On overview of the next generation of cruise ships; Norwegian Breakaway, Royal Princess and Royal Caribbean's Project Sunshine.
Norwegian Breakaway is less than a year away from its inaugural sailing.
New Cruise Ships for 2013
What is coming next in the world of cruise ship design? Right now there are three distinct new ship designs in the works with completely new floor plans and themes. Here is an overview presented in the chronological order they will arrive:
Paul, do you think that the cruiselines are over-building? I mean with new ships coming out very year, are they going to be able to fill all those ships on a regular basis?
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Vision OTS 2-14-2015
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.
Here is the thing for me: why would I want to fly from Atlanta to Australia - at least 16 hours of flying - just so I could board a ship and then see 8 hour glimpses of Australia and New Zealand? If I am flying that far I am going to do land-based travel and not be on a cruise ship. The only way I'd do that would be to spend 2 or 3 weeks 'down under' with the cruise being part of a more extensive land tour. But really, who can afford that much time, or even the cost?
Every week on my ship my guests are asking me why we do not have ships sailing from San Diego, LA, Texas, New Orleans, San Francisco, Baltimore, New York, Charleston, etc, etc ,etc.
We do not have enough ships to do that.
Right now we only concentrate our limited number of vessels on markets where the profits are the highest.
The proof of this statment is that the cruise companies are looking at the profitable ports. Look at the ports that have closed down, Philadelphia, or reduced their cruise activity signifcantly - Norfolk. Baltimore which also reduced cruise activity when Celebrity moved out. You didn't see cruise companies sending in their ships because the companies didn't see big profits. I think the main reason is profits and the cruise companies are building ships to have capacity waiting for the recovery in the US and Europe to occur. Meanwhile those who are able to afford to cruise are getting bargains
on most cruises.
I wish I lived near a coastal city, I could take more last minute cruises. Cincinnati has the second highest airfare in the counry, and with high gas prices it cost more for me to drive to Florida than to fly.
Freedom of the Seas Dec 11
Allure of the Seas: Jan 11
Voyager of the Seas: May 09
Splendour of the Seas: May 07
Explorer of the Seas: Jan 04
Majesty of the Seas Jan 99
We are loyal to Princess. We are also "ELITE" members, so we would like sail on the new Royal, and it would be very nice if we had more Princess ships here in San Francisco. We would like to have the Emerald, or the Crown and the Ruby and of course the new Royal, come to this side sometimes.
I live in Seattle and the great thing about anyone living near a port city, you eliminate the airfare getting to the cruise. I have yet to take an Alaskan cruise but it is on my list. Like a previous poster said, you can get in on a lot of those fire sale last minute deals that way. However, the worst drawback is you have more farther to go if you want to go the other way. I am taking an Eastern Caribbean on Epic in January and going from tip to tip (Seattle to Miami) can not only be long hours but costly too.