Carnival Cruise Lines Pre Trip Impressions
So if you read Fridays Fun Filler this week you all know I went on a cruise this weekend. I went on the Carnival Paradise ship for a three day trip which stopped in Ensenada Mexico. Let me tell you, what a trip.
This will be post one of two talking about the cruise and how cruise lines are marketing themselves to their potential customers (including Gen Y). Tomorrow I will talk about the actual cruise and what they did well, and what they can do better.
So lets dive in shall we…. (Hahaha get it? Dive in…)
Before I went, Carnival sent me lots of documentation about what I needed to know and what would help me prepare and make the most of my trip. One of them included this link http://www.funshipisland.com/#deck. It is a great interactive web site that is very good at showing you all the features and activities of your upcoming ship.
The site is really well made, and is actually pretty fun to poke around. You can travel through all the different parts of the ship where very happy individuals will tell you about the section of the boat you are in. For example a guest talks to you about the adult only serenity deck and a casino dealer tells you about the casino. You get a mini preview of a ride on the water slide and the casino even boasts a simplified version of craps.
This is frankly a website that more travel destinations need to produce. I was poking around on it the night before my trip and I was getting genuinely excited. “Ohhhh look at the slide”, “Wow, that atrium looks beautiful”. These were thoughts that were routinely going through my head. I felt more educated and prepared about my upcoming trip and feel like it helped me do all that I wanted to do when I was actually there.
A gold star to Carnival Cruiselines for their Funship Island, a job well done.
The way that I became aware of The Funship was a couple-friend of my girlfriend and myself were going, and they invited us. We had been thinking about going on a cruise for a long time so we pulled the trigger. We then told another close couple to us, and they decided to go as well. It was that simple and easy to get a group of 6 to go.
Here is my advice to Carnival. The cruise was great, it was fun, relaxing, had great food, great drinks, great entertainment and great service. The best part about it was the price. For what we paid for 3 days with all inclusive food was a steal. I know the cruise lines are hurting a little bit because of the economy so why don’t they spend more time on promoting the great deals they offer?
I really haven’t heard much about cruises recently, and I know that if I saw a commerical saying “All inclusive cruises starting at $300” I would be very intrigued. I do realize they need to be careful and not dilute their brand. But they should do some more work expressing how affordable cruises can be.
I also realize that cruise lines (especially Carnival) are not doing a good job marketing to Gen Y. Gen Y is the next generation of cruisers, and they should start targeting them now as they are cruise age. Also, the cruise is the perfect getaway for the Gen Y generation. There is lots to do, they vary in length and are very reasonably priced. If I was Carnival I would design a campaign around Gen Y.
I did a little research and found that Carnival had no Facebook presence. Facebook could be a very key tool for Carnival to attract new customers, and gain repeat customers by continuing the conversation and reminding everyone how good their trip was.
They could post pictures from cruises and encourage their trip goers to become a fan on facebook to see them. They could send them exclusive cruising tips and exclusive cruise deals. Not to mention they could get valuable feedback from their customers and potential customers. (If you need someone to do it Carnival, let me know) I would become a fan right now.
So my advice to Carnival: Update your marketing channels. Your messaging is good, and you have a good product. Start preparing yourselves for the future and campaign to Gen Y. Your cruises will start to get a little younger and you will start a new Generation of happy cruisers.