The internet on cruise ships costs a pretty penny. I just spent more than I want to think about checking work emails while at sea. But the cost makes sense–the cost not only includes the infrastructure to maintain an internet connection at sea, but also ensures too many people aren’t logging in at once sending the internet to a crawl. (See Amtrak.)
But Carnival is in the process of rolling out a social media package to its ships, which I think is brilliant.
This helps with three things:
1. Free Advertising
When are people the happiest about their cruise? When they are actually on the cruise.
For those addicted to social media (ahem, not like anyone we know here), you also help advertise for a place when you update your pals on your day-to-day breakfasts. Seeing a flood of pictures from a Carnival cruise (and never from another one) will help reinforce that people will have fun on Carnival Cruises.
2. Outlet for Complaints
If someone is upset about their time on the cruise, who do they complain to? Usually, their fellow passengers, bringing their fellow passengers’ attention to things they never noticed in the first place.
As an aside, I went to an all-inclusive once and was loving it, then met a couple who mentioned every single problem they had on the resort. It was a downer until I reminded myself what a good time I was having until I met them.
Carnival could use this social media opportunity as a way to give cruisers an outlet for their complaints, and potentially a resolution while still at sea. They could set up a twitter account akin to Hyatt’s @HyattConcierge.
3. They Can Corner the Millennial Market
I hate to admit it, but I was fretting over my loss of social media access while on the cruise. Everyone kept telling me to just take the time to relax while at sea, but that’s how I relax.
While cruise lines have been trying to market to millennials, they are having trouble capturing them. They’ve been trying different advertising methods without strong results.
Millennials have been mostly booking short cruises (and Carnival has had some success with their short cruises with Millennials). But I think the reason why they prefer these short cruises is because they do not want to be disconnected from their networks for that long.
What do you think?