Top 10 Lists
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 14th March 2013
Click on the info-graphic below to review data details about 2013 top 10 cruise ports in the world.
Sources: Each ship's unique destination itinerary, sailing days and passenger capacity from Cruise Market Watch. Crew and passenger debarkation rates and port spending estimates derived from Business Research & Economic Advisers, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and Cruise Lines International Association.
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 9th August 2012
Johnny Bolin Facebook friended me the other day! Johnny played drums for Mid-western hair metal band Dare Force when I saw them back in 1985 at The Patio in Sioux City Iowa. These days he is drumming for Black Oak Arkansas, which played in this year’s Tommy Bolin Tribute Music Festival alongside Ghost Ship, whose guitarist Rick Moore is the same long time friend from high school with whom I saw Dare Force.
Cover of Tommy Bolin
When telling my sister Chris about this post, she told me she once happened to sit next to Johnny on a flight to L.A. Oddly enough, Chris was on a mission to deliver a guitar to her friend, wife of T.S.O.L. guitarist Ron Emory. I digress, bear with me.
Separately, a recent Google search for guitarist Pat Travers revealed he is appearing on the Rock Legends II cruise. Looking further into the details, the artist line up includes none-other than... yep, Black Oak Arkansas.
Now that got me wondering. What other rock cruises are out there? Below is my list of the top five rock cruises, followed with more six degrees of rock cruise separation.
- Cover of Black Oak Arkansas
|Rock Legends II
- Packed full of acts
- On 10-Jan-13
- Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean
|Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Creedence Clearwater, Kansas, 38 Special, Marshal Tucker, Blue Oyster Cult and Black Oak Arkansas among others
311 Eighteen (Photo credit: EWatson92)
|311 Caribbean Cruise
||Chillin' The Most
- Yes, departs directly after the 311 Cruise!
- On 6-Mar-13
- Miami, FL
- Norwegian Pearl from Norwegian Cruise Line
Take Your Time (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
|Simple Man Cruise
- Possibly the original rock cruise now at ten years and counting. Rumored to have ran out of beer and broken the Carnival Inspiration’s alcohol sales record in 2008.
- On 27-Oct-12
- Miami, FL
- Norwegian Pearl (again!) from Norwegian Cruise Line
|Lynyrd Skynyrd, Doobie Brothers
Shiprocked 2010 (Photo credit: Niki Barr Band Photos)
- Ranks first for best rock cruise name and hardest rocking acts!
- On 27-Nov-12
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Poesia of MSC Cruises
|Godsmack, Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, P.O.D, KORN
Ok, so here it goes - our “six” (or more) degrees of rock cruise separation.
First we start with Kid Rock (Chilln’ The Most Cruise)
- - Kid Rock performed the track “The School of Old” by Run-D.M.C.
- - they created the track “Here We Go 2001” that was performed by Sugar Ray
- - they created the track “Stay On” that was performed by Nick Hexum of 311 (311 Caribbean Cruise)
- - that group’s fusion of reggae and rap-metal was created in Omaha, Nebraska
- - that is just 90 miles south of drummer Johnny Bolin’s home town
- - he is playing with Black Oak Arkansas
- - they are playing on Rock Legends II Cruise with .38 Special
- - who has member Larry Junstrom
- - he was a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd (Simple Man Cruise)
- - who has member Michael Cartellone
- - he was a member of Damn Yankees
- - who has member Ted Nugent
- - he created the track “Cat Scratch Fever” which was performed by Godsmack (ShipRocked Cruise)
And so there you have it - the top five rock cruises and the six-or-so degrees of separation between them. Assistance provided by 6 Degrees of Black Sabbath and All Music Guide.
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 17th January 2011
Our proprietary database tracks daily ticket prices and passenger sailings to port destinations from nearly 8,000 annual cruises.
This gives us a unique vantage point to spot unusual values.* Topping our "least expensive" list is the Norwegian Sky. For a total of $109 you could sail round trip from Miami, FL to Grand Bahamas Island, Bahamas to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas.
Getty Images via @daylife
If you have more time sail the MSC Poesia. For as little as $249 she cruises from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Key West, FL and Ocho Rios, Jamaica to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to Cozumel, Mexico returning to Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The last three in our top 5 least expensive cruises (per day per person) are all Royal Caribbean. Of the three, two don’t sail until November 2011, so you have plenty of time to book.
The Vision of the Seas, which hit prices as low as $514 in December, is a transatlantic sailing. It starts in Lisbon Portugal, moving to several stops in Grand Canary Islands; then Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Closer to home the Monarch of the Seas, pricing a round trip from Port Canaveral, FL at $159. It stops in Coco Cay and Nassau, Bahamas.
Feeling even more exotic? Try this low price Spain to Brazil cruise. The Splendour of the Seas from $619 also crosses the Atlantic. You will sail from Barcelona Spain with stops in Valencia Spain; Cadiz Spain; Lisbon Portugal; Tenerife Canary Islands and Salvador Brazil.
For more least expensive cruises visit World Cruise Watch.
With an exclusive window into virtually every sailing, every day, world wide (including Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)) our subscribers can view cruise revenue and passenger trends in near real time.
* Lowest advertised inside cabin price from December 2010. Price will vary based on actual date of booking.
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 7th April 2009
One of the things I love about the cruise industry is the broad consumer interest in the product. And as the cruise industry expands so does the number of specialty or themed cruises appealing to ever more diverse groups. Be it the political right or left, religious or gothic, athletes or dialysis patients, intellectual or not-so-much-so, there is a cruise for everyone. While running the Caribbean Carriage Company in Old San Juan I observed football themed cruises where fans sailed with pro players. I have blogged about John Mayer's Mayercraft Cruise, Bikes on Board and Deaf Cruises. In fact, www.themecruisefinder.com lists over 500 different theme cruises (yes, even two blogger cruises). In 2008 a total of 15 percent of cruise business was dedicated to a theme.
Joining consumers with fervently shared passions and the great value of a cruise vacation is a win-win marketing strategy. Aside from the traditional vacation benefits, the groups receive great physical locations for lectures and social mingling. The cruise lines fill cabins and generate revenue, but also penetrate into new markets of first time cruisers who have a high likelihood of returning.
Here is my list of the top 10 most interesting specialty cruises.
1) Caribbean Island Marathon Cruise
4 Islands - 4 Races - 1 Great Marathon. This is the theme cruise I think is an outright good idea. Aboard Holland America's Eurodam from February 6-13, 2010 you can run the world's only staged maritime marathon. Every day brings a new distance, new terrain and new racing experience. By the end of the week you'll have run the marathon distance (26.2 miles) and have seen some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. John & Jenny's onboard talks and sessions will help you become a better runner. They also host an Alaska marathon cruise.
2) Star Trek Cruise
Departing from Los Angeles, California on "stardate" 10.11.2009 fans "beam aboard" the "star ship" Mariner of the Seas. Embarking on the ultimate Star Trek experience will last seven days take you to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. Highlights include:
- Meeting Star Trek celebrities, including Chase Masterson (Dabo girl Leeta on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and one of Femme Fatales Magazine's 50 Sexiest Women).
- Attending an exclusive screening of independent film "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men."
- A Star Trek Murder Mystery where you help solve the crime and possibly become part of the cast.
3) Dr. Lori's Antiques Vacation Cruise
Think "Antiques Roadshow" but on Norwegian Cruise Line's Majesty. The 7-Day Bermuda round-trip departs from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 24, 2009. Participants will:
- Get antiques appraised by Dr. Lori
- Attend antiques seminars, such as "Yard Sale Mistakes Revealed"
- Play Dumpster or No Dumpster
4) Bare Necessities
Conducting 53 clothing-optional cruises over 20 years proves the staying power of an alternative dressing style. Bare Necessities currently offers a March 13, 2010 - 15 day cruise from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands and back aboard Celebrity's Constellation.
Activities include not only "deciding what not to wear," but also educational classes and workshops.
5) Cruise with the King
Departing January 3, 2010 this 7-Day Bahamas from Baltimore, Maryland cruise turns the Carnival Pride into a floating Graceland. The King's 75th birthday celebration also includes:
- A meet & greet Elvis cocktail party
- Jay Allan covering the King's entire career - 50's tribute, '68 Comeback and 70 Vegas!
According to Susan, an Elvis Presley Super Fan & Graceland Gate Girl, "I see many, but Jay's the first I have seen with that soul of Elvis"
6) Legends of Classical Wrestling
Another King cruise, this one is hosted by Jerry "The King" Lawler aboard the Carnival Destiny for 5 days starting October 1, 2009. The ship departs from Miami and sails to Cozumel & Key West. You will be treated to:
- Never before seen videos of classic wrestling matches
- Stories that only The King could tell - about the colorful people in wrestling
- The truth about Andy Kaufman
- Photo and autograph sessions
- The art of The King (numbered & framed)
- Tanning sessions on deck with The King
7) Shakespeare at Sea
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Thou art traveling aboard the Crystal Serenity for Lisbon Portugal via the Azores from Miami May 23rd to June 2nd, 2009.
Fourteen lectures are offered by noteworthy academic experts on Shakespeare's works. "You'll be immersed in the cultural and theatrical milieu of the Bard's work and times. Come feast on words, experiences, insights, and interactions with kindred spirits."
8) The Simple Man Cruise
I admit it, I sing the words to Freebird out loud whenever I'm alone and the song comes on.
From Tampa to Cozumel on the Carnival Inspiration January 21-25, 2010 Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man Cruise is a four-day music festival. Remember to bring your aspirin. Last years cruise ran out of beer and broke all ship alcohol sales records.
9) Richard Simmons' Cruise to Lose
The "Ocean Spray Dancers" are appearing Saturday, April 25 2009 for a 7-day Caribbean cruise from Miami on Carnival's Liberty.
Join them and workout icon Richard Simmons while you "sweat to the hits of the 50's, 60's,70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's." Besides dinning and exercising with Richard, other activities include:
- Rise and Shines
- Richard's 50's - 60's Prom Party
- Richard's Awards Party
- Margaritaville with Richard
10) Fashion And Style At Sea
Part of the Personal Enrichment Series this 12-night Mediterranean cruise sails from Venice to Barcelona. It also happens to be the second on our list aboard the Crystal Serenity. One perk, guests have the opportunity to pre-book private Food and Wine Pairing Dinner in the intimate Vintage Room.
- Attending lectures, fashion shows, themed dinners and cocktail parties
- Enjoying relevant movies and documentaries celebrating the exciting and ever-changing world of fashion
- Joining optional shopping excursions ashore and visiting historical textile/costume factories
1Cruise Line Industry Association
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 12th January 2009
1 - Half Shell Raw Bar - Key West, Florida. Set in the heart of the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, the Half Shell Raw Bar is an authentic Key West fish house. Once a shrimp packing building, it has stayed true to its blue-collar harbor front heritage. Fancy folks looking for fancy stuff will have to look elsewhere. No carpet on the floors. No expensive art on the walls. No air conditioning, for that matter.
2 - Kona Brewing Company - Hawaii. Kona Brewing Company was started by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa. The pair had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. Their love of Hawaii, and a desire to protect the pristine environment here, brought them to the Big Island to fulfill their vision. Kona Brewing Company continues to be headquartered right where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island.
3 - Alaska Brewing Company - Juneau, Alaska. In 1986, the Alaskan Brewing Company became the 67th operating brewery in the United States and the only one in Alaska. Since that time its products have brought home more than 33 major medals and awards, including “Best Beer in the Nation” in the 1988 Great American Beer Festival Consumer Preference Poll.
4 - Guinness Storehouse - Dublin, Ireland. Immerse yourself in the illustrious history of GUINNESS® and its Irish heritage. Located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery, GUINNESS STOREHOUSE® is Ireland’s No. 1 international visitor attraction. Their staff will be pleased to welcome you and bring alive a real segment of Irish history.
5 - Jacobsen Brewhouse - Copenhagen, Denmark. The Jacobsen brewhouse - named after Carlsberg’s founder JC Jacobsen - is located in a building dating from 1878 in the old part of the Carlsberg brewery. The brewhouse is right at the heart of the Carlsberg Visitors Centre, which attracts around 150,000 visitors every year. The Visitors Centre was modernised in 2005 and will take you through the Carlsberg history using effects of sound, lighting and aromas.
6 - Banks Brewery - Barbados. Banks Beer has consistently been the #1 choice among beer drinkers in Barbados since it was first produced in 1961. The premium pilsner style lager is brewed from a pure classic blend of 2-Row British and Australian malted barleys deliciously flavored by Yakima Clusters and the noble Styrian Goldings aroma hops. However it is Barbados’ water, naturally filtered through limestone rock, along with its own special strain of yeast, that gives Banks Beer its unique Bajan character and distinctive quality.
7 - Carib Brewery - Trinidad. The brewing of beer in Trinidad and Tobago was inherited from the British. The first commercial brewery was founded just after World War 1 although there had been legislation as early as August 1899 concerning the regulation of brewing. Carib’s mission is to delight its customers by providing world class beverages and services.
8 - Mission Brewery - San Diego, California. The original Mission Brewery was one of the first commercial breweries in San Diego, and opened in 1913. Like thousands of other breweries across the United States, it closed its doors due to Prohibition. The brewing company was re-opened by serious homebrewers 94 years later in June of 2007.
9 - Mack Brewery - Tromsø Cruise Port, Norway. Until December 10, 2000, Mack was the northernmost brewery in the world. This honour was then taken by Nordkapp Mikrobryggeri, a microbrewery in Honningsvåg, when that brewery produced its first beer, called Sårry Makk (phonetic Norwegian for Sorry Mack - a humorous name for the occasion). However, due to Mack’s old traditions and nationwide distribution, Mack is regarded as a more proper brewery and is thus still cited as the northernmost in the world, including the claim on Mack’s beer bottles.
10 - De Gouden Boom’s malthouse and brewery - Brussels/Brugge (Zeebrugge). Belgium Brewery De Gouden Boom, a brewery of such delicious beers as Brugs Tarwebier, Brugse Tripel and Abdij Steenbrugge. The Brewery Museum (entrance : Verbrand Nieuwland 10) is housed in a well preserved old malthouse (1902). All machines are still in place. Interesting museum-collection about the 31 Bruges breweries which were still in operation at the turn of the century.
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 13th December 2008
Be it a cruise marketing strategy, tactic or stroke of good fortune, here are my picks for the top ten greatest marketing moments in cruise history.
#1 The Love Boat– Premiering on ABC September 17, 1976 in the pre-cable world of only three major networks, new couples getting together in the ocean moonlight was good entertainment for mainstream America. Since the show the cruise industry has grown ten times over. The former owner of Princess Cruises estimated The Love Boat generated over a billion dollars in revenues for the cruise lines. According to my wife, “Oh, The Love Boat!” is still a frequent response when you tell people you work on a cruise ship.
#2 The Carnival Funnel – In 1968 Canadian Pacific (CP) needed a new corporate logo to communicate its direction, global capability and stability. The result was dubbed the “multimark.” Having been painted on the Empress of Canada’s funnel, the ship and design were transferred in February 1972 to a young former NCL marketing executive, Ted Arison. Renamed the Mardi Gras the ship became Carnival's first. By rounding the edges and changing the CP logo’s colors to a festive red, white and blue the multimark morphed into the most distinctive image at sea and a corporate logo recognized worldwide. Visually communicating the Fun Ships concept it sends the message “these ships are unique” and signals the delivery a branding promise that has directed the company's marketing strategy for three decades.
#3 Voyager of the Seas - In 1999 the first of five Voyager class ships was a revolution in design, size and on-board amenities. The 137,000-ton, 3,114-passenger vessel featured an ice-skating rink, inline-skating track, basketball court, mini golf course and rock-climbing wall spanning the back of the ship's funnel. These amenities became a brand signature for Royal Caribbean and were leveraged in the long running "Get Out There" advertising campaign. The ship and campaign opened the cruise market to new vacationers who had an "explorer" mind-set.
#4 Cunard - On July 4, 1840 the paddle-wheeled Cunard steamer Britannia left Liverpool and crossed the Atlantic with a cow on-board to supply fresh milk to passengers. Over the next 120 years Cunard was the epitome of glamorous transatlantic travel. Between 1920 and 1940 Cunard’s rich and famous passengers were seen enjoying trips on theatre newsreels throughout the United States and Europe. The 1950's renewed that tradition and “Getting There is Half the Fun” was experienced by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and even the Queen Mother in 1954. Any ship you sail today still carries an aire of that heritage.
#5 Cruise Critic - Word-of-mouth promotion has always been the best marketing tool for Cruise Lines. Until Cruise Critic launched as part of America Online in 1995 a travel agent’s statement was about the only way for a prospective cruiser to hear recommendations. Today, consider the experience of Tina Dacin. "She had not taken a vacation in 20 years and…conducted most of her research online. Eventually, she found the Regent Web site and began visiting online cruise forums on which people discussed their experience on Regent. 'As I got online, I discovered that people were passionate about their Regent cruises,' she said. That electronic word-of-mouth led her to book a Mediterranean cruise on the Seven Seas Voyager with her mother. She liked the experience so much, she said, that she plans to cruise again."
#6 Block Booking – the practice of selling out blocks of cabins (or occasionally even an entire cruise ship) contributes a significant portion of revenue to each sailing. Whenever you cruise a contemporary line you can’t help but notice the groups formed by anything from corporate sales award winners to fans of a particular rock star. In speaking with them you find their loyalties are to the group, not the cruise line (they sail with whomever the group sails). Nevertheless the industry today wouldn’t be the same without them. The practice reached mass acceptance in the late 1990’s with chartered sales by booking agents at Thomson Travel of Great Britain. Wherever the idea was first generated, it was a brainstorm.
#7 Cathy Lee Gifford – Love her or hate her, in 1984 (one year prior to "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee") she was singing, "In the morning, in the evening, Carnival's got the fun..." This was the first time a cruise line advertised on national network television and the spots showcased Carnival ship’s dancing, dining, entertainment, playing, socializing, sunning, swimming and fun. The Carnival-Gifford partnership lasted into the mid-1990s and Carnival’s growth greatly outpaced its competitors over that same period.
#8 Freestyle Cruising – No matter how you feel about formal nights and open seating, NCL made a bold break from the traditional cruise model in 2000. Freestyle Cruising emulated land-based resorts by permitting guests to dine when and with whom they wanted – and in doing so made a daring move to acquire market share from new guests who had resisted cruising before. “No tux required” is a pitch that resonates with Norwegian’s target demographic - “passengers in their mid-40s earning $80,000 a year and who have an individual streak.”
#9 Expanded Home Ports - The jet airline killed transatlantic passenger travel and nearly took out the cruise business, until the discovery of cruising the Caribbean from Florida. So ultimately what nearly took cruising away gave it back in the form of passengers flown to Miami from across the U.S. However, when the number and size of ships grew larger than what daily flights into Miami and Ft. Lauderdale could accommodate market expansion required finding new ports. Coupled with post 9-11 concerns about flying and working to reduce overall airfare costs by shortening distance, the addition of home ports across the nation (and indeed the world) has worked to further expand the market and expose new cruisers to the experience.
#10 Casinos on-board – Today’s number one on-board revenue source on most ships is the Casino. Yes, even ahead of the liquor sales. But prior to the 1980's only a small minority of ships had casinos and those that did had them relatively hidden. Now the gaming and cruise industries occasionally hire managers across industries and NCL's 50% owner Apollo Management also owns Harrah's Casinos. Most importantly, the low entry “all inclusive” prices that make cruising an obtainable and affordable value are in part thanks to the ship's players.
Updated 12/17/08. Some additional and significant cruise marketing moments were neglected in my original post and are now included below.
10.1 The “Big Red Boat” and family cruising - In 1984 Premier Cruise Lines became the first cruise line to operate out of Port Canaveral, Florida and in doing so also ingeniously located its ships approximately 45 minutes east of the “The Magic Kingdom.” Premier Cruise Lines brought the entire family together onboard in a strategic way by adding year round family programming, over 30 child counselors on every voyage and large public rooms devoted to different children's age groups. Moreover, as the "official cruise line of Walt Disney World," passengers could combine a 3 or 4 night round-trip cruise with a complimentary Disney World vacation to complete a 7 day family vacation. The concept was so successful it eventually spurred the idea within Disney management to create its own cruise line. Other competitors also followed in pursuit of the lucrative family market segment.
SS Norway. Photo by Barry Vaudrin
10.2 The “Ship Amongst Ships” - on April 14, 1980 after $80 million in renovations NCL re-christened the SS France the SS Norway. Built in 1962 she was the “last purposely designed year-round transatlantic super-ship” and at 316 meters she was also the longest passenger ship until the RMS Queen Mary 2 in 2004. The re-christening symbolized the industry's final shift from an era of transatlantic travel into one of Caribbean style cruising. With a passenger capacity of 2,000 the SS Norway became both the largest cruise ship and the first super-liner employed exclusively for cruise service. She gained a large and avid following among Caribbean cruisers and gave credence to the notion of a ship being a destination in itself. Her size, amenities (the first cruise ship to add broadway-style entertainment) and popularity permanently changed the cruise industry and helped usher in a construction spree as competitors began to order bigger and larger ships.
Posted By Cruise Market Watch / 23rd November 2008
5 - Silversea Cruises - Silver Spirit
Number five on our list, Silver Spirit evokes the luxurious quality of the shimmering precious metal. The styling will be a chic 1930's Art Deco; yet feature the latest modern innovations and maritime advancements. As Siversea's new flagship, its interiors will focus on distinctive luxuries including an expanded spa and even larger suites - 95% featuring a private veranda. The Silver Spirit debuts in December 2009.
4 - Celebrity - Equinox
As sister to the Solstice, the Equinox deserves ranking on this list for genetic reasons alone.
3 - Carnival - Dream
This amazing Dream is likely to be an experience you wont want to awake from. It will be a standout in the Carnival line, unlike any other Carnival ship in the fleet. According to John Heald "it seems the stylists were allowed free rein -- and to hell with the cost."
2 - Yachts of Seabourn - Odyssey
This comfortable 450-passenger yacht will be the first luxury cruise ship built in over six years. Guests will feel special and cared for by everything from scented Pure Pampering baths drawn by the stewardess to an intimately shared Caviar on the Surf beach party. The Odyssey will maintain Seabourn's famous industry highest crew to guest ratio.
Among the Odyssey's exotic sailings include Seabourn's first-ever World Cruise in January, 2010. The 108-day voyage travels from Bora Bora to Bali, Sydney to Saigon and Hong Kong to Istanbul, and touches five continents. The Odyssey will launch her inaugural year itinerary from Venice on June 24, 2009.
1 - Royal Caribbean - Oasis of the Seas
With a passenger capacity of 5,400 - need we say more? The monstrous worlds largest-to-be cruise ship had to have ports of call retrofitted just so the mammoth ship can dock. With 7 neighborhoods, it has been referred to as a floating suburb. The ship, in fact, is becoming a destination in and of itself.