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Carnival CEO on summer travel season: Prices are up but people are 'having a great time'

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2-min read
In this article:
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Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald says you won't get sticker price shock when taking a cruise on one of his ships this summer — even amid the inflationary backdrop.

"I don't think you are going to get sticker shock," Donald said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "Generally speaking, pricing is stronger than what it was, say back even in the 2019 pre-COVID period. But you are not going to see the same level of price increases that you have seen in some other sectors of the economy and some other sectors of travel and leisure. But pricing is at this point strong, and we expect it to continue to be."

Passengers of the Carnival Sensation, operated by Carnival Cruise Line, are seen next to the docked cruise ship after being diverted from Cuba following the Trump administration's ban on travel to the Caribbean Island, in Cozumel, Mexico June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Delgado
Passengers of the Carnival Sensation, operated by Carnival Cruise Line, are seen next to the docked cruise ship after being diverted from Cuba following the Trump administration's ban on travel to the Caribbean Island, in Cozumel, Mexico June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Delgado

Carnival now has all of its ships back in the water sailing, a big achievement as the cruise industry looks to recover from the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic. Donald added that consumer spending onboard the ships remains very strong despite higher prices for amenities such as alcohol and WiFi.

"We have fantastic occupancy," Donald said. "People are having a great time. Carnival is doing very, very well."

A late-March survey of 2,676 U.S. adults from Bankrate found that 69% of those planning summer vacations this year say they are altering plans due to inflationary considerations. About 25% of those surveyed said they would take fewer trips while 23% noted they would seek out cheaper activities.

Nevertheless, expectations for a strong summer travel season are already lifting cruise lines, hotels, and airlines despite consumers confronting higher prices for vacation packages and daily necessities.

“After being cooped up for a couple of years because of COVID, people are ready to get back out there this summer, even if it means paying higher prices and potentially cutting into their savings or taking on debt,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman stated.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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