Carnival Cruise Line has no intention of building the world’s largest cruise ship and instead aims to improve the onboard experience with each new launch, according to the line’s president.
Christine Duffy told the media at a conference on Carnival Horizon, the line’s newest ship, that it “has never really been about the hardware” for Carnival.
Carnival launched 3,960 passenger-capacity Carnival Horizon earlier this month and will welcome Carnival Panorama, with a capacity for 3,934 passengers, into its fleet in November next year.
But neither vessel matches the largest cruise ships in the industry, such as the Royal Caribbean International’s 6,680 passenger-capacity Symphony of the Seas, which launched in March.
Carnival’s yet-to-launch Excellence-class ships will have a double-occupancy passenger capacity of 5,200.
Duffy said: “For us, it has never been about building the largest ship. It is about giving the crew and guests a great experience.”
She later said that while Carnival Horizon was a “beautiful ship”, the software on a new Carnival vessel remained more of a priority than the hardware.
“A lot of the enhancements that we have made with these new ships is what you don’t see,” she said, adding: “That is something that is really important to us, the improved WiFi is as much for our guests as it is for the crew.
“That really matters for them. They come from more than 60 countries around the world, so being able to communicate reliably with their family members back home is important.”
The WiFi on board Carnival Horizon is the faster than any other ship within the brand’s fleet and allows both passengers and crew members to support Facebook Live streaming.
Duffy also confirmed Carnival Panorama would sail directly to Long Beach, California, once it had been delivered, rather than sailing some European itineraries.
She said: “Up until now we have only been sailing in Europe when we bring out a new ship. With Panorama we will be sailing directly to Long Beach.
“For the Carnival brand we do very well in the US market.
“Like all cruise lines, we make decisions based on deployment based on where we see the greatest demand and lift for us that is why we really spend more of our time in the US.”
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