Cruise Ships; Catering to a Younger Demographic

A friend of mine once said, “death before cruise ships.”

It was in response to the prospect of a group vacation in which someone suggested a cruise ship as one of our options.

Like my friend, I also have a negative impression of cruise ships. Since I have never been on one, this negative impression is based on unfounded stereotypes that have nonetheless been strong enough to keep me from stepping on board. I know, this is wrong, but I can’t quite seem to shake it.

So, what are my beliefs regarding cruises? They are full of old, lazy people who eat all day and, if they are feeling particularly frisky, might play a round of shuffleboard between meals.

This is of course, not entirely true–at least according to Richard D. Fain, chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

In a recent New York Times interview, the CEO expressed dismay over the narrow minded view that people like myself have regarding cruises. He admits that cruises do skew towards the older demographic but that the industry is eagerly trying to change by incorporating more active activities on board, like surfing, rock climbing, and ice skating.

The result has been a decrease in the average age to just 42 years old.

Well, I suppose this is all great for the industry, but personally it’s still not enough to sell me; until things drastically change, I’ll remain part of the 85 percent of the American population that has never cruised.