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There are not many companies that give this perk to shareholders, but both Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean will give onboard credit of up to $250 per cabin to shareholders in the respective companies. And since stocks seem to be having a fire sale today, now is the time to buy these stocks near their five-year lows.
Shareholders in Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL), the parent company of Carnival Cruise lines, Seabourn, Holland America, Princess, Costa and several overseas companies, will give $50 shipboard credit for six days or less, $100 for a 7 to 13-day cruises and up to $250 per cabin for a 14-day cruise to shareholders who own at least 100 shares.
The compensation amounts are similar for shareholders in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL). This offer applies to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.
As of today, Carnival Corp. is trading at $33.23 per share and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is selling for $19.54 per share. Each of these prices is very near to the lowest they have been in the last five years. For investing $1954 for 100 shares of RCL you get shipboard credit on your next Royal Caribbean cruise, and chances are the stock will soon even go higher, so you will make money as well; even though this is not a recommendation or solicitation to sell stock, as the brokers say. I only say the statistical chances of the price going lower is pretty small, assuming the solution to the bailout crisis is achieved pretty soon.
Okay, admittedly I bring this up because on a day when the stock market loses more points than any other day in history it is pretty hard to think about anything else. But I must point out that this "crash" feels different - there is a lot less panic and a lot more confidence that it is a temporary selloff. It is almost like "yeah, we have been here before, and it ain't no big thang."
If it helps to know this - cruise line stocks have statistically almost always faired better than other leisure and travel stocks in economic downturns. Why? Several reasons;
(1) Americans do not like to give up their vacations
(2) Ccruise ships are very easy to re-deploy to new locations, so in instances like New Orleans after Katrina, all they had to do was move the ships to Galveston (and vice versa)
(3) Cruising has the best pricing model in the vacation industry for enduring economic downturns; they can drop the cruise fare and still enhance the bottom line through onboard sales of extras.
Be sure to apply for your onboard credit before you sail, when you make the final deposit. And in order to receive the credit you must still be a shareholder at the time you cruise. You must show proof of stock ownership with a photocopy of the shareholder proxy card, shares certificates, or a brokerage or nominee statement.
Can you combine your onboard credits with other special offers? With Royal Caribbean, no, they can't be combined. For example, if you book a special deal on a 10-night cruise that includes $150 in credit you won't be able to tack on the $200 you're entitled to as a shareholder. Instead, the higher of the two will apply.
I am not a professional investment advisor and any stock investment carries risk. Any financial decisions should be discussed with a professional financial planner. But if stock ownership makes sense for you, and you are a full-time cruise enthusiast; Hey! maybe it isn't such a bad idea!
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Prices listed are cruise only, per person, double occupancy and include port charges (also called non-commissionable cruise fare).
Fuel surcharges and government taxes & fees are additional unless otherwise noted. Prices are in US dollars, airfare is extra unless otherwise noted. Limited availability and restrictions may apply. Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Typographical errors may occur. Offers apply to new bookings only.
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