CRUISELINES: CAUTIONARY WAVE 2015 COLOR

Takeaway: January Wave bookings slowed down significantly. Europe is performing worse.

Cautious Wave 2015 outlook from agents attending Carnival Vista event in NYC

Wave Commentary

At the Carnival Vista event yesterday, we chatted with several travel agents to get some color on how Wave 2015 is performing.  The mood was pretty somber as there were worries about a January slowdown after a good December.

For several months, we have been most concerned about a potential European slowdown in 2015 and its impact on yields for all the cruise lines, especially Carnival Corp.  

Here are some tidbits we heard from the event:

  • In general, Wave 2015 is off to a slower start than expected
  • Wave 2015 started earlier than usual with a barrage of promotions in late November 2014 and the month of December
  • Optimism was high in December as Wave bookings were off to a hot start
  • A senior agent at a large travel agency mentioned that January bookings took a big hit from the terrorists attacks in France. 
    • There were cancellations from both the US and European consumer on bookings involving destinations in France
    • River cruising was hit particularly hard but the incident affected everyone.
  • Caribbean seems to be improving. The Carnival brand is slowly recovering.

Carnival Vista

  • May 2016 debut in Trieste, Italy

  • 1st European program in 3 yrs for the Carnival brand

  • Will sail to NYC on Nov 3, 2016 for a series of cruises

  • 13-14 voyages; mostly 7 days

  • Final home port not announced
  • Havana Bar is focused on attracting the fun, Hispanic demographic 
  • Beverages have highest return
  • 3 Carnival ships currently have the new, faster Internet technology; it is a positive economics model