Currently, about 51% of cruisers come from the United States. What’s interesting is that we’re a nation firmly divided into categories of cruisers and non-cruisers. Non-cruisers’ aren’t quite clear who is on cruises: it could be old people, teens, young children, or morbidly obese people enjoying some sunshine between buffets. What they do know is that cruises might be for someone, but that someone is definitely not them.
“It’s clear to me that as an industry we have not done a good enough job effectively communicating to the public … to those who don’t know what cruising is,” Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Arnold Donald told reporters earlier this week. When all American non-cruisers have to go on are stereotypes and news coverage of industry catastrophes like the Poop Cruise and persistent norovirus outbreaks.
In countries where people don’t already have a set of stereotypes about what kind of person takes cruises, Donald notes that the industry is finding enthusiastic new cruisers in all demographics.
Carnival’s CEO Explains the Cruise Industry’s Biggest Problem [Bloomberg Businessweek]