What is the biggest Carnival cruise ship?

NEW YORK (The Street) - Taking a cruise vacation isn't just for retired old fogeys or people who want to party and get drunk. And Carnival Corp. (CCL - Get Report ), whose Princess line played a prominent role in popular 1970s TV show The Love Boat, isn't too big or behind-the-times to boost its profits.

"Historically, the nine brands operated by Carnival had acted independently, at times there were major firewalls up and things were kept confidential within the brands, " said Donald in an interview. Showing Wall Street that all of Carnival's brands are floating in the same direction may help bust the myth the stock isn't as attractive as smaller competitors.

Over the last two years, Carnival shares have gained 36%. Rivals Royal Caribbean (RCL - Get Report ) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH - Get Report ), however, have seen their stocks jump 99% and 79%, respectively, over the same time period, propelled by buzzy new ships and more recently, the plunge in fuel prices. Carnival has battled the lingering effects of some high-profile mechanical breakdowns at sea prior to Donald's appointment.

Early on in his tenure as CEO, Donald, who had previously spent 12 years on the company's board, got to work on kicking down some of the walls that were preventing stronger results for shareholders and experiences for vacationers at sea. The new mantra put in place by the company's new admiral: communication, collaboration and coordination.

Carnival now uses its heft to better negotiate prices on food and air travel for passengers. Marketing materials for travel agents have taken on a more coherent voice, while beverage packages for consumers are more enticing. Having these facets of the business clicking are critical in securing customers. Last-minute discounting on Carnival cruises is also being eliminated, similar to changes underway at Royal Carnival and Norwegian, much to the chagrin of deal-seekers. Booking a cruise is beginning to purchasing an airline flight - if one pays earlier, the rate is cheaper than if waiting for the last minute.

For the cruise lines, the shift in pricing philosophy is welcome news as last minute discounting on tickets is a profit-killer. Furthermore, having ships booked well in advance of peak vacation season allows a cruise line to better plan their business and articulate financial goals to Wall Street.

"This concept of prices dropping at the end is something that's just not going to last, " Arnold recalled saying to his team a few months into the holding the top job.

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