Both Royal Caribbean and NCL report that their brands have been strengthened by the positive and extensive publicity surrounding their new ships. But Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill doesn’t appear too concerned.
Speaking to Cruise Week, Cahill suggests that public perception may be that NCL has Epic and RCl has Oasis-class – but where does that leave all the other ships in their brands?
“I’m not saying this in a derogatory fashion, but this does differentiate us from Royal and NCL,” Cahill says Carnival. “We want consistency across our fleet, because when we advertise, we don’t advertise a ship and I think they do. We advertise a brand. Why else do we go back and spend $45 to $50 million on each of the Fantasy-class ships with Evolutions of Fun?”
Cahill concedes it’s not easy bringing consistency to all the ships. “A 20-year-old ship is not going to be new,” he says. “But we are not about the ship. The other guys are taking a different path. You don’t see us advertising Dream, you see us advertising Carnival. Why do I want to focus on one ship, new or old, when I have 22?”
Cahill contrasts this to a recent entry into the market. “Epic is a brand unto itself. A lot of the promotion is Epic; it’s not NCL. It’s a big, big difference where we’re going. When an agent markets Carnival, they should market the Fun Ships.”