Booking volume at Carnival Cruise Lines has recovered "significantly" in the recent weeks following the Carnival Triumph incident, Carnival Corp. CEO Micky Arison said.
For the company overall, he said, "Booking volumes during our seasonally strong Wave period have remained solid, with pricing comparisons improving in recent weeks."
Carnival did lose steam in the week immediately following the Triumph's engine-room fire and subsequent loss of power, which played out in real time on national networks like CNN.
"It wasn't like anything we've had in the past, Sept. 11 or other issues, we didn't go negative, we didn't have lots of cancellations," Arison told analysts during a call to discuss first-quarter earnings. The bookings decline, he said, "wasn't huge, and it didn't last long."
Company COO Howard Frank said: "The remarkable thing is the resilience of this brand. It is amazing. Even with all this negative media coverage, it still booked a lot of business, and it will continue to book a lot of business."
The impact on Carnival Corp.'s other brands, Frank said, was "a little bit of a hiccup."
"Now things seem to be back on track," he said.
The company attributed the Carnival brand’s bounce-back to attractive promotions and support from travel agents and consumers, particularly repeat customers.
"Carnival has millions of people coming onto the ships each year," Arison said.
As for the Carnival Dream, which was idled in St. Maarten after a backup generator failed
, "everything's been operating fine," Arison said. "We had one closed public-room toilet that got a huge amount of publicity.
"And last night we brought in Jon Secada to do a concert."