Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Love Boat" revenge -- and other cruising predictions

 Cruise booker CruiseCompete  is weighing in with its predictions of what will be trendy on the waves this year.

Their list:

Cruising becomes a company perk. Company-paid cruise vacations will become a way to retain top employees through a rejuvenation vacation.

GPS-tracking of children on vacations. Parents will buy the new wristband GPS units to know where their kids are at all times.

More all-inclusive options for cruise vacations. More ships -- 27 are scheduled to debut this year -- means more competition, especially for the luxury and ultra-luxury traveler, both at-sea and ashore.  

CruiseCompete also predicts more "private" areas built into ships, so celebrities and others can have more privacy. Specifically: dedicated pool, dining room, concierge and other amenities.

Targeting boomers. Cruise lines will be gunning for the market segment that grew up watching "The Love Boat."

Enhanced  technology, personalization aimed at gaining repeat cruisers.  They're thinking about at e in-room tablets for book future cruises while still on board. Luxury cruise lines use technology to build a record of your preferences.

More family, multi-generational travel. Look for family suites, GPS tracking devices for kids, designer programs that keep Junior and Gramps and everyone else happily busy at sea.

 Consumers will abandon the Web. CruiseCompete is saying all of the above -- plus more options for exotic cruises and adventure trips -- will provide too many choices for you to figure out with just your computer.

Some of this forecast makes sense; some doesn't.

For some  Boomers, the "Love Boat" series from the 1980s -- check the photo at the top of this post -- will send people to the TV remote's off button, not to a travel agent.