According to a recent Travel Weekly (TW) article a total of 30 cruise ships will be sailing in the Caribbean this summer with Carnival alone offering over 1,600 cruises in the region across the entire year.
Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing, but it would have been difficult not to predict the massive over-capacity estimated at 19 percent, that has been created in 2014. Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, described the ‘Caribbean train wreck’ as a product of a ‘lemming theory’. He went on to add ‘we all sat in our rooms and did our itinerary planning – on our own, or course – and we all concluded it made sense to go into the Caribbean’.
Ken Muskat, MSC’s senior vice President was equally candid, describing the situation as ‘oversaturated with inventory’.
“Whether you describe this scenario as over-capacity or under-demand inevitably the result has lead to dramatic price discounting, with daily all-inclusive rates lowered than US$43 per person/day on some cruises.”
“Land based tourism accommodation providers do not stand a ‘snowball in hell’ chance of competing with these rates…”
Probably what at least partially influenced the key players into redeploying more vessels to the Caribbean this year was the poor performance of its ships in Europe between 2010 and 2012, due to weak economies and the reluctance of many North Americans to pay higher transatlantic airfares. Continue reading