Next year ICE turns 15 and in our continuing series of articles celebrating that milestone, we look back at the cruise industry in 2007. Cruise has been close to our hearts for more than two decades. After a difficult period following the pandemic, we’re hoping it can return to the highs we saw pre-Covid. But what was it like 15 years ago? Let’s find out…
In 2007, cruise was enjoying a period of growth. In their annual report, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) forecasted a 4.1% rise in yearly passenger numbers. To put that into perspective, they forecasted a record number of 12.6 million guests, compared to 12.1 million in 2006. That in turn equated to $23.3 billion in revenue, which then continued to grow in the proceeding years – until the pandemic hit.
Innovation was also trending heavily in 2007. The year before, 7 new ships set sail for the first time from major cruise lines:- Costa Cruises
- Holland America Line
- MSC Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- NCL America
- Princess Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
The FCCA’s report also revealed that CLIA-member cruise lines were set to invest in 29 new, state-of-the-art vessels. At a cost of $15.2 billion, the ships would be packed with amazing features, including:- Surf pools
- On-deck LED movie screens
- Golf simulators
- Water parks
- Self-levelling billiard tables
- Multi-room villas with private pools and in-suite Jacuzzis
- Ice-skating rinks
- Rock-climbing walls
The future of cruise looked incredibly positive, with digital transformation very high up on the agenda. Excellent news then for a budding IT solutions provider for the cruise industry!
Much has been written about Covid-19 and the vast impact it has had upon the world as a whole. The cruise industry, like so many others, has been deeply affected but has once again demonstrated huge resilience. In October 2021 the FCCA Cruise Conference took place and was host to nearly 400 attendees. The message was clear: The industry’s restart is pressing ahead.
Indeed, the projections from our friends at Cruise Industry News are enormous. Cruise lines will have the capacity to carry almost 32 million passengers in 2022 – as compared with just under 28 million in 2019. This article from Cruise Critic assesses the state of play moving forwards. Positivity is the key word; take for example Oceania’s World Cruise for 2023 selling out within just 24 hours.
At ICE, we like to talk about innovation – in fact, it is one of our core values. We strive to develop innovative IT solutions for cruise and other industries, including travel and healthcare. It is arguable that innovation in cruise has never been at such an advanced stage. Take Royal Caribbean's virtual balcony for instance. This 80-inch, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, high-definition LED screen shows real-time videos of the outside the ship. Other amazing developments from cruise lines include:
- FlowRider surf simulators
- Skydiving simulators
- Go Kart tracks
- Smart technology (RFID bracelets, touchless tech, voice enabled AI tech)
The cruise industry in 2007 was clearly enjoying success and displaying a true appreciation for cutting-edge technology. The pandemic may have slowed things down on the revenue side but it does not seem to have been a barrier to innovation. On the contrary, the cruise industry has used the time fantastically well – certainly in our experience. theICEway is proud of the work our IT brands have put into contributing towards keeping cruise afloat. ICE has been doing so for almost 15 years – here is to the next 15.