Celebrity Cruises: Customer Driven

Celebrity Beyond

“Our customers tell us they come to us for five things – service first and foremost, accommodations, destinations, our great culinary, as well as our entertainment activities,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, president of Celebrity Cruises.

“If you look at where we sit  in the marketplace,” she added, “we have a very luxurious product when you think about The Retreat; our amazing Infinite verandah staterooms, Aqua class staterooms and Concierge class, a very premium product, and then we have some inside space that is entry level for those who want to experience this brand and the elevated nature of what we provide.

“The key is to give the guests what they covet and love.

“The customer will decide, and the proof is that our business is doing phenomenal.”

Bethge was addressing audiences aboard the new Celebrity Ascent, which sails seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades through mid-April when she repositions to the Mediterranean.

“Our guests tell us that we are simply just better,” she added. “In my mind, our goal, our north star, is to provide our guests with the best premium vacation in the world, full stop.

“When you look at our competition in the industry or land-based resorts, we want to be a notch above on all those five passion points. So, we ask ourselves every day about what we are creating, are we elevating this to the point that no one can compete with us?

“My goal is that every single guest coming off the ship, will say ‘wow that was just better than anything I have experienced before.’  Then we are doing our job.”

Added Jason Liberty, CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group: “You would be shocked how little time we spend on evaluating how we can change and improve within the cruise space, instead we spend most of our time both commercially and in terms of the experience looking at the product in the broader context of vacations.

“Our mission is to deliver the best vacation experience not just the best cruise. If you only look at the cruise space, you are missing the opportunity to reach the new-to-cruise, new-to-brand, the new customers of today and the new customers of tomorrow.

“It is also the power of their advocacy as they share their experience and come back with friends and family and often with detractors to cruise. When you can crack down that detractor perspective, that generates a tremendous amount of demand.”

Twenty twenty-four will be a huge opportunity to drive growth, according to Celebrity executives. The company launched national TV advertising in November, which will run through the first quarter and into the second quarter and also as they go into this year’s fourth quarter.

The messaging is designed to reflect what customers are telling the brand they want,” Bethge said.

Among other efforts to generate more passengers, Celebrity has introduced more short cruises in the Caribbean as well as in Europe, in addition to highlighting entertainment and activities to attract younger guests.

Perfect Day at CocoCay has also been added to 2024 itineraries with 50 calls (by the Celebrity Beyond and Reflection).

Excerpt from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Winter 2023-2024

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