Cruise lines are sullying their heritage as the height of cultured travel by working overtime to squeeze every last penny out of passengers. Though gluttons are still sated by free meals, cruises now regularly charge for sodas, “special venue dining,” and other amenities that were once free. A recent industry convention in Miami revealed that these charges are just the tip of the iceberg.
Spa treatments, traditionally seen by cruise lines as cash cows, will soon expand into Dr. Zizmor’s territory with services like botox and dermabrasion. Some lines may even deploy botox cruises:
Such cruises could attract top-notch doctors with whom the passengers would feel comfortable, and they could create an effective learning environment. “Teaching and evaluating individuals before getting Botox on how to make healthy lifestyle changes that really matter — that’s what’s most important,” Barber said.
Cruise lines are also exploring the data mining opportunities made possible by tying all shipboard purchases to a single stateroom key.
For example, the software could detect a passenger who often orders cognac in the ship’s bars but hasn’t bought a bottle of cognac in the duty-free shop; that passenger could then be targeted with a promotion.
These changes are, of course, the consumer’s fault. According to a Vice President for Celebrity Cruises, “when people go on vacation, they want to spend money.”