Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to resume some cruises by the end of summer this week, and bookings for the leisure trips surged. According to a report by TMZ, Carnival Cruise expects to be back on the open sea in August, and a surprising number of customers want to be aboard. The company saw a whopping 600 percent increase in bookings.
A representative with American Express' Cruise Planners franchise spoke to TMZ this week, confirming that Carnival Cruise's announced return had a big impact on the industry. Three days after the company announced plans to get back out to sea, the rep said that bookings had risen by 600 percent compared to three days before the announcement. Over the same time period last year, the company only saw a 200 percent increase. While the public perception of the coronavirus pandemic may make it difficult to parse what these numbers mean, there is no doubt that a lot of customers are lining up to get on the next cruise they can.
The travel rep also noted that most of the customers they talked to identified themselves as young and healthy, and "not a bit concerned about traveling at this time." Instead, the customers were more focused on escaping quarantine and enjoying some time out of the house.
From the sound of it, those customers may be even more confident than Carnival Cruise itself. The company has extended its projected reopening date to Aug. 1, but it has stressed that there is no guarantee this will hold. The cruise line is taking its cues from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with other public health officials, not wanting to risk a case of COVID-19 on a packed ship.
"We continue to work with various government agencies, including the CDC, as we introduce new on-board protocols, but there is no assurance of a return on August 1," a Carnival Cruse release reads.
According to a report by USA Today, other cruise companies around the world. are being even more cautious in their planning. Princess Cruises, Holland America and Seabourn Cruises have all announced that they are suspending various trips through the end of the summer 2020 cruise season. The earliest Seabourn may return to North America is an Oct. 13 journey to Alaska.