In a move that shocked the cruise industry, the CEO of Crystal Cruises abruptly resigned yesterday, Edie Rodriguez has left the company she lead since 201. Under her command, the #1 rated all-inclusive cruise giant was purchased by Hong Kong base Genting.
Ms Rodriquez led a complete transformation of the line fro two stellar ships, the Serenity and the Symphony to an offering that will comprise 3 more ocean liners (one a condo arrangement), 5 river ships, a fleet of yachts and two aircraft.
A 777 is being reconfigured from holding 300 pax to one with almost 90. It’s focus will be for high rollers to take extended vacations with a theme – like golf courses of the world. Imagine Scotland on Monday, Pebble Beach on Wenesday.
Crystal has been based in LA for many years but has expanded operations to the Miami area. Key personnel have left the company in the last few years, including the VP of Entertainment, VP of Marketing and the COO.
Specific reasons for Ms. Rodriguez departure were not released – but it’s said it was amiable. It’s hoped that more will come out soon. She has no immediate announcement as to a new position in the industry.
Tom Wolber, fresh from Disney was announced as the new CEO – effective now. While with Disney for 28 years, Wolber has been President and CEO of Euro Disney and held posts at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Studies out of the UK are revealing that a younger population is now cruising. With 25M passengers projected for 2016, the lines are beginning to focus more on millennials and the like with offerings. Cruising is not just for retired CEO’s or women taking mom on her “last trip to the sunset.”
A record 1.7 million Brits were on ships last year. But it’s been noticed that the mean age is decreasing. It used to be about 55 – now it’s a few years lower.
READ – The change since 2014
Why the change? Well, obviously, people get old and die. That reduces the market. Sorry if this is cold, but it’s true. The lines are building ships with toys for the younger set. Like what? How about a cart race track, a trampoline park, ice skating (mom would never do these!)
When I was in college my frat had a Spring Formal in Ocean City, MD. It was implied that your date would stay in your room…and you hoped it would be in your bed. Eeck – for someone who was studying engineering too much to have many dates, this was difficult. But if you had a date go on a harmless cruise….and knowing you pretty well HAD to bunk up, that would suit many just fine.
All kinds of cruises are being organized. How about a nude cruise? A swingers cruise? A HipHop cruise. You get the idea. Hey – get 10 of your friends booked and YOU go free. Ships are catering to where the money is coming from.
Where are the geezers going? Safe and secure places. Too much terrorism cropping up. Barcelona will see a drop. Istanbul is already off the list. Venice and Dubrovnik are upset with all the tourists jamming into their towns. Can-cun and Cozumel are being hit with turf wars between the drug cartels. BUT Galapagos, Easter Island, Australasia, and the such will still pack them in.
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Dubrovnik is a fantastic walled city. Reminds me of Rothenberg in Germany. Both have a tall stone wall encircling the main village. Thanks to visiting cruise ships, overcrowding is making life unbearable for residents … and tourists alike. Venice is suffering the same problem and recently announced that they are starting to “cull the herd.” They are rolling out tourist rules and trying to get the cruise lines to limit the number of passengers allowed at one time to visit. Read our blog of August 12 for details.
As a World Heritage site, UNESCO may remove that designation unless the town limits the number of visitors to only 4,000. Mayor Franković stated the need to improve life for residents. Most visitors get off the ship then flood the town’s tiny walkways, gawking and spending little money. Free food on-board is a big deterrent to buying an local dinner.
If things are not fixed, the town’s three gates could indeed be shut. Even stops by ships may be curtailed. Limiting dis-embarking (Editor’s note: If getting on is embarking, shouldn’t getting off be “barking?”) on weekdays-only might prevail. Plans hope to be instituted in about two years.
Think there is overreaction going on? Check these numbers. In 2016, over 500 ships came in. That works out to almost 800,000 visitors. In 2016, one day saw 10,000. It’s reported that resident population since 1991 has dropped from 5,000 to 1,157. Sounds like the locals have had enough – just like Venice.
Me thinks Barcelona is next. Face it folks…7.5 billion people on earth…and many are retiring.
See these places now!!!!
I’ve been to all three – a few times – by speaking. Yes, free. You can to. Inquire how we can help you.