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Old May 10th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Default Carnival Withdraws From Europe for 2014

Come 2014, if you want to cruise Europe you won't be able to do it with Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival will pull all of their ships from Europe after the 2013 season ends. The word this morning from UK travel media is the decision was based on Carnival's Europe cruise market being dominated by American passengers, and the high cost of airfare has stunted bookings.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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It seems that until this year most Carnival's recent European activity has been when they roll out a new ship. This is interesting since John Heald has been teasing for a couple of weeks that Carnival will be in Europe for 2014.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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This announcement doesn't surprise me for a number of reasons. I know that bookings have been soft for Europe this year even with putting a smaller ship in Europe.

Carnival's core demographic are not people who would make Europe their first choice in cruising. Yes: I know that many Carnival cruisers love to sail in Europe but not enough to make it as profitable as they would like. I greatly enjoyed the Carnival Breeze last year.

Carnival recently opened an office in Singapore and will be expanding to the Asian market. I am interested to see how this works out. With Asia's emerging middle class I see this as a great opportunity for all of the North American cruise lines. They will have to target the Asian market because, in my observations, it seems that U.S. cruisers balk at paying more than three figures for airfare. Once the airfare goes over $1,000 people look for alternative cruises and destinations.

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Old May 10th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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Now that Carnival has confirmed that the Carnival Legend will head to Australia in Sept. 2014 for the winter months (summer there), it would then make sense to send the Legend to Asia for the balance of the year. Thoughts?
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Old May 10th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Yes that would make sense, both logistically and sales wise. Asia is exploding in growth, as Mike said, and they are building new port facilities to accommodate the newer and larger ships. Singapore and Hong Kong of particular note.

I read the other day that Cadillac is building an assembly line in China.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Australian airfare is really going to be deal breaker for most of Carnival's North American customers. I do hope they do a good job at targeting the Australian cruises because that's where they will make their money. I wonder if the onboard currency will change from the US dollar to the Australian dollar?

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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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From John's Blog: Although we do source some guests from international markets for our European cruises, the majority of Carnival Cruise Lines’ business continues to come from North America. We anticipate that airfares to Europe will remain high and we believe our North American passengers will continue to prefer more affordable vacation options closer to home as we move into next year.

Therefore we have decided to keep ships in North America during this period rather than place capacity in Europe in 2014. This is consistent with the trend among other major cruise lines to reduce European capacity for 2014.

I so enjoyed my Cruise there on the Magic, I am sure there will be many disappointed cruisers.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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with more ships in the US maybe the prices will go down somewhat...
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Old May 10th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Got to admit I looked at a/f to Europe thinking about a TA. Prices right now are in excess of $2K, ulp Have seen plenty for other destinations and other dates for nearly $1K less.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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I also did a sample pricing. I looked at the 7/7/13 12-night cruise of Carnival Sunshine, which begins and ends in Barcelona. An inside cabin is around $950 per person, not bad for 12 nights. However, air for me from Atlanta to Barcelona is around $1800 per person round trip. The air is twice as much as the cruise.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Carnival has never put many ships in Europe - usually just new ones comong out of the shipyard and another big reason is that NCL and Royal Caribbean have both flooded the European market, not to mention Costa and MSC, for "affordable" cruises on mainstream cruise ships.

For me, you want to see Europe on a nicer ship; Holland America, Princess or even better; Oceania, Azamara, or a luxury ship.

The reason is that you want to see the sights - not hang out on the ship. You don't need a ship with Broadway shows and 5 water slides in Europe, you need a comfy bed, good food and a quick breakfast.

Also - Costa ships are exact copies of Carnivals (except the decor) so "Carnival" already has an entire fleet in Europe. If Europeans want to go on "carnival" they book Costa. Which explains Heald's comment that Carnival's audience is "Americans"

I can just imagine a European going on a Carnival ship and seeing that it is identical to the Costa ship he took last year. I mean the stateroom has the exact same furniture. The only difference would be that no one spoke his native language and the food would not be to his liking.

I once took a Carnival ship and happened to have a night scheduled for dinner on a Costa ship in Ft Lauderdale a couple nights later. So I was one night away from carnival before I walked onto the Costa ship. I had literally the identical stateroom.

The decor is completely different, but they have spirit, destiny and conquest-class ships, and soon will have a dream-class.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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Carnival has always touted themselves as the ships for the party crowd. They use to call themselves 'The Fun Ships' and now 'Fun for all and all for fun'.

European cruisers, for the most part, are a bit more reserved and like a little more 'class' in their cruises. This is why the more upscale cruise lines like HAL and Celebrity do so well over there.

And as Paul stated, Europeans prefer Costa over Carnival because even though it's very similar to Carnival and owned by Carnival, it's definitely designed more towards what Europeans prefer. This also explains why Costa is not a real big seller for Americans.

Plus, the average Carnival cruiser, quite frankly, is looking for a cheap cruise. So they're not wanting to spend more for the airfare than the cruise costs. (I'm talking average, not the exception.)

The average cruiser who doesn't mind spending alot for the airfare is simply not interested in Carnival; they're wanting something nicer.

In 11 years, we've sold alot of European cruises, but we've only sold Carnival in Europe maybe an average of 3 or 4 times a year and all to Americans. We have clients all over the world and never once have we sold a Carnival European product to anyone outside of the U.S. It's just not a big seller compared to the others, so I can definitely see why they want to move their ships where they have more of a chance to fill the berths.

But it'll be interesting to see what the do next.

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Old May 10th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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If I am going to spend $3000 or more for my wife and I to fly to Europe I am not going to be going on a mainstream cruise line when I get there. I'd particularly look at Azamara because of the overnight stays in some ports, plus the relaxing ambiance of those former "R" ships.

I'm not knocking Carnival, they offer great value in a cruise and I've always had fun on Carnival ships, but they are near the bottom of my list for any cruise that requires fairly extensive flying time and cost to get to the ship. In other words I won't be sailing with Carnival in Australia or Asia either.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
If I am going to spend $3000 or more for my wife and I to fly to Europe I am not going to be going on a mainstream cruise line when I get there. I'd particularly look at Azamara because of the overnight stays in some ports, plus the relaxing ambiance of those former "R" ships.

I'm not knocking Carnival, they offer great value in a cruise and I've always had fun on Carnival ships, but they are near the bottom of my list for any cruise that requires fairly extensive flying time and cost to get to the ship. In other words I won't be sailing with Carnival in Australia or Asia either.
I have to agree with you here, why anyone would fly to Europe to sail on a Carnival ship is beyond me. When we do go we will be doing a river cruise.

Also like cruise planner mentioned Carnival was known as the "fun ship" I don't personally think of "party ship" when I hear that, I think it means fun in general and I don't get why people read that as let's get drunk and stupid.
I think on any short cruise it's more of a party cruise no matter what line.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Maybe people wanted to try and get a lower priced cruise, due to the high cost of flying to sort of average it all out. Cruising in Europe has such intensive days of traveling, walking and sightseeing, to get to see what you went there for, you hardly utilize the ship to it's fullest, you are so darn tired,so why not just look for a bargain line?
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Old May 11th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Maybe people wanted to try and get a lower priced cruise, due to the high cost of flying to sort of average it all out. Cruising in Europe has such intensive days of traveling, walking and sightseeing, to get to see what you went there for, you hardly utilize the ship to it's fullest, you are so darn tired,so why not just look for a bargain line?
Good point Trip, I didn't look at it that way.
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