There is nothing like the smell of a new car. I once had the opportunity to be on the inaugural flight of a new MetroJet (anyone remember them?) plane and it was awesome. As this column publishes, a friend of mine is sailing on a brand new ship—the Carnival Magic from Venice. While new ships are seemingly becoming de rigueur these days, this one represents an incredible milestone for the Carnival Corporation—with the Carnival Magic, there will be 100 Carnival branded ships sailing the seven seas!
With so many agents who are relatively new to the industry, many do not know of the rocky start for Carnival back in 1972. Their first and only ship, the Mardi Gras, was on its maiden voyage with executives watching the ship sail from the pier only to watch it run aground on a shoal about a mile off the coast of Florida. Legend has it that Ted Arison (current Chairman Mickey Arison’s father and founder of the company) ordered the bars to be opened and “The Fun Ships” were born.
And when you consider all that has transpired since 1972, growing your fleet to 100 in service ships is a monumental achievement. When you think of all they may have had going against them, it is all the more impressive. The gas crisis of the 70s, a pair of recessions, terror on the homeland, a handful of wars, disease, travel warnings, the economic crash, and a few onboard fires. Through it all, Carnival not only survived, but thrived.
They took delivery of the ship on Friday and that evening at dinner, nearly a quarter million (227,000) passengers celebrated the 100th ship joining the fleet with a champagne toast at sea! “It is particularly meaningful that delivery of (Carnival Corp.’s) 100th ship is for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand, which provided the foundation upon which the company was established and, ultimately, grew into the largest cruise operator in the world,” Mickey Arison said in a prepared statement.
Just like the travel professionals that sell their ships year after year, Carnival Corporation finds a way to succeed and thrive despite the odds. For that, I offer hearty congratulations and say—job well done. May you have calm waters on the horizon.
A Te, o grande eterno Iddio, Signore del Cielo e dell’Abisso, cui obbediscono i venti e le onde, noi, uomini di mare e di guerra, Ufficiali e Marinai d’Italia, da questa sacra nave armata dalla Patria leviamo i cuori!
Salva ed esalta, nella Tua Fede, o gran Dio, la nostra Nazione.
Dà giusta gloria e potenza alla nostra Bandiera, comanda che le tempeste ed i flutti servano a lei; poni sul nemico il terrore di lei; fa che per sempre la cingano in difesa petti di ferro, più forte del ferro che cinge questa nave: a lei per sempre dona vittoria.
Benedici, o Signore, le nostre case lontane, le care genti.
Benedici nella cadente notte il Riposo del Popolo, benedici noi che, per esso, vegliamo in armi sul mare.