Since the days of antiquity, Seas and Oceans have always fascinated the human being as the great wide open to explore for the unknowns. Many miles have been sailed, many oceans have been crossed, and now at this hour, humans are circling ocean for leisure tours using the most advanced and sophisticated water transport industry, the Cruise Liners. The history of this industry has three folds as Early, Jet, and Modern Age. It started with the introduction of the Ocean Liners as humans plunged into the adventure of exploring new lands and further propelled by the foreign trade of the early time. Following the suite; in 1818 the Black Ball Line operating from New York became the first scheduled passenger service provider shipping company sailing from the United States to England. During I and II World War the cruise industry has done the task of transporting troops and displaced refugees too. Post-war the industry recovered rapidly as the US government offered heavy subsidies in cruise shipbuilding operations.
In this Case Study of Allure Cruise Line (MS Allure of the Seas), the sister ship of the world’s largest passenger ship, the Oasis of the Seas, the expansion plan of the “Project Genesis” will be addressed by the paper with the study of dynamics, major players and the challenges of this industry in detailed subdivided structure. Today the cruise liners are no more just passenger carriers or voyage ships, rather floating hotels of its own kinds; owned by various companies across the world. They are the offshore version of the hospitality management. To focus on the case, the major players of the North American Cruise Industry take the first 20 places in no time. But some of them are the flagship operators to be reckoned on. They are Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, P&O, Cunard, and Norwegian Cruise Line. To look deep into the business specification of the players; their statistics of the profile reveals a comparative understanding of the expansion measure to “Allure”.
To ponder on Allure’s own player, Royal Caribbean International is a Miami, Florida based brand owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. whose organization type is Public. It also holds the subsidiaries of Azamara Cruises, founded by the Greek Chandris Group. As of 2007, the company asset listed as Revenue: USD $6. 149 billion, Operating Income: USD $901. 3 million, Net Income: USD $603. 4 million. It has a fleet size of 21 ships, names ending with “of the sea”. Consisting of 6 different classes the total passenger volume is 69,736. The passenger to crew ratio of this liner company varies from 2:4 to 3:7. The organization headquarters is flagged at 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida, USA. Among all the other players, Carnival Cruise Line is the biggest of all, including 11 other cruise operators in it. It is a British-American-Panamanian corporation that includes other cruise brands like, Carnival Cruise Lines itself, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Seabourn Cruise Line in North America.
P&O Cruises, Cunard Line and Ocean Village in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Italy and P&O Cruises Australia; in Australia. Combining all brands of the organization it has a mighty fleet size of 88 ships, touching more than 1,60,000 passenger volume and as an expansion plan 18 more ships due to deliver by 2012. The total asset size as on 2007 are, Revenue: $ 13,033 million, Operating income: $ 2,725 million and Net income: $ 2,408. Its Headquarter is flagged in Celebration, Florida that operates 2 ships reaching a combined passenger volume of 4800, with a passenger to crew ratio 1:9. To its existing fleet, the company is adding 2 more ships, which are two decks taller than the existing ones; thus expanding the business by four-folds. This private organization runs by President Tom McAlpin as part of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division is counting a Revenue: $ 35. 51 billion, Operating income: $ 7. 827 billion and Net income: $ 3.832 billion, as of 2007. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) with the daughter company NLC America, jointly owned by Star Cruises and Apollo management has 50% of NLC. It is a private company flagged in Miami, Florida. The company is famous for its freestyle cruising concept with no fixed time for a meal, sitting arrangement, or any formal dress code. 1 Its fleet size is 11 with a passenger volume of 24,807. Under the expansion plan, one more ship is set to sail by 2010.
As per observation, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Corporation, and PCL and Norwegian Cruise Line are the main major players, have unique operational strategies that make them different from one another. Royal Caribbean retains a very compact business with large ships but the small fleet size. On the contrary, Carnival has a huge brand basket with medium ships and deeper penetration. And NLC has a moderate market and fleet with no exceptional expansion. It is hard for the Caribbean to overtake Carnival, but the concept of mega-size ships of the former is creating an extra niche. These cruise ships follow the Shipboard Structure with following positions: Commanding Officer – CO, Executive Officer – XO, Command Master Chief – CMC, Department Head – DH, Division Officer – DO, Leading Chief Petty Officer – LCPO/Leading Petty Officer – LPO, Work Center Supervisor, Damage Control Petty Officer – DCPO, Command Career Counselor – CCC, Ship’s 3-M Coordinator, Ombudsman, Financial Specialist, Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator – DAPA, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Medical Department, Safety Officer, Divisional Safety Petty Officer, and Security Manager.
According to maritime law cruise ship are to follow the laws like Maritime Statutes, Treaties, and Conventions, Medical Issues on Cruise Ships, Passengers with Disabilities, Injuries, Accidents, and Physical and Sexual Assaults on Cruise Passengers, Cruise Ship Fires and Collisions, Vessel Safety, Illegal Dumping, & Unsanitary Conditions. For the cruise, liner industry law is the same in all the water bodies. As cruise ships have become floating hotels, as leisure activity the industry is booming with more expansion plans despite the economic slowdown. The only hindrance is the political instability that creates tension in regions and the companies have to cancel the port of calls for passenger’s safety, which makes many active crews inactive in affected zones. For Allure it is a big step ahead to compete, if not in numbers, but in size. One more sea will join the “Amada”.
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