No Mercy / No Malice

Why Coronavirus Can’t Sink Cruise Lines

Carnival’s year-over-year revenue growth will weather the COVD-19 storm

Scott Galloway
Published in
6 min readMar 4, 2020
A photo of the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship sits docked at the Daikoku Pier on February 20, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

TThe worst thing about a cataclysmic weather event, or a single-stranded-RNA virus that wipes out the species is… it might impact the economy. Take my eyes, but don’t let the NASDAQ breach 8,000!

That’s how it feels, no? In a capitalist society, good or bad, the first words out of Lester Holt’s mouth tonight will be about the market plunge. The last three minutes of the show will be a touching story about a dog that helps wounded warriors make breakfast. National sacrifice and devastating injury are meaningful, but Apple dipping below $180 is profound. On Thursday, the markets registered their largest recorded one-day drop, plunging to levels not seen since… four months ago.

So, as I too opt to ignore the noncarbonated plague inspiring mayors of major cities to declare a state of emergency, I’m planning on visiting several hot zones tonight. I’ll have dinner at Indochine, then hit The Blond (a lounge where I feel old), and then another lounge called Casablanca, where I should feel really old, but will be four Maker’s and gingers deep and will feel like I belong… right there, right now. In between acts of arrested adolescence and suppressing the sum of all my fears, I distract myself by thinking about the markets.

Bright side

Let’s be clear, the NASDAQ dropping is a bummer for old people, who own most of the market. But it’s an opportunity for young people, who would also someday like the chance to buy a home for less than $2,000 per square foot or shares in Amazon below 50x earnings. So where is the opportunity? Two ways to play it — defense and offense. I’ll talk about offense next week.

Defense: Find great companies on sale whose business, short term, may be significantly impacted, but whose fundamental value proposition is largely unchanged and will enjoy a disco-like recovery.

Example: Carnival Cruise Line.



Scott Galloway

Prof Marketing, NYU Stern • Host, CNN+ • Pivot, Prof G Podcasts • Bestselling author, The Four, The Algebra of Happiness, Post Corona •