Cruising with Carnival on Talking Points

Dec 6, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As we continue Cruise Week on “Talking Points,” hop on board and sail more of the high seas — this time with Carnival Corporation’s President and CEO Arnold Donald. He and The Points Guy himself discuss Carnival’s nine cruise line brands. They also talk about how riding a roller coaster on Carnival Mardi Gras or attending an Oxford lecture on the RMS Queen Mary 2 — the only ocean liner in the world — could become your new favorite vacation activity.
3 key takeaways from this episode:
  • Carnival’s disaster relief
  • Efforts toward environmental management and sustainability in cruising
  • Tech advancements creating seamless onboard experiences
Donald explains that cruising isn’t really a subculture and if passengers have the right cruise experience, they become cruisers for a lifetime. It’s about choice.
“There’s very different types of experiences depending upon what people are looking for. It’s no one thing that fits everybody,” he says. “Some people, they don’t want the water parks and the roller coasters and all that. Other people, they love that. So what you do is you create different experiences across the brands.”

Carnival’s empire is massive. With more than 100 ships heading to more than 700 destinations, and the world’s sixth-largest ship joining its fleet in 2020, Donald explains on the podcast that they don’t even consider other cruise lines competitors. Carnival is the largest cruise operator in Miami. Carnival ships also have a longer life expectancy than a typical aircraft, says Donald, explaining that Carnival keeps a ship for about 25 to 30 years, and then usually sells them for other uses such as island cruising or floating hotels.

Loyalty is a big part of what drives growth for the cruise line. Each of Carnival’s brands has its own program and is a “badge of honor” that a guest treasures. Donald says that Carnival ensures that they reward and enrich a passenger’s experience for their loyalty. The crew is a big part of that.

Carnival has “150,000 passionate, dedicated, committed employees whose human spirit level is so high because their goal is to do the right things in the environment and in the communities we touch, but also they exceed our guests’ expectations. Their spirit is sky high. I thrive on the energy of our people,” says Donald.

Donald also discusses Carnival’s $20-million settlement for polluting the ocean and how the cruise line is doubling down on sustainability efforts.

“One mistake is one too many. One misstep is one too many. We need to learn from any mistakes made or any missteps made, make certain we don’t repeat those, but also learn from those to try to mitigate any possible future ones that can happen,” he says.
Play this episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Feature image by Gene Sloan / The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.