Though I'm not sure how pleased I am that Cubans first up-close view of contemporary American culture will be the sight of a gaudy Carnival Cruise Ship floating into their harbor, the fact that licenses are FINALLY being given for the operation of cruises from the mainland of the United States to Cuba is, without a doubt, a huge victory. It comes on the heels of JetBlue starting its first regular service to the island nation last week.
And, to be fair, this won't be your usual neon-and-sherbert-colored Carnival Cruise ship. Due to the small size of Cuban piers, the behemoth company will be starting out with a relatively small ship: the 710-passenger Adonia. Cruises are expected to start in May of 2016, and Carnival, which knows the demand, has priced them high. The cruise line is expected to charge $2990 for the sailings, roughly five times their average starting fare on a Caribbean cruise.
This won't be your usual Caribbean cruise, of course. The ship will only go to Cuba, likely hitting several ports (details are still being worked out), and not visiting any other Caribbean isles.
To read full coverage of this news by the Associated Press, click here.
A final note: Carnival is one of six companies granted licenses to sail from US to Cuban ports. It will be fascinating to hear, quite soon (I'm guessing), what our other options will be.