Do I Really Want Starbucks To Vacation With Me?
Written by: Kuki
Last week Royal Caribbean (who’d already been doing with business with Starbucks via their Seattle’s Best coffee brand) announced that Starbucks would have a “store” on the soon to debut Allure of the Seas.
Initially, it seems like a harmless enough idea; those who enjoy Starbucks coffee can buy it, and those who don’t can ignore it, just as you would at home.
But, personally I’m feeling I’m beginning to get brand beaten (like brow beating). Does every familiar, and successful brand I’m familiar with at home really have to go on a cruise vacation with me?
Instead of a nice lounge, is the next ship going to go to make space for a Niemen Marcus, or Nordstrom’s shop onboard? Are the lowers decks going to feature an outlet mall? I don’t think I can possibly enjoy my cruise again unless the ship has a full service Walgreens drug store on the ship.
I’m just waiting until the ship’s public areas are branded like sports stadiums; the Bank of America Theater; Chase Pool; Hawaiian Tropic Flow Riders; Nike Mini-golf course; Jersey Shore Disco; Dr. Phil’s aroma therapy; Justin Beiber Bowlarama; Lady Gaga Dance Club, etc, etc., etc, etc, etc, etc ad nausea.
Who’s decided I no longer want to cruise simply to relax, enjoy and travel to sites I haven’t yet visited, and explore things, that to me, until I find them, remain unknown?
The deciders within the cruise industry, in their ultimate wisdom, seem to have decided that I can’t be happy without having every brand I see advertised on my television screen at home, at every opportunity, being available for purchase somewhere on the ship with me.
Perhaps oddly I am in favor of alternate restaurants onboard. I enjoy the variety of choices of different culinary themes. The present trend has the cruise lines contracting affiliations with “hot” celebrity chefs to assist in designing their menus. After-all, “food shows” and the Food Network are all the rage at present. But watch out, because if there’s a fall off for demand for the more upscale dining, the empty spaces could be filled with more familiar brand names of national chains. Do we really want Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and Denny’s, as dining choices?
For a time I felt the cruise lines were doing a much better job of setting and defining their own brand, and doing a good job of selling the features of their brand. I generally made my cruise choices based on those brand identities.
It’s of some concern to me that the cruise lines may rely more heavily on the brands of others in an attempt to “enhance” the cruise experience. Perhaps they want the passengers to feel more “at home” on the ship, but I’m of the mind that I still want my cruise to have some adventure. I prefer to feel that my “life at sea” is different than my life at home, even if it means I’m drinking a mediocre cup of coffee.
– A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising –
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Posted: November 2nd, 2010 under Paul Motter.