Sunday, April 26, 2015

Will Norwegian Cruise Lines "free drinks" idea spread?

Cruise News UK is covering the cruise3sixty conference and wrote about NCL's announcement that the Norwegian Sky will include alcohol in their cruise price. The idea expands their freestyle cruising philosophy. Of course there are some fine print details like:
-- wines by the glass
-- bottled or draft beer up to $11
-- passengers under 20 will be offered unlimited soft drinks

The company is saying the policy is in place for "2016 and beyond." Anything new is somewhat bold in the cruise industry, so we applaud NCL's experiment. They are giving up a big revenue source in the hope that it will bring more passengers on board. Like all cruise experiences, there is also some belief that whatever money they lose on beverages can be made up by the passengers spending it elsewhere on the ship or through upselling on premium drinks.

If it works, NCL will probably roll it out to other ships. However, don't expect the other lines to follow just yet. Aside from the potential revenue loss, some lines don't want to encourage excessive drinking in a party atmosphere...especially lines that cater to an older clientele. For other lines that want more of a young, fun crowd, this might be an option (Carnival?).

For anyone sailing on the Norwegian Sky in 2016, let us know what you think and how the experience works in practice.

1 comment:

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