Cruise Line's Promotional Activities

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Cruise Lines' Promotional Activities- Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Lines is a major Miami-based cruise line, and the company produces promotional activity on its own corporate website and Facebook page. Additionally, Norwegian regularly receives external media attention from major news outlets, as well as The New York Times annual travel show. While Norwegian has received negative social media coverage due to natural events, such as Hurricane Irma and the bomb cyclone, negative press does not appear to have impacted corporate growth. Norwegian has reported no negative effects on growth as a result of the current United States travel policy regarding Cuba.

Promotions and Media Coverage

Norwegian Cruise Lines advertises current promotions on both the corporate website and social media platforms. Current promotions from the Norwegian corporate website include a 50 percent discount on a second guest's cruise fare, the Bliss Big Apple Bonus (which is valued at a maximum of $600), reduced rates for extra guests, and promotional deals for members of Norwegian's Latitudes Rewards loyalty program. The Norwegian Cruise Lines Facebook is utilized to post beautiful pictures of exotic travels, in addition to providing information about Norwegian's fundraising efforts. For example, Norwegian used Facebook to post updates about the cruise line reaching its goal for the Hope Starts Here Hurricane Relief fund.

Norwegian Cruise Lines also benefits from significant external media coverage. USA Today covered Norwegian's Black Friday specials on November 19, 2017, which included discounts on an unlimited beverage package, free WiFi minutes, and credits for shore excursions. USA Today also highlighted features of the new Norwegian Bliss, a vessel scheduled to set sail in April, in an article from August 2017. Features covered included the Bliss's top deck go-cart race track and laser tag course. Another Norwegian Cruise Lines vessel, the Norwegian Escape, was featured in an episode of The Profit in July 2017. Finally, the cruise line's CEO and President, Andrew Stuart, served as a keynote speaker at the 2018 New York Times Travel Show, which was attended by 32,398 people. It is estimated that 22,130 of all attendees were consumers and potential cruise line patrons.

Natural Events

Several natural events have affected Norwegian Cruise Line in the past year. Perhaps the most dramatic natural event was Hurricane Irma, the hurricane that devastated the Caribbean and parts of Southern Florida at the beginning of September 2017. Several cruise ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and Puerto Rico were closed in September, but this disruption in service was temporary, as those ports re-opened for business in November 2017.

Hurricane Irma also resulted in two cruise ships, the Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Escape, being forced to return to Miami early. The Norwegian Escape intended to pick up passengers from the Norwegian Sky who were unable to return home in time to escape the hurricane, but several passengers were left in Miami instead. Families of these stranded passengers reacted negatively on social media, making statements such as, "My family is on the street in Miami with no options." However, it was noted that Norwegian was making an effort to find hotel rooms for all travelers stranded in Miami.

The "bomb cyclone" of 2018 affected the Norwegian Breakaway, which sailed directly into the storm's path. The ship experienced flooding, and violent waves made many passengers sick. Several videos were posted on social media sites, showing the storm as viewed from the boat. Passengers reported being "traumatized" and that being on the Breakaway during this storm was "the worst moment of [their lives]." Meteorologists noted that the storm was forecasted in advance and could have been avoided, which did not paint a flattering picture of Norwegian's operations during the storm.

The Zika virus, which has been found in many tropical and subtropical locations, has also been a concern for the cruise line. Norwegian cruises to many ports where the virus is present, primarily in the Caribbean. In response, Norwegian is allowing passengers with travels planned to locales affected by Zika to change their trip without incurring a penalty, if they have not made their final payments.

Travel advisories and Norwegian Cruises

The United States government has issued travel advisories to American citizens for a number of destinations in Mexico, as a result of increasing violence in those locations. These advisories affect twelve active cruise ports. The violence is mostly drug-related and not directed at U.S. citizens; however, there remains a concern that cruise passengers on shore excursion in these locations could be affected. Norwegian continues to offer cruises that include these ports, including a 7-Day Mexican Riviera cruise. This cruise departs from Los Angeles and includes stops at Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, and both of these ports are included in travel advisories. Representatives of Norwegian Cruise Line's parent company stated that Norwegian does not travel to locations listed as "defer non-essential travel."

Cuba is also subject to a travel advisory from the United States, as there have been attacks directed against American employees of the United States State Department. Additionally, attacks have been reported at hotels frequented by America citizens. However, Norwegian still offers four cruises that include Cuba as a destination, three of which involve docking in Cuba overnight. The cruise line states that its excursions already follow new regulations mandated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Furthermore, Norwegian reports that cruises that include Cuba are more successful than comparable cruises offered in the Bahamas and Caribbean. In an interview with CNBC's Mad Money, the CEO of Norwegian stated that "demand for the Cuban vacations [is] off the charts," and the cruise that includes Cuba and the Bahamas is "one of the most profitable itineraries."


While Norwegian Cruise Lines has been the focus of negative press in the past year as a result of the company's actions during Hurricane Irma and the bomb cyclone, Norwegian has nevertheless had a very successful year. Norwegian's stocks had appreciated 30 percent for 2017 (as of November 14, 2017), in part due to the success of the cruise lines Cuban itineraries.
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Cruise Lines' Promotional Activities - Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines has an abundance of promotional activities and media presence to promote its line. It has been affected by some natural, cultural, and political factors over the previous months which also affect its reputation.


Carnival Cruise Line has many promotions at any given time. One of its biggest, most recent promotions is its "Choose Fun" campaign. Carnival’s “Choose Fun” campaign debunks myths or preconceived notions regarding cruises. It is meant to attract new customers who might not realize everything they can do on a cruise while still appealing to loyal cruise-goers. Shaquille O’Neal has been named as Carnival’s CFO (Chief Fun Officer), which is basically a brand ambassador, and promotes the ideals behind the "Choose Fun" campaign.

At any given time, Carnival Cruise is offering some sort of promotion or special. Recently, specials have included viewing parties and discounted beer for last summer's solar eclipse as well as discounted or free cruises to military families. Fly2Fun Air is Carnival Cruise’s partnership with airlines and gives its customers some added benefits such as flight selection and protection and deferred payment. Bottomless Bubbles is a promotion where you pay a flat daily rate and can get unlimited soda and juice. CHEERS! is a Carnival Cruise promotion offering unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at a flat daily rate. Cruise with John For Fun’s Sake is a special promotion allowing cruisers to experience their trip with John Heald, one of their most popular directors. This one will be happening in 2019 and offers exclusive time with John Heald.

Carnival Cruise Lines also regularly offers promotional discounts and email promotions. This current promotion offers up to 44% off a Carnival Cruise.

Carnival has also revamped its retail shopping experience to cater to customer preferences. Popular retailers on more than 20 ships include Victoria’s Secret, Swarovski, TAG Timepieces, Invicta Fashion Watches, and Cherry on Top Sweet Shop. Other notable retailers going into a number of Carnival ships include Effy, Pandora, and Fossil.


Carnival Cruise was adversely impacted during the hurricanes of 2017 and had to reroute many of their cruise-ships during the fall 2017 season. Despite the fact that they had to make many itinerary changes, there were still numerous ports that Carnival Cruise Ships were able to stop at.

Current legislation has brought up travel concerns as well. People have been visiting Cuba on cruises since the Obama administration. Trump’s new legislation limits the individual travel to Cuba except on humanitarian or educational purposes. Cruisers therefore visit Cuba via cruise on the basis of an educational or cultural excursion and must fill out proper paperwork. Traveling to Cuba via cruise will not be affected under Trump’s new travel legislation regarding Cuba, as cruise travel and shore excursions are considered people-to-people travel.

Zika was a prominent factor affecting the travel plans of cruise guests in the past 2 years. Carnival educated its passengers about the viruses and offered credits to pregnant women and their families should they need to reschedule due to Zika concerns. Concerns over Zika affected Carnival to the extent that its growth slowed during 2016. However, Zika seems to be less of a concern for today's travelers.


Carnival Cruise Lines is generally well-represented in the media, especially with its new "Choose Fun" campaign backed by Shaq. However, it has had some negative exposure as well. An article from the NYT describes how the popularity of a cruise-ship port in Maine has ruined the town associated with it, as they are unprepared for the tourism. Recently, a report of brawling on an Australian Carnival Cruise Ship has also garnered some negative attention.


Carnival Cruise Lines relies heavily on promotions and celebrity endorsement to answer to uncontrollable factors and bad press. It has had to respond to negative press and factors such as Zika, hurricanes, public opinion, and legislation and has done so recently with motives like its "Choose Fun" campaign and special events.
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Promotional Activities Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean has offered a variety of interesting promotional activities in the last year, including the opportunity to view underwater diving on Snapchat, the ability to interact with actress and traveler Shay Mitchell as the company’s Adventurist, and the opportunity to participate in the Total Eclipse Cruise event. Royal Caribbean's use of technologies, such as the Sea Beyond mobile app, “staterooms of the future,” and the Bionic Bar, have been favorably discussed by a number of consumer and business media outlets, and Royal Caribbean resumed sailing to and from hurricane-hit islands in October 2017. Below, I will provide an overview of Royal Caribbean’s promotional activities, how its offerings have been covered in top-tier, national, consumer and business media, and the effects of hurricane damage in the Caribbean and the current U.S. travel policy to Cuba on the company.


On June 19, 2017, Royal Caribbean announced that from June 21 to June 25, its Snapchat channel would allow viewers to “experience a first-of-its-kind underwater adventure through the lens of Snapchat Spectacles.” Viewers could view three dives by well-known divers such as marine wildlife photographer and conservationist Roberto Ochoa, Marine Biologist Gabriela Nava, and free diver Ashleigh Baird. This was made possible by a custom-designed scuba mask created by the cruise line.
On August 18, 2017, Royal Caribbean announced that it was partnering actress and avid traveler Shay Mitchell to be the company’s adventure adviser and storyteller, an Adventurist. As part of the partnership, Mitchell worked with experts at Royal Caribbean to create a series of destination experiences for the ultimate Caribbean cruise. Consumers were encouraged to follow her adventures aboard Royal Caribbean's ships via Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube by following the hashtags #ComeSeek and #Shaycation.
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas ship departed from Orlando, Florida for the Caribbean on August 20, 2017, as part of the week-long Total Eclipse Cruise event. Bonnie Tyler was invited to perform her 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart aboard the ship. The other performers aboard the ship included DNCE, best known for their 2015 hit Cake By the Ocean.
In October 2017, a series of three short films created by MullenLowe were released to promote Royal Caribbean’s Alaska cruises. Each four-minute film stressed the “authenticity of experience and regional flavor over typical tourist fare.” Only one of the three lead actors is a native Alaskan.
In January 2018, Royal Caribbean teamed up with CPP–The Myers-Briggs Co to develop a quiz to allow users to “learn their 'adventure personality' and get tips on the types of destinations and experiences that would suit them.” The quiz contained 13 questions. The Adventure Personality quiz is only available from January to March 2018.


An article published by Forbes on October 16, 2017, discussed Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, which would be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in April 2018. The article noted that the completed ship would be “1,188 feet long, 215.5 feet wide, and weighs in 230,000 gross tons, with a 30-foot draft” and could hold up to 5,500 guests. Symphony of the Seas would be the 25th ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet.
An article published by Forbes on November 21, 2017, discussed how Royal Caribbean demonstrated its ability to utilize technology during the Sea Beyond event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The writer mentioned that he received a digital greeting on the Sea Beyond mobile app when he entered the navy yard. He also described how the app allowed guests to plan their “cruise activities weeks in advance, reserve lounge chairs, order up extra towels, plan meals, and even receive reminders to keep everyone on schedule.”
An article published by Lonely Planet on 29 November 2017, discussed Royal Caribbean’s “staterooms of the future.” It was revealed that in the near future, guests would be able to access their rooms by using their smartphone or via facial recognition. Suites would also be fitted with moving screens that provide the guests with immersive virtual reality experiences.
An article published by Business Insider on February 3, 2018, discussed Royal Caribbean’s Bionic Bar, which is available on several of its ships. In the Bionic Bar, guests would order their drinks on a tablet and their orders would be prepared by a mechanical arm. The finished drink would only slide to the guests after they have scanned their room card.
An article published by Travel Weekly on February 5, 2018, provided a 10-year retrospective review of Royal Caribbean. The writer noted that the introduction of the Celebrity Solstice in 2008 and the Oasis of the Seas in 2009 defined “the modern era at Royal Caribbean.” The writer also stated that the Celebrity Solstice “transformed Celebrity Cruises from something of an adjunct to Royal Caribbean International into a brand with real appeal as an alternative for grown-ups.”


On October 14, 2017, Royal Caribbean cruises began sailing from Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria hit the island. In early October, Royal Caribbean provided relief efforts by transporting 3,400 evacuees from Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria to Port Everglades, Florida. Royal Caribbean cruises returned to St. Maarten in December 2017 since the island was hit by hurricanes. However, due to the level of debris and destruction created by the hurricanes, passengers were discouraged from visiting St. Martin, the French side of the island. Facilities at visitors’ favorites such as Orient Bay were still closed as of December 2017.
The current U.S. travel policy to Cuba did not seem to have a negative impact on Royal Caribbean’s operations. According to Royal Caribbean spokesman Rob Zeiger, the cruise line is “studying it [the travel policy to Cuba] closely, but it does not appear there will be any changes for cruise.” Its president and CEO Michael Bayley said that when the news broke, “the company received a spike in queries from customers and travel partners,” but after “a few days, things just returned to normal and the business is very good for our Cuba product.” On November 30, 2017, Royal Caribbean announced that it would add two more ships sailing to Cuba in the summer of 2018. The press release also mentioned that the shore excursions would “comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.”
An extensive search did not reveal how the Zika virus affected Royal Caribbean’s operations. An article has discussed how Caribbean islands unaffected by the hurricanes, but were affected by the Zika virus, were trying to promote themselves as economies dependent on tourism. One example is a press release noting that the Bahamas were “fortunate to have come out of the 2017 hurricane season without impact to the country’s primary tourism product” and “there have been no documented cases of Zika virus there since November 2016.”


In conclusion, over the past year, Royal Caribbean allowed users to view underwater diving on Snapchat, partnered with actress and avid traveler Shay Mitchell to be the company’s Adventurist and created the Total Eclipse Cruise event. Several consumer and business media focused on Royal Caribbean use of technologies such as the Sea Beyond mobile app, “staterooms of the future,” and the Bionic Bar. Royal Caribbean had resumed sailing to and from hurricane-hit islands since October 2017, and was the current U.S. travel policy to Cuba did not seem to have a negative impact on its operations.


From Part 02