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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Are Cruise Line and Brand Partnerships Enough to Satisfy?

Partnerships are all the rage among cruise lines these days for the sake of brand association. The thinking goes that someone may not know a cruise line but they may be familiar with a brand, and that brand might help entice that person to perhaps come aboard for the very first time and then return again and again.

On cruises, brands include anything from companies like Billboard and Hasbro to celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri and Thomas Keller. The question, of course, is which partnerships resonate the most and are they enough to sustain interest?

Take celebrity chefs, for instance. Some partnerships have been around for far longer than others. Among luxury lines, Crystal Cruises has maintained a partnership with Nobu Matsuhisa for years, but Seabourn Cruise Line has only just recently teamed up with Thomas Keller. Both chefs are highly acclaimed and certainly add perceived value to two companies that are lauded on their own merits.

Whether or not dining associated with celebrities is included in the cruise fare may also make a difference to longevity. Guy Fieri and Carnival Cruise Line have served up gourmet grill items at Guy’s Burger Joint for free across the fleet for awhile now, whereas Norwegian Cruise Line charges for its premium cuisine from Iron Chef Jose Garces at Bayamo on the new Norwegian Escape. To be fair, the type of food offered at each venue is decidedly different, and a surcharge for Garces’ is well justified over the cost of burgers, no matter how gourmet.

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