This is a report out that cruise bookings are up 600% off of an extremely low base, and up 200% year-over-year. The claim is highly dubious if taken to mean that the cruise industry is on a path towards recovery or that people are prepared to cruise in the middle of a global pandemic.
It’s such a shocking data point that it’s getting broad play across media. However when you dig into the details you realize that,
- It is a very isolated data point, just the report of one agency’s sales not representing the industry as a whole
- The agency wants to sell cruises
- The story is sourced to TMZ
- Refers only to sales of Carnival Cruises only (whose demographic skews younger, people who aren’t at greatest risk from the virus)
- Doesn’t necessarily represent new money from customers, since the shutdown of cruises means that people have travel credits they need to spend when they weren’t able to get refunds.
At least 35 cruise ships had confirmed cases of COVID-19. While Diamond Princess had the most, at 712, Carnival’s Ruby Princess had 612 and their Grand Princess had 78. 9 other Carnvial ships had cases. A dozen Royal Caribbean ships had cases, with Oasis of the Seas having 157 confirmeds.
The cruise industry as a whole has a high hurdle to clear, especially because their core customers (skewing much older) are also the most vulnerable for health issues.
On April 6 returning cruise passengers were banned from taking commercial flights and there’s a no-sail order in effect through July 24. So sure Carnival could start sailing again August 1, unless the order is extended and it’s already been extended once.