What is more important? A cruise company or the passenger?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

On the face of it there is a spat between the authorities on the Caribbean island of Antigua and the biggest cruise company in the world, Carnival.

Carnival Ecstasy. Image – Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines.

Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda recently criticised the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association suggesting that they exploit the Caribbean by charging passengers thousands and giving the countries at which the cruise ships dock, peanuts.

Shortly afterwards, carnival said that its cruise ships would not be stopping Antigua from November onwards depriving the country of about a quarter of a million visitors.

The reason?

According to Carnival, its ships would dock in ports that were more welcoming.

Is this a coincidence or is Carnival exacting revenge for Browne’s comments?

Far be it for me to suggest an answer given the distance from which I write but it seems that the passenger is being neglected.

If I had booked a cruise I would rather it visited the ports as advertised and which had prompted me to book it rather than re-route the vessel taking me somewhere I might not want to go? Would I be offered a refund as the cruise line was breaking its contract with me by not delivering that for which I had paid or would it hide behind the small print which probably says that changes of port may be necessary due to circumstances?

It is hard to believe that this state of play has come about because of the comments of an elected official

Given what seems to be rather childish attitude of Carnival, I wonder about the outcome. Will passengers rebel and cancel existing bookings or book with another company? Or is a cruise more important than the ports at which it calls? As long as it calls somewhere does one destination matter over another?

Will other cruise companies which are members of this association follow suit? And if they did what effect would that have on passengers and the countries affected?

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