Carnival Cruise Lines was not the first company to offer cruises. As everybody knows, cruise ships have been around for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years. But, it wasn’t until the mid 1970’s that a man named Ted Arison forever changed the concept of cruising from a means of transportation to a vacation experience when, in 1972, he launched the Carnival Mardi Gras on its maiden voyage from Miami. Of course, big ocean liners (like the Titanic) were in service long before 1972, but their main purpose was simply to transport people from one side of the ocean to the other. While affluent guests made the voyage in luxury, those less fortunate were confined to “steerage”. But, rich or poor, all who traveled by cruise ship did so simply to get from “Point A” to “Point B”.
Ted Arison’s vision was that a cruise should enable a person of “average means” to visit interesting places (like the Bahamas or the Caribbean Islands) that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to see, and the it should include value-packed meals, entertainment and activities that would become one of the main attractions. Unfortunately, Mr. Arison’s vision almost ended immediately when the Mardi Gras ran aground on a sandbar before it ever reached the open seas. But, despite the early mishap, Ted Arison didn’t give up and, today, Carnival Corporation (as the parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Costa and several other well-known cruise brands) is the largest and most diverse cruise company in the world.
With so many brands being part of the Carnival Corporation, it is only fitting that the original brand, “Carnival”, remains most consistent with the original concept that Mr. Arison had in mind when he first founded Carnival Cruise Lines. Known throughout the world for its “Fun Ships”, Carnival has maintained its reputation for offering a value-packed vacation experience for people of “average means”. And, because cruising in now enjoyed by millions of people every year, the quality of a Carnival cruise has increased dramatically from the “early days” to where the brand is now chosen by a wide cross-section of people from all age groups and income levels. It’s truly a representative sampling of America and Americans from all walks of life.
Along with the growth of the fleet (both in the number and size of the ships), destinations on Carnival Cruise Lines have also expanded to include Alaska and Europe in addition to the more traditional Bahamas and Caribbean ports of call. And, while 3 and 4-night cruises are still available, most Carnival cruises now range from 5 to 8 nights departing from New York City, Baltimore, Norfolk Virginia, Charleston South Carolina, New Orleans and several other coastal cities in the United States. And, yes, you can still take a Carnival cruise from Miami (as well as several other departure ports in Florida).
So, what are you waiting for; find out today why Carnival has earned the title of the “world’s most popular cruise line”.
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