In November, the new Carnival Freedom will sail from Miami for the first of its winter schedule of seven-day Caribbean cruises. Eighteen Carnival Cruise Line ships will operate in the region for the 2007 season, with a record-setting 2.9 million passengers on board. Carnival has been operating in the Caribbean for 35 years.
Besides launching a new ship, Carnival is adding new destinations. Grand Turk, the new port in the Turks and Caicos, will be part of a new five-day itinerary that also brings the Carnival Imagination to Half Moon Cay, a private award-winning island. In another new itinerary, the Carnival Triumph will stop at these two ports on seven-day cruises sailing from Miami including St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A third new schedule takes the Carnival Destiny on a seven-day trip from San Juan to St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados and St. Thomas, with extended day-long visits to each island.
More than 1,150 Caribbean cruises are scheduled for the 2007 season, with each cruise lasting from three to eight days. During these cruises, Carnival offers nearly 900 choices of shore excursions. The land-based offerings are constantly being updated to reflect the active lifestyle of its passengers. Carnival Cruise Line has departures from twelve US home ports, more than any other cruise line.
Statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association show that the Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination by a wide margin. However, economic factors have adversely affected demand on Carnival for the past year. However, according to Vicki Freed, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, “Bookings for the second half of 2007 and early 2008 have shown much stronger fundamental demand and the trend we were previously observing clearly was not a reflection of the Caribbean’s popularity or desirability.”
Ms. Freed added, “The Caribbean offers everything that consumers want in a vacation – picture perfect weather, gracious hospitality, unique sightseeing experiences, great shopping and, of course, gorgeous beaches.” She continued, “But there’s more to the Caribbean than great beaches – this is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, with a rich history dating back centuries, magnificent architecture, and historical attractions and landmarks.” .
For reservations and information, visit carnival.com, contact any travel agent, or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.