Competitor Lessons to Be Learned from Independent Cruise Lines

Jason Leppert
by Jason Leppert
Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Thu December 1, 2016

A large percentage of cruise lines are owned by bigger companies - namely Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited - that operate several different brands, but there are also a number that are not related to any other corporate cousins. In fact, these independent lines have a lesson or two that could be learned by the big boys about how to do things potentially better.

Crystal Cruises

All eyes should be on Crystal Cruises for the many things that set it apart as a luxury line that pampers its guests with excellent accommodations, dining and entertainment, but in particular, the main thing that raises the industry benchmark is its incomparable service. Just when one thinks they've seen the best elsewhere, a sailing on Crystal will quickly remind them that it remains the leader thanks to genuinely friendly crews and masterful attention to detail.

[READMORE]READ MORE: MSC Cruises Floats Out New MSC Seaside and Prepares Its Miami Berth[/READMORE]

Disney Cruise Line

Short of another entertainment company entering the cruising world, Disney Cruise Line will always be unique for its extensive international synergy. Others have tried to match it, but they fall short by lacking full integration. What they could be more mindful of is that for Disney, everything is in the service of telling a story, so its unmistakable character permeates all venues. A similar holistic approach to hardware and software could be applied by competitors, but it hasn't quite happened yet.

Additionally from a practical standpoint, Disney does disembarkation more efficiently than anyone else by simply allowing guests to leave the ship as needed without rigid roll calls by tag color or number. Granted everyone needs to be off by a certain time limit, but by letting it happen more organically, it's a much more relaxed experience.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises' growing fleet of ships is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. That cannot be said for nearly enough other cruise lines that should look to MSC as a model of exemplary maintenance standards. While most ships tend to be well kept indoors, too many have exteriors plagued by unsightly rust and overall wear and tear. MSC on the other hand has the cleanest looking vessels right down to the paint on the lifeboat davits and machinery, often the first to suffer on other ships.

[READMORE]READ MORE: Silversea Expeditions' Redesigned Silver Discoverer Sets Sail[/READMORE]

Silversea Cruises

Distinctive of Silversea Cruises is the remarkable amount of places the line sails to. Between its primary luxury line and expeditions brand, there is seemingly no coastal area around the world that the company does not visit. The degree of destination choices that exist are astounding. The only thing that could add more would be a river cruise line, which if the company follows Crystal's lead, could possibly happen to stay competitive, as that brand is beginning to nip at Silversea's adventure heals.

Viking Cruises

The one independent cruise line shaking up the industry the most singlehandedly has to be Viking Cruises. Not only did its river brand widen that market to a massive amount of travelers, now its new ocean one is offering a ton of value-added all-inclusive extras, from unlimited complementary internet access to one free shore excursion in every port, at an exceptional price point. Plus, the ships are some of the most comfortable at sea thanks especially to cabins with ample showers that need to be standard across all cruise lines at this point in the game.

Topics From This Article to Explore

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert - Senior Writer, Cruises and Cruise Travel - is a San Diego-based cruising expert with more than 100 sailings...

Get To Know Us Better

Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me
Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me

Become A Travel Expert

Upcoming Event
Destination Leisure Travel ExpoOctober 11-12 2-5PM ETDestination Leisure Travel Expo
Upcoming Event
Culinary & Wellness Travel ExpoNovember 15-16 2-5PM ETCulinary & Wellness Travel Expo
Watch Now!
Porter Airlines WebinarSEP 28 2PM ETJoin Porter's webinar and learn how we are turning the idea of economy air travel "upside down".
Upcoming Event
Destination Leisure Travel ExpoOctober 11-12 2-5PM ETDestination Leisure Travel Expo
Upcoming Event
Culinary & Wellness Travel ExpoNovember 15-16 2-5PM ETCulinary & Wellness Travel Expo
Watch Now!
Porter Airlines WebinarSEP 28 2PM ETJoin Porter's webinar and learn how we are turning the idea of economy air travel "upside down".