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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cruise Line Dedication | Sticking to One Brand

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas
Are you cruise line dedicated?  Do you find yourself taking cruises on only one brand because that's the brand you started with and are happy with the brand?  Does the thought of straying and trying another cruise line scare you?  Maybe just a little bit?

Don't worry... you're not alone.  Many people start out with a cruise line and find themselves, shall we say, infatuated with the cruise line.  If it was their introduction to cruising, they will probably always have a very strong tie to the cruise line and even to a particular ship.  Why would they ever want to try out another cruise line when they are so happy right where they are.

Celebrity Millennium leaving the Port of Miami
I've mentioned "Velveeta syndrome" before on my blog and I'll mention it again.  If left to his own devices, my husband would eat exactly how he ate in college.  Give him a brick of Velveeta, macaroni, and a microwave, and he'd be set for lunch and dinner for at least a week (hopefully more!).  Let's just say that he wasn't always as adventurous as he is now.  I introduced sushi, Indian food, and vegetarianism to him among other things, including cruising.  Now he is the one to suggest something different when I sometimes fall into a rut.

But if you are madly in love with your current cruise line, why would you want to try a new one?  Perhaps it makes you realize that there are other options besides the first one you chose.  You might decide your first cruise line was a great introduction to cruising, but your tastes have advanced to something new.  Or the new cruise line might only reaffirm your love for your original cruise line and why you should never stray again.  If you never try another cruise line, how will you ever really know that your first is your one and only?

Carnival Destiny leaving Port of Miami.  Currently in drydock now to be renamed Carnival Sunshine
We were brand loyal for quite some time, but then we decided to try out some of the other major brands. What I found is that our expectations went up after that and although it still confirmed how we preferred one particular brand, we could appreciate some of the aspects of the other brands.  Each brand has something that makes it unique in the same way that we are all unique.  It is those unique things that make each brand appealing in its own way.

For example:

  • Holland America made the effort to have a complete vegetarian menu vs. a solitary vegetarian offering at dinner.
  • Who can pass up the Chocolate Lava Cake on Carnival?
  • There's nothing better than sailing from a port that's less than 15 minutes from your home. Norwegian Cruise Line afforded us that opportunity on a cruise to Bermuda from Boston and I wouldn't hesitate to take that cruise again.
  • Royal Caribbean always has enough to offer every member of my family, including food, entertainment, and activity.
  • Celebrity Cruises made me feel like I was staying at a five star resort and sometimes I just want to relax, have a drink and good food and nothing else. 

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas in Hamilton, Bermuda
What works for me may not work for you, but that should be enough of a reason for you to try out different cruise lines.  Don't go by what others say about a cruise line being too much of a party ship or that it's for old people.  Some of what you hear may be true, but some of it may be exaggerations.  Try to get a feel of the cruise line that you're interested in by reading several, if not more, reviews on sites like Cruise Critic.  When you look at a wide variety of opinions, then you might be able to make a more educated decision about your next vacation.

Don't let fear of the unknown stand in your way of your next vacation.  Go ahead --- try something new!

Marian Krueger
Email: mkrueger@travelshopgirl.com

12 comments:

  1. What great points, Marian! Velveeta Syndrome, I LOVE it!

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  2. Thanks Charu! I just wonder if my husband is going to read this now. :)

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  3. I agree! Trying something new from time to time is important!!

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  4. I've only been on one cruise line and am ready to branch out and try new ones. Feel free to contact me cruise lines if you want me to board your ship. wink* wink* Seriously though, I am hoping to try some new ones in the near future.

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  5. But we LOVE Royal Caribbean! We've only been on 4 cruises since last September, maybe next year!

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  6. Thanks Andi -- I agree. It's always good to try something new!

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  7. Sonja if you get a call, you'll need to call me!

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  8. Ann it's easy to brand loyal. I sailed one cruise line 10 times (with one short exception in between with friends on another cruise line) before I started trying other brands. You'll try something new when you're ready.

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  9. I don't think I am brand loyal. Although I love anything Disney and had a great experience on our family's first cruise with DCL, I think we are open to trying other lines.

    I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival before and they all have been memorable. All cruise lines offer different things and I think it just depends who you are travelling with that often dictates which one you pick.

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  10. Great point and I completely agree. You should look for a cruise that suits your needs at that moment in time, but be willing to venture out onto other ships and cruise lines, too. Thanks!

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  11. Good article, Marian! I'm the same. I'd always stick to Viking River Cruises. I'm happy with their service and actually never thought about trying a different river cruise line. My sister went on a cruise with Viking River Cruises and she loved it. So I went on holiday to Paris with my boyfriend. We went on a romantic Seine River Cruise. Later we decided to go on a Mekong river cruise. A cruise from Beijing to Shanghai sounds particularly interesting as well. Not sure if I would ever go on holiday with a different cruise line if I'm honest.

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  12. Thanks Jessica! Glad you like them and that it works well for you.

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