Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line with headquarters in Doral, Florida. Its logo is the funnel like the funnels found on their ships, with red, white and blue colors. The funnels are shaped like a whale's tail. Currently, Carnival is the largest cruise line in the world, based on passengers carried annually, and total number of ships in fleet.
Carnival is one of ten cruise line brands owned by the world's largest cruise ship operator, the American-British Carnival Corporation & plc. In 2018 Carnival Cruise Line was estimated to hold an 8.9% share of cruise industry revenue and 22.0% of passengers. It has 26 vessels and is the largest fleet in the Carnival group. The ships fly flags of convenience: 18 of the ships fly the Panama flag, six that of the Bahamas and two that of Malta. Its headquarters are in Miami, Florida, United States. The North American division of Carnival Corporation has executive control over the corporation and is headquartered in Doral, Florida.
Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972 by Ted Arison. To finance the venture, Arison turned to his friend Meshulam Riklis, who owned Boston-based American International Travel Service (AITS). Arison and Riklis set up the new company as a subsidiary of AITS. AITS was to market and promote the new venture. In 1974, due to regulatory issues, Riklis sold AITS's interest in the company to Arison for $1, but subject to Arison taking over the substantial company debts. The split enabled Arison to enter into new relationships with independent travel agents. He also promoted his cruises to fun-loving younger people. The format was very successful financially. Until 1975, the line consisted of only one ship, the Mardi Gras. In 1975 another ship was acquired, the Carnivale.
In 2001, Robert H. Dickinson, then President and CTC, participated in a BBC documentary, Back To The Floor. Dickinson went to work at the lowest crew levels on the MS Imagination in the Caribbean, where he shadowed a Romanian cleaner, Alina.
In 2004, Carnival Corporation initiated a development program for Carnival's new ships, the Pinnacle Project, calling for a 200,000 GT prototype, which would have been the world's largest cruise ship at the time. The ship was cancelled, but they then developed a project called Next Generation.
In 2009, Carnival released their biggest ship at the time, the Carnival Dream, a new 128,000 GT ship. Carnival Dream entered service on 21 September 2009. After several voyages in the Mediterranean, she was set to offer weekly Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral from 5 December 2009. A sister ship, Carnival Magic, debuted on 1 May 2011. On 1 December 2009 it was announced that Carnival had placed an order for a third Dream-class vessel. It entered service in June 2012 and its homeport is now Galveston. On May 10, 2010, Carnival selected a name for their new Dream-class vessel in 2012 - Carnival Breeze.
On 26 October 2012, it was announced that Carnival had ordered a brand new 133,500 GT ship for their Carnival Cruise Line brand. This ship, built by Fincantieri, was the largest ship they have ever built. It sailed its maiden voyage on May 1, 2016. The new ship was named Carnival Vista.
A sister to Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, joined the fleet with their inaugural voyages from Trieste, Italy and Barcelona, Spain on May 1, 2016 and April 2, 2018, respectively. Queen Latifah is the Godmother of Horizon for its christening in New York on May 23, 2018.
Carnival Panorama is set to join the fleet in December 2019.
Reports in late June 2019 stated that Carnival was building their first terminal in Japan, in the port city of Sasebo, to be named Uragashira Cruise Terminal. Local officials were hoping that the terminal would be open by late July 2020.
In 2016, Carnival extended their contract with Port Everglades cruise port to 2030. The port began a $54 million renovation in anticipation of the deal. The agreement brings in an estimated 4,780 local jobs and over $200 million in personal income.
In 2012 the company was reportedly paying cruise ship staff basic salaries equivalent to £0.75 per hour. For example, a junior waiter would earn a basic salary of £250 a month for shifts lasting at least 11 hours, seven days a week. In response to this controversy, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Brendan Barber, commented: "It's high time the disgraceful practice of allowing the shipping industry to pay poverty wages to workers who don't live in the UK was stopped. Exploitative rates of pay for those working on British ships have no place in a modern society." In October 2013, Carnival revoked retirement benefits for cruise staff.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, three of the Carnival cruise ships were chartered by the United States government for six months to serve as temporary housing until the houses can be rebuilt. After being chartered for six months, their planned voyages were cancelled, and passengers were refunded. Holiday was originally docked in Mobile, Alabama, and later Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Ecstasy and Sensation were docked at New Orleans, Louisiana. The six-month contract cost $236 million. The contract was widely criticized, because the vessels were never fully utilized, and Carnival received more money than it would have earned by using the ships in their normal rotation.
Since 2017, Carnival Corporation has been on probation, after having been found to "illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying about the scheme." Carnival Corporation also had to pay a $40 million fine. The Court summary states that "Princess was convicted and sentenced in April 2017, after pleading guilty to felony charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels and intentional acts to cover it up".
In April 2019, Carnival Corporation was accused of violating probation rules. The allegations include 800 incidents from April 2017 to April 2018. A federal judge has threatened to impose severe fines which may increase tenfold. The judge also stated that Carnival ships may be temporarily banned from docking in US ports. In early June 2019, Carnival Corp. agreed to pay $20 million in fines in an agreement with federal prosecutors. The proposed settlement documents were signed by Chairman Micky Arison on June 3, 2019. The next day, a Senior US District Judge approved the deal, and confirmed that probation would continue for three years, after CEO Arnold Donald said, "The company pleads guilty. We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them". The company promised to implement additional audits to check for violations, to provide improved training to staff, to start improved waste management practices and to set up a more effective method for reporting pollution incidents to government agencies.
In June 2019 it was reported by NPR that the cruise line giant Carnival Corporation and its Princess subsidiary agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $20 million for environmental violations such as dumping plastic waste into the ocean. Princess Cruise Lines has already paid $40 million over other deliberate acts of pollution.
Accidents and incidents
See also Costa Crociere Accidents and incidents for incidents associated with the parent company's other cruise operations.
On September 19, 1999, Carnival Tropicale's engine room caught fire en route from Cozumel to Tampa. While disabled in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was struck by Tropical Storm Harvey. The Carnival Tropicale spent two days without propulsion.
On February 10, 2013, Carnival Triumph, with 3,143 passengers aboard, suffered an engine room fire, leaving the ship adrift for four days in the Gulf of Mexico. The engine fire led to a power outage on the ship, which in turn caused raw sewage to back up. The media dubbed the ordeal "The Poop Cruise". The ship was towed to Mobile, Alabama, docking on the evening of February 14. In subsequent litigation, Carnival documents were uncovered that revealed multiple generator maintenance problems creating a "disaster waiting to happen." In response, Carnival's court filing stated that the contract that passengers agree to when they buy a ticket "makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions."
On March 14, 2013, Carnival Dream experienced an emergency generator failure while docked in port at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. The ship was scheduled to leave port around 5 p.m. ET the day before. The United States Coast Guard said they were notified by Carnival that Carnival Dream was experiencing emergency generator problems. Carnival announced that the passengers would be flown back to Florida rather than completing their scheduled voyage.
On the morning of March 15, 2013, Carnival Legend suffered a mechanical problem with one propulsion pod while at sea. The cruise line cancelled Carnival Legend's scheduled stops in Belize and Grand Cayman, and the ship returned to Tampa, Florida at a reduced speed of 19 knots (22 mph) (Legend has a regular cruising speed of 24 knots).
On December 27, 2015, an electrician who had been working on the Carnival Ecstasy was crushed to death while working in an elevator. The accident had heavy publicity after a video was posted online.
On December 29, 2018 lifeboat number 28 broke loose from the Carnival Dream for unknown reasons and was excessively damaged. Carnival decided to abandon the lifeboat at sea and plans to purchase a new replacement. No one was onboard the lifeboat at the time and no injuries were reported.
- Two more Destiny-class ships sail for Carnival's sister company Costa Cruises, Costa Fortuna and Costa Magica.
- Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory are Modified-Destiny-class cruise ship that were built with two more decks than the rest of the Destiny-class ships.
- Two more Spirit-class ships sail for Carnival's sister company Costa Cruises, Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea.
- One more Dream-class ship sails for Carnival's sister company Costa Cruises, Costa Diadema.
- Conquest-class is based on the overall design of the Destiny-class, but are longer. Because of the additional length, the Conquest class has expanded facilities compared to the Destiny class. Not all ships have a reservations-only restaurant. Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom, slightly differ from the rest of the fleet because they have Carnival's Seaside Theater installed by the main pool on the lido deck. The Destiny-class ships, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory also have one installed. Carnival Splendor and the Dream-class ships, Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze, as well as Carnival Vista, were built with the Seaside Theater.
- Carnival Splendor offers facilities other ships do not have. This is because the ship was originally designed and built for Carnival's sister company Costa Cruises. Costa Cruises had five sister ships to Carnival Splendor: Costa Concordia, Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, until the Costa Concordia was grounded and wrecked in January 2012. The inaugural voyage for Carnival Splendor was on 2 July 2008 from Genoa, Italy to Dover, England.