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Is Princess turning off their customer base?


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We enjoy cruising on Princess. The company seems to be trying to focus on younger folks but they may be turning off their "core" customer. Younger folks are going to lines with techie stuff, zip lines, race tracks and water slides. Sometime we ask ourselves - "Why not focus on your customer base?"  We have been cruising Princess since 1985 when we were in our 30's and have been hooked on cruising since then. We go on cruises for the R&R and to get away from all the "techie" stuff. We are going on our "Ocean Medallion" cruise next week. We are prepared and know the "techie stuff" but hope that it does not take away the reason we cruise.

"Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile."     

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Interesting that you mention this. I do digital marketing strategy for a living and have noticed a shift in their marketing. It used to be mature couples in their advertising. Now, that still exists... but I’m seeing a lot more younger models and families with small kids. They are also spending a lot of money on social media influencers who are in their 20s and 30s. If you follow any of the Princess social accounts, you’ll see them post some of the influencer photos. I’ve worked with a few of their lifestyle bloggers/influencers and they aren’t cheap...

 

I do think they are trying to target a younger demographic. No idea why (and I doubt we ever will) but I’m sure there’s a reason behind it.

 

Andrew 🙂

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I just saw another thread that Princess has changed the early traditional seating to 5 pm.  That seems to be the opposite of what someone would do to attract a younger demographic.  

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Have to continue to attract younger folks if you want to lock then into your brand for any type of long term relationship..  No tactful way to say it, but then"older demographic"  is dying off, and younger people have more disposable income than they did a generation ago.  With so many choices, they have to keep up and attract a slice of the pie or they'll wither away concentrating only in an aging populace.   

Simple economics really.  Beside the basic fact the the world is going more tech - more self-serve, more tech in your pocket, it's inevitable.  Not all young people want zip lines and slides - many enjoy a more refined experience,  however do want to be in touch, as that's the way the world has gone.  Princess is behind the times in tech-ing up. Even the Ocean Medallion isn't some revolutionary idea - it's simpky a small evolution from Magic bands at Disney, which have been around for years, or WOW bands on RCI or the wristbands on MSC and so forth..  It's not a new concept, just a small evolution.. 

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While their advertising may show younger models in the pictures, Princess is not refitting or building new ships to attract the crowd that Carnival and RCCL have.  When their new ships start featuring water slides, trampolines, climbing rocks etc then I will get nervous.  OM is simply a step into the future for not only cruise ships but land based activities.  Princess does need to attract a younger crowd of newly empty nesters or with older children to get them accustomed to the cruise line.  

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As mentioned, you don’t attract a younger crowd with 4:45pm dining. That’s aimed at the nursing home crowd. They need to pick a demographic.  Their marketing and actions are opposing each other. 

Edited by Cruise Junky
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2 hours ago, 63 Super Sport said:

We enjoy cruising on Princess. The company seems to be trying to focus on younger folks but they may be turning off their "core" customer. Younger folks are going to lines with techie stuff, zip lines, race tracks and water slides. Sometime we ask ourselves - "Why not focus on your customer base?"  We have been cruising Princess since 1985 when we were in our 30's and have been hooked on cruising since then. We go on cruises for the R&R and to get away from all the "techie" stuff. We are going on our "Ocean Medallion" cruise next week. We are prepared and know the "techie stuff" but hope that it does not take away the reason we cruise.

"Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile."     

I find it interesting that you state you have been with Princess since 1985 when you were in your 30's but you are upset that Princess is trying to focus on the younger crowd.

 

Sounds to me like Princess is focusing on their customer base. They got you when you were in your 30;s and you are still with them. I would say you are the perfect marketing customer for Princess. 

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

As mentioned, you don’t attract a younger crowd with 4:45pm dining. That’s aimed at the nursing home crowd. They need to pick a demographic.  Their marketing and actions are opposing each other. 

But no one is forced to eat at 4:45.  Those preferring to eat later like us (and we are an 'older' demographic - mid and upper 60s) can chose late traditional or anytime dining.

 

We took our 35 and 31 year old kids (and spouses who were 39 and 31) on an Alaska cruise last summer.  They loved it (among the 4, all had sailed on Royal Caribbean and 2 on Carnival in the past) and are talking about future Princess cruises.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, capriccio said:

But no one is forced to eat at 4:45.  Those preferring to eat later like us (and we are an 'older' demographic - mid and upper 60s) can chose late traditional or anytime dining.

 

We took our 35 and 31 year old kids (and spouses who were 39 and 31) on an Alaska cruise last summer.  They loved it (among the 4, all had sailed on Royal Caribbean and 2 on Carnival in the past) and are talking about future Princess cruises.

 

 

The people who had their early dining arbitrarily moved to 4:45 with no notice didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to keep traditional dining. Granted, booking now and knowing what we do about their dining times you can plan for later. 

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2 minutes ago, Cruise Junky said:

The people who had their early dining arbitrarily moved to 4:45 with no notice didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to keep traditional dining. Granted, booking now and knowing what we do about their dining times you can plan for later. 

I absolutely agree with your comment about currently booked passengers getting a raw deal.  I was responding to the question about marketing (i.e., future reservations) strategies.

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

As mentioned, you don’t attract a younger crowd with 4:45pm dining. That’s aimed at the nursing home crowd. They need to pick a demographic.  Their marketing and actions are opposing each other. 

 

If you have cruised with Princess before you know that the traditional dining times in the Personalizer have been fiction. It may have said, for example, 8:15 PM for late dining, but the reality is that once on board you would find it was earlier or later with a number of the ships actually having it at 7:45 PM.

 

Changing the time in the Personalizer may or may not result in changed times on the ships. Posts on other threads say that on several of the ships it is still at 7:45, not the earlier 7:15 as shown in the Personalizer although it was reported that one ship did have it at 7:15.

 

A number of posts have been made by those saying 7:15 is a great time and they are switching from early traditional (now supposedly 5:00) to the late one at 7:15. If, once on board, they find it is 7:45, you can expect to see threads about how they signed up for 7:15 but now have to eat at a later time they do not like.

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14 minutes ago, caribill said:

 

If you have cruised with Princess before you know that the traditional dining times in the Personalizer have been fiction. It may have said, for example, 8:15 PM for late dining, but the reality is that once on board you would find it was earlier or later with a number of the ships actually having it at 7:45 PM.

 

Changing the time in the Personalizer may or may not result in changed times on the ships. Posts on other threads say that on several of the ships it is still at 7:45, not the earlier 7:15 as shown in the Personalizer although it was reported that one ship did have it at 7:15.

 

A number of posts have been made by those saying 7:15 is a great time and they are switching from early traditional (now supposedly 5:00) to the late one at 7:15. If, once on board, they find it is 7:45, you can expect to see threads about how they signed up for 7:15 but now have to eat at a later time they do not like.

What happens on the ship isn’t in question. It’s the optics of a 4:45 dining time that screams retirement home. 

Edited by Cruise Junky
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Millennials are starting to become a demographic that has disposable income. With millennials delaying starting families, the travel industry is going after the new clientele. I am not quite a millennial, but I enjoy cruising. My first cruise was in 2006, and most of my vacations since then have been cruises. Usually 1 or 2 a year, so that adds up pretty quick. 

 

Obviously cruising isn’t for anyone, but the cruise industry is just going where the money is. Overall, I think princess and celebrity have a pretty good mix of old to young passengers. Holland tends to skew older, and royal is much younger.  

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Cruising has certainly changed.  When we first cruised, it was like the world fell off the horizon, we were free of everyday life and loved the relaxed days.  When we saw people coming onboard with their laptops we were surprised but it didn't impact our enjoyment.  But then, everything changed. The problem with new builds IMO is that they have become oversized and inward facing.  No more lovely promenades, absurdly small balconies and everything geared to producing revenue.  The relaxed cruising atmosphere that we loved is difficult to find, its still there if you look for it.  Is that going to put us off cruising?  Oh hell no.  We will continue to cruise the smaller ships and if Princess keeps going bigger and bigger we will exercise our free will and go elsewhere.  Its called freedom of choice and everyone has it.  

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Having just got off the Crown Princess after a 10 day Southern Caribbean tour, the 'core base' doesn't have anything to worry about.  After having not sailed Princess in 8 years after sailing 5 other cruise lines and it felt like 'throwback cruising' stepping onto the Crown.   At 52 we were among the younger crowd on this ship.   I'm not sure what you're referencing in "techie" because the ship is as low tech as anything we've sailed.   The Ocean Medallion is just a wireless way to open your door and pay for you items onboard.  Hopefully it's better than the card keys which seem to demagnetize if you even think about putting it near your phone.  I went through three card keys and my wife went through two.    

 

As others have said, all cruise lines need to broaden their bases and Princess is no exception.  With no rock climbing walls, no rope courses, no body surfing and not even a mini golf course on this ship, you don't really have a lot to worry about in terms of 'younger generation taking over.'   This is purely a relaxation line and those who want to just get on board and relax will sail.  Those who want more adventure on the ship itself will sail Royal, NCL, MSC and Disney.

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6 hours ago, Cruise Junky said:

What happens on the ship isn’t in question. It’s the optics of a 4:45 dining time that screams retirement home. 

 

We often eat that early, are still very active and do not livein a retirement home.  Try again.

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8 hours ago, capriccio said:

We took our 35 and 31 year old kids (and spouses who were 39 and 31) on an Alaska cruise last summer.  They loved it (among the 4, all had sailed on Royal Caribbean and 2 on Carnival in the past) and are talking about future Princess cruises.

 

 

I totally agree ~ we started cruising on Princess in our mid 40's when we still had young children at home and extremely stressful jobs. Although we took yearly family vacations focused on our children, when we cruised is was our opportunity to reconnect as a couple and get away from it all. If we wanted screaming kids, raucous teens and partying twenty somethings we could just stay at home. 

We took our first Princess cruise on the advice of our TA and we never looked back. Even though the children are grown now we still appreciate the more refined vibe and "respectful of others" passenger base on the Princess ships. 

Edited by hllwdcruiser
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12 hours ago, 63 Super Sport said:

We enjoy cruising on Princess. The company seems to be trying to focus on younger folks but they may be turning off their "core" customer. 

"Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile."     

 

Seems to me you need to follow your own advice highlighted above and not worry about Princess' marketing....the only thing that seems to be changing or affecting their demographics is death itself!!

Edited by PrincessLuver
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24 minutes ago, Mrterryl said:

The older repeat crowd does not spend money on the ship.   The younger crowd will drink, go on excursions, and gamble.  Profit is the reason why Princess is after the younger crowd.

 

Absolutely!!!!! How many times do you read how proud passengers are because they cruised and didn't spend a dime!! Cruise lines are a for profit business. If the older base isn't taking shore excursions, buying photos or drinking, they need to look for new cruisiers. 

 

Cheers, Denise 

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22 minutes ago, dchip said:

 

Absolutely!!!!! How many times do you read how proud passengers are because they cruised and didn't spend a dime!! Cruise lines are a for profit business. If the older base isn't taking shore excursions, buying photos or drinking, they need to look for new cruisiers. 

 

Cheers, Denise 

Agree. It is a fine line that Carnival needs to walk. Speaking as a shareholder, they need to reach into a younger demographic as they approach that 50-70 age group. At the same time, however, Princess also needs to keep up with the competition to appeal to their current and expanding younger base (i.e. Celebrity's new wall of glass standard balconies). The boomer generation is holding a lot of money and I see more and more of it going to river cruising and smaller ships.

Edited by crawford
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We are "younger" (early forties, 9yo) Princess fans. We have cruised many lines (Carnival, RCCL, NCL and Holland) and prefer Princess for what it is - a refined experience. No gimmicks, excellent service, great food, tasteful decor and well behaved younger passengers. Personally, all the changes Princess did lately techwise (medallion, interactive TVs, etc) were needed just to catch up woith other lines.

I have actually complained in the past that Princess was ignoring our demographic with focusing more on longer cruises that are hard to do for working families. I am glad there are more options for everyone to enjoy. 

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