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almostretired

Searching for more Youthful passengers

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It’s probably worth noting the last three Presidents/CEOs have made the same comments at either the sales gala or another industry event.  All three have overseen similar initiatives also, to some degree of success.  The needle is moving slowly, but it has been for almost a decade.

 

Vince

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the problem is maybe : are younger people willing to spend the money on a luxury line? I moved to the Vistafjord when I was in my early 30 , to Crystal in my early 40  - on Cunard I always was one of the youngest pax for many years.

7 days cruises : ok but the air ticket is also a factor and I did notice several of those 7 days cruises both in Alaska as in Europe were on offer.  Are people willing to fly intercontinental for 7 days?

I did change Alaska for the Med just to avoid the long flight ( despite it was free with miles + taxes even  in business )  - a long flight for 7 days was too much in my case as I have another long one to Dubai and Singapore.  

Entertainment :I noticed for my upcoming cruise at least 4 entertainers are performing on Crystal for almost 10 years . And I do not think people in their mid 30 are attracted by those acts at all.

 

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Agree about the entertainment. For instance, ventriloquists are fine for Grandma and Grandpa, but for younger cruisers, not so.  Same goes for daytime lecturers, where the average age of the speakers often is north of 65. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, enough with all the old white guys on Crystal. Most should be given their walking papers. And lecturers should not be allowed to simply rinse and repeat the same material cruise after cruise after cruise. Most Crystal lecturers don't reflect the world today - I want to hear from more than the occasional woman and minority. It's 2019, after all. If you don't think things are lopsided when it comes to women/men in their onboard entertainment rooster, take a look at any sailing. Women tend to be the art instructors, yoga teachers, knitting instructors, youth activity directors, bridge teachers. Men tend to be Cruise Directors, Destination Lecturers, Clergy, etc. Of course this isn't the case on every cruise but most certainly it's the case on most.

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We were on Symphony for the recent the Vancouver to Vancouver voyage where more than 600 were first time Crystal cruisers.  Many were young families (more than 60 children) who in conversation were enticed by the seven day cruise combined with embarking and debarking from the same port.  We spoke to several of the new guests - all loved their new adventure and many were planning to return.

I thought the entertainment was excellent - variety in the Cove, White Nights, the new show Icon.  John Joseph was the comedian, and although his show is old style - audience involvement - his show was full at both the early and late times.  We sat in the late show where there were a number of younger guests who thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

 

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4 minutes ago, Acker said:

Agree about the entertainment. For instance, ventriloquists are fine for Grandma and Grandpa, but for younger cruisers, not so.  Same goes for daytime lecturers, where the average age of the speakers often is north of 65. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, enough with all the old white guys on Crystal. Most should be given their walking papers. And lecturers should not be allowed to simply rinse and repeat the same material cruise after cruise after cruise. Most Crystal lecturers don't reflect the world today - I want to hear from more than the occasional woman and minority. It's 2019, after all. If you don't think things are lopsided when it comes to women/men in their onboard entertainment rooster, take a look at any sailing. Women tend to be the art instructors, yoga teachers, knitting instructors, youth activity directors, bridge teachers. Men tend to be Cruise Directors, Destination Lecturers, Clergy, etc. Of course this isn't the case on every cruise but most certainly it's the case on most.

Great points on the lecturers.  We had two that gave rather uninspired talks although each gathered a large group around them after speaking.  Pretty sure every Catholic Priest will be a male though.  Our upcoming Serenity voyage has a nice mix of entertainers (old and new, male and female) with the destination speaker being a female.  Mark Merchant, a ventriloquist, is on board.  I find his act edgy who tickles all ages and backgrounds.

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5 hours ago, vistaman said:

the problem is maybe : are younger people willing to spend the money on a luxury line? I moved to the Vistafjord when I was in my early 30 , to Crystal in my early 40  - on Cunard I always was one of the youngest pax for many years.

7 days cruises : ok but the air ticket is also a factor and I did notice several of those 7 days cruises both in Alaska as in Europe were on offer.  Are people willing to fly intercontinental for 7 days?

 

There was a time (pre-Crystal) when the high end of the industry catered to the older demographic, which pushed younger, affluent travelers off to other means of travel and the top end kind of became a self-fulfilling prophecy of what the luxury traveler looked like.  In this day of step-up branding and aspirational travel, we see a much younger demographic grabbing eagerly at all kinds of luxury travel.  Has others have pointed out above, the luxury lines have abdicated the younger market by not offering what they're looking for, but as pointed out in other threads previously, we're reaching the end of the generation where this product mix really attracts a core base that is able to travel like that anymore.  Something has to be done if Crystal is to fill the ships to a level that justifies the investment in newbuilds.

 

Here's where this becomes timely, and where Genting -- known for reworking and refining a concept to continuous delay (see: RWLV) -- is probably frustrating a lot of people...  Crystal has a next generation ocean product hanging out there waiting to be built, where decisions are being made based on how these changes have gone the past few years.  Based on comments in the press the project continues to be modified as the vision becomes more focused, but at an opportunity cost.

 

I should add this isn't a new challenge, and there were efforts to buck that trend, event in the 80's.  Sea Goddess's initial pitch was to a younger, more active demographic, as was NYK's initial vision of Crystal.  Crystal's initial target audience was in their 50's, and everything was geared around them.  The salon amenities in the bathrooms, the barista-made coffees, alternative ethnic restaurants (boy did that backfire initially), even the "Broadway" shows were designed mainly around plays that were hot on Broadway at the time and not the ones from decades ago...  All very counter to what Cunard and RVL were doing in the late 80's (when Crystal was talking about it) and 1990 (when everyone got to experience it.)

 

I think the distance-to-length issue is a thing, but it's a balancing act.  All but one of the VP's in my office are younger than I am, and I'm under 45.  They vacation in hotels and resorts like Rosewoods, and most of them have enjoyed cruising, but there isn't a product like Rosewood in the cruise market -- yet.  And I think that's where I see some of these visions converging.

 

56 minutes ago, Acker said:

Agree about the entertainment. For instance, ventriloquists are fine for Grandma and Grandpa, but for younger cruisers, not so.  Same goes for daytime lecturers, where the average age of the speakers often is north of 65. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, enough with all the old white guys on Crystal. Most should be given their walking papers. And lecturers should not be allowed to simply rinse and repeat the same material cruise after cruise after cruise. Most Crystal lecturers don't reflect the world today - I want to hear from more than the occasional woman and minority. It's 2019, after all. If you don't think things are lopsided when it comes to women/men in their onboard entertainment rooster, take a look at any sailing. Women tend to be the art instructors, yoga teachers, knitting instructors, youth activity directors, bridge teachers. Men tend to be Cruise Directors, Destination Lecturers, Clergy, etc. Of course this isn't the case on every cruise but most certainly it's the case on most.

 

Amen!  I even get excited when we lose one of those three characteristics...  And I say that as a quickly-aging white guy.  I was so excited (and disappointed to miss him) to see Eugene Robinson speak aboard Serenity during the World Cruise.  At least he speaks to an experience and political perspective much more diverse than Crystal's usual current affairs lecturers.

 

Sorry for the long post, I was doing better about that for a while.  :classic_wacko:

 

Vince

 

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I can disagree about the lectures - on the recent Tokyo to San Francisco trip - there were several that would appeal to all ages, I would think, and some that would appeal to no ages.   But the film ones and the one who dealt with the geography and animal life would appeal to any age.   Many of those were women. There were NO children on that cruise.

As someone stated the problem with 7 day cruises is the time needed to get there and back just doesn't seem to justify a short cruise.  Maybe Crystal needs to provide a reasonable priced before or after experience.  Three days in London or other cities.  Several days in NY or close port that would include visits to Washington DC - similar to the 3 days in St. Petersburg but before or after the start of the cruise - again at a reasonable price (not the price they charge for hotel for a day before).

Not being young, I also started on VIstafiord,   I can't say exactly what would appeal to the younger but those with whom I worked had no interested in cruising.  Certainly adventure type cruises are more appealing to the younger crowd.  

Not surprising that a former Disney executive wants to appeal to the young.

 

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My only vacation experience on Crystal has been River - it was fabulous. I did work with a concessionaire on board Ocean years back and was impressed.

 

I can see where Crystal wants to attract the next generation of loyal customers to its line.  They are trying not only to get the trade up market, but also people who have never cruised but are looking for the "Rosewoods" experience in a different format

 

Every cruise line is thinking the same - Celebrity is a prime example with its ship within a ship configuration. They are actively trying to pick off the upscale consumer with separated rooms and retreats but with the shops, shows and space that a big ship can offer

 

Difficulties with Crystal Ocean (from our perspective as mid 60's just retired) is that we don't want the trip to the ship to be an adventure in its own right.  Its great that Crystal goes around the world, but chasing the ship (especially when i was in my 50s) would not be a great start if i was still working.  I wouldn't want to spend half my vacation trying to get someplace to meet the ship, no matter how lovely it is.  

 

the River and Yacht experiences seem to be on target for a younger demo.  We know people who took Esprit (mid 50s professionals) and loved it 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Acker said:

Agree about the entertainment. For instance, ventriloquists are fine for Grandma and Grandpa, but for younger cruisers, not so.  Same goes for daytime lecturers, where the average age of the speakers often is north of 65. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, enough with all the old white guys on Crystal. Most should be given their walking papers. And lecturers should not be allowed to simply rinse and repeat the same material cruise after cruise after cruise. Most Crystal lecturers don't reflect the world today - I want to hear from more than the occasional woman and minority. It's 2019, after all. If you don't think things are lopsided when it comes to women/men in their onboard entertainment rooster, take a look at any sailing. Women tend to be the art instructors, yoga teachers, knitting instructors, youth activity directors, bridge teachers. Men tend to be Cruise Directors, Destination Lecturers, Clergy, etc. Of course this isn't the case on every cruise but most certainly it's the case on most.

 

Yes to some of both.  We are South of 70 and just got off a Crystal cruise so our information is about as fresh as can be.   Yes there were the same old BUT several relatively recent winners of TV singing contests.   The younger comedy acts seem to go right over the heads of the older folks  in the audience.   The show band is exceptional and the people in it are younger.  Why not give them more latitude with the shows?   It seems like there are people on the cruise ship entertainment  "circuit".   It certainly isn't everyone that wants to pop on and pop off a cruiseship for a show.   They get very little time to rehearse. They most likely jet lagged.  They don't get a free cruise.  They get a couple days on the ship.     So maybe just maybe finding people who want to do that is limited.  

 

As for lecturers I think finding people who will not offend 50% of the ship with their politics is amazing.  I didn't go to the political lectures this time but overheard the comments of fellow cruisers.   People were amazed who the speakers managed to get to the heart of issues without taking sides.   That may take some seniority to do. 

 

Please don't through our dear Ken Rees under the bus.  He remains our favorite speaker of the bunch.  I personally don't care how old he is he rocks.  

 

There were at least two and maybe three of the theme lecturers were female.   

 

Don't get me wrong Crystal could do better but they are making small progress.

 

Edited by ijkh

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We decided to try Crystal while in our 40s.  We really enjoyed it and have booked two more since then.  My 11 year old cried when she got off the ship.  She loved how they ran the kids club, the individual attention she received from the staff, the different ports of call, the food and the excursion we want on Cabo.  I think she is one of Crystal's biggest champions.  She enjoys water slides and all those sorts of things but she does not enjoy it when having to fight against a sea of humanity on a cruise line. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ctjon said:

Not surprising that a former Disney executive wants to appeal to the young.

 

While I'm sure that crosses his mind, that has literally been the same topic of conversation every year that I can remember at those events for the past decade, so I think it's what's kept all the leaders up at night for some time.  The first one I remember was Gregg Michel explaining in early 2010 (before it started) that Perfect Choice Dining (among other initiatives) was going to help Crystal lower its average age because younger people are looking for a greater degree of flexibility in the times they dine. 

 

Of course, Edie said the same thing about open seating...  And both seemed effective there.

 

(Some of the other initiatives credited to help attract younger passengers were the Modern Menus, the relaxed dress code, the tightened smoking policy, shorter cruises, all-inclusive, etc...  Not that there weren't other reasons to do these things, but lowering the average age was either the first or second point given in each case.)

 

Vince

 

Edited by BWIVince

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This might be a delicate issue, so first I will compliment Crystal on hiring Shane and Russ to be cruise directors on the Symphony. They are (relatively) young, energetic, and great additions to the Crystal family. My assumption is that the new cruise directors to be hired for the promised ocean vessel will also be (relatively) young, energetic and great additions to the fleet.

 

If Crystal is serious about attracting a younger demographic, might it be time to think about new and younger cruise directors for the Serenity? The two current CD's are warm, friendly, grandfatherly figures. IMO, Shane and Russ relate to and connect better with the younger demographic that Crystal is seeking. On a recent Symphony cruise, Russ was dancing the night away during the White Night party. That kind of energy and engagement just hasn't happened on my recent Serenity cruises.

 

To every thing there is a season.

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2 hours ago, Shorex said:

If Crystal is serious about attracting a younger demographic, might it be time to think about new and younger cruise directors for the Serenity? The two current CD's are warm, friendly, grandfatherly figures. IMO, Shane and Russ relate to and connect better with the younger demographic that Crystal is seeking.

 

Gary Hunter has announced his retirement at the conclusion of WC 2020 next May. No successor named yet.

On every cruise we have sailed with Rick Spath, he is up, about, highly visible and approachable. We have closed down the Cove, the Palm Court and the Avenue with Rick on many very late nights.

We agree that Russ is a fantastic asset for Crystal and we look forward to sailing with him again in the near future.

 

Rob

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We are relatively new to Crystal (number 3 this fall). Im 58 DH is 61.  We both still work.  We both have elderly parents.  7 days works for us, even if a long flight is involved —-we would tack on a few days pre or post cruise.  We do prefer longer in the Caribbean because its a quick flight and 9 days away in the winter is great.

 

and regarding ventriloquists...have you ever seen Terry Fador??  Fantastic.

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3 hours ago, ryndam said:

 

Gary Hunter has announced his retirement at the conclusion of WC 2020 next May. No successor named yet.

On every cruise we have sailed with Rick Spath, he is up, about, highly visible and approachable. We have closed down the Cove, the Palm Court and the Avenue with Rick on many very late nights.

We agree that Russ is a fantastic asset for Crystal and we look forward to sailing with him again in the near future.

 

Rob

 

Rob, Gary told us he was retiring after the 2018 WC, and last February told us he was retiring after the 2019 WC, otherwise his wife would kill him. I see he is the CD for the first half of the 2020 WC, which we will be on. I fully expect he will be the CD for at least part of the 2022 WC which we also have booked!! 😁

 

I absolutely agree with your comments about Rick Spath. Many have been "the mornings after the night before" with Rick, and he has to get up a heck of a lot earlier than we do and look bright and alert!!!:classic_blink:😄. He is the consumate pro, not afraid to express an opinion, and also a really great guy!!

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I love Rick.  He's omnipresent and full of energy.  I finally met Gary on our last cruise.  He's very professional.  Their style is different. I think they both do a great job but I can see that if they want to attract a younger demographic, maybe they can rotate Shane and Russ into the mix on Serenity. Other lines rotate their CD's

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7 minutes ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I love Rick.  He's omnipresent and full of energy.  I finally met Gary on our last cruise.  He's very professional.  Their style is different. I think they both do a great job but I can see that if they want to attract a younger demographic, maybe they can rotate Shane and Russ into the mix on Serenity. Other lines rotate their CD's

 

No! No! Terrible idea. We on the Symphony do not want to lose either Russ or Shane. Let the Serenity find someone else. 

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As someone who has dance many dances with Russ on  his former line and heard him sing  Crystal still not using him to his strengths. He could improved White Night with two hands tied and and his eyes closed. Wish he was on  on the 2020 WC. Even 2 weeks with him would wake up that ship. And he needs to get back on stage.

 

I seen Rick close down or closing down the Cove. He admitted he use to love the Ave. Must be the piano player. i stopped going to the Ave for the Cove.

 

 We need younger CD's and younger acts at night.To much karoke and not enough rock. Music at the pool by the DJ needs work. personally I prefer 0 music at 3 to 4. many days i leave and come back at 4.

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If it is true the Gary is retiring (and given past pronouncements, I'll believe it when I see it), Crystal could do quite well to steal John Barron from Regent.  Like Russ, Barron is young and multi-talented and would be a great asset for whichever ship he may be assigned to.

 

Even if GH and Mrs Tweed stick around, Barron would still be a great fit in the mold of Russ and Shane.

 

Just a hint to Crystal management.

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9 hours ago, Shorex said:

If Crystal is serious about attracting a younger demographic, might it be time to think about new and younger cruise directors for the Serenity? The two current CD's are warm, friendly, grandfatherly figures. IMO, Shane and Russ relate to and connect better with the younger demographic that Crystal is seeking

 

Gary Hunter has already announced his target timing for retirement - I believe 2020 will be his last World Cruise as Cruise Director (happy to be corrected on that)

 

Crystals Cruise Directors are a different style than some others on luxury lines - I know on Seabourn they perform their own shows as part of the entertainment and are more visible around the ship involved with activities like Trivia - on the one we experienced the Cruise Director didn’t wear a uniform - but he did bedazzle each evening with one of his 30

lovely jackets! I don’t think the Cruise Directors should be chosen based on their age (maybe as I get older I’m more concerned about how ageism seems to enter into the discussion) - but on the package they bring to the table 

 

I agree on the speakers and entertainers - time for some new blood (and that is actually happening I think) - but it’s challenging as I know some think some of the longtime speakers are indispensable. The regulars on the World Cruise roster seem to be immovable - I assume the WC regulars have expressed their (positive) views on retaining them 

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6 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

If it is true the Gary is retiring (and given past pronouncements, I'll believe it when I see it), Crystal could do quite well to steal John Barron from Regent.  Like Russ, Barron is young and multi-talented and would be a great asset for whichever ship he may be assigned to.

 

Even if GH and Mrs Tweed stick around, Barron would still be a great fit in the mold of Russ and Shane.

 

Just a hint to Crystal management.

I heard he'd been asked before he returned to Regent when he was with Seabourne.  I've always enjoyed his style immensely and he is extraordinary talented.

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If 2 people do share a certain function , only one can be the best ...and some people retire too late

a new CD :  maybe something  for Mark Farris ?  

he did a similar function on the Esprit and on the river ships …maybe too much paper work on the ocean ships as well.  

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On every other cruise line I have been on the CD and are closer to the 55 range vs 40  or 75.  Azamara seems to use 40 to 60 range . They have assts. the ship holds less people and they still have help. There more trivia daily.

 

both ships. Have the same problem with lecturers. Older people who are very bright but really do not talk about things as a 40 to 60 year would like. Plus the lectures are  mostly  during lunch times. 11 to 3. Rather have more later in the day.

 

zumba was after lunch. Not a time I want, 11 in morning would be great before lunch. I tried it twice and found the timing was off for lunch or pool time. Or a wine lecture was at that time.

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On last month (or 2 now) Film and Theater (although there was really no theater part) lectures were for the most part great.  They weren't the standard lectures that would be boring for anyone if you heard again and again.  These were actual Hollywood or actual entertainment people.  All great - no but almost all and they represented what they actually did - hearing about the preparation and back stage work at the Oscars - great.  Academy award winning makeup - great.   Maybe Crystal needs to try and do more theme cruises with actual stars of that theme

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