“In the second quarter, the percent of guests were either new to brand or new to cruise surpassed 2019 levels by a wide margin, and we have seen post-cruise repeat booking rates nearly double 2019 levels,” said Jason Liberty, CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, speaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call.
“While we have made positive strides in narrowing the gap to land-based vacations over the last several months, cruising remains an exceptional value proposition, allowing us to outperform broader leisure travel as we seek to further close the gap to land-based vacations, drive better revenue and welcome even more happy customers,” he said.
Liberty said that the company had double the web traffic now than compared to 2019.
“In addition, our travel partners are now fully back up and running and delivering more bookings than they did in 2019,” he continued. “Our improved commercial capabilities have allowed us to capture this quality demand and expand our share of the guest wallet.”
Part of the new to brand strategy has been the company’s investment in the short cruise market, with refurbished ships and Perfect Day at CocoCay. That strategy takes the next step in 2024 with the new Utopia of the Seas, which will be positioned year-round in the short cruise market.
“Utopia will be the first Oasis-class ship that will be entirely focused on short cruises in the Caribbean, supporting our strategy of competing with land-based vacation alternatives and driving new-to-cruise customers into our vacation ecosystem as we seek to close the value gap,” Liberty said.
“Demand and pricing for Utopia has far exceeded our expectations.”