Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Focused on Target Markets

Oasis of the Seas

Working for both the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands, Chris Allen, vice president of deployment and itinerary planning, said that itineraries are designed to fit the target audience and guest demographics of each brand, supporting their (brand) pillars.

“We work very closely with the leadership groups of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity to ensure that the itineraries fit with their brand. It is a very collaborative approach,” he added.

“We also look at the revenue potential – tickets, onboard and shore excursions – and balance that against key costs. Fuel continues to be the largest expense. Ultimately we look at what the guest experience will be.

“If guests have a great time if they want to come back, and if they tell their friends, then we have been successful.”

“We are looking as far as 10 years out,” he continued. “Before we even order a ship, we have an idea where that ship will be deployed.”

The planning function ranges from minute details to the big picture. “Our team can go from the granular level, like should we depart St. Thomas at 5:00 or 5:30 pm and should we go to St. Maarten or St. Kitts. We go from that level of details, making $10,000 adjustments, to a billion dollar chessboard where we move Oasis-class ships around, and where we are going to place our future new buildings,” he explained. “We are looking at the broad, strategic decisions as well as the micro decisions.”

Among new developments, this spring, Royal Caribbean will be launching Alaska service with the Ovation of the Seas, which will be dividing her time seasonally between Alaska and Australia.

Later this spring, Royal Caribbean will be introducing the Perfect Day at Cococay, after a $200 million transformation of its private island destination in the Bahamas.

“We expect to have 14 ships calling and 2 million guests at CoCoCay for the 2020-2021 season,” Allen said. “We are leveraging Perfect Day throughout the Caribbean for our entire portfolio of itineraries, whether ships are sailing from Southeast Florida, Tampa, Port Canaveral, Galveston, Baltimore or Cape Liberty. All those ships will have the opportunity to call at Cococay.”

Perfect Day at CoCoCay

Royal Caribbean is also upping its game in the short cruise market, with the Mariner from Port Canaveral and the Navigator from Miami, as well as the Independence seasonally from Port Everglades.

For Celebrity in 2020, the new Apex will first sail a brief season out of Southampton before spending the summer in the Mediterranean on mostly seven-night cruises, alongside the Edge, which will have a core program of 10- and 11-night sailings.

“We are expanding the choices and variety of cruises for Celebrity,” Allen said. “Also in the Mediterranean will be the Infinity and the Constellation, and this means one more incremental ship for Celebrity in Europe in 2020.

“Because the Constellation and Infinity are smaller, a lot of their itineraries are concentrated around Venice given the capacity limits there preventing larger ships from calling.”

In Northern Europe, Celebrity will sail the Reflection and Silhouette for the summer.

This fall will see Royal Caribbean returning to the Eastern Mediterranean, calling in Kusadasi, Haifa and Ashdod, and both brands are slated to be back with more calls in 2020.

On the other side of the globe, the new Spectrum of the Seas is being based year-round in Shanghai, while the Quantum moves to Tianjin for the summer season and to Singapore for the winter. “Having these ships in China reinforces our position in the market and region as other brands have vacillated on their position,” Allen said.

“We have also experimented with expanding our itineraries out of China. When we first started up the average cruise length was a little more than four nights. Over time we have added seven- and eight-night cruises, reaching the east coast of Japan and also Vladivostok. By opening up more ports, we are broadening the appeal of our itineraries in the region both for first-timers and repeat cruisers.”

Celebrity is also building up its capacity in Australia for 2020-2021 with the Eclipse to be based out of Melbourne and the Solstice from Sydney.

“The itineraries speak to the different target markets for each brand,” Allen noted.

Advertisements

The Carnival Mardi Gras Will Feature New Stateroom Design

Carnival Mardi GrasPHOTO: Agents can now book 2020 trips on Carnival’s Mardi Gras. (Photo courtesy Carnival Cruise Line)Cruise lovers who sail on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, set to debut in late summer 2020, will enjoy an array of architectural features and designs that will enhance many aspects of its balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms.The staterooms were developed in partnership with DCA Design International, a leading product design firm based in Warwick, England, that works across consumer goods, travel and transportation, commercial, and science and technology sectors. The staterooms will reflect new and innovative design practices that are ergonomically friendly and maximize visual space, clean lines, surfaces and storage.

“We took a unique approach to our stateroom design with Mardi Gras, utilizing DCA’s design experts who are well known for innovative product design and partnered them with Miami-based interior architect Studio Dado,” said Ben Clement, Carnival’s senior vice president of new builds. “DCA employed a thoughtful guest-centric approach gleaned from observations of how our guests use their space in conjunction with their vast experience in product design to make the staterooms as comfortable and functional as possible.”

Distinguished by muted turquoise hues, the staterooms’ are enhanced by design touches that include:

—Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors on nearly all verandahs for easier balcony access;

—New sofas that “flip” into a bed and footstools that open up for storage;

—Clear glass doors on the in-room mini-refrigerators to see what’s inside;

—More 110V power outlets and USB connections both on the vanity and by the bed as well as more shelf space to accommodate electronic devices;

—Flexible bedside reading lamps that allow guests to read without disturbing others;

—A larger, customizable wardrobe with two pull-out bins, a sliding shoe rack, folding shelves and storage under the bed for luggage.

—Spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.

“We’ve taken the best practices in new interior design and hotel concepts and applied them to Mardi Gras to create guest-friendly staterooms designed to make guests feel at home,” said Dom Hargreaves, sector manager for DCA Design International. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with Carnival to enrich the stateroom experience by focusing on both design principles and small details, creating moments of delight for Mardi Gras guests.”

Mardi Gras will offer the widest variety of accommodations of any Carnival ship with more than 70 per cent of staterooms featuring an ocean view or balcony, along with 300 pairs of connecting staterooms, for large families or groups.

In addition to the newly redesigned staterooms with more balcony, ocean view and interior choices than ever before, Mardi Gras will offer favourites introduced on Carnival’s Vista-class including:

—The tropics-inspired Havana staterooms feature vibrant interiors and outdoor patio space. These staterooms have access to an exclusive open deck with sun loungers, Cuban-themed bar and a relaxation pool.

—Extra-roomy Family Harbor accommodations with their nautical decor are located near Camp Ocean, the children’s facility, and have access to the Family Harbor Lounge, an exclusive spot with breakfast and snacks throughout the day, plus board games, family movies, video games and more.

—Cloud 9 Spa staterooms feature exclusive, soothing decor, spa bathrobes and slippers as well as Elemis toiletries. These accommodations offer privileges to the ship’s spa.

Mardi Gras will also offer the most suites of any Carnival ship, a total of more than 180 of varying size and locations. Exciting details on the ship’s suites and amenities will be announced in mid-April, including the premium-level Carnival Excel Suites, which will include a set of exclusive features and offerings.
The new accommodations are the perfect complement to Mardi Gras’ exciting activities and attractions, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and six distinct themed zones with popular dining, libation, entertainment and activity offerings.

Currently, under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe August 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round, seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.

Passengers Injured as Norwegian Escape Hit by ‘100 Knot Wind Gust’ Off U.S. East Coast

Several passengers aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Escape were reported injured after a freak gust of wind reportedly caused the ship to list as much of 45 degrees, causing chairs, tables and pretty much anything unsecured to go flying.

A statement from Norwegian posted to its Twitter account said the incident took place just before midnight on Sunday, March 3, when Norwegian Escape encountered what the cruise line said was an “unexpected weather in the form of a sudden, extreme gust of wind, estimated at 100 knots,” or 115 mph, as the ship was underway off the U.S. east coast.

“Several injuries were reported and those guests and crew received immediate attention or are being treated by the ship’s medical staff. There was no damage to the ship; she remains fully operational and continues her scheduled itinerary,” Norwegian Cruise Line said.

The Norwegian Escape is currently on a voyage from Port Elizabeth, New Jersey to the Bahamas with a stopover in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Media reports say at least eight passengers were treated for injuries when the ship arrived in Port Canaveral on Tuesday.

“Neither the current itinerary nor the next sailing is expected to be impacted,” the cruise line said.

Meteorologists had forecasted some weather but nothing near the 100 knots that was reported by the cruise line.

Delivered in 2015, the 164,600 gross ton Norwegian Escape is the former flagship of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet and the first of the company’s Breakaway Plus-class.

More from ABC News below: