It’s a case of Dr Seuss versus Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Who will win in this battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of Aussie families with kids looking for a cruise holiday at sea?

Adolfo Perez, Carnival’s SVP of global sales and trade marketing shrugged off stiff competition from Disney Cruise Line which is bringing Disney Wonder to spin its magic in Australian waters for the first time in October next year. When bookings opened for Disney cruises on Thursday (Sept 29) there was such a rush to snare a family cabin that its website crashed – aggravated by Hurricane Ian in Florida.

Carnival cruise deal
Everyone loves Carnival’s water slide

However, the Miami-based Mr Perez who is visiting Sydney told Cruise Passenger, that Carnival has been cruising in Australia for the last 10 years and the brand is known for its “fun” ships.

Regarding Dr Seuss vs Mickey and Minnie Mouse?

“We don’t really compete. We have been here for 10 years and Aussie families know the brand, love our waterslides and children’s activities such as Dr Seuss, our special character parade and interactive story time – they always have great holidays onboard Carnival ships.

“This is because parents have time alone while their kids are being entertained and they often come together at mealtimes. We often, also have multi-generational families onboard Carnival ships including grandparents, mums-and-dads and grandchildren – and they all have a good time.”

Carnival Luminosa

He is excited Carnival is bringing its second ship to cruise in Australian waters this season, with Carnival Luminosa, homeporting in Brisbane from November for six months. She will offer an array of itineraries to Aussie favourite destinations such as Barrier Reef, Airlie Beech and as more South Pacific Islands reopen their borders to Noumea, Lifou Isle in New Caledonia, Port Vila and Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Luminosa is currently being retro-fitted to make the former Costa Luminosa more of a Carnival fun ship. She will have all the facilities that children love including water slides, cafes serving pizza, hamburgers and, of course, ice-cream.”

Honeyboomers on Carnival Cruise Line
Honeyboomers having a good time onboard Carnival

Mr Perez said the line is always looking for new activities such as games shows to add to its long list of entertainment onboard as well as new destinations.

He pointed out that Carnival’s fleet of 24 ships cruise from Mexico, Panama, Europe and Trans Pacific which appeal to Aussie families. By end of next year, he plans to add another cruise ship to the fleet.

“We want to get Americans to sail on Carnival ships to Australia and vice versa – to attract more Australians to go on cruise holidays in America.

“Our special sauce is our crew. They take extra good care of the customers – both the adults and the kids.

Carnival Splendor is doing very well and is almost sold out in 2022 – with very few cabins left. Luminosa has seen a spike in bookings too and people are so excited to see a Carnival ship based in Brisbane.

“Throughout Covid, we never stopped marketing our brand and our ships. Prices have been very competitive. Up to 2019, we have seen a steady improvement in yield every year.”

Some of favourite destinations for Aussie cruisers include South Pacific, Fiji and Hawaii. While they are comfortable with three to eight-day itineraries, the line is seeing growing interest in longer cruises of nine to 12 days.