Impending implosion in the industry. Personal opinion

I was just watching a Royal Caribbean commercial, and got to thinking, how long before the cruise industry implodes ? Bear with me.
Years ago, ships held roughly 2K pax, now, some hold 5K. That’s a town. In order to fill these ships, cruise lines must sell most cabins for next to nothing, and get more $$$ out of you once on board.
Excursions have increased in price drastically. What were once island paradises are now trampled and trod upon. Example; St. Thomas. Last time we were there, it looked like military vehicles had rolled through. Ships may have to stop there, but people don’t have to get off. What will PR look like in a few months?

Older cruisers are dying. Millennials don’t spend. Larger ships seem to have fewer staff. The experience is terrible at times. Food arrives cold, buffet areas don’t have enough seats, staff can be rude. Loyalty perks are being taken away . It’s getting so we don’t even get a mint on our pillow at night. But hey, as long as the WiFi is fast 🤬🤯.
It’s only a matter of time before people find something else. RVing comes to mind.

RCCL , Carnival, everyone has new ships being built. I just don’t see this growth lasting much longer, and when people stop filling these mega ships....look out. It’s gonna be ugly.

Who will file for bankruptcy first ? My guess is either NCL or Royal Caribbean.
This is all just my opinion, but feel free to respond.

Enjoy the football games tomorrow.

13 Answers

My emojis came out as code for some reason.

Guess we will have to stay tuned.

I agree with your points. Being a guy that still enjoys the the smaller ships, when they are all phased out and we only have mega ships. I think we may be done. However, with the life span of ships I don’t think I need to worry much.

It should be interesting, but I do think it is a ways off..

Go Packers!

I thought much the same a few years ago and posted it that here but I have since revised my judgement on that. First millennials do spend. In fact I think they spend more than the previous group as many have good jobe, live at home and put more value on experience and less on holdings. Also families are starting to cruise and with kids and at younger ages so the bigger mega ships are necessary. They keep adding and keep on filling them so for the near future at least short of a collapse of the world financials I do not see any problems for the cruise industry other than some over populated ports and pollution concerns.

I've asked the same questions with all the mega ships floating out of the yards - looking at it like number of floating hotel rooms. When you start to see lots of really cheap cabins across many different lines, probably get close to room saturations - many rooms chasing not enough people. Might have to cull some of the older ships to keep the big ones full and control the number of hotel rooms.

Spike in fuel prices - oops, heavy hurricane season in the Caribbean - oops - its really interesting to watch at this time.

Well, very good topic for discussion. Monique and I are cruising on the Royal next week, because I always wanted to cruise on the royal. Will we cruise on a mega ship after this? I will let you know. Last year we did our first All Inclusive and may do that again as they are a very good bang for the buck, While the lines offer drink packages, wi-fi and other perks, there are still charges added to the bill daily. So will the industry grow, maybe. However, as the younger generations become more globally aware, will they be willing to spend their money cruising? Or will there be other ways for them to use their time and funds on other ventures. Every thing has a cycle, I still like cruising though.

They haven't started giving them away yet. and whatever happens, I'll be sure to figure some way to take advantage of it. I fully intend to continue spending, on cruises or whatever. I don't have a burial suit with optional pockets "to take it with me". The way I look at it, even if you're right, I don't care. And, fwiw, I don't feel the least bit guilty. Besides, given the choice, I'd rather cruise with other greybeards who have a grip.

Great topic, thanks for sharing! I am 24 - my boyfriend and I booked a cruise a few months back for March. I have many friends (and friends of friends) that have been on friend trips, honeymoons, trips with their family etc. I went on a girls trip Alaska cruise with RCCL 2 years ago. We looks at various different locations and various methods - tour companies, planning ourselves & staying in AirBnB, an all inclusive etc. I've found that (especially when traveling in groups) cruise are nice because you know the total cost upfront (other than drinks onboard & gratuities, which we know about going into it). Many all inclusive resorts I looked at in the Caribbean/Mexico that would have been (in my opinion) comparable service to RCCL were almost double the price and you don't get a change of scenery/activities almost every day. Most of my friends and I are still on a budget as we're paying back student loans and (most) are only 2-4 years into our careers. Many people in my generation (or at least the people in my life) value traveling even when we're a little tight on money - pretty much all of my money that doesn't go to bills/necessities, savings, retirement, goes into my travel fund. We tend to not do speciality dining, book interior rooms (on my girls trip we had 4 of us in one room and it was a funny experience that we still laugh about), and would rather save $ and have more activities/experiences than have a mint on our pillow and some smaller things they may have cut back on.

I do agree that the ports (especially Caribbean/Mexico/Bahamas) are very commercialized but I understand that they need the infrastructure. I always avoid all the port shopping and do TONS of research through the internet and post on social media for friends and family (and the RCCL facebook groups) advice on ports, I think I've had multiple suggestions for every port i've ever asked about and they were great! Excursions and areas that are less touristy appeal to me - usually not with the cruise line, but sometimes they are!

I haven't been on a mega ship - but have done lots of research, it's very appealing to me! I want to go on one someday. We are going on RCCL Freedom, which I've been on before. I can definitely see myself taking my future family on cruises - and having my siblings & their families and other extended family join. There is so much variety for all ages and budgets even on the same sailing - interior vs suite, main dining vs specialty, etc. I wouldn't take a cruise every time I get vacation time, as I also love going to national parks, hiking, road trips, and more - but every couple years I think cruising is a great option. I've made friends from cruises 2 years and 5 years back that I am still in touch with on social media. I love being disconnected and meeting new people, traveling.

I may not be the norm for my generation but I can see other people having a similar view point especially when kids are in the mix. I don't see the industry going bankrupt but I could see them making changes to the overall experience to target younger generation, which is what every industry does over time, or yes they will go bankrupt.

Just my 2 cents, sorry for the super long post, I hope you enjoy my perspective!

sarahg111, that was a great, no...better...spectacular post, don't apologize for its length. I can say that while you may "not be the norm" for your generation, there's hope at least. I suspect that every preceding generation may have (or had) a dim view of the next one. I have come to believe it has something to do with the old saw about having "more behind you than in front of you:". Yes indeed, I have the time, the inclination, and the resources to do this kind of stuff, and appreciate it, according to my own standards of what I like, and what I don't.

Every industry needs to adapt, to change with the times. NCL for example, has increased its order for those "LEONARDO CLASS" ships, six new ones will be afloat by 2026. Last time I looked there were over 100 new cruisers on order or in construction. Who knows what kinds of perks, packages or so-called "attractions" they'll have. I find it hard to believe those battalions of analysts and others who get the big bucks to play with the demographics could be so wrong about the future. Of course if they convinced the folks up in mahogany row about impending financial ruin, they'd be among the first to have their beans counted, if ye follow.

In any event, keep those "perspectives" coming, It was worth considerably more than .02!!!

sarahg111 no need to apologize for the great post. I do suggest you try one of the megaships to compare to the smaller ones. I am fairly new to cruising but I have seen where some cruisers like the big ships and some like smaller ones. We have been on 2 small ones and one big one and have not really decided what we like better.

Yankee47 I agree with you totally about the people in charge of these cruise lines are pretty intelligent and would not be putting orders in for these new ships to be build and redoing older ones if they did not feel it was going to continue to grow.

To the OP I do not see any of these cruise lines going bankrupt in the near future and if any do I would doubt it would be RCCL or NCL We only started cruising 3 years ago and will be going on our 4th cruise late spring of this year. When our kids were younger it was really never in our budget but now that they are grown and moved or moving out we have enough extra cash to go on them. The cruises we have been on have been so enjoyable and relaxing for us. There are so many things to do on a cruise and activities for all ages and preferences and they stop at a lot of great places even if they might be crowded. We have never tried an all inclusive resort but I was fortunate enough to earn one for 3 nights all paid for so hopefully that will give us an idea of what they are like and maybe help us decide if we want to book one ourselves. I have checked and the place we are staying with the all inclusive package is slightly over $500 per day for the 2 of us which would put it at about $3600 for a week and you can book a great 7 night cruise for less than that.

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