Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is an international cruise vacation company. The organization operates six own brands, such as Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur, Croisieres de France and TUI Cruises (the last one is operated by a 50% joint venture). These brands have forty ships that can serve about 94, 000 passengers. The business has high sales; particularly, they reached $8.07B last year (Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, 2014). This paper will discuss the company’s history, major services and competitors, target market and customer service. The following aspects are essential for understanding the secrets of the company’s success.
1. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968 (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, n.d.). In the beginning, it operated as a partnership. In 1985, it shifted to the current corporate structure. This happened in the Republic of Liberia. The most significant parts of the company’s history are connected with the creation of innovative ships (from the introduction of Sovereign-class in the 1980s to the emergence of Quantum class in 2014). In 1990, the company also expanded the number of destinations. Apart from the Caribbean, it started to offer cruises to Mexico, Alaska, and European countries. Another important event of 1990 was the introduction of the computerized booking system. Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD became the first company in the industry that made this (Vogel, Papathanassis & Wolber, 2012). Moreover, the company also started offering vacations on the private island called CocoCay (in the Bahamas) in 1990.
2. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. offers cruise and land-tour vacations (Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, 2014). In particular, it has exclusive land tours to Alaska, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, Dubai, as well as Australia and New Zealand. As for cruises, the company developed a wide range of onboard services and facilities, including swimming pools, spa, beauty salons, ice-skating rinks, golf courses, basketball courts, bars, cinemas, and Royal Promenade with shops and restaurants. Today, the company has cruises to about four hundred destinations (Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, 2014).
3. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has a number of competitors among cruise lines. Thus, it competes with Carnival Corporation & plc that owns Aida Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Iberocruceros, P&O Cruise, and Princess Cruises among others. Other competitors are MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (the last one owns Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line) (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014). Apart from cruise lines, the company also competes with resort hotels and sightseeing places. It pays meticulous attention to customers’ leisure time offering alternatives to cruise vacations (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014).
4. The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has developed varied products to satisfy the needs of different markets. For example, Pullmantur was adjusted to the cruise markets in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014). CDF Croisieres de France is adapted to the needs of the French market, whereas TUI Cruises provides services developed for the German market.
The company has various target markets because it has offerings both for experienced travelers and for people trying cruises for the first time. There are offerings for couples, families with children, and singles. Besides, The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has cruises for guests with different incomes because customers can choose what services to include in their cruise vacation. Different duration of the cruises also allows people with dissimilar financial capabilities to purchase products of the cruise line. However, the company generally tries to attract the upper and premium segments of the market.
5. The company’s six brands are positioned on the market differently. In particular, Royal Caribbean International is positioned at the upper end of the market segment. It typically offers cruises that last for seven nights or less. The cruises are characterized by casual furnishing and a wide range of activities. The quality of the services is so high that the company can attract consumers from the premium market segment. Guests from the premium segment generally choose cruises that last from seven to fourteen nights. They are more experienced travelers than other consumers from other segments are. Finally, premium segment is wealthier. Such positioning allows Royal Caribbean International to have one of the widest market coverage in the industry where it operates (Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, 2014). The diversity and quality of product offerings could be particularly attractive to couples with and without children. The company’s positioning on the market is able to both draw attention to new consumers and gain repeat visitors.
Celebrity Cruises brand is positioned as a product for the premium segment of the market. The organization tries to attract experienced cruises by offering a wide range of destinations and luxurious ships (with upscale accommodations, personalized service, rich variety of spa facilities, and a significant number of staff).
Azamara Club Cruises is a company that offers cruise vacations that last from four to twenty nights. Its products are positioned at the upper segment of British, Australian and North American markets (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014). This market segment has some elements of the premium and luxury segments. For example, Azamara Club Cruises has smaller ships, increased quality of accommodation and service, higher costs and exclusive routes. The brand’s strategy is to provide original destination experiences through exclusive routes with a bigger number of overnights, more extended stays and in-depth tours. This allows guests to experience the destination more profoundly. The goal of Azamara Club Cruises is to attract experienced consumers who search for all-round destination experiences as well as intimate onboard experience and qualitative service (Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, 2014). The brand organizes cruises to Asia, Northern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean, South and Central America. It also sails to the islands of North America and the Caribbean, which are not common destinations of other cruise lines.
Pullmantur provides cruises that last from two to seventeen nights and go across South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The cruises of this brand are positioned as services for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American markets. The Pullmatur attracts target markets by offering a diversity of cruising options and onboard services that are created to satisfy the needs of couples and families with children. Recently, the brand has paid particular attention to promoting its services in Latin America, so it managed to increase presence there.
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CDF Croisieres de France is positioned as a cruise line for the modern segment of the French market (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014). The brand offers seasonal routes to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. In winter, the brand sails to South America.
TUI Cruises is positioned on the market as a company that responds to the needs of contemporary and premium segments of the German market. The brand has developed specific activities, services, and menus for this target market. TUI Cruises currently owns three ships, but it is going to expand the presence on the German market by adding three more vehicles (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014).
SkySea Cruises is positioned as a product created for Chinese cruise travelers. The brand was formed only in November 2014, is a result of cooperation with Chinese travel service provider (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014). SkySea Cruises uses the ships bought from Celebrity Cruises, which means that the brand is generally tailored for the premium segment of the Chinese market.
6. The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. pays particular attention to the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy. First, it spends significant resources to determine the needs of its customers and creates products that satisfy the demand of the guests. Second, the company develops communication strategies that are able to attract its target customers. Third, the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. communicates with guests concerning all aspects in order to determine the needs for which travelers are ready to pay additional money. For example, the company identifies activities that customers would like to try during a cruise. The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. uses varied programs before, during and after a tour in order to raise its ticket prices, occupancy, and revenues (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, 2014).
7. Improvement of the service would allow increasing the occupancy of the ships. The company has significant market coverage today, but the cruise vacation industry is quite competing (Cruise Market Watch, 2014). Therefore, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. should continue to identify customer needs and satisfy them. Apart from keeping loyal customers, this would attract new guests. Improvement of the service would also lead to expansion of the target markets; particularly, the company could attract customers from new countries. Finally, the enhancement of the service would help to keep leading positions in the industry because the company’s distinguishing feature is innovations. It is especially important for the premium segment of the market, which the organization tries to attract. Customers of this segment are ready to pay only for perfect service. As the services are constantly changing in the industry, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. should improve its product offering on a regular basis (Vogel, Papathanassis & Wolber, 2012).
The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. created varied product offerings for different target markets. It pays particular attention to the identification of customer needs and satisfaction of their expectations. However, focusing on the premium market segment requires the company to improve services all the time. This strategy allows the cruise liner to keep its leading positions in the cruise vacations industry for a long time.