Hurricanes and cruise ships - will my ship sail after the hurricanes?
Here's a very timely article on which cruise ship ports in the Caribbean are open after the 2018...
I love reading this New York times article on budget cruises. I've never sold the specific cruise described but I know these short Caribbean cruises are popular. And the article describes why.
According to CLIA (The Cruise Line International Association) approx 13 million Americans cruised in 2018. Let's put that in context. That represents about 4% of all Americans and is about 10% more than sailed in 2017. So that means the industry is large, and is growing fast but still has lots of room to grow. Which means there's lot of people to serve. And budget cruises are meant to attract as many first time cruises as possible.
The ocean cruise industry is broken typically broken down into segments:
There's lots of overlap between categories. For example, it's very possible to have a luxury experience in The Haven, found on a very large Norwegian ship.
But even within the Contemporary / mass market segment there's plenty of segmentation. For example, cruises in the Caribbean can be shorter or longer. The shorter ones will be at a lower price point and therefore will attract a different crowd - many times those that can drive to the ports (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc).
Traditionally, the cruise lines have used their oldest ships for these short trips since they don't generate the highest revenues. That sounds like the case in the article with Costa. But Some lines, like Royal Caribbean are starting to put newly refurbished ships for short Caribbean trips - trying to gain brand loyalty as their passengers try out longer and more expensive cruises. That was certainly the case in the short cruise we just took described here.
There's nothing wrong with budget cruises! For the cost of a single night's hotel, you can get 3 nights including food and entertainment. Plus, you can wake up in a different location every day while enjoying tons of sun and surf. It's a great value.
The article touched on some things that change as you move into different segments and price points.
I'm always amazed at how many people have an incorrect stereotype of an ocean cruise. Maybe it come from the old "Love Boat" TV shows. Or maybe it comes from the barrage of media exposure from the big three (Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian). Either way, there's so many different cruise experiences that it's very unfair to stereotype. Maybe the budget caribbean cruise described in the NYTimes article is your stereotype.
Here's just a few of the ocean cruises that break the stereotype of the budget Caribbean cruise:
Ocean cruises can be a great value. But they can also be luxurious refined and educational. The point is, there's an ocean cruise for just about every interest and type of passenger. It's just a matter of finding the right fit for you and your family or friends.
Check out some of our other articles on ocean cruising: