Predicting The Future Is Easy For Royal Caribbean Cruise Agencies

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Cruise sales are holding up well for 2009 and Royal Caribbean predicts continued growth for the cruise industry.

There's a 100% chance that the trend…will continue

While speaking at a recent travel industry convention about the prospects for continued global expansion of the cruise industry, Adam Goldstein, President of Royal Caribbean International, said "There's a 100% chance that the trend…will continue". To some, his words may sound like "wishful thinking" or just a lot of "hype". However, to many cruise industry professionals on the supply side and on the retail distribution side, Mr. Goldstein's prediction is practically indisputable.

Tom Coiro, co-founder and Vice President of Direct Line Cruises, one of the largest sellers of Royal Caribbean cruises in the Northeast, couldn't agree more. "I've been on the retail side of the cruise industry for nearly fifteen years now and, through good times and bad, it seems to be virtually 'bullet-proof'. When the economy is going strong, business is good for everyone but, even when the economy hits a 'pothole' and most businesses struggle just to survive, it seems that more and more new people are drawn to the exceptional value of cruising." Tom continues, "So, by aggressively marketing to first-time cruisers while cruise ticket prices are especially low, we gain many new clients who might not have been tempted to try cruising before."

How does the future look beyond this year? To that question, Tom replies, "Despite the current state of the economy, 2009 is shaping up to be the second best year in the history of Direct Line Cruises, and 2010 is going to be totally 'off the boards'. There is so much happening in 2010 that will further propel the cruise industry and Direct Line Cruises is perfectly positioned for another record year."

What's driving all this optimism? Tom continues, "Since my wife and I first started the business from our home in 1995, Direct Line Cruises has always focused on niche marketing. So, despite the fact that we now have a big office and many employees, we still only choose to deal with very few of the major cruise lines and we still specialize in 'homeport cruising' where people can depart on their cruise from a nearby city without having to fly to get there".

Still nearly nine months away from the start of next year, Tom reports "As of March 31, 2009, we've done more than three times as many bookings for 2010 as we've ever done this far in advance. Everything seems to be breaking just right. Royal Caribbean, our top cruise line partner, is introducing 'Oasis of the Seas', the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever built and, in addition, they've just announced year-round cruising on the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore, MD, our second largest market. Then, Celebrity Cruises, who we've been doing business with since we started, recently announced their ship, the Celebrity Mercury, will also be cruising round-trip from Baltimore and they're bringing one of their newer ships, Celebrity Summit, to our largest market, the New York tri-state area. And, if that wasn't already enough, Norwegian Cruise Line, who in just three years has become our second biggest cruise partner, is introducing their newest class of ship when the NCL Epic debuts in May of 2010."

So, as Tom concludes, "Damn the economy, full speed ahead!"

Direct Line Cruises is a cruise only agency that handles reservations for nearly 25,000 clients per year. Originally started in 1995 as a small home-based business, it has grown to become one of the largest cruise agencies in the United States. To sign up and receive Direct Line Cruises weekly e-newsletter, CLICK HERE. Or to subscribe to the Direct Line Cruises Blog, CLICK HERE.

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Greg Coiro
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