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Carnival Cruise Line to Bring Costa Venezia to the U.S. In 2023, Costa Firenze in 2024


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Perhaps one of the intentions s to familiarize us to the Costa brand, so that we will consider Costa for Europe, rather than waiting for Carnival to send a ship over for the season.  They one from Long Beach could do coastal cruises, even cruises to Hawaii…. Not just Mexican Riviera.  Lots of possibilities.  EM

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3 hours ago, mz-s said:

 

But distinctly not branded Carnival. They're not rebranding the ships, at least not initially. If they wanted to make this a Carnival experience they would change the name of the ships and renovate them. This is going to be different. These ships don't have water slides for one thing and Carnival likely isn't going to add them.

I like the sound of that.👍

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4 hours ago, mz-s said:

 

But distinctly not branded Carnival. They're not rebranding the ships, at least not initially. If they wanted to make this a Carnival experience they would change the name of the ships and renovate them. This is going to be different. These ships don't have water slides for one thing and Carnival likely isn't going to add them.

But they do have water slides!!! 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, CthyC said:

But they do have water slides!!! 

You are indeed correct. Nice ship and waterslides. Also a theater with seats that don't move so the area can become a disco.

Edited by Illbcruzn4life
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I don't see the Paradise and Elation at risk of getting scrapped soon with these three additional ships from Costa. Probably one of these ends up in Mobile by 2024 when CCL goes back there. The other likely sticks in Jacksonville. I see both ships staying for another 4-6 years.

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1 hour ago, toad455 said:

I don't see the Paradise and Elation at risk of getting scrapped soon with these three additional ships from Costa. Probably one of these ends up in Mobile by 2024 when CCL goes back there. The other likely sticks in Jacksonville. I see both ships staying for another 4-6 years.

You make a good point. And even though the Carnival Sunshine had a big update, it's still the Destiny build in 1996, which is older than both Paradise and Elation.

 

Micky Arison made a comment at the Mardi Gras christening. He was commenting on how great the Excel platform is across Carnival, Aida, Costa, and P&O. He mentioned that Aida will probably not receive another one beyond AIDAnova & AIDAcosma due to their size and they have plans for a smaller new build. I'm wondering if that would be another platform they can share across the brands. Could be a nice size replacement for the Fantasy Class ships down the road but with the modern amenities and efficiencies of the Xcel class.

 

Sorry for the off-topic comment - Just sparked a thought!

 

Brian

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3 hours ago, toad455 said:

I don't see the Paradise and Elation at risk of getting scrapped soon with these three additional ships from Costa. Probably one of these ends up in Mobile by 2024 when CCL goes back there. The other likely sticks in Jacksonville. I see both ships staying for another 4-6 years.

They will return in Oct 2023 with Spirit sailing seasonally from Mobile, and Mobile will probably stay seasonal as well. 
 

Plus they are more modern than the other 6 anyway. 
 

The other thing to consider, is if the China brand goes bust, they could buy back Costa Atlantica/Mediterranea plus the two Vistas being built. But if this concept pays off then we may see more ships shared between the brands, guess we shall see. 

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I am not a Carnival cruiser, but it strikes me that the corporation maybe attempting to cut costs by downsizing or eliminating the Costa Cruise line. Carnival stock is trading at 9 dollars a share due to anticipated reduced demand as a result of the recession. The corporation therefore needs to cut costs. There was an article on the internet that Carnival was also

trying to sell Seaborn Cruises. I guess we will know tomorrow when Carnival reports quarterly earnings. 

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12 hours ago, Illbcruzn4life said:

I like the sound of that.👍

As I mentioned earlier, I'm betting this becomes a slightly more upscale brand within a brand...  Give loyal Carnival customers something a bit nicer and keep them in the brand - especially sailing from the two largest cities in the country!  I'm hoping I'm right! 🙂

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1 hour ago, Beezo said:

You make a good point. And even though the Carnival Sunshine had a big update, it's still the Destiny build in 1996, which is older than both Paradise and Elation.

 

Micky Arison made a comment at the Mardi Gras christening. He was commenting on how great the Excel platform is across Carnival, Aida, Costa, and P&O. He mentioned that Aida will probably not receive another one beyond AIDAnova & AIDAcosma due to their size and they have plans for a smaller new build. I'm wondering if that would be another platform they can share across the brands. Could be a nice size replacement for the Fantasy Class ships down the road but with the modern amenities and efficiencies of the Xcel class.

 

Sorry for the off-topic comment - Just sparked a thought!

 

Brian

I wonder if this smaller build will be the pinnacle class ships that HAL are building they are all sub 100,000 tons 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cmichael1221 said:

As I mentioned earlier, I'm betting this becomes a slightly more upscale brand within a brand...  Give loyal Carnival customers something a bit nicer and keep them in the brand - especially sailing from the two largest cities in the country!  I'm hoping I'm right! 🙂

 

Carnival already has something nicer. Holland America and Princess......

 

When Costa sailed out of the US it seemed to be a budget brand. Got terrible reviews too. I don't see it being made over into a upscale brand.

Edited by Charles4515
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11 minutes ago, CarnivalShips480 said:

It might be worth mentioning that Elation has a dry dock in 2023 so I think that keeps it in the fleet through at least 2026

 

Having a dry dock schedualed  in 2023 does not mean anything more than complying with minimium SOLAS requirements. You can't infer from that whether they will or will not keep it in the fleet until 2026.  

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1 hour ago, adjustman said:

 

I am not a Carnival cruiser, but it strikes me that the corporation maybe attempting to cut costs by downsizing or eliminating the Costa Cruise line. Carnival stock is trading at 9 dollars a share due to anticipated reduced demand as a result of the recession. The corporation therefore needs to cut costs. There was an article on the internet that Carnival was also

trying to sell Seaborn Cruises. I guess we will know tomorrow when Carnival reports quarterly earnings. 

I think you are spot on.  

 

For starters, they are definitely working to cut costs and streamline business (well known). When the pandemic started they were incredibly quick to offload the Costa Victoria and neoRomantica. Those were older ships, as well as single-class ships at the time. There are tremendous synergies by operating more than one type of ship in a class.  Those specific ships didn't have sisters within the family of brands either. Easily first tot go...

 

Below are the six ships I would anticipate are next in line for offloading, outside of what has been previously announced:

 

AIDA'a AidaAura - Last V-class ship after AidaVita's recent departure

Carnival's Elation & Paradise - Remove older tonnage and fleet simplification

HAL's Volendam & Zaandam - Final R-Class ships. Also lets HAL operate a simplified fleet of just Vista, Signature and Pinnacle-class ships

P&O's Aurora - Older ship in P&Os fleet. P&O currently has five ships in the fleet with only two in the same class. Aurora also does not have any within the family of brands.

 

There has also been discussions regarding the future of Seabourn. That would release 5 ships and 2 new builds (Odyssesy, Sojourn, Quest, Encore, Ovation, Venture and Pursuit). Although smaller ships, the oldest is 2009. True value would be an acquisition of all 7 plus the brand itself.

 

Within those discussions, I've seen that HAL & Cunard could be included as well.  By offloading the Madam, Veendam, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam I'm sure it lifted the profitability of the brand, more so if they release the remaining R-class ships I mentioned above.

 

These moves, in theory, would focus Carnival on US market, Costa on Italian market, AIDA on German market, and Princess as premium/upmarket globally. Costa by Carnival would help the erosion from MSC Cruises USA.

 

Just my two cents - and by no means doom and gloom. Just the realistic business side of what Carnival has to evaluate.  They have $34.9B (with a B) in debt today. They paid nearly $368M in interest expenses alone last quarter. They need to focus on the profitable ships and sell assets where its makes sense.

 

Brian

 

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I was surprised to see this decision, but think it was a great financial decision by both Costa and Carnival.

These two basically new ships were built for the Costa business in China, and with that business basically dead in the water these ships became unplanned excess berths in Europe. Costa needs to fill their new jumbo ships like the Toscana....so filling These two ships becomes a challenge. Costa also had really low rates in the European market which didn’t help the overall financial position for Costa post Covid.

By bringing these ships to the US market.....the pricing will be higher.....compared to the Mediterranean market.

Carnival will now have to up the service and food if they hope to get And keep Americans on board. To me, Carnival made Costa a cheap Carnival product when they bought Costa. I was a Costa fan till I sailed the Costa Atlantica  after the purchase of Costa by Carnival Corp.. It was so sad I stopped sailing Costa. Now it will be a reversal so to speak and it will get me to go back to a Costa vessel.

Now to figure out how the booking will work.....book thru Costa or Carnival...my guess Carnival. Me, I’ll shoot for the first sailing....I like inaugural’s🤓

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

Carnival already has something nicer. Holland America and Princess......

 

When Costa sailed out of the US it seemed to be a budget brand. Got terrible reviews too. I don't see it being made over into a upscale brand.

 

I cruised on the Costa Firenze last month and found it to be similar to the Carnival Horizon, even though the Horizon felt smaller. That said, when I was on the Horizon in late 2019, it was absolutely packed and all the pools were full of children.

This was my first Costa Cruise and I only ever read bad things about it on (American) websites and (American) social media. Yet all my (European) friends and their families cruised on Costa and liked it, so I decided to try it.  As a European myself, there were a few things that I disliked on "American" ships that I liked better on Costa, but there are also a few things that the "American" ships do better. What Carnival should do is keep the stuff Costa does better and change the stuff they don't do as well in order to give their customers a perfect cruise that exceeds all their expectations.  I'd gladly point out the details to CCL in exchange for a few complimentary cruises where I could check that they were implemented correctly. 😁

 

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1 hour ago, Charles4515 said:

 

Having a dry dock schedualed  in 2023 does not mean anything more than complying with minimium SOLAS requirements. You can't infer from that whether they will or will not keep it in the fleet until 2026.  

But it wouldn't make sense to spend money for a dry dock and have it leave the fleet soon after.

 

Fantasy was supposed to leave the fleet in 2022 (pre pandemic plans) and it's last dry dock was in 2019

 

Ecstasy will leave the fleet 3 years after it's previous dry dock

 

Both were the same month 3 years later

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6 minutes ago, CarnivalShips480 said:

But it wouldn't make sense to spend money for a dry dock and have it leave the fleet soon after.

 

Fantasy was supposed to leave the fleet in 2022 (pre pandemic plans) and it's last dry dock was in 2019

 

Ecstasy will leave the fleet 3 years after it's previous dry dock

 

Both were the same month 3 years later


She could leave the fleet before the scheduled dry dock. I don’t think though if they have the dry dock in 2023 it necessarily means she will stay until 2026. 

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9 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:


She could leave the fleet before the scheduled dry dock. I don’t think though if they have the dry dock in 2023 it necessarily means she will stay until 2026. 

So we will agree to disagree 

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21 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:


She could leave the fleet before the scheduled dry dock. I don’t think though if they have the dry dock in 2023 it necessarily means she will stay until 2026. 

 

I would say Elation either leaves the fleet before the 2023 drydock or it stays on through 2026. Not that it matters much for this discussion, the whole reason Elation and Paradise are still here is they are useful at smaller homeports that can't accommodate a ship the size of these Costa ships.

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This is SO extremely dumb ... it's only gonna confuse people.    ""Costa by Carnival" ... seriously ?   I give this one season. 

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7 minutes ago, F27TW said:

This is SO extremely dumb ... it's only gonna confuse people.    ""Costa by Carnival" ... seriously ?   I give this one season. 

 

I kind of agree but maybe it's the opposite that everyone thinks and it will be a cheaper option as to not degrade the Carnival product? A lot of people like European cruises because they are cheap and have interesting itineraries. Maybe this can be duplicated here? Some of the competition (like Oceania) already do longer cruises from the LA/SF areas and a lot of people have been wanting additional west coast ports stops beyond the Mex Riv. They may not need to replicate the 24-day cruises entirely (though on my bucket list) but some 10-14 day cruises that get on down into South America would be interesting to be sure. Running cheaper HI cruises could be another option, some of those are a bit pricey and getting the fares a bit lower may increase demand. I've been seeing crazy deals for Alaska right now (some ridiculous and on premium lines) so I'm thinking this idea that they will move these ships here and try and make a luxury product out of them may not be taking into account softer demand.     

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I sailed on Costa years ago (in the 90's) out of Miami on the defunct Costa Allegra. The ship was really pretty, but it was a different time (fixed seating only) and no one else at my table spoke English. That was painful! That time, and the times I've sailed MSC, I've enjoyed the European atmosphere but hated all announcements being in a multitude of languages. (On a recent MSC cruise, one droned on for ~20 minutes!) I assume with this new experience, that won't be a thing. 

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