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6.8.20   12:19 PM Innovation - Entertainment

Pricing is rebounding for Carnival Cruise Line as it eyes August 1 sailings

Carnival hopes to set sail again August 1 - and it's acting like a company with demand working in its favor.

Carnival shares soared Friday as it looks like people are getting back into the vacation mindset. Ships will set sail once again as early as August 1, as the US economy is well along the path to reopening in spite of lingering Coronavirus cases in many major American cities. 

Carnival stock shot up more than 16% Friday June 5, capping off a sizable bounce-back from its late-March nadir, and poised to jump for another double-digit gain at the opening bell Monday June 8. Investors should be happy to see our next chart - it tracks, by room type, pricing options offered by Carnival ($CCL). And the time for discounts is coming to a close, as passengers are acting to quickly snap up tickets for their next vacation. . 

Our first chart depicts Carnival cruise pricing options by room type - as the Coronavirus outbreak smothered travel plans, Carnival was forced to cut deals and offer better prices on every kind of room consumers could fill. Carnival was offering discounts of more than 10% - unseasonable deals - during the worst of the outbreak, but more recently, it isn't offering anything better than 3% off what it would typically be charging this time of year. That applies to every kind of room - from suites, to balcony rooms, to oceanview packages. 

Not as many ships in operation could be what is helping to set demand in Carnival's favor. When the company reopens for business, it will run eight ships from ports in Galveston, Texas, and in Florida. 

While Carnival is back in business in about 7 weeks, its job postings aren't. This comes after Carnival job postings rose to multi-year highs, suggesting that the pandemic came at a particularly bad time for the cruise business. 

Is the hiring news a bad sign? Carnival Cruises won't load up passengers for nearly two months - and some ships, will have a longer wait - and it's reasonable to expect that the company may ramp up hiring closer to reopening. However, compared to other hospitality companies, like MGM, which also didn't boost hiring as it reopened, Carnival may also have enough staffers on stand-by that it won't have to bring too many new faces on board. 

However - unlike MGM - Carnival hasn't seen social chatter propped up much by the revelations of upcoming cruises booking passengers. Giddy gamblers cheered casinos' open in Vegas, in a way that cruise-goers haven't done yet - then again, gambling is on, and cruising won't start for weeks still. Or, perhaps some travelers are spooked by news of lawsuits directed at cruise companies for their handling of the pandemic. 

None of this is to say that the cruise industry can't rebound, or that the stock's bounce-back cannot continue on its trajectory - but even as Carnival is raising prices, other alternative data will also need to shift in order for a recovery to truly be taking effect. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

KgBase

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