Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: March 25, 2008

CARNIVAL CORP. reported a 17% drop in first-quarter profits, as higher fuel prices offset revenue gains. Carnival posted $236 million in net income on revenues of $3.15 billion for the quarter, which ended Feb. 29. Cruise costs rose 22%, mostly due to a 78% spike in fuel prices. Carnival Corp. CEO Micky Arison said that the results were better than Carnival's January guidance for the quarter, and he pointed to the recovery of the Caribbean business and strong performance from Carnival's European brands. Arison said onboard spending was down among Carnival's mass-market brands but not its premium brands; onboard spending was down in departments like art auctions but not shore excursions. "If people aren't buying homes, they are likely to buy less art than if they were buying homes," Arison said.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL and Celebrity Cruises both outlined their 2009 Europe deployment:
• Royal Caribbean will deploy eight ships in Europe, one more than this year. The line will offer 70 itineraries, visiting 87 ports in 32 countries, and sail out of two new homeports: Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malaga, Spain.
• Celebrity will deploy five ships to Europe, including what will be its two newest vessels, the Solstice and the Equinox. Celebrity ships will visit 76 ports in 29 countries, and the lineup includes five new cities and overnight stops in eight ports.

DISNEY CRUISE LINE will homeport its two new ships in Port Canaveral, Fla., under an agreement the line finalized with the port to extend its contract through 2023. Disney will also keep its two current ships sailing out of Port Canaveral under the agreement. The Canaveral Port Authority will extend the dock; enlarge and enhance Disney's terminal building to allow for additional luggage and passenger capacity; and build a multi-level parking structure by 2011, all in order to accommodate the new and larger Disney ships, which are scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012.

PORT CANAVERAL is also likely to homeport Royal Caribbean's 3,643-passenger Freedom of the Seas beginning in May 2009. Royal Caribbean is sending the Mariner of the Seas, currently sailing out of Port Canaveral, to Los Angeles at that time. The Freedom currently operates out of Miami.

OASIS OF THE SEAS AND ALLURE OF THE SEAS are the second pair of names a panel chose as finalists for Royal Caribbean International's two Genesis-class megaships in the "Name that Ship" contest being held by Royal Caribbean and USA Today. A dozen names (six possibilities for each ship) will be chosen over six weeks from readers' submissions; names chosen to be finalists so far are the Mosaic of the Seas and the Coronation of the Seas.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill
Phone:
(201) 902-2065
[email protected]
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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