Carnival CEO Arnold Donald: CDC, port rules influence Covid protocols

MIAMI BEACH -- Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann questioned Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp. president & CEO, whether there are any changes now that the CDC has made compliance with its health guidelines voluntary and not mandatory.
"The truth is that we don't know, we need to wait and see how things evolve," Donald stated during his CruiseWorld CEO Conversation. He said that while we are going to return to a place where people can move freely, the timing of testing changes will be determined by the destinations. "Each destination has its own regulations."

The CDC anticipates that the rules outlined by its Conditional Sailing Order will be made voluntary by January.

He said, "While the CDC has a significant influence on the travel industry, it is not the only one." "We must continue to monitor and assist destinations in making their protocols more relaxed, as the CDC does."

He said, "Unfortunately, we are in an era where you need to pay attention and observe where things are going." We are moving in the right direction but must be flexible, adaptable, and flexible to changing circumstances.

Donald stated that while Carnival's 50th Birthday celebrations will be a little less extravagant than what was planned before Covid, there will still be many announcements. "We will still make it special."

During the interview, Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line president, took the stage to announce the name and homeport of Carnival Jubilee in Galveston Texas. Duffy, Donald and Weissmann wore cowboy hats for the announcement. Duffy stated that the Jubilee would have "some new, fun additions" that they will be revealing over the course of time.

What can you say to hesitant cruisers?

Arnold offered some suggestions to travel agents whose clients are still hesitant about cruising when asked for advice.

He stated that over the years, "The bottom line was we've had had to deal Zika, MERS and SARS, Ebola, we travel to 700 ports, and we have to understand all types of viruses." Although Covid was a devastating blow to the industry, 22 months later people are better informed about how viruses spread and there are vaccines and treatments. He said that the cruise industry has handled 3 million passengers and there have been very few cases. "We haven't had to worry about an outbreak on a cruise ship in months because we know what it is and people are vaccinated."

The bottom line is that our guests have a wonderful cruise vacation.

An acknowledgement of the environment

The impact of the cruise industry on the environment is also under scrutiny, just like Covid. Donald stated that the 300 cruise ships make up only 1% of the maritime sector. However, Donald noted that "we have to do our part, it's really a priority." We know that what we do will not be quantifiable, but we are doing our bit. We are in the best interest of our natural habitats and coral reefs.