I was wondering about the economic health of the cruise business. Could you frequent cruisers tell us what you see? Has the poor economy hurt the cruise ships? Are the ships sailing now at less than capacity? Just curious.
Papa, I am not a frequent cruiser per say, but I do read a lot of cruise news and a few trades. The ships are sailing at capacity, but the rates are extremely low to fill the ships. Right now is a great time to look for bargains it seems. I was thinking after they cut the fuel supplements they were going to raise rates. Carnival actually stated they were. That isn't happening from what I see. They will do what they have to do to fill the ships.
It does hurt the cruise industry's bottom line. It also hurts Travel and Cruise Agent's income tremendously. Their income is based on the cruise fare not the total cost with NCF's and taxes. In short, the economy has hurt the overall health of the cruise business in my opinion. New builds are virtually on hold or cancelled in some cases. It will bounce back though, just like it did afer 9-11.