a number of critical acquisitions.|
|Robert H. Dickinson||1993 – 2007||Fantasy, Destiny, Spirit, Conquest||Expanded Carnival Cruise Lines further through strengthening relationships with travel partners.|
|Gerald R. Cahill||2007 – 2014||Splendor, Sunshine, Dream||Successfully led the cruise line through severe global recession and several high-profile events.|
|Christine D. Duffy||2014–Present||Vista, Excellence||Leading an effort to emphasize the brand as "America's Cruise Line"|
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic
In a filing with regulators, the company stated that as of July 31, 2020, it had $7.9 billion in "cash and cash equivalent" available. An industry news item estimated that this would enable Carnival to continue operating for roughly a year in a situation where none of the ships was sailing. A few days earlier, the company confirmed that it had sold the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration (which were to be scrapped) and that Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination would move to long term layup (storage).
All cruises were cancelled in March 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic and eventually, 55 passengers on ships owned by Carnival Corporation & plc were reported as having died. In September 2020, the corporation (the corporate umbrella of nine cruise ship companies, including Carnival Cruise Line) announced a reduction in its fleet. The company intended to dispose of 18 of its ships, a full 12% of the group's fleet. By that time, several ships had already been scrapped, including the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration. In September 2020, Carnival announced that Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination had been sold as well. Carnival Corporation also said that it was delaying the delivery of several ships already on order. The adjusted net loss in the third quarter for Carnival Corporation & plc was reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as US$1.7 billion.
As of September 2020, the no-sail rule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prohibited cruising in the U.S. until October 31, 2020, at the earliest. Members of the Cruise Lines International Association, including Carnival Cruise Lines, had announced in early August that its members were extending a voluntary suspension until October 31; that applied to cruises that were to depart from the U.S. or planned to stop at U.S. ports of call. On September 16, 2020, Carnival Cruise Lines extended the suspension of four of its ships sailings well beyond October to complete required dry-dock enhancements.
Costa Cruise Lines began new sailings on September 6, 2020, in Italy, initially with two ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, At that time, the line required all passengers to be from Italy. By September 27, 2020, however, "Costa Cruises will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent decree from the Prime Minister of Italy" according to a news report. The company had implemented strict health protocols to protect its staff and guests.
The Corporate parent's 4th Quarter (ending November 30, 2020) financial statement released on January 11, 2021, indicated that one extra ship, in addition to the 18 previously planned, was to be sold. Carnival Corporation was in an excellent cash position, with US$9.5 billion, but suffered an adjusted net loss of $1.9 billion in the Quarter.
In June 2021, Carnival stock shares fell by 6% after it was announced that some early passengers from the first cruises of 2021 had tested positive for COVID-19.
In 2012, the company was reportedly paying cruise ship staff basic salaries equivalent to £0.75 per hour. For example, a junior waiter would earn a basic salary of £250 a month for shifts lasting at least 11 hours, seven days a week. In response to this controversy, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Brendan Barber, commented: "It's high time the disgraceful practice of allowing the shipping industry to pay poverty wages to workers who don't live in the UK was stopped. Exploitative rates of pay for those working on British ships have no place in a modern society." In October 2013, Carnival revoked retirement benefits for cruise staff.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, three of the Carnival cruise ships were chartered by the United States government for six months to serve as temporary housing until the houses can be rebuilt. After being chartered for six months, their planned voyages were cancelled, and passengers were refunded. Holiday was originally docked in Mobile, Alabama, and later Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Ecstasy and Sensation were docked at New Orleans, Louisiana. The six-month contract cost $236 million. The contract was widely criticized, because the vessels were never fully utilized, and Carnival received more money than it would have earned by using the ships in their normal rotation.
Environmental issues and pollution
Since 2017, Carnival Corporation has been on probation, after having been found to "illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying about the scheme." Carnival Corporation also had to pay a $40 million fine. The Court summary states that "Princess was convicted and sentenced in April 2017, after pleading guilty to felony charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels and intentional acts to cover it up".
In April 2019, Carnival Corporation was accused of violating probation rules. The allegations include 800 incidents from April 2017 to April 2018. A federal judge has threatened to impose severe fines which may increase tenfold. The judge also stated that Carnival ships may be temporarily banned from docking in US ports. In early June 2019, Carnival Corp. agreed to pay $20 million in fines in an agreement with federal prosecutors. The proposed settlement documents were signed by Chairman Micky Arison on June 3, 2019. The next day, a Senior US District Judge approved the deal, and confirmed that probation would continue for three years, after CEO Arnold Donald said, "The company pleads guilty. We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them". The company promised to implement additional audits to check for violations, to provide improved training to staff, to start improved waste management practices and to set up a more effective method for reporting pollution incidents to government agencies.
In June 2019, Carnival Corporation and its Princess subsidiary agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $20 million for further environmental violations that include dumping plastic waste into the ocean. Princess Cruises had already paid $40 million over prior deliberate acts of ocean pollution.
Accidents and incidents
On September 19, 1999, Tropicale's engine room caught fire en route from Cozumel to Tampa. While disabled in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was struck by Tropical Storm Harvey. The Tropicale spent two days without propulsion.
On February 10, 2013, Carnival Triumph, with 3,143 passengers aboard, suffered an engine room fire, leaving the ship adrift for four days in the Gulf of Mexico. The engine fire led to a power outage on the ship, which in turn caused raw sewage to back up. The media dubbed the ordeal "The Poop Cruise". The ship was towed to Mobile, Alabama, docking on the evening of February 14. In subsequent litigation, Carnival documents were uncovered that revealed multiple generator maintenance problems creating a "disaster waiting to happen." In response, Carnival's court filing stated that the contract that passengers agree to when they buy a ticket "makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions."
On March 14, 2013, Carnival Dream experienced an emergency generator failure while docked in port at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. The ship was scheduled to leave port around 5 p.m. ET the day before. The United States Coast Guard said they were notified by Carnival that Carnival Dream was experiencing emergency generator problems. Carnival announced that the passengers would be flown back to Florida rather than completing their scheduled voyage.
On the morning of March 15, 2013, Carnival Legend suffered a mechanical problem with one propulsion pod while at sea. The cruise line cancelled Carnival Legend's scheduled stops in Belize and Grand Cayman, and the ship returned to Tampa, Florida at a reduced speed of 19 knots (22 mph) (Legend has a regular cruising speed of 24 knots).
On December 27, 2015, an electrician who had been working on the Carnival Ecstasy was crushed to death while working in an elevator. The accident had heavy publicity after a video was posted online.
In February 2018, a series of brawls broke out on the Carnival Legend. Staff were criticized for not containing the brawls and for exercising heavy force against passengers.
On May 3, 2018, a pipe burst in the Carnival Dream's fire suppression system, flooding 50 staterooms.
On December 29, 2018, lifeboat number 28 broke loose from the Carnival Dream for unknown reasons and was damaged. Carnival decided to abandon the lifeboat at sea and purchase a new replacement. No one was on board the lifeboat at the time and no injuries were reported.
In the evening on September 20, 2019, while passing through Panama Canal, the former Carnival Fantasy, collided with the lock's wall and sustained damage to the aft superstructure. No injuries were reported. The collision happened while the lock's water levels were being lowered. The vessel was not under its own power but assisted/tugged by the Panama Canal's locomotives. The accident occurred during the 10-day Panama Canal cruise.
On October 9, 2019, a 23-year-old passenger fell off a railing where he was sitting onto a lower deck while the Carnival Valor was sailing near Louisiana. He was flown to a New Orleans hospital by helicopter and said to be in critical condition.
On December 20, 2019, the Carnival Glory and Carnival Legend collided while in the port of Cozumel, Mexico; The Carnival Glory's stern superstructure was damaged and one person received minor injuries.
|Gross Tonnage||Guest Capacity||Flag||Notes||Image|
|Carnival Ecstasy||1991–present||70,367 GT||2,056||Panama||Originally, Ecstasy|
|Carnival Sensation||1993–present||70,367 GT||2,056||Bahamas||Originally, Sensation|
|Carnival Elation||1998–present||71,909 GT||2,130||Panama||Originally, Elation|
|Carnival Paradise||1998–present||71,909 GT||2,124||Panama||Originally, Paradise|
|Carnival Spirit||2001–present||88,500 GT||2,124||Malta||Built to Panamax form factor|
|Carnival Pride||2002–present||88,500 GT||2,124||Panama||
|Carnival Legend||2002–present||88,500 GT||2,124||Malta||Built to Panamax form factor|
|Carnival Miracle||2004–present||88,500 GT||2,124||Panama||Built to Panamax form factor|
|Carnival Conquest||2002–present||110,000 GT||2,980||Panama|
|Carnival Glory||2003–present||110,000 GT||2,980||Panama|
|Carnival Valor||2004–present||110,000 GT||2,980||Panama|
|Carnival Liberty||2005–present||110,000 GT||2,980||Panama|
|Carnival Freedom||2007–present||110,000 GT||2,980||Panama|
|Splendor (Concordia) class|
|Carnival Splendor||2008–present||113,300 GT||3,012||Panama||
|Carnival Dream||2009–present||128,000 GT||3,646||Panama||The largest ship ever built by Fincantieri until Carnival Magic|
|Carnival Magic||2011–present||128,000 GT||3,690||Panama||The largest ship ever built by Fincantieri until Carnival Breeze|
|Carnival Breeze||2012–present||128,000 GT||3,690||Panama||The largest ship ever built by Fincantieri until Royal Princess|
|Sunshine (Destiny) class|
|Carnival Sunshine||2013–present||102,853 GT||3,002||Bahamas||
|Carnival Sunrise||2019–present||101,509 GT||2,984||Bahamas|
|Carnival Radiance||2021–present||101,509 GT||2,984||Panama||Previously sailed as Carnival Victory (2000-2020)|
|Carnival Vista||2016–present||133,596 GT||3,934||Panama|
|Carnival Horizon||2018–present||133,596 GT||3,960||Panama|
|Carnival Panorama||2019–present||133,868 GT||4,008||Panama|
|Mardi Gras||2021–present||181,808 GT||5,282||Bahamas||
Planned future ships
|Will sail for
|Sunshine (Fortuna) class|
|Carnival Celebration||2022||Fall 2022||183,900||Panama|
|Ship||In service for Carnival||Gross tonnage||Flag||Notes||Image|
registered as 18,261
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- Carnival Air Lines
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