Skift Take

Pent-up demand isn't merely the desire to start traveling again. In the case of Carnival Corp. passengers, it means spending big to enjoy life during sailings.

After the nearly year-and-a half suspension of cruises because of the pandemic, Carnival Corp. passengers back on the high seas are spending big on food, booze and activities.

While Carnival Corp. announced Monday that it recorded a net loss of nearly $2 billion in the fourth quarter, which ended November 30, one bright spot was passenger spending on its ships.

Revenue per passenger cruise day, which includes cruise fares and on-board spending, rose 4 percent to $5.96 billion in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, Carnival reported.

“The increase was driven in part by exceptionally strong on-board and other revenue,” Carnival stated.

The Carnival Cruise Line brand saw double-digit growth in revenue per passenger cruise day for the second consecutive quarter, the company said.

Breaking down the Carnival Corp. numbers, passengers shelled out on average roughly $216 per day, including for cruise fares and on-board spend in the fourth quarter of 2021, and that was 4 percent more than during the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, of that $216 passengers spent approximately $103 per day on board Carnival ships.

“Absolutely, we’re seeing higher spending levels on board,” CEO Arnold Donald told financial analysts. “There’s no question about that.”

Part of the reason is because Carnival is selling packages, which include additional on-board spend, he said.

“But right now, there’s also, I’m sure, just this pent-up demand where people are anxious to go out and experience things and have a good time and that’s also showing up in on board revenues right now, which are very strong,” Donald said.

With a forced nearly a year-and-a-half pandemic-induced suspension of sailings, which ended in July, passengers are seemingly letting their wallets do the talking, and are living large.



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Tags: ancillary services, carnival, food and beverage

Photo credit: Carnival Corp. passengers are spending big on board. Pictured is a file photo of Holland America's MS Koningsdam in Venice. Carnival Corp.

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