Saturday October 1, 2005
Carnival Cruise Lines is starting to wear out its fucking welcome in this town. When we first heard that Carnival was sending 3 ships to house Katrina evacuees, we were pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of talk in the air about the nation coming together, public, private, and government alike, giving ‘till it hurt and fixing the mess. The government definitively screwed up its side, but people were giving piles of money ($1.125 billion to the Red Cross at last count), and with the Carnival boats it looked like private businesses were chipping in, too (if only in-kind).
But it appears that our impressions were a bit off: Carnival is charging us (that would be U.S. taxpayers) $192 million for the use of its 3 ships. You might want to sit down before you hear how much this works out to: $2,550 per person per week.
We’re not sure how this compares to the cost of housing those people in a land-based temporary shelter (since there’s obviously nothing permanent about living on a ship), or, say, a 4-star hotel. We do know, however, that it’s roughly four times the cost of a 7-day cruise on the same boat. From a Carnival press release:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New Orleans and all of the Gulf Coast who have been so terribly devastated by this catastrophic event,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO. “We know that all of our loyal guests, shareholders and employees are very pleased that we were able to join forces with the federal government to participate in the extensive relief efforts that have been launched.”
You know what, Micky? Blow it out your ass. We hope jaws around the country are dropping like ours are, and that people think of any other way to spend their vacation then one of your lame cruises. According to the latest information we could find, Carnival is making around a billion dollars per quarter in clean profits, and we hope the pr from this fiasco takes a chunk out of that that makes them wish they’d given a couple of hundred million, plus the ships to the effort.
By the way, there’s a good reason cruise lines rake in crazy money: these ships operate in a U.S. tourism economy, while employing workers from third world nations in semi-sweatshop conditions. They pay minimal U.S. taxes by registering the ships in foreign ports, and take advantage of maritime law to deprive employees, and, when convenient, passangers of rights they would ordinarily have on shore. Read all about it, and find something else to do for your vacation.comments powered by Disqus