Cruise industry is an international sector that is growing faster offering tourism, leisure activities, and travel services. There have been several important changes in the industry in order to offer facilities that are comfortable and affordable. Cruise companies are competitive in the world market through improved commercial strategies and investment in research in order to offer high quality services.
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The industry is modern to serve customers through specialised services. These include small sized ships, vessels for sailing as well as yachts to access remote destinations where larger liners are prohibited. Cruise Industry began in the year 1970 with the first industry in North America.
Since then, it became popular offering tourism services and reaching many people all over the world. Cruise industry has many ports as well as destinations where personnel come from all continents (Berger, 2004).
Description of Cruise ship industry
Cruise ship industry has many large ships with the capability to offer facilities such as venues for celebrations, services for children, opportunities for enhancement, sports grounds and health facilities. The industry has improved designs for ships and provision of new ports.
The cruise operators have customised services where ships offer transport services to all customers as well as ensure that they increase income obtained through variety of services offered. There are challenges that Cruise Industry faces which include competition, increased capacity and failure of destinations to accommodate large ships.
Cruise industry attracts new customers to the sector as well as takes care of the demands of the existing ones. The industry continues to grow and expand the products offered and identify the needs of different customers.
There is a need to know the behaviour of customers as well as their expectations, what satisfies them and their motivations. The industry recruits skilled workforce for managing all the activities so that the services offered to the customers are of high quality (Berger, 2004).
The capacity of passengers has increased because of the large ships that increase the amount of revenue generated. This also increases a profit due to the economies of scale and the industry able to benefit. When new ships are designed, their sizes dictate the cruising routes to be followed because the big ones can only pass through the Mediterranean ponds.
The tall superstructures make them unsuitable in oceans that have strong winds such as the pacific. The sectors in the Cruise Ship Industry have increased number of passengers where it caters for all the classes in the market. Globalisation in the Cruise ship industry helps to internationalise ownership and reduce players who are involved in the business (Chin, 2008).
Overview of Two Major Cruise Corporations
Carnival Corporation operates globally and is among the largest companies all over the world. The brands available are Holland America line, Seabourn, Carnival cruise, Costa Cruises as well as Princess. The brands offer products for vacation to customers according to the leisure time, languages spoken and cultures. The tour company called Princess Alaska and Yukon in Canada attracts more than ten millions people in one year.
The services offered to guests are of a high quality at an affordable rate, which enablesCarnival to make profit. The stock of Carnival trades in London and New York using symbol CCL.
Headquarter of Carnival is in Florida and London and operates one hundred ships with two hundred thousand guests, at least 277, 000 people who sail any time and 77, 000 employees to work in the ships. Carnival has eleven brands, which are controlled in a geographical location. The Corporation controls the operations in the United Kingdom and North America.
Ted Arison who was the pioneer of the industry begun Carnival Corporation in the year 1972. The corporation sold its shares in the year 1987, which were amounting to 20% of the total number of shares owned by the company. The capital generated helped the company expand through acquiring other companies.
The name was changed to Carnival Corporation in 1992 and expansion continued up to the year 2000. During the month of September 1997, Pan Am Corporation purchased Carnival Corporation, which later faced economic challenges due to the rapid expansion. It was declared bankrupt and the flights scheduled for February 1998 were postponed (Douglas, 2004).
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Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises is a global company that offers vacation services with forty-one ships and six brands. There are services and onboard activities offered, which include sun decks, simulated surfing, and facilities for exercise, rock climbing and Royal Promenades. It operates mid-sized ships that have been updated according to the modern improved technology.
Royal Caribbean dinning places are flexible where people stay together to have lunch or breakfast and they can book the services in advance. The activities during the day include rock climbing, golf courses as well as fitness activities.
Evening entertainments are Vega-style shows that are impressive to all the people who enjoy them. There is music for entertainment in public rooms and ice show, which are a unique performance as well as street performers who are found only in this ship.
The accommodation includes ocean view cabins, suites, grand pianos and balcony cabins. The passengers are provided with private lounge, which is a privilege for those who are most frequent customers. The ships for Voyager class have promenade view and inhabitants use bird’s eye view to see the city.
Internet is available to all passengers at an affordable rate in the cafes where they are charged according to the amount of time spent. Royal Caribbean cruises were begun in 1960 where the owners wanted to expand rapidly in the United States of America. The company has introduced shipboards since the first ships because of innovations. In 1990, there was a challenge to design a ship that could be used everywhere.
The ships that were available could not be used for cruising all over the world. This led to change in 1995 when new ship was designed for the new era. The ship was for Sovereign class, small, bigger cabins, passengers enjoyed more space, open deck and most luxurious (Douglas, 2004).
There has been a development of new markets in order to reach many customers. In 1990, the company designed new ship to redefine the industry and make it Sovereign. Project Eagle was popular in the year 1999 among all the mega ships because many customers preferred to use it.
The facilities available were indoor promenades, which were designed using the new improved technology in order to cater for customers’ needs. When the new ships began to operate, the old ones were not efficient and eventually disposed. Royal Caribbean in the recent years has designed larger ships to accommodate many passengers. It enlarged its version in the year 2006 when it got the sea freedom.
The design of voyager-class had features such as amenities and Water Park. The ship could accommodate the highest number of passengers at that moment. The passengers who used Royal Caribbean were mostly from North America aged between thirty and fifty five years.
Most families preferred shorter cruises for seven-night especially when children in the United States of America were on vacation and the ships were always operating with many passengers on board.
One Cruise Line Described In Details
Holland America Line
Holland America Line ship is middle-sized and accommodates few guests compared to other lines of cruise with improved amenities for travellers. Two guests are served by one member of the staff, which guarantees quality services of the premium cruising. There are spacious decks, staterooms and the verandas are private.
The place where public rooms are located has comfortable furnishings and artwork of high quality for the guests. The dining area is enjoyable to suit different tastes of customers during the festive seasons.
This line has a long history of transport services and vacationers who use it throughout the year are satisfied. There is a continuous improvement of the design of the ship and onboard services that make loyal customers always come back for the services.
There are different destinations at Holland America line where it accesses seven continents and more that three hundred and twenty ports of all types worldwide. There are different classes of fleet with unique features that have helped customers to have stupendous experience.
Every ship has traditional dining and specialty dining where the restaurants available are significant to the customers. The accommodation available in every ship is modern as well as comfortable with entertainment and fitness services (Lester & Weeden, 2004).
The Holland American line has been used to transport many immigrants who travel to America from Holland. The company emphasises on transatlantic trade of passengers who are involved in vacation travel. In 1978, the headquarters of Holland America line were at Stamford and later changed to Seattle in order to work with Westours and consolidate its operations.
Windstar Cruises was bought in 1988, which was a sailing ship that was guided by a computer. Holland America is a cruise line now based in the United States of America but it has ties with Netherlands.
The ship accommodating 793 passengers was bought in the year 2002 but its original name was Royal Viking that later changed to Seabourn Sun. Holland America is known to cater for the needs of customers who are traditionally minded by having afternoon tea, tennis courts and ballroom dancing.
The younger generation is enticed through the new features provided such as the cafes where wireless internet is available, boutique as well as concierge service. The camp halls provided have been upgraded in order to care for the young families who travel with their children during summer.
The programs provided in the club halls are divided according to different age groups such as three to seven years, eight to twelve years and thirteen to seventeen years.
There are lounges for the teenagers, gaming stations, areas to hold conversations as well as computer zones for the parents who need them. The teenagers enjoy the areas with names such as the Oasis as well as the Loft because of the themes they have to match (Gibson, 2008).
The discussion above is on economic, social as well as environmental aspects that are involved in Cruise tourism industry. The industry faces challenges in its effort to expand when selecting and recruiting qualified employees as well as retaining them. It is significant to understand ways of motivating the passengers as well as their behaviour in order to have effective strategies for segmentation and succeed in future development.
The cruise tourism industry should have information on market diversification, increasing the number of passengers, knowing the expectations of customers and ensuring they are satisfied by the services offered.
It is significant to inform customers about Cruise Tourism industry through promotion to create awareness. The stakeholders of Cruise tourism industry benefit from the way communities appreciate interacting where they experience vacationing together because it increases the demand of the services offered.
The cruise tourism industry should not only be involved in sustainability but also benefit the stakeholders. The industry needs to motivate the staffs in order to offer quality services to cruise passengers because there are challenges involved while working, which requires individualistic approach since the employment is unique in nature.
Cruise industry has new and existing customers who need quality services in order to ensure growth of the market as well as have opportunities for product development. In addition, the industry should be competitive because the passengers need customised experiences and always look for improved products and services in the market.
The increasing number of ships may lead to operation pressures that require recruitment of skilled workforce to ensure they are maintained in good working condition (Chin, 2008).
Berger, A. (2004). Ocean travel and cruising: A cultural analysis. New York: Haworth Hospitality.
Chin, B. (2008). Cruising in the global economy: Profits, pleasure and work at sea. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
Douglas, N. (2004). The Cruise experience. Australia: Pearson Education.
Gibson, P. (2008). Cruising in the 21st century: Who works while others play? International Journal of Hospitality, 27, 42-52.
Lester, J., & Weeden, C. (2004). Stakeholders, the natural environment and the future of Caribbean cruise tourism. International Journal of Tourism Research, 6, 39-50.