Sadly, the shareholders of P&O Princess Cruises Plc. (LSE: POC), the British parent of Princess Cruises, voted to approve the proposed merger with Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL). Although the "dual listed merger" structure retains the separate listings on both stock exchanges and permits all shareholders to retain their present holdings, the reality is that Carnival Corporation's shareholders now control over 70% of the merged entity and thus that Carnival Corporation's culture is certain to dominate.
I really don't like what I have seen of the way in which Carnival Corporation maintains (or, more accurately, does not maintain) its vessels, nor am I favorably impressed by the company's track record of safety, security, sanitation, or satisfaction. Thus, I liquidated my holdings of P&O Princess Cruises Plc. earlier today and I will use other cruise lines for the foreseeable future. Right now, I am most impressed by the outstanding record of both Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, to which many favorable comments throughout the discussion boards on this web site attest. I'm also intrigued by the new start-up Oceana Cruises, so I'm giving serious consideration to that line. Obviously, I probably will be spending more time on those discussion boards and less time here in the future. I will, however, post the promised review of MV Tahitian Princess over the coming weekend.