DESPITE THE DISRUPTIONS caused by last week's
terrorist attacks, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. embarked 30,000
passengers on company ships over the last several days, with
sailings about two-thirds full, said Richard Fain, chairman and
CEO. Fain said his "best guess" on the financial impact or the week
of Sept. 11 "will be in the range of $20 million to $25 million"
with "the biggest cost [being] loss of revenue, but also extra
security costs, lodging and transportation costs, etc."
IN A "BUSINESS UPDATE" posted at the RCCL's Web
site (www.royalcaribbean.com), Fain said Royal Caribbean,
the industry's second-largest operator, ran at close to 90%
occupancy" on ships that operated in "heavy drive-in markets"
during the week of the attacks. He added that Royal Caribbean's
biggest challenge was in air transportation. "With the closure of
the nation's airports, there were many difficulties in getting our
guests to and from ships over the past week," he said. "We were
moved by the determination of some of our guests to get to their
ships." Some passengers drove up to 3,500 miles to reach their
vessels, he said.
MEANWHILE, passenger bookings for Carnival
Corp., the cruise industry's largest supplier, are running at 60%
of normal levels, Micky Arison, the company's chairman said on
Sept.17. Arison said Carnival is expected to be profitable in the
current quarter ended Nov. 30, even with the consumer uncertainty
created by last week's terrorist attacks. "We have not had
significant cancellations for future cruises yet," said Arison.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE delayed the Sept. 17
departure of Norwegian Wind to accommodate expected
security-related delays in disembarking and embarking the ship in
Vancouver. The ship's 5:30 p.m. departure was re-scheduled to 3
a.m. Sept. 18 to allow guests delayed by air service delays to
embark the ship for a six-day Alaska cruise. NCL delayed the
sailing after being "advised that the transfer time between Seattle
and Vancouver has been taking between 6 and 8 hours" and "the
estimated debarkation time will be between 4 to 6 hours for
disembarking passengers." NCL also modified the ship's itinerary,
removing a port call at Juneau and reducing the cruise's scheduled
length by one day. NCL will give passengers a $100 per person
shipboard credit in lieu of the missed day.
THE IMMIGRATION and Naturalization Service
officials released two Carnival cruise ship passengers late Sept.
14. The pair were removed from Carnival's Fascination by Coast
Guard officials at 3:15 a.m. on Friday as the ship sailed 20 miles
south of Miami. The men were released after questioning, according
to an INS official who declined further comment. A source with
knowledge of the investigations confirmed that the passengers, an
uncle and his nephew, were detained primarily because the uncle's
name is similar to that of a suspect in a bombing in India.
THE U.S. COAST GUARD also stopped Royal
Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas from coming into the Port of Miami
for three hours on Sept. 16 after an open door was discovered
leading to secure areas of the port's passenger terminal.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES will donate $50 for each
stateroom sold over the next 30 days to the American Red Cross to
aid in relief efforts following last week's terrorist attacks in
New York and Washington. The donation is expected to generate about
$1.5 million for the American Red Cross. "Our guests and travel
agent partners, along with our company and its employees, are doing
their part in enabling the American Red Cross to help those
affected by this inconceivable tragedy," said Bob Dickinson,
GOCRUISEDIRECT.COM, a cruise retail
technology provider, named Steve Toffler vice president of sales
and marketing and David Lovely vice president of business