“We are delivering on our Come Back New promise,” Gordon Ho, senior vice president of marketing at Princess Cruises, told Cruise Industry News. “We make sure we provide a meaningful, transformative and rejuvenating vacation experience that help our guests come back new.
“We do this through our itineraries, the food and the onboard experience,” he continued.
“We are also launching an initiative called More Ashore; we are spending more time in port so people don’t feel rushed. They can spend evenings or overnights.”
In addition, Princess is promising more exclusive experiences ashore through its Animal Planet and Discovery partnership.
On the culinary side, Princess is rolling out its partnership with Chef Curtis Stone, who is introducing menu items across all the main dining rooms under the umbrella name Crafted by Curtis. Also being introduced is the gastropub Salty Dog, where Princess has partnered with whom it calls one of the best gastropub chefs in LA, if not in the country: Ernesto Uchimura. He has designed a menu of crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese and an all new premium hamburger, called the Ernesto.
The entertainment has been ratcheted up a few notches as well through Princess’ partnership with Broadway show creator Stephen Schwartz. He is creating four musicals exclusively for Princess and has enlisted the cooperation of other Broadway talent, including choreographers, light and costume designers, special effect developers and musical directors.
Sleeping well is also something the brand is focusing on. “Going on vacation, people want to relax,” Ho said, “and we want them to come back not just new, but fresh and relaxed. So we are launching the Princess Luxury Bed in partnership with the Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, who is designing an all new bed and mattress. And we have paired him up with Candice Olsen of HGTV Divine Design, who will provide the aesthetics, the look of the bed and the bedding.” Ho said the Princess Luxury Bed will be rolled out in 2016 and part of 2017.
Reaching out to both consumers and travel agents, Princess has created various video series, introducing the concept of cruising and the brand to prospective customers who have not cruised before.
The latest effort is with Jill Whelan, who played Vicki, the daughter of Captain Stubing in the TV series the Love Boat. As Princess’ celebrity spokesperson, she has created videos around various topics, according to Ho, particularly around celebrations, as many people celebrate birthdays and anniversaries on cruises.
For the trade, he said that Princess is focusing on adding value, such as drink packages, free premium dining and upgrades.
And to make it simpler to sell its cruises, Princess is introducing Flexible Fares to its Easy Air program, allowing guests to make changes until the final payment for the cruise is due at prices similar to refundable fares.