It was only recently that cruises were blamed, in part, for spreading the COVID-19 virus and many wondered if the industry would survive.
Now we are at the point where some lines are asking customers to rebook their cruises because their ships are so popular.
While the airline industry is just now regaining some of its footing, cruise occupancy rates are surging. In fact, some cruise lines have resorted to the airline practice of overbooking. Almost 40 million people are expected to take a cruise by 2027.
But many wonder if the cruise industry can sustain its success and popularity, or is this too much too soon?
CLIA president Kelly Craighead seems unconcerned. “What this tells me is that all the work the lines did to innovate and make it one of the healthiest ways to travel resonated with people who may have had different ideas at the start of the pandemic,” she said. “We’re in a new era.”
“The industry was forced to collaborate — cruise lines with cruise lines, cruise lines with ports, with destinations, with suppliers. A very strong community has been built that accelerated innovation and partnerships. We’re all stepping out with much stronger relationships, ones built during the pandemic.”
Right now, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line both have occupancy rates above 100 percent. About 31.5 million people are expected to take a cruise this year. The cruise lines are weighing the dilemma of whether or not the added revenue comes at the expense of customer satisfaction.
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