Cruise Lines’ Problem: You Already Hate Cruises

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who take cruises, and people who have already made up their minds that they hate cruises. The CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines says that it’s his company’s job to find the people in that second category and convert them.

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]