Deal watch: Cruise giant Carnival slashes fares for more fall sailings to $26 a day
Cruise giant Carnival has slashed rates this week for more fall sailings to just $26 a day — an unusually low level.
As of Thursday morning, the world's second biggest cruise line had five soon-to-depart, four-night fall voyages of its Miami-based Carnival Conquest and Port Canaveral, Florida-based Carnival Liberty listed for sale on its website for just $104 — or $26 a day.
Six more four-night fall sailings of the ships were listed for sale starting at just $109 to $144 — or $27.25 to $36 a day.
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As recently as last week, the line had just two sailings on its fall schedule selling for $26 a day.
The deeply discounted sailings include:
- A four-night Carnival Conquest sailing from Miami to Princess Cays and Nassau in the Bahamas departing Oct. 31 starting at $104.
- Four-night Carnival Conquest sailings from Miami to Half Moon Cay and Nassau departing on Nov. 14 and Nov. 28, starting at $109 and $104, respectively.
- Four-night Carnival Liberty sailings from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Princess Cays departing on Oct. 31 and Nov. 14, both starting at $104. Additional departures of this itinerary on Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 now start at $134 to $139.
- A four-night Carnival Liberty sailings from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Bimini departing on Nov. 28 starting at $104.
Carnival Thursday also was selling three-night Carnival Conquest sailings from Miami to the Bahamas on Oct. 17 and Dec. 19 with starting rates of $104 and $109, respectively — about $35 to $36 a day.
A four-night trip scheduled for Nov. 27 on a third Carnival ship, the Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom, was listed for sale starting at $114 — or $28.50 a day.
Carnival Thursday also was selling four-night fall voyages to the west coast of Mexico out of Los Angeles starting at $134 — or $33.50 a day. The trips will take place on Carnival Radiance.
Related: Cruise lines are rolling out some amazing deals for fall sailings
All the deeply discounted fares above only are available for the lowest category cabins on each of the ships, which all are windowless "interior" cabins. But Carnival also is offering notably low rates on ocean-view and balcony cabins on the ships, too.
Ocean-view cabins (that is, cabins with a window) on the four-night Oct. 31 departure of Carnival Conquest were listed on Carnival's website early Thursday for $149 — just $45 more than a windowless cabin. Balcony cabins on the sailing were listed for $274. That works out to about $69 a day for a balcony cabin.
All the fares are per-person base rates that include accommodations, meals and entertainment but not port taxes and fees, which range from $119.59 to $143.27. Cruise lines typically advertise their fares without port taxes and fees included but add these costs to final bills at the time of checkout.
Related: The 8 classes of Carnival Cruise Line ships, explained
As is typical with cruise ship pricing, the per-person fares are "based on double occupancy," which means they are available only to passengers when booking two people in a cabin. Customers who want to have a cabin to themselves will pay more.
Passengers who book many of the lowest fares available also will pay extra for things like alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi and service charges while on the cruises.
Related: 11 extra charges on cruise ships that will drive you nuts — and what to do about them
Still, even with such extra charges, the cost of such cruises is notably low when compared to the rapidly rising cost of staying in a resort or hotel on land. Cruise pricing this year has fallen far behind pricing for lodging on land, with some Wall Street analysts who cover the travel industry saying the differential is now in the 30% to 50% range.
The low rates for fall cruises at Carnival come as cruise companies struggle more than land resorts to return to normal occupancy levels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carnival parent company Carnival Corporation earlier this month announced that occupancy levels at the Carnival brand and eight others it owns averaged just 84% during the peak summer travel months of June, July and August — below the 87% that Wall Street analysts had been expecting and well below normal levels.
Carnival Corporation, which also owns Princess Cruises, Holland America and Costa Cruises, usually reports ship occupancies during the summer months over 100% — something possible when more than two people stay in a cabin.
Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Carnival ship
Passenger ticket revenue for the summer months at Carnival Corporation also came in well below Wall Street expectations.
The company earlier this month said its cumulative advanced book position for the fourth quarter was "below the historical range" — a change from earlier in the year when the company was saying bookings for the fourth quarter were within historical ranges.
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