Will the Hurricanes Help or Harm the Cruise Industry?

Surprisingly, I think it will help the cruise industry because many tourists that normally fly to Caribbean islands will not have "resorts" to go to and will start to experiment with cruising.

I think cruises will contain more sea days and less ports but the ships will step up their game to provide better activities on board ... if they're smart... The privately owned islands held by the cruise lines will become more prevalent and for some, a beach is a beach is a beach ... 

We may see new ports spring up which would be good for some of the little islands who have not been big players in the cruise arena ... 

16 Answers

First things first. Let's see how long it takes for the region to re-build the required infrastructures. Then we will see what options will be available. Judging from the pictures and reports that are coming out, it may take awhile,

 

True with the destruction, they might take the opportunity, good or bad, to update the facilities, this might push out some of the smaller vendors who might not be able to "ante up" to the probable new higher prices to vend from a location.

Perhaps I'm being a pessimist, but I don't think these hurricanes will help the cruise industry. If the resorts are not available for non cruise junkies, the ports might also not be available - ports the people want to see. We enjoy land vacations as much as cruises, and are already wondering whether to plan a 2019 cruise or a 2 week land vacation. I prefer port days to sea days, and there are ports we've been to that I really don't care to visit again. 

Yep.  Me too.

Good question, Debbie. 

1)I think in the short term it might hurt the industry, because new to cruising customers may not figure out the bad time to sail.  Living away from hurricane areas, many don't understand the season and would worry that no matter when you sail you might run into rough and stormy seas.  I talked about cruising this weekend with my renaissance friends, one lady said she was terrified to cruise because of the possibility of a "rogue wave caused by an undersea earthquake".

2)But after that I think your premise of "island resort" folks might give cruising a try.  I know our January cruise hasn't lost any appeal, yesterday there were only 8 balconies left (suites were sold out last June).

Just get me on the ship Big Smile

I'd rather see new and beautiful sights, but I can be just as pampered and spoiled by the crew when I sail to Freeport.  

This really is a good question, I think in the short term yes the cruise lines will be hurt.  These past hurricanes will scare off some first time cruisers and some that have been on the fence.  Those of us that are addicted will continue to cruise, probably do a bit more research and may even choose destinations that we may not have considered in the past.  I also think we might began to see the cruise lines pushing new campaigns to attract new or keep engaged past cruisers. I'm hoping for some interesting creative marketing to come from the cruise lines.  As for the islands there is alot of rebuilding that will need to be done and hopefully as this planning gets on the way maybe new ports and islands will be opened to offer new adventures.  Guess we just have to wait and see.

I am very realistic about how long it will take for the hardest hit islands to recover and no matter how much they tout their desire to come back strong ... it may take years not months.  The ports may reopen but there will be few choices for "excursions" in many of them.  Remember that most of the tour buses, boats etc were damaged as well.  You can definitely cross zip lining off my list as I would never trust the safety of it after going through a hurricane / storm nor would I trust it was safety tested afterwards.  They will cut corners...

The following link is a good one to check out caribbean updates on your favorite islands:

http://caribbeantravelupdate.com/

Interesting question. I hang with those who believe it will be detrimental in the short run, at best, and at the worst have an adverse impact for five to ten years. In that investors regarded the Caribbean visitor market to be over supplied to begin with it might not hurt to see some slackening in cruise line exploitation of the sightseeing resource there.

 

We have visited most of the Caribbean islands, more than once, over the years, but, with one exception, we were going to or coming from other places, i.e. the Amazon, circumnavigation of South American, TA to Europe and Africa, the North American west coast and the Pacific. The exception was a two week cruise just sailing around the Caribbean less than two years ago, due the overcrowded conditions at most ports of call on that voyage, afterward we decided we weren't going to do that again.

 

Another looming question with regard to all this, is what happens if these storms continue to become more frequent and larger? For those who believe world climate change to be a hoax then they have nothing to be concerned about. If however, that be not the case, then those dependent upon the tourist trade in low countries or islands better start looking for broader horizons.

Thanks for this link, Debbie. It is very helpful!

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