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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Default Carnival's Average Passenger Age For Caribbean Cruises

At a Holland America seminar this morning a couple of statistics were provided, which may be surprising to some, or perhaps not when you consider the itineraries are in the Caribbean.

The average age for a Carnival guest in the Caribbean market is 46 years old. So much for the 'wild party boats full of college kids'.

Oh, and for HAL that average is 47 years old. Again, this is for Caribbean sailings.

Does this surprise you?
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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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I am surprised at the Carnival number, I would have expected closer to 42. The fact that Holland is reporting the same number is very surprising, since those ships have very few kids these days.

That suggests to me that Carnival is losing the first-time market (we already know that) which tends to be a younger demo. It looks like Carnival is relying on a lot of return cruisers.

I am surprised that they do not have the family market more sewn up, though, especially since they introduced those new Hasbro games & such.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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I'm surprised at Carnival but not HAL.

I would expect Carnival's age range to be lower by about 10 years.

I'm not surprised by HAL. I've only been on one HAL cruise (loved it!) and was surprised. I found that the majority were 35 to 55. I was probably 40 at the time, and did not find people were a lot younger or a lot older than me.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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Being a 'bean counter' all of my career, I always have to laugh when people start using statistics. As my Theories of Probability professor taught me in college, you can make statistics say anything you want them to say. It's all a matter of how you want to askew them.

Case in point, when they mentioned these are their statistics based on the Caribbean, what they're not telling you is that these statistics are only based on part of a year and not a full calendar year.

Holland America does not have any ships in the Caribbean from the end of April until the end of October. So they are not there 6 months out of the year!

When you look at who travels from the end of October to the end of April, it's mostly couples. For the most part, families will only be traveling during Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, and Spring Break, which only represent about 3 to 4 weeks during that 6 month period.

What does this mean? The average age of all travelers on all cruises is going to be roughly the same because that's the only group of people cruising during that time.

If you looked at the average age of those cruising on Carnival from the end of April until the end of October in the Caribbean, the statistics will show a completely different picture. And if you look at Holland America in the Caribbean during the same time period, there are no statistics because they're not in the Caribbean!

So as I said in the beginning, I have to laugh at statistics because the people using them are always going to only show what they want you to see and what they want you to believe. I know firsthand how to do that very well, so it does not surprise me at all that they're trying to show an older crowd with Carnival and a younger crowd with Holland America because those are the two crowds they're now trying to market to.

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Old September 27th, 2013, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
That suggests to me that Carnival is losing the first-time market (we already know that) which tends to be a younger demo. It looks like Carnival is relying on a lot of return cruisers.
Indeed, I get daily e-mails from Carnival offering special deals to me as a return cruiser. It has ramped up substantially over the past few weeks. Yesterday they were offering VIFP member pricing as low as $284 for fall 7-night cruises, plus a two category upgrade and up to $300 OBC. That is $40 per day per person. I admit I actually went and looked at booking something with this offer. But I held off for now.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Thanks Pete,
That does explain a lot about those numbers, to be truly effective, they need to pool those ships/passengers for a full year....I tend not so rely on statistics like this for those reasons....
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Old September 27th, 2013, 10:18 PM
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I met a HAL cruiser in San Juan. He indicated they were an "older ship", but of course it was February and our Carnival ship felt older too. Average age during the majority of the year is much higher than when school is out.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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It's as they say, if there's an 70 year old and a 2 year old, the average is 36. If you have a 38 year old and a 34 year old, the average is 36. Which one provides a more true picture as to the average passenger on a ship and not just the average age?

It's like housing. In our neighborhood, there are townhomes worth $470k and houses worth $800k. If you simply say the average price in the area is $635k it does not present a true picture because you can't buy anything for $635k - it's too much money for a townhome and too little for a house.

Same holds true for these askewed figures they're presenting.

Based on my unscientific experience with several Carnival cruises and many Holland America cruises, I personally believe the figures, while representing an average, do not come close to representing the true picture.

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Old September 28th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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I did not see that they were referring to a specific time period - we just ended the summer quarter, so if they mentioned figures during the last week's conference call it would have been for the summer. I'm just trying to figure out where this stat came from?

Certainly statistics can be skewed, we all know that. It always helps to get the bigger picture.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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I'll have to ask my friend who attended the seminar if they provided more info about the age figures. I didn't intend for this to become an exercise in actuarial prowess.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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Okay I contacted my friend. The figures I initially posted were not part of some expansive statistical analysis with pareto charts, histograms, and so forth, presented to a stunned audience of travel agents. It was merely a brief mention during a presentation to show that when in the Caribbean, regardless of the cruise line, you have a common average age for the guests. Remember this was at a Holland America seminar and the BDM was attempting to show that HAL should not be dismissed by someone looking at Carnival simply because they think HAL is a bunch of old people on a stodgy ship.

So, when HAL *is* in the Caribbean their average passenger age is 47. And for Carnival - year round - their average age is 46. I suspect the same ages hold true with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, plus or minus a couple of years.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Depends on the length of a cruise also. While on 7 day cruises over the winter I could definitely see a average age of 46 but on longer cruises, like the 10 day Panama Canal we did with Princess, we were definitely in the younger 10% of passengers on that ship( we are 48 and 53). I have never seen so many walkers and wheel chairs on a cruise in my life as I did on that cruise!
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Old September 29th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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What is the Twain quote? Something like "there are three types of lies; lies, damn lies and statistics!" As this particular number was presented by HAL it was undoubtedly chosen to reflect best on them. Maybe for a "fair" comparison they only looked at the months HAL was in the Caribbean?

I think we can all agree that when school is in session and the longer the cruise the average age of cruisers rise. John Heald's recently posted the average age for the Legend TA and it was something like 73.

Probably more important than average age though is what is life on board like? As Pete would say, your travel agent will tell you age is not the only thing you should consider when choosing a cruise.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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I always tell people that it's a 'three strike rule'; if you're sailing when school is in session, that's strike one. If you're doing a longer than 7-night cruise, that's strike two. And if you're sailing on Holland America or Celebrity, that's strike three! You'll definitely have an older crowd, which is the way we like to sail!!

You could also say that another strike would be if you're doing something other than the Caribbean. The younger passengers just prefer the Caribbean a little more over Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Canada/New England, etc, which historically see a more older crowd.

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