A Whole New “Love Boat”

Carnival Concert CruisesWhat do “Julie the Cruise Director” and Kid Rock have in common? Check out the new Carnival LIVE Concert Cruises and you’ll know.

Both are (were) pivotal assets to engage potential cruise prospects. Both are (were) “of their time.”  But oh how far the cruise industry has come! Talk about knowing your ultimate positioning and being open to extending it to new targets in new, equally relevant, and motivating ways. Time was, cruising was known for extravagant buffets, fancy ballgown dinners, and proper etiquette. It suited the audience financially able (and willing) to take in the experience. But instead of saying “woe is me” as the world changed, the industry watched and listened and then added things like “Freestyle Cruising”, rock walls, ice skating, Food Network Celebrity Star cooking lessons… and now, Concert Cruises.

All I can say is, bravo! In our GWH W.T.F.* (* Winners, Toss Ups, or Flops) competition, the Cruise Industry, and Carnival and Celebrity in particular (though there are dozens of others), get a big old WINNER Award! They *get* positioning, re-targeting, redefining, and ultimately delighting new customers!

I became a (initially dubious) convert to cruising when I found a ship that was small, economical, UNfancy, and informal (read: don’t make me get all dressed up and eat with the same people every night!) that allowed me to sample the Mediterranean coastline at my pace. (Precursor of Freestyle, I am sure!) But it talked to ME.

Now they are enticing the 20-somethings to cruising with some of the most powerful *incentives* possible — music, star power, and a sense of privilege. They are negating the old-fashioned image of cruising to THIS audience  — while amazingly not alienating any of their other targets — and reinventing themselves. Again.

Smart, smart, smart. And oh, do I love smart.

Carnival, kudos. You get it. I hope your Concert Cruises are bursting at the seams with passengers!

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