Carnival may copy popular Royal Caribbean offer

Carnival Cruise Line has never done this before, but the success of its rival may make it happen.

Apr 20, 2024 - 22:30
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Carnival may copy popular Royal Caribbean offer

Carnival and Royal Caribbean are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox of the cruise industry, except it's hard to know which company is the market leader. Both cruise lines dominate the family cruise market and have millions of passengers in their loyalty program.

In many ways, the cruise space has become an arms race with Carnival and Royal trying to outdo each other. Carnival added a roller coaster to its Excel-class ships so Royal Caribbean built the biggest waterpark at sea on its latest ship, Icon of the Seas.

Related: Carnival Cruise Line shuts down illegal on-board activity

The two companies won't admit they're throwing haymakers at each other trying for a knockout, but they do seem to compete for the same customers. It's very much like Disney World and Universal Studios trying to add the latest rides and the freshest intellectual property. 

Not every move made by the competing cruise lines involves building bigger, better ships and new private destinations. Royal Caribbean  (RCL)  has scored a big hit both in terms of revenue and social media coverage with its ongoing Ultimate World Cruise.  

The sailing, which could be purchased as a whole or in segments, promised to be the adventure of a lifetime.

"You can spend 274 nights bonding with like-minded explorers over global discoveries across all seven continents. Or pick a corner of the globe and explore every inch of it on one of four Ultimate World Cruise segments — each an immersive voyage of 60+ nights. Connect with countless distinct cultures, soak up the most spectacular landscapes on Earth, and marvel at World Wonders that showcase mankind’s boundless imagination," the cruise line shared.

Most Royal Caribbean ships offer FlowRider surf simulators.

Image source: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Carnival hints at a World Cruise

Royal Caribbean's Deluxe World Cruise has gotten a lot of social media attention because it's fascinating for people to spend so much time together in a confined space. It's an event that has led to a lot of drama, but the coverage has gotten the cruise line a lot of attention.

Carnival does not have a comparable cruise. It's longest cruises are repositioning trips where ships move from Australia to Seattle. Carnival Luminosa regularly makes that trip back and forth each year.

The cruise line's brand ambassador John Heald threw out the idea of a potential world cruise on his Facebook page.

I wonder if it’s time for us to consider doing a world cruise?

150 days.

I wonder if we could fill a Spirit Class ship?

Could anyone, would anyone do this with us?

Spirit-class ships are smaller Carnival ships designed to be sailed in any weather. They have an indoor main pool area so passengers can still swim in colder climates.

Carnival customers respond to a world cruise

Heald only posts speculative things to his Facebook page when he wants a reaction. His followers did not disappoint. Many like the idea of a world cruise, but question the logistics.

"I would love to do a world cruise. My challenge today is that I don’t have that much vacation time. If ship internet was to the point that I could be confident I’d be able to work remotely, I’d definitely consider it! Especially if there’s a business center those of us who have to work can use so that we don’t disturb our spouses in our cabins if we have to work overnight due to the time differences," Heather Corson Moffo wrote.

Many posters seemed to like the idea of sailing the world on a Spirit-class ship.

"If I was retired, I’d do this in a heartbeat! Especially Spirit class (perfect size!!)," wrote Tracey McPhee.

"I’d be there in a heartbeat!!! Especially on a Spirit class, our favorite!!!!!!!," posted a clearly enthusiastic Tonja Senn.

The post garnered over 1,650 comments with nearly all being in support of the idea of Carnival offering a world cruise.  


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