Why broadband is vital to growth of the cruise industry
Executives at the major cruise lines all seem to have one question on their mind.“How can we convince people who have never cruised before to try a cruise?”
While cruises have grown in popularity, they are still only a sliver of the vacation market.
CLIA reports about 3% of North Americans took a cruise last year and only about 20% have ever taken a cruise.
The potential market of cruise rookies is vastly larger than that of experienced cruisers.
Additionally, executives know that once rookies experience a cruise, they will come back. Our own research bears this out.
We analyzed 14,000 cruise reviews submitted on Cruiseline and discovered two facts.
· First – new cruisers are easier to please and, on the whole, they rate their cruises higher (especially for service and dining) than any other demographic.
· Second – in a stunning display of brand loyalty, 81% of first-time cruisers booked their second cruise with same line.
But how can the cruise lines convince people to take their first cruise, and why is it so difficult to get them on board in the first place?
When it comes to shopping for a cruise, customers have a dizzying amount of decisions to make.
Let’s say a potential guest wants to go to the Caribbean in June. In just one month, there are 167 itinerary options on 33 different ships.
Shoppers can begin to narrow down their options by choosing a line, but even this initial decision can be difficult.
A customer that is right for Carnival will likely not be right for Holland America, as each line attracts different demographics.
When you add in the difficulty of figuring out what’s included in the cruise fare and choosing between as many as 35 different cabin categories, you can see why first timers often become inflicted with decision paralysis.
Many will instead opt for familiar, and simple to book, land-based vacations. Guests simply select a city, hotel, and one of a handful of room choices.
Potential cruisers also have many questions about the cruise experience itself.
· Will I catch the norovirus?
· Can I fall off the ship?
· Are cruises cheesy?
· Will everyone be old/young/loud/boring?
These are actual questions we regularly receive.
Since the majority of people have never taken a cruise, their perceptions of cruising come from the mainstream media, where the majority of coverage focuses on negative, isolated events.