Travel News

Is Carnival Cruise Lines Cutting Corners? The Experts Weigh In

CSB: Cruise Critic readers have been ragging on Carnival for cutting back: They cut back on mints on the pillows; they’ve cut back on a live band on the sun deck; they cut back on crew. It gets dicey when people connect cutbacks of seemingly very minor things with cutbacks on safety. In fact, Carnival actually changed their drydock policy so they could get more time in the water with these older ships. And that’s just crazy.

PG: Carnival has now done something: They’ve canceled their number of cruises. They’ve pulled at least two of their ships and put them on drydock for an extended period of time.

In addition, they announced that they’re going to do their own internal investigation on their ships. They’ve got a lot of ships to deal with.

CSB: Wait! Carnival said two and a half years ago after the Splendor that they were doing an internal investigation. And we never heard anything! So they have a second incidence that is very similar, and now oh, we’re going to do another investigation? Well, what happened to the first one?

PG: Nobody is asking that question. I’m glad you did. I think we should ask them that. So here’s my question for you, Miss Would you go on a Carnival cruise right now?

CSB: I would prefer not to and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that our readers do it at this point. There are a lot of choices out there that are not having the same problems. I hate saying this, but book elsewhere.

You have a choice as a consumer. Book where you feel most comfortable, where you feel like your business is valued and where your safety matters.

On Cruise Critic, we’re seeing long-time Carnival fans saying I’ve never thought about booking with Royal Caribbean or Norwegian or Princess and now I’m going to give it a try. Carnival needs to get its house in order. When it gets its house in order and everything is straight, I’ll be the first one back on board.

PG: Carnival saw their credit rating cut. They’ve seen a drop in bookings. Is discounting next, Carolyn?

CSB: Yes, there will be discounting. In addition, they are going to be spending major, major dollars to advertise. If they had just had done the proper maintenance in the first place, Carnival wouldn’t need to be spending all this money.

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By Peter Greenberg for Peter Greenberg Worldwide