Royal Caribbean could soon be rolling out its US-based policy of ending last-minute discounts to the UK market, the line’s new president has hinted.
Speaking on board Anthem of the Seas, which was officially named on Monday, Michael Bayley passionately insisted that he did not want the line to become involved in any form of pricing wars.
“We believe that we offer a phenomenal vacation of great quality and we would like people to pay the price [that reflects that]. It doesn’t help the trade or us when we start to discount,” he said.
It comes after chairman Richard Fain revealed on Monday that the line had introduced the move in the US last month, in a bid to “get customers out of this used-car salesman mentality”.
Bayley told TTG Royal Caribbean was now prepared to see its ships sail with empty staterooms rather than go down the discounting route.
“The idea is that we’re saying that a certain period before departure, there will be no discount – so yes we’ll sail with empty rooms, and we understand that and we’re going to do it.
“Otherwise, it degrades the brand and the quality of the product, and the customers feel cheated,” he said.
He also intimated the policy was likely to be introduced in the UK. “I’m unable to make any forward statements, I can only talk about what we have done… but it’s in the US at the moment, and we’re committed to it” he said.
Meanwhile, Bayley hinted the UK could play host to another Quantum-class ship – even if only for its naming.
“I could see a Quantum-class ship being based in the UK – not in the near future I don’t think, as we’ll have Anthem in the US and Quantum and Ovation in China, but we may build more Quantum ships,” he admitted.
“We’re still discussing plans for Ovation of the Seas. We haven’t decided what the itinerary will be from the yard to China, and where we’ll name it – we could do it in the UK, or maybe China,” he said.
Bayley was also quick to dismiss capacity concerns, as he discussed the two new Oasis-class ships, and a third Quantum-class ship, which Royal Caribbean has in the pipeline.
“The world is 66% ocean, and when you think about the number of hotels there are in the world, you realise there really aren’t that many ships out there,” he said.