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Carnival, City of Mobile announce year-long season of cruises from Port of Mobile

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Carnival Cruise Line and the City of Mobile announced today that the Carnival Fantasy will operate a year-long schedule of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico from the Mobile Cruise Terminal beginning in fall 2016.

Prior to its deployment to Mobile, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add several elements of the cruise line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program, including Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, two poolside watering holes, the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, and the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican-themed eatery.

On its new schedule from Mobile, Carnival Fantasy will offer four-day cruises to Cozumel and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Costa Maya or Progreso from November 2016 to November 2017.

“Carnival Fantasy’s four- and five-day cruises from Mobile provide consumers with an affordable way to visit stunning Mexican ports from a convenient homeport while offering our valued travel agent partners an exciting new short vacation option to market to their clients,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “We’ve been working very closely with the port and city officials to make these cruises a reality and wish to thank Mayor Stimpson and his team for not only all their hard work but also for creating a welcoming and positive environment that makes these cruises an attractive option for today’s consumers,” she said.

“We are pleased and excited to welcome Carnival Cruise Line back to Mobile,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “This agreement has been a priority since the day we took office. It represents a win for our City, a win for Carnival and most of all a win for the thousands of consumers who can once again enjoy a great cruise out of one of America’s greatest cities. We are building something special in Mobile, and this renewed partnership is evidence of that momentum.”

Year-long schedule of 4- and 5-night cruises from Mobile

Carnival Fantasy’s Mobile-based program kicks off Nov. 9, 2016 and will run through Nov. 27, 2017.

On this route, Carnival Fantasy departs the Mobile Cruise Terminal Thursdays on four-day “long weekend” cruises to Cozumel and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Costa Maya or Progreso. Each of these destinations are popular for their beautiful white sand beaches, interesting historical sites and attractions, and excellent snorkeling, scuba diving and water sports. During the day-long call in Progreso, guests have the opportunity to visit Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and while in Cozumel guests can visit ancient Mayan ruins or enjoy the destination’s wide range of shopping and dining experiences. At Costa Maya guests can explore the centuries-old Chacchoben ruins or visit the Lost Mayan Kingdom, a multi-million-dollar water-themed attraction currently under construction that will feature spectacular slides, an elaborate lazy river, a suspended ropes course that spans the property and more.

Wide variety of on-board choices

Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment in early 2016 that will add a number of terrific onboard options. These include Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside dining venue serving handcrafted burgers and fries created by the poplar chef and restaurateur, all enjoyed amidst lively interiors that celebrate Fieri’s California roots and love of car culture.

Located adjacent to Guy’s Burger Joint is the BlueIguana Cantina offering authentic handmade burritos and tacos along with an elaborate toppings and salsa bar. Also located poolside is the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Rum Bar offering the region’s top rums and beers as well as the BlueIguana Tequila Bar with margaritas, Mexican beers and other frosty libations.

Carnival Fantasy also features a 12,000-square-foot spa, a WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long slide and a kiddie splash area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat, as well as fun, supervised programs for kids ages 2-17, full casino gambling and a wide array of dining options, including a 24-hour pizzeria.

Carnival interims, earnings upgrade, fail to fire up investors

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Shares in the two listed holding companies of the Carnival group remained firmly in the red after the group had reported a slight fall in third quarter interims, but raised its financial year 2015 earnings forecast.

Soon after 1000am local time in New York, shares in the Panama domiciled and US listed Carnival Corporation traded 2.28% lower from the opening at $51.48. At the same time, shares in Carnival plc, which is the British holding company of the group, had lost 1.60% to trade at £34.50.


Carnival raises 2015 net yield rise forecast and increases earnings guidance

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping giant, says it has raised its net yield increase forecast and consequently guidance for its full financial year 2015 earnings forecast as well.

"Based on the strength in third quarter net revenue yields and current booking trends, the company has increased its expectations for full year 2015 net revenue yields. The company now expects revenue yields to be up approximately 4% compared to the prior year versus previous guidance of up 3% to 4% on a constant currency basis, which excludes translational and transactional currency impacts (up approximately 3% on a constant dollar basis)," Carnival said in a statement.

The company maintained full year 2015 net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (available lower bed day) forecast at a rise of approximately 3.5% compared to the prior year on a constant currency basis (up approximately 3%on a constant dollar basis).

"Taking the above factors into consideration, the company has increased its full year 2015 non- GAAP diluted earnings per share guidance to be in the range of $2.56 to $2.60, better than both the June guidance range of $2.35 to $2.50 and 2014 non-GAAP diluted earnings of $1.93 per share," Carnival said.

Carnival sees 35% earnings rise in 2015, booking curve lengthens

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise shipping group, says it expects to achieve an almost 35% earnings rise this financial year as booking curve has lengthened and unsold inventory decreased from a year ago

"In 2015, we are on track to achieve a nearly 35% earnings improvement and we are accelerating progress toward achieving double digit return on invested capital in the next three to four years. Our improved performance has driven even stronger operating cash, which is expected to exceed $4 billion this year. We remain committed to further enhancing shareholder returns as demonstrated by our recent 20% increase in quarterly dividends," Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said in a statement

“Looking forward to 2016, we have driven a significant lengthening of the booking curve and have less inventory remaining for the first half of 2016 than at this time last year, which bodes well for continued year-over-year revenue yield improvement. Although we already have a solid base of business for next year, we are working hard to maintain the momentum through our ongoing initiatives to create additional demand," Donald said.

Carnival Corp & plc third quarter revenues, net profit edge lower

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, has reported a slight fall in both revenues and net profit for three months to 31 August. Carnival's financial year ends on 30 November.

Group net profit fell to $1.21 billion in the third quarter of the current financial year from a profit of $1.24 billion in the same period last year. The fresh figure includes an unrealised bunker derivative loss of $137 million, up from $15 million a year earlier. Revenues fell to $4.88 billion from $4.94 billion.

For the first nine months of its financial year, the group however reported a rise in net orofit to $1.48 billion from $1.32 billion, while revenues decreased to $12.0 billion from $12.1 billion.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, “Our third quarter non-GAAP performance was the strongest of any quarter on record with earnings $0.17 per share higher than the prior year despite a slight drag from the net impact of fuel prices and currency. Non-GAAP earnings for the quarter were also $0.17 higher than the mid-point of prior guidance."

"Net revenue yields improved 5 percent (constant currency) from the prior year benefiting from strong demand which led to higher occupancy levels, increased ticket prices and increased onboard spending. Clearly our ongoing investments in the guest experience, combined with our global marketing and public relations efforts along with our initiatives to leverage our scale are having a positive impact," he said in a statement.

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