Sarah Kennedy, public relations manager for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) concludes our Plan a Cruise Month feature series with a future forecast on the cruise industry.
Q. Can you round up the aim of Plan a Cruise Month and why you’ve been running the campaign?
A. Plan a Cruise Month has run for the entire month of October and intended to encourage people to learn about, plan and book a cruise vacation. We run Plan a Cruise Month every year because we want as many people as possible to go on a cruise vacation, whether it’s your first cruise or you’re a veteran cruiser.
Q. What can cruise enthusiasts look forward to in the next few years?
A. CLIA Cruise Lines is consistently creating unique and exciting itineraries for travellers, and many are building new ships to be able to continue to offer new experiences. Across the entire industry, we have more than 95 new vessels coming out between now and 2026, so you can be sure to see lots of new innovations as we welcome these new ships to the waters.
Q. What advice would you give on picking a type of cruise ship?
A. Cruise ships have features for everyone so it really depends on what cruisers are looking to get out of their vacation. Some want to relax and unwind, others want to reconnect with family or loved ones, or some travellers might want to go on an adventure in a new and exciting destination. A cruise vacation allows for all of these options and more with customisable experiences that anyone would enjoy.
Pictured: Holland America's ms Eurodam 2.
Q. Why is a cruise holiday a great option for a group of travellers?
A. A holiday cruise allows groups or families to spend time together during the holidays, while enabling them to see a new part of the world. Holiday cruising also eliminates the stress of preparing for the holidays at home, as everything can be arranged for your group on a cruise vacation.
Q. What advice would have to a group travel organiser who was looking to book their first cruise?
A. I would encourage them to contact a CLIA-certified cruise specialist who will be able to gain an understanding of each group’s needs and interests and plan the perfect holiday getaway. It’s the easiest way to make sure that your next cruise is one that the whole group will enjoy.
Q. What cruise destinations are forecast to be popular in 2018?
A. Many Caribbean destinations continue to draw tourists to that region, and there are nearly 50 ports open for visitors. Many shore excursions are up and running, or will be in the coming weeks. It’s not too late to book your tropical getaway as we head into the cooler months.
Pictured: Harmony of the Seas. (Photo credit: 2015 Royal Caribbean Cruises Lt).
Q. How important is it for cruise ships to offer guests a variety of extras on board?
A. All of our cruise lines offer something different to travellers including an array of on-board activities, entertainment and more. Many ships have celebrity chefs and speciality restaurants for guests, which further elevate the cruising experience. All of these on-board features add to the excitement of a cruise vacation and are a major draw for travellers seeking something different.
Q. What makes a cruise line stand out from its competitors?
A. A variety of activities on-board, an array of shore excursions and overall experience all play an important part, but the great thing about cruising is that each line and each ship offers something different – there truly is a cruise for every vacation, style and budget.
To find out more about Plan a Cruise Month, and for more advice on booking a cruise for your group, visit www.cruising.org.
Lead image: The Celebrity Solstice by the Opera House in Sydney. (Photo credit: Richard Birch 2015 Celebrity Cruises Inc).