The cruise is a very relaxing and inexpensive vacation. Add up the cost of travel, hotels, meals, shows etc and you'll quickly see why the cruise industry is growing.
Oil. The ships run on 'bunker oil'. The cheapest stuff you can buy.
Veags has been taken over by the 'bean counters' who have decreed that every facet of the operations MUST make money. The shows are VERY expensive. ($125.00 for Copperfield several years ago.). The cheap food has all but disappeared. We used to enjoy Vegas but I know when I'm being gouged. I'd rather cruise.
By the way Carnival owns most all the other cruise lines, including Princess. The last I heard Carnival controls over 80% of all cruise business WORLD WIDE!!
If you were to invest in the business, Carnival is probably the best of the lot at this time. Better bets are OFG (Banking), SFN, HMC, or STP if you are looking for growth in 2006.
I used to believe that there would be no other vacation choice for me other than Las Vegas. As a previous poster mentioned, the MBA's got hold of operations and pretty much eliminated all that was unique about Las Vegas.
We made the change to cruising. I was hesitant at first, but now am a frequent cruiser. We talked about going back to Las Vegas instead of a cruise last time - after looking at our options, we went on another cruise.
Carnival will soon be transferring their older ships from the various fleets that sail older vessels (Princess and Carnival). Those ships will likely end up with European and Australian subsidiaries where they will continue to generate revenue.