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Members & Travel Agents

Arnold Donald Weighs In for FCCA Platinum Members

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rnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, joined an FCCA Platinum Member webinar on April 28 to give the group an update and help them prepare for things to come in the hopes of moving full steam ahead to economic recovery upon cruising’s return to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. A lightly edited transcript follows: There has been lots of press recently on legislators and local officials and even other cruise line CEOs pressuring the CDC to allow cruising to resume. Where are we really in all this? Are we any closer to the resumption of cruising? In our case for Carnival Corporation, and likely all other cruise companies, our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, of the people and the communities that we touch and serve – and of course our Carnival family shipboard and shoreside. So we stand with the Ministries of Health across all the nations and islands of the Caribbean to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and shut this thing down, and we all stand together on that. Yeah, we have been more than a little frustrated that we have been singled out as an industry for whatever reason and have been presented with pretty much unworkable solutions until this point, but we continue to be in dialogue with CDC and the Biden administration. There’s momentum, with the CDC coming out and declaring they would like to see the resumption of cruising by mid-July, and certainly the administration is saying they would like to see things resume in mid-July. We see positive indicators in other sectors of society and from the U.S. We see definitely positive indicators from activities outside the U.S.; six of our nine brands have announced resumption of sailings in other places, including the U.K., Greece, Germany, Italy, etc. – and most recently, Seabourn announced it would have some 26 SECOND QUARTER 2021 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

“…WE CAN SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.” sailings homeported out of Barbados this summer. So, we see progress, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. None of us know how long that tunnel is yet, but we’re working with everyone. Every port has its own jurisdictions and mayors, governors and so on, and similarly for the destinations we visit – and we continue to work with everyone to try to get back so all the people who depend on cruise for their livelihood have an opportunity to get back to work and restore the quality of life for themselves and their families. Can you share a broader update on the Carnival Corporation family of brands? Many hear ‘Carnival’ and think only Carnival Cruise Line, but I know you do have nine global brands, many that have already started operating. Like others, we started in Germany and Italy and have been successful both from

a guest perspective and health and safety standpoint – and that’s before vaccinations. We were able to safely sail, carrying thousands of guests with very few incidents. The few incidents were handled seamlessly without any major disruption either to the communities or ships and guests. So we have demonstrated a capability, as we have with other viruses, to provide a high guest satisfaction while deploying enhanced protocols to ensure to the guests, crew and destinations we visit that we are doing our part to mitigate the spread of the virus. We’ve expanded with Cunard, P&O and Princess all with sailings this summer around coastal UK. AIDA has expanded some of its itinerary areas, as has Costa. Seabourn has announced in Greece. I know everyone’s anxious for Carnival, especially for the Caribbean, and we are too – and Carnival has not yet announced, and we’re cautiously optimistic and putting a lot of energy within our energy in the U.S. so that we will be able to start Carnival, we hope, sometime this summer. A number of brands outside of your brands have announced operations homeporting in the Caribbean. Are you also considering this as an option? If so, which homeports are you considering? We announced one with Seabourn out of Barbados for some sailings. We have not broadly done that. Carnival has not done that yet, and there are a host of reasons for that because Carnival typically sails out of 14 different ports in the U.S. – and has a drive-to guest base. We have large ships, and airlift is a challenge – even if you charter, it drives the cost up. Most importantly, we just want to have the Caribbean accessible to the most guests so we can generate the biggest turns in the economies in the islands so all the people depending on cruise for their livelihoods have the best opportunity to recover and again get back to the quality of life they enjoy – and hopefully even better. We’ll continue to look at the situation,

Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

Travel & Cruise 2nd Quarter 2021  

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