....Emma Le Teace, Cruising Isn’t Just for Old People, profiled in Chapter 14; Jason Leppert, Popular Cruising, profiled in Chapter 17; and the three dynamic young individuals discussed in this chapter, respectively: Danny Bradley, The Cruising Baker, Matt Mramer, Cruising with Matt (above in Rome), and Marcus Adams, Sparkx, average 29 years old. Between these five millennials (people born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s) they have cruised well over 200 times to virtually every corner of the globe that can be accessed via cruise vessel. Everyone of them has experienced one, and in some cases several cruises typically thought of as “bucket list” experiences. Almost all pursue their passion for cruising on a part-time basis. Besides their relatively young age, the only commonality they all share is that they started their cruising life at a very young age, as early as a toddler, and on average ten years old....
....There is clearly a trend towards cruise passengers becoming younger. This trend manifests itself in a number of ways, with the most dramatic being the design of the cruise ships themselves. I have alluded several times in The Joy of Cruising to the ongoing movement for the cruise lines to introduce bigger and bigger ships, but in addition to new cruise ships increasingly being “up-sized,” cruise lines are also installing a number of youth-friendly attractions which appeal to millennials as well as families with children. In 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line launched Norwegian Bliss. Paraphrasing from the NCL press release, here are some of the fun, creative, youth friendly innovations highlighted: “…a two level electric-car race track. The competitive track, the longest at sea at nearly 1,000 feet, will rev up the hearts of all who race around her many twists and turns… After burning rubber at the race track, guests can test their agility at the open-air laser tag course… The ship's Aqua Park also includes two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Ocean Loops free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and a second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet, with a translucent section that provides stunning ocean views as guests twist and turn to the finish line.” There are many other examples I can point to which underscore this “theme parkification” of cruise ships. Basically, if it is a popular land-based attraction, it is likely already on new or recently refurbished cruise ships, or coming soon. Bumper cars, carousels, trampoline parks, bowling alleys, skydiving simulators, zip lines, IMAX movie theaters? Already on cruise ships. Several years ago I took my grandkids on a cruise that stopped in Grand Turk. The Grand Turk Margaritaville featured a FlowRider® surf simulator, which my grandkids loved, and I thought was an ingenious attraction which resulted in some priceless videos of them falling off, or successfully navigating the boogie board. At that time, I assumed Grand Turk Margaritaville had a FlowRider® because it was the world’s largest Margaritaville; it was unimaginable to me on a cruise ship. Well now there are FlowRiders® on half the Royal Caribbean ships....
In 2020 Carnival Cruises will introduce the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT, on the Mardi Gras. While Carnival is the most popular cruise brand with its affordable pricing and promotion exuding “fun” as exemplified by Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neal, Carnival doesn’t crack any lists of the world’s largest cruise ships. Mardi Gras will be Carnival’s first foray into super-sized ships—the first in Carnival’s new XL-Class. At 185,000 gross tons, which is 50,000 more than Carnival’s largest current ships, Horizon and Vista, doubtlessly Mardi Gras will be jam-packed with millennial-friendly attractions.
....can’t help but wonder if in the next decade or so a cruise ship will be introduced that brands itself as a floating theme park! Along the lines of a theme park, Royal Caribbean is building one, sort of, not on a cruise ship but as part of a cruise. Royal Caribbean is in the process of redesigning Coco Cay, its private island in the Bahamas that is a stop for its Caribbean cruises, under a $200 million project called “Perfect Day at Coco Cay.” The renovation....
....another new innovation appealing to millennials is cruise lines jumping on the burgeoning craft beer trend. The Carnival Vista launched in 2016 was the first North American cruise ship to have its own brewery. Carnival followed that up with the launch last year of Carnival Horizon with another brewery, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and Brewhouse, a partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
Its arguable as to whether cruise lines are adding these millennial-friendly attractions on their ships and private islands because of increased millennial passenger demand, or to generate increased millennial passenger demand. What is unarguable is that....
Read the complete chapter “Cruising’s Young and Restless” in The Joy of Cruising. Available now!
8/26/2022 01:11:37 am
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