Hello to all –
Truck Cruiser, Miami deployments are meant for the mass market lines and for an “upmarket” product like Azamara it is a struggle. This year’s four 12-night Miami “sold-out” departures represent some of our lowest net average daily rates in spite of their higher load factor. For us, this reconfirms that the Caribbean is a price-driven market – you can sell anything if the price is low enough. We made the business decision that it did not make sense to compete in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale market which is dominated by unhealthy distressed-type pricing and an overwhelming number of competitive offerings.
We decided, therefore, to use San Juan in 2012 which offered a better opportunity to achieve our objectives. At the same time, we’re not naïve to think that San Juan will be the panacea for improving our financial results. However, with shorter voyages from San Juan we now have the opportunity to target new clientele from the US and Canadian markets that offer sufficient air service to San Juan and then to communicate our “upmarket” onboard experience on a smaller ship and to position our message as the ultimate in value. For future deployments, we consider South America and the Amazon as a better fit to further build upon our destination immersion pillar and to improve our financial performance to our shareholders. As Mike mentioned “our ‘thing’ is to offer alternative itineraries with overnight stays and longer cruises. They are more destination-oriented than ship-oriented.”
As Trackypup correctly assumed we do not plan to offer Alaska voyages. It’s too mass market which means operating in a totally price and discount driven environment. A key objective in our itinerary planning sessions is to create product that we believe could increase the profit potential from each operation while remaining true to our destination immersion objective and to offer worldwide cruise coverage for both vessels. Alaska does not offer this opportunity.
As Paul mentioned our primary focus is “getting up to speed.” Key to achieving that is building more consumer and travel professional awareness about the Azamara brand and motivation to take or to recommend their first vacation with us. As equally important is to monitor guest feedback as it will guide us forward on our journey to master the art of total guest satisfaction. Perhaps in time there might be an opportunity for fleet expansion.
I appreciate your positive comments about us.
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)