Boarding a cruise ship with thousands of other people has never sounded like a vacation to me. If I wanted to be stuck in a building with a bunch of people I didn’t know, with no control of where I was headed, I would go back to work for a member of Congress.
That is why I found this USA Today article this morning so interesting:
Citing live flies, dried food waste and even a “roach nymph,” inspectors for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fascination a failing health grade.
In a report made public this week, inspectors from the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program scored the Fascination at 84. Ships docking at U.S. ports receive surprise inspections twice a year and are graded on a 100-point scale. Anything below 86 is considered failing.
Despite my hatred and recent cruise ship disasters, it appears travelers will get on board nonetheless. According to InvestorPlace, cruise ship stocks rebound after each disaster as vacation seekers buy up discounted tickets:
Consider this: After slipping in the wake of the Costa Concordia shipwreck — a disaster where lives were lost, no less — CCL stock went on to move steadily upward until February of this year. In that time period, Carnival gained nearly 22%, handily beating the S&P 500. RCL performed even better, posting an eye-popping 37% in returns.
Already, Carnival’s rebound looks to be underway for this cycle. While it is indeed offering deals, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Howard Frank had said on a March 15 conference call that “fares were running slightly ahead of last year,” according to Bloomberg. Once again, only the Carnival-branded ships have dropped off … and the article reported such volume has already recovered.
To all those folks buying up those tickets, best of luck to you.
*Update: I can’t believe I’m spending so much time on this but things just pop up during the course of the day
As if on cue, there was this story on Yahoo about cruise line ticket prices, working off stories in Bloomberg and Good Morning America (great PR job):
And if there’s a silver lining in all of the bad cruise news, Christian said, it’s that “what’s bad news for the cruise industry is good news for the consumer.”
Travelocity just kicked off the Colossal Cruise Sale. There’s a last-minute, three-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on sale on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas from Colon, Panama, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for $23 per person per night.