What Next

What Happened on the Cruise Ships

And why it’s taken weeks for Carnival cruises to bring their ships in.


Episode Notes

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, cruises were the poster-child of viral spread. For the world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Cruise Line, the problems began in February and quickly escalated, as more passengers and crew fell ill, and Carnival struggled to dock its cruise liners. As ships went from floating cities to floating quarantines, what did the bosses know, and when did they know it?
Guest: Austin Carr, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek. Read his story.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.