Sometimes I do think the cruise lines are overbuilding. I mean look at the Mediterranean this year - too many ships not enough customers.
Soon it will be Australia.
I asked RCCL's CEO Richard if they look at the competition and try to decide whether a market is too saturated for their own ships. His answer really surprised me, he said "NO, for the most part we only look at our own ships."
Now, if everyone is like AF1 and only sails on Royal Caribbean that is fine, but if you have a situation where most cruisers are looking for the best deal then you have to consider the competition.
I was just talking to Mark Conroy about Regent and I mentioned Seabourn growing so quickly in the last few years (tripling their capacity in under 36 months) and je said "Well, I hope they do well because after all if they cut prices it hurts our pricing. I prefer to see my competition succeeding."
makes a lot of sense - but if they are not succeeding, then I think you have to look at the reasons why - and it isn't always product differentiation.