A good indicator of whether the economy is really recovering is the cruise industry. There aren’t too many more discretionary spend items than a ticket for a ride on a cruise ship. Carnival Cruise today reported that third quarter earnings rose 22%. The gains were partly fueled by lower costs but much of the gains came on revenue gains – the company’s North American boats saw a 10% increase in the latest quarter versus a year ago. And Europe saw a 1% rise.
Clearly, the company s seeing a rebound from a vicious pounding it took during the recession. But it is also clear that it needs promotions like the one above to convince people to pack their bags and head out for a cruise.