Its been a busy 6 months!
The first six months of 2022 have flown by, I mean that very literally actually. The Worldwide team has been extremely busy inspecting ships and delivering cruises for our clients. Flexibility is still a term we need to work with as government regulations are still evolving all over the world, so be prepared. The one thing that has been a constant for us is seeing how happy people (passengers and crew alike) are to be on a ship and cruising again.
Pricing for cruises, both groups and charters, has remained pretty constant, if not slightly higher than 2019 pricing. In the near term you might see soft dollar give aways, like free Wi-Fi or drinks on mass market ships or free tours on luxury ships but not give away pricing. After borrowing over 35 billion to stay afloat I think you can understand why pricing has to go up not down. Compare the price of a comparable cruise to any hotel program you are contemplating and you are going to take the cruise if money is of any concern. Hotel and airline prices are OMG! NOT CRUISES….
As I am sure you have noticed in your everyday life staffing at all levels seems to be struggling and the hospitality industry has certainly been particularly hard hit. The hotel industry in the states and Europe seems to have really taken the hit with rooms and dining taking the biggest hit. The cruise industry, having to get and train new staff, has taken the approach of controlling capacity until they feel they are back 100%. So you still see the smiling faces, behind the mask, and genuine friendly nice crew that you expect on a ship. The crew really are happy to see you and be back to work. In some ways service couldn’t be better.
This newsletter contains numerous cruise reviews that I hope you enjoy. Remember you can always call us with questions about cruises, we generally have the answer or can get one. Please visit us at IMEX in Las Vegas or ITBM World in Barcelona. -Steve