A LOOK AT CARNIVAL

Carnival’s impredictability and propensity to break contracts was evidenced yet again when it pulled out of its contract with Bermuda in November, with effectively no notice. This follows on the heels of similarly abrupt departures from Mobile, AL and San Diego, CA–both cities having just redeveloped or built new terminals for them. And just as the SPA proposes to do in Charleston.

After 16 visits to Bermuda in 2011, Carnival will now have only one in 2012. Bermuda has been left with no time to fill the slots left open, since cruise lines plan their ports of call over a year in advance.

BERMUDA
Carnival’s late notice on berths leaves Bermuda ‘disappointed’, Travel Weekly, The National Newspaper of the Travel Industry, November 11, 2011.
Several cruise ship berths became unexpectedly available for Bermuda’s 2012 season, after Carnival Cruise Lines told island officials it would make only one call there.
The line said it had requested berths “for several calls quite some time ago,” but only last week notified Bermuda that one ship, the 2,100-passenger Carnival Pride, would call once, on April 22.

MOBILE, AL
Carnival to leave Mobile; officials shocked, saddled with cruise terminal debt, al.com
, March 11, 2011.
…Carnival in 2007 named the Alabama Cruise Terminal its Port of the Year, its top national customer service award. And the city has continued to invest in the facility.
In 2009, the city paid $2.6 million to build a new gangway for the terminal to allow a larger ship to dock there.
In September it paid $970,000 for a pie-shaped parcel of land, about the size of a football field, at the corner of Government and Water Street. Mobile Mayor Sam Jones said at the time that overflow parking from the cruise terminal would pay for the purchase within “a few years.”
Alabama Real Estate Holdings, an arm of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, borrowed $20 million to build the facility in 2004. In 2008, the city borrowed $18.6 million to buy the terminal.
…According to a 2003 Press-Register report, Carnival officials arrived in Mobile saying that while there was no written commitment to keep a ship here, the company had never pulled a boat from a city without replacing it with another.

De La Cruz said Thursday that Carnival has pulled service from at least two other ports.

SAN DIEGO, CA
Carnival Cruise Lines pulling out of San Diego, Signon San Diego, January 13, 2011.
In a major blow to San Diego’s cruise ship business, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that it will be pulling the last of its ships out of the area after April 2012 and relocating the 2,500-passenger vessel to Australia.
Carnival’s announcement comes on the heels of the San Diego Port’s recent completion of a new $28 million cruise ship terminal at the Broadway Pier that was designed to accommodate overflow business from its larger terminal at B Street.