Carnival CEO: “We’re making good progress”

The CEO of Carnival Corp. told reporters Friday that the world’s largest cruise ship operator is “making good progress moving forward” after a difficult 2013.

During a conference call, CEO Arnold Donald highlighted measures at Carnival Cruise Lines, which took a hit after fire disabled the Carnival Triumph at sea last year, that are meant to show the company’s confidence in its product.

Those include the promise of a 110 percent refund and free trip home if guests are unhappy in the first day of a cruise, as well as a new pledge that no one will beat the price of a Carnival-offered shore excursion.

Donald also ran down a long list of new offerings on ships in the 10-brand fleet, including new game and talent shows on the German AIDA brand, a new adventure park on P&O Australia, new advertising campaigns for Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises and a new concert series on Carnival Cruise Lines that was announced this week.

Carnival LIVE Concert Series will feature performances by artists including Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Chicago and others at specific ports. So far, 49 dates are booked this year. The cruise line is also enhancing its house bands on board.

Donald also hinted that increased back-end collaboration between brands could eventually be visible to consumers. While he said the brands will remain unique, he said he could foresee some type of cross-brand loyalty programs.

Aside from the call with reports, Carnival Cruise Lines also said Friday it had enhanced its wedding program with improvements to options including flowers, decor, photos, food and type of ceremony.

Hannah Sampson

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