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A Message from Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & PLC

I have been hesitant to join in with the many executives who have issued communiques, knowing that any words are far too inadequate in the face of the events that have occurred in the U.S. over the past several days.

We have painfully witnessed the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others, followed by frustrated, passionate protestors exercising their rights of freedom of speech, unfortunately followed by vandalism and looting perpetrated by a few — all in the context of a higher than normal level of pent up tension and anxiety exacerbated by the global pandemic, stay at home, shelter in place, loss of jobs and income, and an uncertain future. Clearly these are not the best of times.

So what can we do? And I ask what can I do? Not just words but actions, that in my own small way, help us to a brighter day? Racism is real. Not just here in the U.S., but around the world. Injustice and brutality are real. They’ve been with us forever despite many efforts to eradicate both.

I grew up in a segregated South in the U.S., and like others at the time, I witnessed and suffered injustices. I have a family member with bipolar disorder and at times when elevated, can come across as belligerent, at perennial risk as a young black adult of finding himself in a bad situation that could lead to severe or even fatal consequences. And I have family members who are in law enforcement and put their lives on the line every day. I’m certain that many of you have similar circumstances.

I make certain that my family member with bipolar disorder is introduced to the law enforcement officers in the communities that he is in. I make certain that they see him as a human being, as a complete person, albeit one with the unique challenge of suffering with bipolar disorder. I make certain that I remind my law enforcement family members to remember their purpose and their training – all of their training. And of course out of love and concern for them, I hope they don’t hesitate when they face a truly threatening situation.

In the hope of catalyzing even the smallest of change, I share with my neighbors and my professional colleagues the incidents of racial profiling and biased accusations that my family members and I have experienced on far too many occasions. And through the greatest platform that I have available to me to effect change, as CEO of this corporation, I want to provide the support and the motivation for us to build on our foundation of being the greatest travel and leisure company in the world, bringing millions of people together every year of all nationalities, ethnicities, backgrounds and experiences so they can joyfully discover what they have in common and learn to celebrate their differences, rather than fear them — while at the same time providing an economic multiplier that contributes to a higher quality of life through the power of inclusion.

I thank each of you for the part you play in making this possible and I encourage you to honor our core values expressed in our vision statement … “We are committed to a positive and just corporate culture, based on inclusion and the power of diversity. We operate with integrity, trust and respect for each other … an exemplary corporate citizen, leaving the people and the places we touch even better.”

Despite these times, and despite what seems to be far too tedious and far too slow progress, collectively we are capable of powerful change for the better and I have no doubt that if we double down on our efforts and stay the course, together we will create a brighter future.

The only way through is forward.

Arnold Donald
President and CEO
Carnival Corporation & PLC

  • ruth batts

    I want to thank Mr Arnold for his words.. In this maddening times it is nice to hear comments that refleck on whats happening without placing blame. Just words of encouragement.

    P.S. I want to get back on a HAL ship as soon as possible.

  • Jeff Farschman

    Well said Mr Donald! We all need to look within so see how we as individuals can do better to help effect the change that is needed. We all have that responsibility!

  • Kim Cobb

    Well spoken!!

  • Kim Cobb

    Well stated!

  • Kent

    Your comments are seem to be honest and true. I am a four star mariner with HAL and love the line. My wife and I am looking forward to cruising again when this is over. That being said. We have the patience of Jobe but our patience is getting thin. We have been waiting for the refund you owe us for the sixty days we were promised it would be handled. If you are serious about the words you say and they are not just hollow words then there is something that you can do. Give this message to an underling as i know you are too important to answer me directly, and they can write me ,get my mariner number and get me an answer on my refund. If i hear nothing from you then i will know that you are not serious. Thank you

  • Jeff Gentry

    Mr. Donald, Thank you for your wise comments! My wife and I have enjoyed meeting you and your lovely wife Hazel on past Holland American World Cruises and chatting about our favorite bristros around Washington University’s Campus in Clayton. We are eager to return to Cruising as soon as you feel it is appropriate. Hopefully the QM2 will be sailing to the UK this September. Please continue your excellent work as CCL CEO.

  • Grant Aldred

    Beautifully written piece, wholeheartedly agree.

  • Dianne Gensinger

    Thank you for your words of compassion and understanding for everyone.
    These are definitely not the best of times, but as long as we can all work together, we can make this world a far better place.

  • Roseanne

    Well written and heartfelt
    Felt very honest

  • Paul Windle

    Absolutely excellent. Thank you for this!

  • Bob Russell

    Dear Mr. Donald. Your letter is very touching, and from it I can tell you have experienced things that I can in now way comprehend, having not lived them. However, I believe if more people who have risen to the top of the company were to post such eloquent statements the world would begin to heal. It will take time, a lot of forgiveness and a great deal of action by people like me (WASP). On another matter, I can not wait until I can get back on one of your ‘Dam’ ships and sail somewhere. We have sailed 16 times, I think is, always on a HAL ship and loved every one of them.

  • Kent

    Your words are ringing hollow. My message of 5 hours ago is “awaiting moderation ” what ever the definition of that is. Beginning to think no one at HAL cares.

  • Jean Copas

    Your company is the epitome of diversity at its very best. It is one of the many reasons we enjoy sailing with your crew and visiting different cultures. Travel is truly the passport to peace! Thank you.

  • Linda

    I think this comment is inappropriate. I don’t disagree with your comments but I think this forum should be about HAL and sailing, not politics, racism, world issues not related to cruising.

  • Marie

    Is anyone else frustrated with waiting for their refund due to them for their cancelled cruise? We have been waiting for over 2 months. When you call all the representative tell you is you are in the queue. I tried to press it today to see just where in line I am and they forward me to their accounting department where I got a voicemail telling me to send HA an email. I realize these are difficult times for the cruise lines, but they are very difficult times for their passengers. I won’t be sailing HA or Princess anytime in the future!

  • Kent

    How long does “moderation “take. Doesn’t anyone read these things or are they jusr worthless. Mr Arnold Donald where are you. Don’t you even reread your blogs

  • Wendy

    Very well said. I wish you and your “crew” the best during these tough times, and want you to know that my family and I stand beside you.

  • Patricia B

    Thank you for this uplifting statement, Mr Donald. You put a very human face on the events in the US that we have watched from Canada over the past days.

    In our 800 days sailing HAL we have seen over and over again the inclusiveness and diversity of the crew, staff and officers. We feel the respect they all have for each other regardless of race or country of origin. HAL has always been one big family and will remain so, we are sure. With such a corporate culture, how can HAL not only survive but thrive in spite these difficult times?

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful words. Be kind, be calm, be safe.

    Patricia B

  • Maryanne

    Dear Mr. Donald,

    Thank you for your words. I wholeheartedly agree with the above commenter that you have helped create a tolerant and healthful work environment for your employees . I would not associate with an organization that treats their employees badly and your lines are exemplary. Thank you for creating such a warm and gracious environment for your guests.

    Warm regards

    PS I have been on other lines where employees were treated poorly. I quickly returned to the CCL family.

  • Linda

    Sad that there is so much divide in the USA. We are regular cruiser’s on HAL but not US citizen’s.

    While your rhetoric is of interest, something I would find of gteater interest and commitment from you as CEO would be for you to expedite the refunds your loyal clientele have been waiting for exceptionally long periods of time.

    If you don’t have enough staff to complete these refunds then the obvious thing would be to redeploy some of your out of work staff to assist.

    You are probably so far removed from the reality of how people are struggling economically I doubt that you will read the comments made by myself or others let alone act on them.

  • james stanton

    Amazing that the CEO is willing to go on and on about racial issues while completely ignoring “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL” which has been going on now for over 2 months with about $5000 of my money and with just about everyone else’s who are posting here while being completely ignored and unanswered.
    All other business’s we had connected with regarding this trip which was supposed to begin tomorrow have already refunded out of honesty and doing what is right except holland AM. and chat after chat and call after call only results to the same nobody knows anything,and if they do,they are not telling us!
    Tomorrow I intend to notify my credit card company that I have been defrauded and request they file a case of grand larceny against this immoral company. SHAME ON YOU HOLLAND AMERICA!

  • C. Mockenhaupt

    I am just praying that our December cruise is not canceled. My only issue is we booked this trip because the web site said it had cabanas and it doesn’t. Because of my disability the cabana was absolutely perfect on our last , Oosterdam, cruise through the Panama canal. Please reinstate the cabanas on the Noordam. Thank you in advance.


    Thank you Mr. Donald. We stand with you.

  • Frances Gelven

    I was hoping to have my first ever cruise with your line or any line in November from SAN Deago to Hawaii.Is it still going. Hope you and your family are well

  • Susan Franks

    We are just wondering about the status of refunds for the summer cruises. I did receive refunds for the shore excursions, but have seen nothing for the actual cruise.

    Susan F.

  • IAN

    where is my deposit refund for my cancelled cruise ? i should have received it on June 17th , I have been waiting since the April 15th ! its now July 2nd what is the holdup?

  • Sandi

    Being a Travel Advisor, I understand that you have many refunds to process. Your cruisers do not think about all the refunds. They are only interested in their own finances and the money you are holding they would like to put toward another cruise for the future or use in these uncertain times elsewhere.

    Each day that goes by without a refund, You are taking the chance of losing lifetime and first time cruisers. You are the favorite cruise line of many but, the longer they wait the more they lose faith in your company. Many travel companies like yours have long since given refunds. Your cruisers are getting impatient waiting for their monies and so am I, waiting for my guaranteed commission as promised.

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