We all know about the Costa Concordia cruise ship accident in Italy. Not to mention the Carnival ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico with plugged toilets and folks on board waving white flags.
No, it hasn't been the best of times for the cruise industry. And today I see a report from travelmole.com that the average price paid for a cruise is now over a fifth less than it was five years ago.
"Statistics provided by online cruise specialist Bonvoyage.co.uk show prices are down 22 per cent compared to 2008," Travelmole reported. "The company says cruiselines are compensating for the drop in the headline price by generating more from onboard spend, such as spa treatments, speciality dining and higher drinks costs."
However, customers are becoming more wary of added onboard costs - and the report suggests operators cannot get away with pushing up onboard costs any further.
Bonvoyage.co.uk reveals the average respondent paid $2,521 per person five years ago, while the average respondent planning to cruise this year or in 2014 will pay 22 per cent lower, at $1,967 per person.
The price difference in cruises from 2011 - when the Bonvoyage.co.uk site launched - compared to prices for cruises leaving this year or in 2014 show a 19 per cent decrease in cost.
More than a third (38 per cent) of respondents said that, despite the lower costs and potential onboard cuts, they had noticed improvements in services onboard cruises in the past five years.
However, 46 per cent said they are now a lot more wary of added costs onboard a cruise, as well as the perceived value of amenities, than they were five years ago.
I don't know if the figures are perfectly transferable to the Canadian or North American markets, but I'm sure there's some validity to the numbers on this side of the pond.
NEW YORK THEATRE DEALS
NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, has announced that Broadway Week Fall 2013 returns this year to offer theatregoers two-for-one tickets to 19 popular Broadway shows from September 2 through 15.
Returning for its sixth iteration, Broadway Week was originally created in the winter of 2011 to boost ticket sales for Broadway while providing savings for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week promotion, more than 300,000 theatre tickets have been sold generating nearly $20 million in revenue. Tickets for Broadway Week Fall 2013 will go on sale August 19 at nycgo.com/broadwayweek.
EMIRATES AIRBUS A380 CELEBRATES FIFTH BIRTHDAY
Emirates has carried more than 18 million passengers on its double-decker A380 as the airline marks the fifth anniversary of the aircraft joining its fleet.
It Aug. 1, 2008 when
Emirates operated its first scheduled Airbus A380 flight to New York. Toronto
followed shortly, launching the service in June 2009. Now, the airline flies to
21 A380 destinations including London Heathrow, Rome, Moscow, Hong Kong, Bangkok
and Auckland, New Zealand
More than 7,000 cabin crew support a world-renowned fleet of 35 A380s, along with nearly 670 flight deck crew.
Over the five years of operation, over 35 million meals have been served during 20,000 trips, spanning 265 million kilometres. In all, 37 airports have been visited.
One of the great things on board the A380 is the lounge, where business and first class folks can chat and have a drink at 40,000 feet. I got to fly Emirates to Dubai a few years ago and it was a fabulous experience. Not to boast, but being able to get out of your (very comfortable seat) and wander around and have a drink at a bar in mid-flight is a wonderful way to travel...
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK