Carnival suffered badly after its famous poop cruise a few years back, and as malfunctioning ships became distressingly common, I and many other analysts decided to stand aside for a while until it was clear that the company had managed to properly wipe its bottom. Now that that seems to have happened, many analysts have swept back in with glowing forecasts, but I’m content to stand aside for two reasons: first and most obviously, the cost of oil is rising, and ship fuel isn’t nearly the complex, high-tech stuff that jet-fuel is—it will soon enough fall into synch with oil. Second, and perhaps more controversially, cruising is the vacation habit of the middle class, the class which, as you may have heard, is ceasing to exist in America. Those who work in America will have to forego vacations again soon, just as they did following the 2008 crash, while for those who own America, the idea of jumping on cruise ship and rubbing shoulders with the unwashed masses has about as much appeal as, well, wallowing in poop.
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