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Cruise-Ships-Not Just for Grandma and Grandpa Anymore

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Cruise-Ships-Not Just For Grandma and Grandpa Anymore

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Introduction

A cruise ship is also known as a cruise liner (Mullins & Walker, 2013). A cruise ship is a passenger ship that is used for recreational and pleasure voyages (Mullins & Walker, 2013) .Cruise ships usually have state-of-the-art amenities which form part of the outstanding experience. Moreover, the voyage and the various destinations in the oceans are also parts of the experience. The first cruise ship was built in 1900 (Mullins & Walker, 2013). It was called The Independence of the Seas that was owned by the royal Caribbean. The ship is capable of accommodating up to 4370 passengers and is 339 meters long (Mullins & Walker, 2013).

In the earlier years, consumers had the perception that cruise ship experience was meant for either the rich or elderly. Other perceptions were also that cruising was meant for the retired and the famous. However, in the 1980s, this perception changed. Cruise ships became one of the most profitable service business in the United States during the 1990s. Some of the reasons that caused the revolutionized the modern cruise industry include:

* Significant investment in improving the physical facilities of cruise ships

More new ships were constructed which not only steadier but also bigger than then the previous cruise liners. The new cruise liners were also incorporated with amenities that appealed to the customers. The new cruises also had pool space, large area of open deck, dancing space, buffet-style meals and organized activities. Premium class were also built that were semiformal and designed to provide theme lounges, cigar bars, fitness facilities, games and other attentive services. Luxury class were also built that emphasize greatly on the choice of beverage, entertainment and food. It also has luxurious and spacious accommodation and a formal atmosphere (Mullins & Walker, 2013). The luxury cruise ships are also smaller and accommodate passengers ranging from 100 to 1000. They ensure passengers are given attention by offering a high ratio of staff to passengers....The luxury cruising experience is mainly meant for mature and experienced travelers who are more concerned about life enrichment. The luxury cruise liners have experienced a large number of repeat customers due to high levels of customer satisfaction.

* Cheaper and shorter cruises.

The new or renovated cruise liners offered cheaper and shorter cruises. An example is the contemporary/resort class which offered cruises of 3-7 days. The prices were also adjusted to target specific groups and different prices were charged for different types of cruises (Mullins & Walker, 2013).

* Better and accessible port locations.

Various ports were built around the world, and ships put in those new ports in order for them to be easily accessible to various passengers.

* Investment in advertising and promotion programs.

The cruise liners developed long-term relationships with both their past and present customers. An example is the Carnival cruise ship which offered significant discounts to their past customers. Cruise liners also became sensitive to customer needs during vacations and the manner in which they make their decisions regarding leisure purchase. The image of the cruise ships was also improved through the TV series "THE LOVE BOAT" which aired in 1977-1986. This TV series promoted the idea that cruise ship travel was a luxury rather than a medium of transport (Mullins & Walker, 2013).

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