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In case you haven’t heard, some “experts” out there are saying you won’t be getting back on a cruise ship.
Completely unaware of just how deep the connection is between cruise lovers and the sea, they think the current crisis is going to make it impossible for the lines to bounce back.
Clearly, they’ve never met you.
What Many Don’t Understand About The Cruise Industry
An article in The Economist recently claimed that “the industry has few friends and its main customers, the elderly, may shun it for good.”
While that doom-and-gloom tone no doubt plays among folks out there who’ve never cruised and have been inundated with negative stories about the industry in recent weeks, it clings desperately to stereotypes.
For example, the claim that “the elderly” are the industry’s main customers is flat-out false.
Between 2016 and 2018, studies by the Cruise Lines International Association showed that the average age of a cruiser was around 47 years old.
Call me crazy, but the only people I know who consider that “elderly” are 12-year-olds.
In fact, it appears that many younger people believe so firmly that the industry will bounce back that they are putting their money where their mouth is.
During an interview with CNBC earlier this month, TD Ameritrade’s chief market strategist JJ Kinahan said that his firm was seeing Millennial clients adding Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCL) and Carnival Corp. (CCL) to their portfolios.
He said that in addition to seeing the stocks — which have taken a beating in recent weeks — as a potentially sound investment should the industry rebound, there’s another reason they might be buying. “They may be some of the first customers who are willing to jump back in to do cruises,” he said.
This sentiment was backed up by Lindsey Bell, the chief investment strategist at Ally Invest. Saying he’d seen a similar pattern among young investors, he, added, “And they very well may be the first to get back on the boat.”
“People Are Booking”
During a recent chat with members of the media, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald acknowledged that there would be several issues to overcome, including the kind of negative publicity being aimed at the industry.
But he also pointed out what most of us already know. “People are booking,” he said. “So there is demand.”
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This, however, is unlikely to come as a surprise to most of you. Because for cruise lovers, this has been an incredibly difficult period.
Nobody wants the ships to sail too soon, and everyone — including those who work at every level of the industry — knows how important it is that new, stricter protocols be developed and strictly adhered to.
The last thing anyone wants is for the industry to return prematurely and have the exact same situation arise.
While recent events will no doubt leave many people thinking twice about jumping on a ship, if history has taught us anything, it’s that this is a strong industry.
Humans are instinctively connected to the sea, and we can no more ignore its call than we can stop breathing. When the industry returns, things will be different, as will many aspects of the world in which we live.
But it will return. And when it does, we’ll be here, ready and waiting.