2011 Cruise (peak booking) Season results in Increased Bookings
The current “wave” season which refers to the cruise industry’s peak booking period (and nothing to do with hurricanes, tropical storms, nor the water in which a cruise ship sails), is seeing the total number of bookings, at a rate higher than they were this same time last year.
At a time when America is facing some of its highest unemployment and displaced work force numbers, it appears that International cruise goers are much greater in number than our American counterparts on the U.S. focused cruise line brands. Maybe travelers in the U.K. are “jones-ing” from last year’s British Air strikes, and the Icelandic ash clouds!
So what effect will this situation have on peak season rates? While the 2 for 1 Caribbean cruise deals are likely to hold fast as the U.S. market is currently “flooded” with ships traversing those waters (not to mention that many ships winter in these warmer temperate zones). Actually some ships that have in previous years remained in the caribbean for the summer are now leaving from Mar-Oct for other offerings. This is most likely a direct result of Royal Caribbeans two mega-ships the Oasis and Allure that presently are so large they are unable to sail to any destinations other than Caribbean. Just these two ships alone amount to about 13,000 berths (beds) weekly that need to be filled. Then we also have new ship arrivals for Disney “The Dream”, as well as Oceania’s “Marina” that just took to the waters of the Caribbean the first months of 2011. You can see just how saturated that market is. The European itineraries appear to be the “HOT” cruise ship destinations. Especially with U.K. passengers (which is akin in distance of a state or two away from Britain by air). We continue seeing some prices rise in European Cruise sailings for 2011. Also interesting is that the New NCL “Epic” and the Disney “Dream”, and the generally Caribbean based MSC “Peosia”,will soon be making their ways to the Mediterranean to join in the frenzy there, after completing their inaugural and regular Caribbean runs. What does all of this mean, while Europe sailings are some what increased in price from last year, continue to watch as that Market becomes saturated as well, which could lead to some leveling off. Also I tell my customers that the normal price “gap” difference in price from premium cruise line to a luxury cruise, has grown ever smaller. So if you ever thought about a Luxury Cruise, 2011 is definately YOUR YEAR! Especially with some of them offering 2 for 1 cruise fares, plus free air fare, as well as Mega On board Ship Credits, the time has never been better to take a step up cruise!!
It might be noteworthy to mention that approximately 50% of the U.S. workforce at some point during the period from 2007 through 2010 were/are actually in new, reclassified, or modified positions, (with almost one-third of them) requiring pay-cuts of as much as twenty percent of their former wages.
While it is interesting that many of them (workers) will be able to ask for (more) vacation time, but will it be enough to spur a rally, or will the U.S. branded cruise lines be largely comprised of non-U.S. passengers. This will certainly be something to keep an eye on for the remainder of 2011.
For more information on Cruise Bookings Trends, and How to Take a Step Up Cruise, you can contact Mike via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . You can “Join” our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . You can follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspapaer called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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