Crash? I hardly think so. The cruise line industry has less then 10% of the market. RCCL is building two more ships the same size as the Freedom of the Seas, and talking about building an even bigger ship. I don't think they would make such plans if the market didn't demand it. Unless the cost of airfare goes sky high (no pun intended)people are discovering a cruise is the best vacation for their buck. I don't know about other cruise lines, but Royal Caribbean seems to be filling up their ships.
The cost of airfare could very well be the telling factor - I am cruising from the East Coast for the first time, and my airfare was almost as much as my cruise fare - certainly makes one re-think the total cost of the vacation. I don't know that I would sail from the east coast again, and cruises from the west coast are limited. Living so close to Mexico, Mexican cruises aren't a great draw...
You're so right Suzanmaz. I would love to do an Australian/New Zealand cruise--can't afford the air fare. I wanted to do the cruise from Italy to the US. I priced the air fare, round-trip from Venice, $806/pp. Since I wouldn't be going round trip, I priced a split ticket. It shot up the airfare to $1596/pp. Guess I'll have to stick to ports that I can drive to, I really can't swim that far. I don't see the cruise industry tanking anytime soon, in fact, I think there will be new and exciting itineraries to keep customers happy. They may even open up new ports, like Mobile, Tampa, Port Canaveral, etc. To me, it's still the best vacation ever!!
We are more than willing to do all that we can to prevent a cruise industry collapse. Fortunately, the industry still seems to be expandingand as Peny3333 said adding new points of departure. We are very excited that RCL will be sailing from Norfolk, VA in 2007.
I agree, its the airfare that's the killer. As long as Galveston/Houston continues to be a cruising port, we are good! It will get old doing the same itineraries over and over, so as long as the cruise companies can mix it up a bit, that will help.
Without the airfare, the cost of a cruise is probably the best vacation deal going.
LisaP I think I subsidize the industry as well. For those of us who live in Canada it is certainly not a bargain once you put the air fare on top. We paid over $200.00 more for the air fare than the cruise cost. I am sure the industry is alive and well at cetain times of the year, but have to think there may be more ships than customers at other times.
The cruise fares that are out these days are, for the most part, discounted and a bargain. If you have to pay $200 more for airfare than for a whole cruise, which includes food, accommodations, entertainment, transport, etc., doesn't that make cruising a bargain?
It is generally thought within the travel industry that cruise prices today are significantly lower than what could (should?)be charged for cruises, if you add up its component parts. Accommodations in the Caribbean or Europe that equal the quality of a ship's accommodations could, by themselves, add up to as much or almost as much on a per deum basis, than what an average cruise costs. Have you priced a hamburger, fries and cola at a Caribbean resort lately?
What keeps costs down to their current levels is the competition, not the actual value of services received for the price paid. I still feel cruises are the biggest vacation bargain around, and that the prices are, indeed, discounted from what you'd pay if you put together the parts yourself.