Carnival Corp. CEO Rules Out Any More ‘Sunshine-Style’ Refurbishments

September 24, 2013
Carnival Corp.'s CEO and President Arnold Donald has ruled out refurbishing any other ships in its fleet as it did with Carnival Sunshine.

Speaking at a media event to announce the name of P&O's newest ship, Donald said, "We don't have anything planned of that magnitude. However, we have refurbishment plans for many of the ships in terms of modernization and updates."

His words are at odds with those of Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill, who when asked if he would consider doing it again on another ship said, "It takes a lot of money, but I do feel it's the way to go forward. A new ship costs almost a billion, so even though this was costly, it was cheaper than building a new ship."

Carnival completely overhauled Destiny in a $155 million makeover earlier this year, which saw three new decks, 182 new cabins, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues added. The 17-year-old ship was so completely different after the makeover it was renamed Carnival Sunshine.

Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison, who also was at the briefing, added, “You're right -- it's a lot cheaper to do an extreme makeover as we did with Sunshine than build a new ship. Every ship does not have the ability to do (what we did with Sunshine).

“Sunshine was part of the original Destiny-class, and that led to 20 ships.

“Since Destiny a lot of stuff that is on Sunshine has now been included.

“Over time Gerry will be hand picking what new features he wants on the ships.”

He added: “Each ship is like a canvas, and not every canvas is the same. We added three decks on to Destiny -- and you can't do that on every ship. As time goes on we will decide which features to add.”

Donald also spoke about emerging markets and how Carnival was planning on breaking into those. “We opened five new offices in China last month. We've got Princess in Japan.

“Mainland China is the super-large opportunity, but we are also excited about other Asian markets. And further south, Australia.”

--By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor