Cruise Lines 2019 Q4 Breakdown: By the Numbers

Seabourn, Royal Caribbean and AIDA Ships in Antigua

Cruise Industry News takes a look at the financial performance of the “big three” following the final quarter of 2019.


While gross revenue was up for Q4 2019 for the three publicly-traded cruise companies, increased operating expenses led to reduced operating income, net income and net income per passenger day, compared to Q4 for the previous year.

Net revenue per passenger day was also down year-over-year for Carnival Corporation, up noticeably for Royal Caribbean and up slightly for Norwegian.

Gross revenue per passenger day was significantly up for all three companies, including onboard spending, with gross ticket revenue per day also up for Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, but down for Carnival.

Carnival saw the biggest difference between gross and net onboard revenue: more than $25, making it flat with last year, while Royal had nearly a $12 drop and Norwegian a little more than $10, and up from last year.

Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean saw a decrease in fuel costs year-over-year while Norwegian saw its fuel spend to go up.

Carnival cited the regulatory change preventing travel to Cuba, geopolitical events in Arabian Gulf, Hurricane Dorian, an unscheduled drydock, and multiple shipyard delays. Royal cited the Oasis drydock mishap, Cuba and Hurricane Dorian, and Norwegian also cited Cuba and Dorian.

Because of the fleet mix, Norwegian continued to generate the highest gross and net ticket and onboard spend revenue.

2019 financeCruise Industry Financial Tracking

The Cruise Industry Financial Tracking Report provides an in-depth look into the financial metrics of the leading cruise companies. Learn more.

Included: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Star/Genting, Royal Olympic, P&O Princess, Regent, American Classical Voyages and Commodore.

Key metrics include revenue, operating expenses, operating income and net income, as well as those metrics on a per passenger day basis. We also look at EPS, fleets, berths and passenger cruise days.

Carnival returning to Grand Bahama

Carnival Pride

Carnival Cruise Line will resume regular calls to Grand Bahama beginning Oct. 11, when the Carnival Pride will dock in Freeport.  

The Carnival Elation will follow on Oct. 13 and the Carnival Freedom on Oct. 15.

Carnival Pride departed Baltimore on Oct. 6 on a weeklong cruise with nearly 2,400 guests.  

Between now and the end of the year, Carnival expects to do 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors.

Some 15 shore excursions will be offered, including The All-Inclusive Beach Club; A Select Retreat with Beach and Water Toys; and the VIP Luxury Sail.

Freeport has been recovering from Hurricane Dorian, which hit Grand Bahama on Sept. 1.

Carnival Corp. building private destination on Grand Bahama

Image result for Grand Bahama private island

Carnival Corp. and the Bahamas government signed development agreements that pave the way for a Carnival-run port destination on Grand Bahama and the expansion of the company’s private island Half Moon Cay.

Among other things, the agreements provide for the construction of a pier at Half Moon Cay, which until now has been a tender port.

Carnival said the Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador, where Half Moon Cay is situated, will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.

Once environmental and other permitting processes are completed, construction for both projects is projected to start by mid-2020. 

Carnival and the Bahamas said the projects are expected to play an important role in the country’s recovery from Hurricane Dorian. They said construction parameters will be designed to meet or exceed guidelines for “being able to mostly withstand the impact of a Category 5 hurricane.” Carnival’s plans for both projects were laid well before Dorian. 

The Grand Bahama project is intended primarily for Carnival Cruise Line and will be its first dedicated private destination in the Bahamas.

Some Carnival Cruise Line ship call at Half Moon Cay, which is primarily used by Holland America Line. 

Carnival Corp. said the current development on the western side of Little San Salvador covers less than 3% of the 2,400-acre island. The new addition will be on the northern part of the island and include a pier able to accommodate larger ships. The beaches of Half Moon Cay will continue to be the main attraction, Carnival said.