The writing was on the wall, we just didn’t want to read it.
Carnival Cruise Line, the last holdout for cruising in November, has officially cancelled all cruises from PortMiami and Port Canaveral in the coming month. The news was posted on the cruise line’s social media channels this morning. Cruises for December are still on, as of now.
During last week’s Seatrade Cruise Virtual conference, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald expressed optimism that we would see cruises from America at some point in 2020. In fact, when asked his confidence level on a scale from 1 to 5, Donald responded with a 4.9. The news today keeps 2020 an option, but the way things are going, it’s hard not to feel despondent about cruising until 2021.
The cruise line also also cancelled five cruises scheduled to operate from Sydney, Australia from Jan. 16 – Feb. 8, 2021.
The news is tough for cruisers to swallow after some positive developments last week. Cruise industry representatives participated in a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence and the COVID-19 task force last Friday about a return. The list of participants from the cruise industry included some of the biggest names:
Participants, per VP readout:
-Arnold Donald (Carnival Corp CEO)
-Frank Del Rio (NCLH CEO)
-Richard Fain (RCG CEO)
-Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC Cruises CEO)
-Thomas Malzoum (Disney President)
-HHS Secretary Alex Azar
-CDC Dir Robert Redfield
-Gov Mike Leavitt (on RCG & NCLH panel) https://t.co/DW0f7EMrq2
— Taylor Dolven (@taydolven) October 9, 2020
According to a readout of the call posted on the official White House website, the call was heavy on pleasantries, but light on actual substance or solutions.
From The White House:
Vice President Pence gave a brief overview of the current state of the No Sail Order and highlighted the shared goal of reopening the maritime economy, with a focus on the cruise line industry safely sailing again. Pence thanked Governor Leavitt, Co-Chair of the Healthy Sail Panel, and the cruise line executives for conducting an industry-driven effort that focuses on the health outcomes.
HHS Secretary Azar and CDC Director Redfield touched on their commitment to the collaborative effort that produced the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the Federal government’s support of the industry to safely and responsibly sail again, but cautioned that the cruise industry would have to backstop their venture to resume operations.
Governor Leavitt provided an overview of how the Healthy Sail Panel approached their report and recommendations, and emphasized that the industry was driven by producing real solutions without economic restraints, which did not result in market participants competing on safety. Leavitt indicated that the output needed to be practical and prioritized safety.
It doesn’t seem like there was anything on the call that would have prompted Carnival Cruise Line to postpone their November sailings, but perhaps the tone of the call was enough to dissuade them from trying a November restart.
Were you booked on a Carnival cruise in November? Let us know in the comments below!