RCL Outlook
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) gave a full-year earnings forecast of $0.70 per share on its Q3 earnings call on Nov. 3, compared to actual earnings of $2.68 per share for 2008. For Q4, RCL expects to post a loss of $0.05 per share. Due to what it called the volatility of the market, RCL would not give an earnings guidance for Q1 2010 nor for the full year.

Med Trends
Mediterranean cruise traffic is forecast to be up 2 percent in 2010 over 2009, reaching more than 3.6 million passengers, according to Cruise Industry News. Speaking at the recent MedCruise general assembly in Monaco, the port organization’s president, Giovanni Spadoni, who is also technical and commercial manager for cruise, and passenger terminal operator at the port of Livorno, said that the Western Mediterranean is maintaining its traffic level thanks to winter cruises; the Adriatic will see an increase due to more berth capacity in Venice; the Eastern Mediterranean will see modest growth; but the Black Sea will see a decline.

Disney Dream
At a show-stopping, imaginative press event in NYC last Thursday afternoon, Disney Cruise Line rolled out more news about its new ship, the Disney Dream, including the first shipboard water coaster ride – the Aquaduck.

Testing the Waters?
Starting in February, Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition brand will offer the 105-foot catamaran Necker Belle for chartering in the Caribbean. Having undergone a two-year refit in Australia, the catamaran was bought by Branson three years ago for personal use before entering into the Virgin Limited Edition group of holdings, which include a private island for rent in the Caribbean.

Indian Strategy
Tapping the Indian market for Carnival Cruise Lines since 2006, Discover World Marketing developed its approach based on the understanding that the majority of Indians travel overseas to visit family and friends, while recognizing that the U.S. was not their favorite destination, and was also perceived to be expensive.

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