This is the symphony of the seas: an 1,188 feet long, 8,880 person, 18 deck, 7 neighborhood beast of a cruise ship that makes the Titanic look like a kayak. It cost $1.4 billion dollars but cruise ships only lasts about 25 years; 25 years of constant cleaning and maintenance, plus an enormous amount of food, fuel, fees and employees. But tickets can cost just 60 or 70 dollars a day, cheaper than most retirement homes and a bit more fun So making profit and quite a bit of it means Optimizing everything from a ship’s flag to its precise schedule. Like airlines, the business of cruising is one of low Margins at extreme scale. Cruise Lines are experts at finding clever ways to save money Norwegian cruises would even sail 1,100 miles into the middle of nowhere to avoid fines, they run a very tight ship Cruises can be long, short, salty or not But they all fall under three basic categories: Mainstream cruise lines optimized for scale They sell lots of tickets or not a lot of money Sometimes even at a loss. The average ticket sells for 1,293 dollars But cost the company even more in food fuel wages marketing and lots lots more. If everyone left their wallet at home, These cruise lines would go out of business, but the average person spends four hundred and twenty nine dollars on board They’re the perfect captive audience. When your only choices are pepsi or sea water They can pretty much guarantee your purchase casinos, spas, shopping and drinks are key to making profit And why you can’t bring your own, and since everyone walks from cabin to dining room at least once a day That’s where they place lounges bars and casinos. There’s no avoiding them. Premium wines are just the opposite they make most of their money upfront. The no screaming kids on board tax means they can spend more time in ports And Luxury ships may only hold a few hundred passengers But each pays more than enough to make the difference All three categories serve very different markets so a good company catches them all which is why so many brands are owned by just two mega corporations Carnival owns Holland America princess piano and Costa even an airline at one point and Royal Caribbean on Celebrity and Azamara. This way something like Costa, Concordia Doesn’t damage the rest of the company’s reputation. When a ship reaches the end of its life They can just hand it down to one of their other brands with lower standards, and a cruise ship is a vacation machine But it can never take a vacation November to April is when cold Americans escape to the Caribbean But keeping that many ships there all year round would be extremely costly so is moving around empty ships from one region to another So they don’t. when Caribbean ships switch to Europe in April They sell repositioning tickets a one-way two-week cruise from Florida to say Amsterdam This way the ship is always making money and when one cruise ends the next begins Turnaround day is a miracle of coordination. In less than half a day 6,000 people exit the ship and a hotel, restaurant, a theater, laundromat, and theme park clean and reset as if nothing ever happened When the ship arrives back at port early in the morning the clock starts ticking. While passengers sleep all their luggage must be carried ashore Meanwhile trash is dumped, crew members switched, fuel pumped and a Costco of food and supplies loaded onto the ship. 700,000 eggs, 3,000 gallons of soda and 15,000 pounds of potatoes. By 10:30 Passengers are gone and hundreds of housekeepers rushed to clean all 3,000 rooms Then paperwork needs filed, maintenance performed, towel animals folded, and lunch cooked by Mr. Fieri. All before new passengers arrive at one. By five o’clock The ship is on its way whether you’re on it or not, because the sooner it reaches International waters the sooner the casino can start making Bank. Gambling is already very profitable But especially when it’s unregulated, so don’t go overboard. Ocean water is pumped in Desalinated and sent to rooms, which because surface area is so limited are mostly interiors but the real moneymakers are suites and balconies, so Profitable that some ships have fake windows with virtual views and the least desirable lower decks are reserved for the crew There’s one for every 2 passengers, but you’ll never see them off-duty They work long hours for 3 to 12 months at a time And they have to stay in their quarters when not working, and that’s because a cruise ship can register in any country whose labor laws It prefers, most ships fly a flag of convenience Usually Panama or Liberia saving millions in wages. Pretty handy It’s why you might have a Barbadian maitre d or latvian housekeeper, but never a pricey american the only problem is the passenger vessel services act of 1886. It says no foreign vessel shall transport passengers between ports in the United States. Acruise can take passengers from America to another country and then Coincidentally those same people back to America But never directly between American ports so short Pacific cruises often stop in Ensenada It’s only 50 miles from the US but on a 6000 passenger cruise it saves 1.8 million in fines But for cruises to Hawaii they had to get creative. Every week Norwegian cruise ships going to Hawaii would take a four-day 1,135 mile detour to a tiny atoll with no running water or electricity called Tabuaeran But because they technically step foot in the Republic of Kiribati the trip is made 100% legal, And then Norwegian built the pride of America, because it’s registered in the US it can avoid the detour But it’s subject to American labor laws, which is why many cruises to Hawaii are more expensive. Meanwhile No port wants to be the next Tabuaeran so they fight to attract cruises. Cruise lines sell local activities for high Commissions and port fees are passed on to passengers But ideally passengers never leave company property so until 2096 Walt Disney owns a small island in the Bahamas where they take their cruises called Castaway Cay And now other cruise lines are doing the same It’s every company’s dream, from the moment you step on board until you leave 10 pounds heavier You’re under their magic spell but that’s also the beauty of a crew: total convenience. the last thing you want to do on vacation is cook or clean or [AD] Remember passwords. Traveling in general is hard enough much less remembering airline hotel and other passwords, sitting by the pool Lemonade in hand and surfing the net is the last time you should need to remember your passwords Dashlane stores fills and can even generate those passwords for you anywhere in the world Across all your devices so you can make them as secure as you want without having to remember. 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