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The consumers needs and wants are pretty simple, to sum up they just want their holidays to be value for money, a good experience with good service when booking / purchasing holiday and when on the holiday itself. Today’s cruise passenger demands flexibility, choice and value for time – an important factor to consider with only four weeks holiday allowance a year. This has made the cruise lines react by building superb new ships offering the quality and range of activities, dining and entertainment you would expect from a top class hotel or from a holiday in any cosmopolitan city in the world.

(Dingle 2005) Consumer Demands Consumers whilst on cruises are looking for more diverse products on-board to enjoy. Due to this demand many cruise liners have taken this into account and have come up with special activities for their passengers to enjoy. Some activities offered by Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 cruise include: Illuminations – “Take a virtual ride into outer space, view the stars and other visual spectacles or take a course on celestial navigation in Illuminations, Queen Mary 2’s full-scale planetarium”. (cunard. co. uk [online] 2005)

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Cunard’s QM2 is the first cruise ship to feature an onboard planetarium. Located in the ship’s Illuminations theatre, the planetarium has reclining seats which allow guests to lie back and take a tour of the galaxy. They also offer a grand cinema, a 500-seat lecture hall and also a broadcasting studio. A grand History and Art expedition with over 300 original art work worth over $5 million. Internet access is also offered on the cruise for people to surf the internet, check emails and send interactive postcards to their family and friends.

Interactive TV for all passengers so they are able to choose from thousands of movies to watch from the comfort of their own rooms. A stunning 3-story Britannia Restaurant is in the Queen Mary 2 whose grand sweeping staircase creates a dramatic showcase for those wishing to make the ultimate entrance. The Canyon Ranch Spa Club is the most luxurious ocean vessel ever built. This highly praised health resort has elevated the spa experience to an entirely new plane with life-changing programmes from stress-relief classes to workshops on diet, healthy aging and disease prevention.

51 Canyon Ranch health and wellness experts work in Queen Mary 2’s 20,000 square foot facility which includes 24 treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with deluge waterfall, a whirlpool, thermal suite with both herbal and Finnish saunas, reflexology basins and an aromatic steam room. (cunard. co. uk [online] 2005) As you can see from the passage above that the Queen Mary 2 has diversified their products to suit a range of consumers, which will bring them more passengers and money. Looking at what the consumers want when they go on cruises and bringing it into the cruise is excellent for both the cruise liners and the passengers themselves.

“Ice rinks are available on Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager-class ships. Whether you want to hire skates and take to the ice yourself by day, or go for the more sedate option of watching Olympic skaters perform by night, there is little doubt that having an ice rink onboard a cruise ship is something rather different to the norm”. (ttglive. co. uk [online] 2005) Ice skating is another activity which was brought into cruises when aiming at the family market as children love to ice skate, so what better idea than to bring it into the cruise.

Rock climbing is available on the Royal Caribbean, it has now become their signature activity, with the wall being in the vessel of the cruise ship and the wall being higher than the statue of liberty, fun for all the passengers. Princess Cruises has introduced an open-air cinema under the stars, where passengers are able to watch a film next to the poolside in the evenings on a massive outdoor screen. Golf lessons have been introduced in many cruises as more people are starting to pick up golf, so the cruises brought golfing into their ships so people are able to have another activity to choose from.

Fred Olsen’s Flagship Golf Package combines onboard tuition by a PGA professional with rounds at onshore courses in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Caribbean and Baltic. (fredolsencruises. co. uk [online] 2005) The demand for weddings on-board has grown rapidly within the past few years. Everyone is starting to want to get married on a cruise due to it being so unique, but it is rather costly. There are many different destination islands for people to get married on, which include Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Thomas and San Juan.

All of which are a beautiful picturesque location, a perfect place for the perfect couple. Princess Cruises can perform marriage ceremonies onboard its vessels. There are wedding chapels on many of the line’s ships, with ceremonies conducted by the ship’s captain. Renewal of vows ceremonies is also available. (princesscruises. co. uk [online] 2005) In recent years there has been an increase of renewal of wedding vows ceremonies aboard cruise ships. This is a wonderful background to repeat their love, commitment and trust to each other.

The renewal of wedding vows can take place almost anywhere on a ship and you can select the most romantic time for this to take place. Princess Cruises offer wedding chapels aboard six of their ships where the passengers can arrange to have a renewal of wedding vows on-board. Gambling is nothing new for cruise ships, with most having substantial casinos onboard. But up market Crystal Cruises is the only line to offer Caesar’s palace at Sea. The casinos are operated by the famous Vegas hotel Caesar’s Palace, and feature blackjack tables, mini-baccarat, craps, roulette and more than 85 slot machines.

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