Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean’

When to book your Caribbean Cruise for the best price

The infographic below guides you on how far in advance you should book, and the season to set sail for the best deal on a Caribbean cruise.  This provides a framework for planning, from which you can then narrow down your specific destinations, cruise duration, cabin type and ship segment.   Based on actual pricing* from 26 cruise lines and 144 cruise ships representing over 7,500  sailings in the Caribbean and Bahamas between September 1, 2010 to November 30, 2013, it just goes to show a little advance planning  can save a lot of money per person per day on your cruise itinerary.

Interestingly, unlike its European infograph counterpart, Caribbean cruises get more expensive each month closer to the sail on date - so no penalty for booking well in advance!

* Cruise Market Watch total weighted average price (per per person per day) across all cabin categories.

Cruise Ship Segmentation

Segmentation is happening all around us every day; SUV or economy? Soda or energy drink? VP or Junior Analyst?  Cruise ships are no different – they each have distinct characteristics which we mentally place into groups (large and small, luxury and well, yes cheap).  But what happens if we let the numbers speak for themselves?   Cruise Market Watch developed a statistical model based on similarities within three dimensions:

  • ~ average duration of cruise
  • ~ average price per person per day (weighted across all cabin categories)
  • ~ ship passenger capacity

From 221 different cruise ships accounting for over 9,000 sailings in the next 12 months, our model produced 10 distinctive cruise ship segments.

Each segment describes, based on the data provided, the “class” to which its members belong (naming the segments is, however, more art than science). Segment members are mathematically most similar to each other along the three dimensions, and most dissimilar to members of the other groups.

Interact with the graph below by clicking segment selector and discover each segment’s averages and ship members.  And yes, Oasis and Allure really are in a class all by themselves.  The math is un-biased, so don’t hate.


More Chinese to Go on Caribbean Cruise? What The Emerging Middle Class in China Means to Global Cruise Industry

Flickr Chinese Dragon Year Statue

Flickr Chinese Dragon Year Statue (Photo credit:

Chinese grooms did not traditionally purchase diamond engagement rings for their prospective brides. It was only 20 years ago that diamonds begin to appear in engagement ceremonies among the Chinese elite. But smart marketing campaigns and the increasing purchasing power of China’s middle class have reshaped luxury spending over the last two decades. While the United States still leads the world in diamond demand they will eventually be replaced by China (not unlike the current Olympic medal count battle). Experts in the diamond industry put that timeframe in less than 10 years.

There is a strong analogy for the cruise industry.  Consider each cruise ship as a diamond, each seeking to discover new lucrative source markets to drive growth.

Most Chinese still think of cruise ships solely as a means of transportation and favor train and airplane. But as more and more Chinese open up to the idea that “a cruise ship is actually a floating five-star resort" (aka getting there is half the fun) their perceptions of cruising are also changing. "Cruise travel is becoming the new form of tourism favored by Chinese." Last year’s cruise statistics validate this claim (made during a cruise forum in northern China’s Tianjin): International cruise destinations from mainland China in 2011 increased by around 50% compared to 2010. This means the Chinese no longer just take river cruises on Yangtze, but are looking at more exotic and sunny destinations. A Mediterranean or Caribbean cruise is likely to arouse their fancy, if their recent exodus to Maldives and Guam are a leading indicator.

Global statistics show the bulk of cruise travelers come from North America followed in (far) second place by Europe, and then the rest of the world. Between 2008 and 2012, for example, North Americans outnumber Europeans by as much as 120%, and Europeans outnumber passengers from other countries by as much as 200%. But just as Cruise Market Watch brought to readers attention back in 2008, cruise line executives are looking east and the prospects are astonishing.

Even with conservative forecasts, the implications are far-reaching. In 2009, there were only 365,000 Chinese who went cruising (compared to 110,000 in 2008), a mere fraction of North America’s 12 million plus. But the world totals are likely to begin to skew in favor of the Chinese in coming decades if their luxury spending trends and evolving perception of cruise travel is any indication.

Forecasts on the high end have placed China’s outbound tourists to 300 million (all modes of travel).  This is roughly equivalent to an entire continent’s (North America or Western Europe) population.

Despite the glimmerings of economic recovery felt in leading source markets, the cruise industry as a whole will only see a relatively modest jump in cruise passengers in the next five years. Analysts predict that the economies of North America and Europe are likely to remain sluggish, and this translates to slower growth in consumer spending, especially on non-essential goods and services.

Looking at present statistics (20,135,000), the compound annual growth rate (just a little below 8%) will only result in about 28 million passengers in 2018, a mere 9.3% of China’s potential cruise passengers of 300 million.

The rough stone is ready to be cut into a faceted gem.  Cruise traffic going to China, which was only 750,000 in 2011, is also likely to increase. The Seatrade All Asia Cruise Convention descended on Shanghai in 2010 for the second time to open up Asia to international itineraries. China tops the list because of its touristic appeal: It has varied geography, a 4,000-thousand-year-old history, staggering archaeological discoveries and a huge population with immensely diverse regional customs and beliefs.

All these exciting developments mean one thing: China’s dragon is ready to breathe new fire into the cruise industry. All the cruise industry has to do is fan the flames.


Carriage and Cruise from the Port of San Juan

Sally with RCL's Grandeur of The Seas

Cruising has always been about more than just sailing – it’s also about visiting and exploring destinations.  One of the best ways to do that in Old San Juan Puerto Rico is a horse and carriage tour with Las Calesas Del Viejo San Juan.  Not only will you get to see the highlights of Old San Juan, you will learn about the culture and history from your skilled and knowledgeable driver.  The sound of horse’s hooves over the cobblestone streets can’t help but transport you back to the early years of Spanish rule in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Experiences such as these explain the positive cruise industry economic impacts to local economies and small businesses that operate shore side excursions.

Puerto Rico is no exception.  With a 2012 Port Pulse™ rank of 26th (out of over 830 embarkation and destination ports around the world) the Port of San Juan benefits from the spending of 150,000 crew and 920,000 annual passengers.  That is a direct economic impact estimated at over $125 million.

Review seasonality of 2012 passenger and crew spending in San Juan, cruise line share and embarkation vs. destination statistics in the charts below by clicking the image to enlarge.


Cruise passenger and crew spending in ports of call from direct spending on a variety of goods and services including ground transportation, clothing, food and shore excursions.  For embarkation/debarkation ports estimates also include lodging as part of a pre- and/or post-cruise stay, air and ground transportation and miscellaneous port and cruise line services.  

Sources: Crew and passenger visitation rates and port spending estimates derived from Business Research & Economic Advisors, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and Cruise Lines International Association.  Each ship's unique destination itinerary, sailing days and passenger capacity from Cruise Market Watch.

How much money should I bring on a cruise

English: Disney Cruise Lines' Disney Wonder in...

Image via Wikipedia

Going on a cruise is one of many vacationer's dreams. The great thing about a cruise is that everything is pretty much there for you and you don't have to worry about bringing in extra money, not unless you want to buy some souvenirs on the place of your destination. Other than that, it's all about enjoyment and lot's of fun. It is still highly recommended though that you bring in just a bit of extra cash just in case of emergencies.

How much are last minute cruises?

There are many different types of cruises you can take and if you are going for a last minute cruises, it will all depend on where you want to go and how many days do you want to stay. If you are going to like the Caribbean, then you should be expecting between $150 to $300 per person. That includes your stay for at least 4 nights from Miami. If you are going for 7 days and coming from a different location, then the price may not be the same.

What are the best cruises?

If you are looking forward to go on a cruise with your kid's, I think the best cruise that I can recommend is the Disney cruise. Your kids will enjoy themselves while they're on the ship. They'll be entertained by their favorite Disney characters. For the parents, they can entertain themselves with some of the great shows and nightclubs as well. As part of the cruise, you will get to spend some time in the Caribbean for 2 nights or depending on the package you want to purchase. You can find the best combination like 3 days in Caribbean and 4 days Disney World.

How much money should you bring?

The average amount of money a person should ranges from $1000 to $2000. The only thing you will be spending on your cruise is your cocktails, souvenirs, and if you want to try your luck at the casino, but you won't have to pay while you are on board, you can pay that on the last day of your cruise. Coffee, tea, milk, lemonade, punch, and bottled water are all free.

What are the best places to go on a cruise?

Some of the famous cruise destinations are the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bora Bora, Jamaica, Alaska and of course for your kid's, Disney World, but there are some other great destinations to choose from. The farther the location, the more you'll have to pay. Disney cruise is about $600 to $700 per person.

It is for your best interest to contact your local travel agent for all the list and information of available cruise destinations. They have all information of the prices and the best deal they can provide you, along with the number of days you want to spend. They will also be glad to offer different packages they have available on every cruise. This will give you an idea of what and where to go based on your budget.

Our proprietary database tracks daily ticket prices and passenger sailings to port destinations from nearly 8,000 annual cruises. 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. 


Top 5 least expensive cruises

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.

Rank Price Per Day Cruise Ship Sail On Date Total Number of Days
1 $27 Norwegian Sky 9/5/2011 4
2 $35 MSC Poesia 1/30/2011 7
3 $36 Vision of the Seas 11/18/2011 14
4 $38 Splendour of the Seas 11/25/2011 16
5 $39 Monarch of the Seas 1/31/2011 4

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.




Cruiseology 101

The Cruise Ship In Miami

The Cruise Ship In Miami (Photo credit: Stuart Herbert)

Seatrade's Cruise Shipping Miami conference is awesome!  Got some great feedback from the State of the Industry and Luxury Cruise conferences which certainly will find its way (cruise value) into this blog (cruise value).

I was introducing myself today as a "cruiseologist."  Why?  What is more memorable, "Hi I'm Dave" or "Hi, I'm Dave, Cruiseologist"?  Silly? Not really.  The marketing point is, when you have less than 1 minute to meet someone and make an impression, make it memorable.