Cruise Outlook for 2011

It’s definitely true that I follow the news and trends in the cruise industry closely. If you have been thinking about a 7 day Caribbean cruise, this is the time to book! There are some great deals out right now as the cruise lines try to get your business during “Wave Season,” the time of year when it’s cold outside and you may be thinking about going somewhere warm. Perhaps you would like to try one of the big ships, like Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic ship that debuted July 2010. How about one of the Royal Caribbean sister ships: Oasis of the Seas (2009) or Allure of the Seas (2010)? These large ships have everything you could ask for while still not feeling crowded. You can go ice skating, climb a rock climbing wall, or visit the spa all before lunch and then spend the rest of the day eating in one of the dozens of places on board, have a drink in one of the bars or lounges, and see a show all before going out dancing all night or collapsing in your bed after dinner.

According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), the cruise line industry has had an an average annual passenger growth rate of 7.2% since 1990. Over the next three years, over 50 million North Americans indicate they intend to cruise. As the number of passengers increases steadily, the cruise industry has to meet the demand and create itineraries that passengers want as well as the ships passengers desire. If passengers express an interest in more Caribbean cruises, then more ships will visit the Caribbean. If passengers want more 7 day Caribbean cruises instead of 3 day Bahamas cruises, then the cruise lines will oblige their customers. We can see that this is true as the cruise lines have been moving many of their ships to the Mediterranean during the summer to meet the demand of customers.

Ideally, I would love to see is more people cruising during different times of the year instead of thinking about cruising in the summer. For example, some of the great premium cruise lines, such as Celebrity or Holland America, move their ships to the Mediterranean for the summer and as a result, those who might want to try a different style of cruising or different ships for their 7 day Caribbean cruises are unable to. Premium doesn’t always mean more expensive either! If you are looking for a 7 day Caribbean cruise this year, consider sailing at a different time of year like the Spring or maybe over the holidays. Prices tend to rise when everyone wants to sail, i.e. summer. Regardless of when you go and whether it is your first or your tenth cruise, you’ll certainly enjoy yourself. After all, I always hear that with the shorter cruises people start to relax and then it’s time to get off the ship. Seven days gives you the time you need to unwind from your everyday life and enjoy your vacation. During this time of year when we are making resolutions, why not resolve to treat yourself to a longer cruise vacation this year?

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