Carnival Signals Caribbean Comeback With Record Pax Numbers

Carnival Cruise Lines will carry 2.9 million cruise passengers in the Caribbean this year, the most in its 35-year history, the cruise line announced on Thursday. After a Caribbean hangover that saw drops in pricing and demand, the region appears to once again be strong. "Bookings for the second half of 2007 and early 2008 have shown much stronger fundamental demand and the trend we were previously observing clearly was not a reflection of the Caribbean's popularity and desirability," said Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Consumers are unquestionably responding well to the strong value appeal inherent in a cruise vacation versus other vacation options." Carnival will expand even more in the Caribbean in 2008 when it welcomes the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor in July. The ship will launch a series of seven-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 22.

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