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Carnival Cruise Line's Chairman Heats Things Up
by Roy Witman © 2008

Standing on the deck of the ship Carnivale in 1984, Micky Arison (then president) announced a new direction in the Carnival Cruise Line advertising program. The theme? “We've got the fun.” It was the following campaign that released the slogan that is still used by Carnival today: Fun Ships(tm). This shifting of direction - at the leading of Arison - was one element that catapulted Carnival from a line with one 950- passenger ship to the fireball that it is today.

Turning Up the Heat

That's not surprising when you consider Arison is often associated with heat. He's turned up the heat on many other lines as he progressed through his merger and acquisition plan over the last several years. Some of his conquests include Princess Cruise Line as well as luxury icon Cunard Line.

At the time he bought Cunard (in 1998), Arison had a vision of taking this once regal line and restoring her to the glory for which she had become famous. In 2004, Arison announced the christening of the largest, longest, highest and most expensive ship ever built: The Queen Mary 2 amid a flurry of worldwide media coverage. With the complete refitting of the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the upcoming addition of the Queen Victoria, Cunard will have three queens ruling the high seas.

But putting the heat on the competition isn't all Arison is known for. He is also the managing general partner of the Miami Heat basketball team, which he inherited from his father, Ted. Arison will quickly tell you, however, that his management style is anything but hot. Joking about not being exciting, Arison said he purposely does little to draw attention to himself.

Owning the Heat

Unlike other NBA team owners, you won't see him rushing the court to have words with a referee or launching his own Internet blog to voice his opinion about the state of NBA affairs. His idea of going crazy at a game? Wearing a “Go Heat” t-shirt or glaring with folded arms at a ref he disagrees with. Arison proclaims he simply is not out for attention.

Creating Some Heat

A major contributor to reinventing the cruise vacation, Arison is partially credited for breaking down the previous stereotypes and roadblocks average people faced when it came to cruising. The image of cruising has shifted from one of sheer exclusivity for the upper class to a fun-filled, family outing that is both thrilling and affordable.

Arison has expanded his empire by allowing practically everyone to experience the excitement and adventure cruise vacations offer. By attracting flocks of middle-class people who want to explore the world via sea, Carnival Cruise Line has managed to invent and capture an entirely new customer segment that has rewarded it with enormous growth and profits.

Read more about the Carnival Cruise Line.

*We can't publicly discount Carnival Cruises on our web site. Please call ( 800.803.7245) for the best price.