Potentially bucking the trend other cruise lines are setting, Carnival Corp. (CCL 1.81%) still hasn't decided whether it's on board with keeping its ships in port after the 30-day cruise suspension, which began on March 13, expires. A post this morning on the company's Facebook page said that the decision is still up in the air, but promised a final answer by this Friday, March 27.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) initiated the month-long cruise stoppage from U.S. ports in response to the coronavirus situation. The industry has been at the center of controversy and quarantines since several major outbreaks occurred on cruises under way at the time COVID-19 became a pandemic. Royal Caribbean (RCL 0.31%), Costa Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises announced earlier today they will extend their cruise suspensions for an additional month, at least until May 11.
Carnival posted its statement that it wasn't yet sure if it would follow the other big cruise lines' leads one day after its CEO Arnold Donald argued on HBO's Axios that being on a cruise ship doesn't increase peoples' chance of infection:
"A cruise ship is not a theater. It is not an arena," he said. "It is more like Central Park. There's a lot of natural social distancing."
These remarks contradict CDC, WHO, and other health organization statements that cruise ships "facilitate" the spread of contagions in multiple ways.
While the impact of its Friday suspension decision remains unknown, Carnival Cruise Line saw its share value skyrocket 39% yesterday. Investor optimism stoked by the advance of the government's $2 trillion stimulus package fueled the meteoric single-day rebound.