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Old August 16th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza
Posts: 529
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As usual, most of the cruising masses have been hoodwinked by my employer.

We are always very sensitive to negative PR about our business. But unless the bad PR DIRECTLY reflects on us, we usually work around it - if the financial returns are substantial enough.

There are still quite a few cruise ships calling at Tunisia, despite the serious problems there. Why would cruise lines take chances like that?
1. Because the Tunisia stop satisfies a legal requirement that allows us to make a lot of money on a particular itinerary.
2. Because no cruise passengers have been directly impacted by the problems there.

If stopping at Tunisia cut into our profits, or if even a single cruise passenger was directly harmed or killed there, we would stop immediately.
So we continue to call at Tunis.

Mexican Riviera is no different.
Until a cruise passenger(s) is killed/injured/kidnapped/etc, there is no pressing PR issue that would convince us to stop sailing there.

But there are very serious financial reasons to stop sailing there.

1. Passengers who sail on Mexican Riviera cruises view them as a very cheap tropical vacation. They spend far less money onboard than passengers who sail the Caribbean, and dramatically less money than those sailing in Alaska or Europe. We cannot afford to have those people sailing with us.
2. The state of California has essentially legislated us out. Many of their goofy tree-hugger and nepotism laws have made it impossible for us to operate at a profit if we call at California Ports.

So the cruise lines are faced with a serious PR Challenge.

Do we announce to the world that we are curtailing our Mexican Riviera Cruises because most of the passengers there are Cheap Charlies and we don't want them?
Of course not. That would come back to bite us in a big way.

Do we tell the world that we do not agree with the new goofy California laws and so will not sail from those ports again because it's too expensive?
Of course not. That would put us in a very bad light with the residents of the biggest state in America.

So we tell the world that we are very concerned for the safety of our passengers in Mexico, and choose to sail to safer (and coincidentally far more profitable ) locations. The public eats it up, and we get gold stars for our deep concern for your safety.

And of course the American Public doesn't notice that we are still taking them to far more dangerous (and much more profitable) places like Tunisia, Egypt, Morroco, and Israel. Even better, they do not notice that we are requiring them to join our ships in cities where far more tourists are ripped off, robbed and killed; Miami, New York, San Juan, Barcelona, and Naples.
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