THEY MADE THE NEWS
Micky Arison, the son of cruise industry pioneer Ted Arison, dropped
out of college and worked his way from salesman to president of Carnival
in 1979. He made Carnival Corp. the behemoth it is today, taking it public
in 1987 and eventually acquiring more than 10 cruise brands, including giants like Princess and Holland America, and commanding 82 ships around
the world. Forbes lists Arison’s worth at $5.8 billion.
Ted Arison co-founded the first modern-day cruise line, Norwegian
Caribbean Lines, in 1966. He went on to establish Carnival Cruise Lines
in 1972 with one ship, the Mardi Gras. The one-ship line, with its simple
promise of “fun,” would eventually become the largest and most recognized cruise line in the world. Arison was one of the world’s wealthiest
men when he died in 1999.
Bob Dickinson retired as president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines in
2007 after 35 years in the business. His retirement ended a tenure that made
him famous for a sales and marketing prowess that enabled Carnival to fill
ship after ship, until the fleet was 22 strong, under the “Fun Ships” slogan
that he coined. He was known within the industry for being outspoken,
particularly for eviscerating trade-show panel remarks aimed at his cruise
line rivals and for frank comments at travel agent meetings.
Richard Fain took over as chairman and CEO at Royal Caribbean Cruises in 1987. On Fain’s watch, the company avoided a takeover by Carnival,
established itself in the No. 2 spot and continued to usher in bigger and bigger ships and stock them full of amenities: The now-legendary rock-climbing wall debuted on the Voyager of the Seas in 1999. Fain and RCCL lost the
battle for P&O Princess but gained Celebrity and three other brands.
In 1966 Knut Kloster partnered with Ted Arison in Norwegian Caribbean Lines. After the two parted ways, Kloster continued on with NCL, which
created the first private-island-as-cruise-destination in the Bahamas and
acquired and remodeled the Norway, nee the France. Kloster later became
involved in a project, never realized, for an ultra-megaship with three hotel
towers, code-named Phoenix.
When cruising was getting its start in Miami in 1970, Kirk Lanterman
started at Westours, an Alaska cruise and tour business; he would ascend
its presidency in 1979. Four years later, Westours owner Holland America
Line moved to Seattle and plucked Lanterman to head the parent company.
Lanterman turned around the financially ailing HAL and helped popularize
cruise-tours and make Alaska a force in cruise; he retired as CEO in 2004.
Stanley McDonald began selling cruises to Mexico from California in
1965 on the Princess Patricia. That was the start of Los Angeles-based Princess Cruises. In 1977, Hollywood producers made a call to Princess (
headquartered near Tinseltown); many say the “The Love Boat” television show,
using two Princess ships, single-handedly popularized cruising as a mass-market, but glamorous, vacation. McDonald left the company in 1981.
Edwin Stephan worked for two other lines before co-founding Royal
Caribbean; he was its president from 1969 to 1996. When his team ordered
purpose-built, warm weather cruise ships for RCCL in 1970, Stephan came
up with line’s signature feature, a lounge cantilevered over the ship’s pool
area, an idea he got from the Seattle Space Needle. It was the beginning of a
long line of innovative amenities introduced by the line.
Warren Titus was a founder of Royal Viking Line, the first cruise company to create a small-ship, luxury cruising experience as an alternative to
the Caribbean’s big-ship cruising. After leaving Royal Viking, Titus helped
found another luxury small-ship giant, Seabourn, in 1987 and served as
its first president. Titus also became the first chairman of the Cruise Lines
International Association, which was created in 1975.
Colin Veitch joined the industry, at Princess Cruises’ parent company,
in 1990. As the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, he oversaw decisions that
shook up the modern-day industry: the concept of dining at any time and
with anybody, at one of several restaurants onboard; and a plan in Hawaii
to rejuvenate U.S.-flagged cruising.
Carnival Cruise Lines is founded by Ted Arison. Its first cruise ship,
the Mardi Gras, runs aground on a sandbar during its inaugural cruise.
Carnival expands by acquiring two older ships, the Festivale and Carnivale
and orders its first newbuild, the Tropicale, which enters service in 1982.
Carnival completes an initial public offering of 20% of its common stock,
generating approximately $400 million.
Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. acquires Holland America Line, its tour affiliate
Westours (now called Holland America Tours) and niche operator Windstar
Cruises for about $625 million. HAL has four ships and about 4,500, berths, and
Windstar has three small ships carrying 150 passengers each. Carnival has seven
vessels, about 8,500 berths.
Carnival buys a 25% stake in Seabourn Cruise Line, which has two, 208-passenger
all-suite vessels. Carnival assumes full ownership in 1999.
Carnival changes the name of its parent company to Carnival Corp.
to distinguish between it and its flagship cruise line.
Carnival Corp. acquires 50% of Costa Cruises for $150 million in cash. The deal
brings Costa’s seven ships into the Carnival fold, for a total of 32 vessels among
five cruise brands. It takes 100% ownership of the Italian cruise
operator three years later.
Carnival acquires a 68% stake in the historic Cunard Line for $500 million. The
following year, Carnival gets the remaining 32% of Cunard for $200 million and
simultaneously takes 100% control of Seabourn. The addition of Cunard’s five
ships brings the Carnival Corp. fleet to 42 ships cruising under six brands.
Carnival Corp. buys P&O Princess Cruises for $5.3 billion in stock, acquiring
the world’s third-largest cruise line, Princess Cruises, along with British cruise
lines P&O Cruises and Ocean Village, German cruise line Aida and P&O Cruises
Australia as well as tour operator Princess Tours. Carnival Corp.’s combined
group now has 13 brands, 66 ships and 100,000 berths.
Carnival and Spain’s Orizonia Corp. finalize a new multiship joint venture
serving the Spanish cruise market. Carnival owns 75% of the new company,
called Iberocruceros. Today there are more than 225,000 people at sea
on Carnival ships at any given time.