In the latest sign that cruising is still going strong despite recent negative headlines about the industry, Carnival Cruise Lines announced it set a one-month reservations record in January.
Reporting "unprecedented levels" of interest in its ships, the company said Monday it booked more than 565,000 passengers for upcoming voyages, a 17 percent boost compared to the same period last year.
Carnival also said traffic to its website reached an all-time high, with 13 million visits during the one-month period.
"We are seeing heavy sales growth in all channels," Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said in a statement, crediting ship upgrades, "very attractive promotions" and a new advertising campaign as some of the factors that led to the record January.
Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of CruiseCritic.com, said Carnival's new concert series, Caribbean- and American-inspired dining menus, and the "Seuss at Sea" programs for kids are persuading new customers to give cruising a try.