Friday, February 7, 2014

Carnival Cruises Sets Monthly Sales Record

By Mark Edward Nero

Carnival Cruise Lines set a one-month reservations record last month, taking bookings for more than 565,000 guests between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2014. The record number of reservations was 17 percent higher than the same one-month period a year ago, the company revealed Feb. 3.

Traffic to the cruise line’s website also reached an all-time high with 13 million visits during the one-month period, according to Carnival.

Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill attributed the record booking activity to a number of factors, including product enhancements being introduced across the Carnival fleet, promotions, support from travel agent partners and a new advertising campaign.

Among the new initiatives introduced over past several months was a guarantee that gives consumers the option of ending their voyage early and flying home at Carnival’s expense if they are dissatisfied for any reason.

“Now is the time of year when many people focus on their upcoming vacation plans and the cruise industry typically sees an escalation in booking activity,” Cahill said. “We are definitely observing a strong uptick in reservations.”

Cahill also pointed out that Carnival didn’t introduce any new ships in 2013 so added capacity would not account for the stronger booking activity.

The company says bookings were at unprecedented levels across the line’s 24-ship fleet, which operates three- to 23-day voyages from a range of North American homeports, which include Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia.