Family travel and multi-generational trips are a lucrative niche in the travel and tourism industry.
It's one that travel suppliers have seized upon with vigor. And travel agents specializing in the family travel market are constantly on the lookout for new programs, products, destinations and amenities that appeal to the youngest members of the group.
Cruising aboard mainstream cruise lines is a best-seller for the family markets. Few other segments of the travel industry devote the resources to attract families that cruising does.
Their strategies are pretty successful, and that's no surprise.
Cruise holidays appeal to the family market for a number of reasons. They're a one-stop-shop. Cruise vacations combine accommodations, meals, entertainment and excursions under one roof. Families need unpack only once. Different age groups and activity levels can do their own thing during the day, and then meet up for meals to share adventures.
In the quest to capture more of the family market share, Kid's Programs have become more and more elaborate. Cruise lines are in a constant race to out-do each other by entering into licensing and partnership deals with popular children's properties.
The program will eventually roll out fleet-wide, offering an array of activities, dining and entertainment options with a distinctively Seuss-like twist. The line, does after all have plenty of young people to entertain. Some 700,000 per year cruise aboard Carnival ships.
Here's a look at the fun coming to the Fun Ships:
- A Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast featuring the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Young guests and their families can enjoy playful dishes evoking the colorful Seuss imagery. Menu items include green eggs and ham, stacks of fruit-layered pancakes, French toast and traditional morning favorites.
- Wait staff dressed in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms serve at the event.
- Iconic Dr. Seuss characters, including the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam-I-Am will mix and mingle with guests at their tables.
- Seuss-a-palooza Story Time is another specially-created event. Young cruisers are invited for an interactive reading session. It's hosted in a whimsical Suess-like tent on stage in the main show lounge.
- A Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade beckons young and old to a swirling conga line on the promenade deck.
- Dr. Seuss books, toys and games are also available on board.
- The ships will also host screenings of class films such as “The Cat in the Hat” on the giant outdoor Dive-In Movies screen.
“In addition to providing a wonderful environment for quality family time, Seuss at Sea arms travel agents with yet another effective marketing tool for enticing families to set sail aboard the ‘Fun Ships,’” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.
He's definitely got a point. The fact that Carnival Cruise Lines appeals to a more price-conscious group is another selling point.
Onboard the Freedom
Carnival Freedom is the second Carnival Cruise Lines ship decked out for Seuss at Sea.
Enhancements made their debut in June 2014 after a multi-million dollar makeover. They include a Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading venue and Camp Ocean marine-themed children’s program.
Bookville is a whimsical space decorated in colors, shapes and designs inspired by the world of Dr. Seuss. Families can gather to read the iconic Dr. Seuss books or take part in activities, arts and crafts and games inspired by Dr. Seuss.
The Carnival Vista will feature Bookville when it debuts in 2016.
The line plans to have Seuss at Sea implemented fleet-wide by 2015. Camp Ocean will be fully integrated into the fleet by 2016.