Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said that the election of
Donald Trump as president has the potential to be good for the cruise industry,
but he also said he hopes that Trump will do "the right thing"
Donald made the comment during a conversation with Travel
Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann at CruiseWorld, an annual Travel Weekly
event in Fort Lauderdale that brings together travel agents and travel
Asked by Weissmann for his response to the election, Donald
quoted Secretary of State John Kerry, who several years ago said that there are
no winners or losers after a U.S. presidential election. "The next morning
we all wake up as Americans" who work on problems together, Donald said.
More specifically, Donald said, "On the surface,
President Trump will be pro-business. At the same time, I hope he does the
right thing internationally. Most of our business is outside the U.S."
In a follow-up about Cuba, Donald said that despite Trump's
campaign rhetoric about reversing President Obama's openings toward Cuba, "I'm
cautiously optimistic that bringing the two countries together is the right
thing to do."
Earlier this year, Carnival Corp.'s Fathom brand became the
first line to regularly shuttle passengers between the U.S. and Cuba in over 50
Donald said Carnival continues to work on a private
destination in the Bahamas but isn't ready to announce anything. Carnival
executives have said in the past they have a potential site picked out on Grand
"We want the right one on the right terms," Donald
said. "We think we have something coming soon, but we don't want to count
the chickens before they hatch, so to speak."
Donald took the chance to show the audience of several
hundred travel agents clips from the new Carnival-produced Saturday-morning
network TV shows, such as "Vacation Creation" and "Ocean Treks with
He also regaled the group with a tale of highlights from his
rise to CEO of Carnival Corp. He said his initial introduction to Carnival
Corp. chairman Mickey Arison was engineered by board member Uzi Zucker, a Bear
Stearns partner who also served as an adviser to a private equity firm of which
Donald was a part.
He also told about his ambition as an 11th-grader to be a
very specific level of manager at a specific type of Fortune 50 company. He
said the teachers at the all-boys Catholic high school in New Orleans he
attended on scholarship constantly reminded their students to think big.
"Three times a day they told us, 'Gentlemen, prepare
yourselves. You're going to run the world.'"