After almost two years of rough waters, the cruising industry is back. While COVID still exists and affects our lives in various ways, tourism has been functioning for a while. It seemed like every aspect of this almost $9 trillion dollar (worldwide) industry was hitting its stride, cruising was still hobbling along, until now. Cruising is back and sailors are being welcomed aboard as can be seen through some pretty important indicators.
First, all of the major cruise lines have announced record setting sales numbers over the past few months. In March and April, the two largest cruise line companies–Carnival and Royal Caribbean–each announced record breaking booking weeks. Other major players like Norwegian shared new records being met each day in the late spring and early summer. And even one of the newest lines, Virgin Voyages, announced new high sales numbers during the booking high season. On a purely objective measurement, cruising is back.
Second, the industry is continuing its exponential growth. While it seems almost to impossible to imagine because all of the ships had been abandoned during COVID, now the cruise lines have returned like gangbusters, introducing innovative and game-changing ships, reimagining and upgrading many of the older ships, and introducing new itineraries that seem almost too good to resist. I was recently speaking to an engineer onboard a cruise ship and we had a fascinating discussion about all of the new ships being launched. Can you believe that there is now a 5-year backlog? There is so much pent-up demand that it now takes even longer to create, build and launch one of these magnificent ships. This investment is a clear indicator that cruising is back.
Finally, from my own first hand experience of cruising over the last few months, I can tell you that things are returning. Is everything perfect? No, of course not. There are still staffing shortages and some remaining issues regarding COVID, but by-in-large things are booming. Over the past few months I have been able to cruise on various itineraries from some of the major cruise lines–Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Virgin Voyages (twice). The ships were full of wonderful people who were excited to be back. The crews were phenomenal at service and went above and beyond to make sure the guests had superb and safe cruises. The ships looked and felt clean, safe, and beautiful as ever. And the high quality food and entertainment that we’ve come to expect was exceptional. Having experienced it firsthand, cruising is back.
For me, this is a good sign not only because it's one of my favorite ways to vacation, but because it’s also my life as the Cruise Travel Specialist at The Good Life Travel Company. I can think of no better way to truly experience The Good Life than on a magnificent cruise ship experiencing and living the vacation you want–you basically get to customize everything on your cruise vacation. While we may be a new company, cruises are certainly an important option for our clients–I have already sold over 40 cabins this year to people looking to live The Good Life at sea– and so many of our friends, family, and clients have already returned to cruising. For me, I am already looking forward to my next cruise aboard MSC’s Seashore for a Caribbean itinerary–a perfect trip mixing sight-seing, relaxation, fun and entertainment, and of course some delicious food. If I haven’t said it enough, cruising is back!
Michael Roemmele is the Cruise Travel Specialist for The Good Life Travel Company. While he has traveled extensively around the world, cruising is still his favorite way to travel. To begin planning your first or next cruise, connect with Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.