The current recession does not appear to be deterring the strong current of this year's Wave Season. Carnival Cruise Lines reported yesterday that, for the one-week period ending March 1, 2009, the supplier recorded its highest number of net weekly bookings ever across its 22-vessel fleet. Net bookings for Carnival are also up 10 percent on a cumulative basis since mid-January, compared to the same period in 2008.
Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO, attributed the increase in bookings to the line's travel agent partners and consumers' appreciation for the inherent value and affordability of a "Fun Ship" vacation, as well as aggressive marketing efforts. "This record booking activity, while at lower pricing, is certainly encouraging. It tells us that despite the uncertain economic climate, consumers clearly need more fun in their lives and view their vacations as a valuable and necessary part of that," Cahill said.
The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011. The first of those, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, is set to debut September 21.