Thursday, June 06, 2019

Cruising Millennials

My husband and I are “Baby Boomers,” parents to a young man considered a “Millennial.” A well-known research center estimates that by the end of 2019 Millennials will overtake Boomers in population size, 73 million versus 72 million. It is no wonder then, that many businesses including the cruise industry are making changes to gain the business of this age group.

So what exactly is the cruise industry doing to woo this generation to the sea? Here’s what I’m reading in the trades…

Twenty- and thirty-somethings don't just want to just sit and relax by the pool.  They want more to do than a traditional sports court can offer. Could that be why cruise lines are incorporating ziplines, indoor skydiving, rope courses and race tracks to their upper decks?

New and exciting shore excursions are being added by the cruise lines. Opportunities for volunteering, cultural enrichment and on the more daring front, programs like glacier trekking, jungle hikes and canyoneering appeal to a millennial’s quest for an adventurous yet authentic vacation experience.

Young adults like my son demand speedy, unlimited internet packages. No time limits, no data limits, just a fast connection at sea. A week without a strong enough signal to post selfies and flashy “wish you were here” Instagram stories from exotic locations could be a deal breaker!

Have you noticed how all the cruise lines are updating dress codes? Want to go to dinner in designer jeans, a silk blouse and stilettos? On many cruise lines you can. Men can finally ditch the jacket and tie (I think the last time my son wore a tie was with his school uniform) and just wear a collared shirt instead. But hey, if another chooses to pack tux and tails, that’s cool too! Flaunting one's personal style, demanded by millennials, is becoming acceptable and even encouraged on cruises!

Most millennials are still in the early stages of their careers and have a limited time to travel.  Cruising allows them to make the most of the time they have. A week long cruise itinerary can include up to 5 ports in multiple islands or countries, making it a great way to see the world in a more efficient way!

Still, despite what I read regarding the new focus on millennials, let’s face it, this generation is far from new to cruising. My son, as well as many others in this age range have cruised since they were babies.  Their love for cruising is ingrained in their very being! Isn't it totally natural for them to want to make the same wonderful memories with their children that we, their parents, made with them!

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