PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – So many travelers have been forced to cancel vacation plans amid the growing coronavirus concerns around the world, but Carnival has a message of hope for those missing their cruises and dealing with all the changes in everyday life right now.
The company had to temporarily halt all of its trips in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you thought the lights were out for good on its ships, you thought wrong. Instead, the cruise line is using them to spread cheer during this time of uncertainty.
Brennan Koller, 15, said he was walking near Port Canaveral with his family Thursday night when he spotted the message, “We will be back,” spelled out in cabin lights on Carnival’s Breeze ship, which typically sails from the port.
Koller, of Winter Garden, said he regularly visits the area with his family. He said the pandemic has made their most recent visit to the coast look much different than it normally does.
“On our vacation, all of the restaurants are only at half occupancy, there are less people on the beach, our hotel has closed all of their attractions -- mini golf, tennis, and billiard room -- and all of the stores are packed with people panic buying,” Koller said.
He said seeing the message in lights was a reminder that everyone is in this together.
“It felt amazing to see the lights because it gave us a sense of hope for the future. It also gave us a feeling of unity,” Koller said. “It was important for Carnival to do this to show that we will come back from this stronger, together.”
A representative for Carnival said that was the company’s goal.
“The Carnival Breeze team did an amazing job at conveying to all of our guests, travel advisors and port partners that we will indeed be back," the spokesperson said in a statement. “This is an unprecedented time of challenge in our industry and it’s important to remind everyone that cruising creates a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories for our guests as well as a significant economic impact on our communities.”