The Oasis. The Royal. And The Halo.
On the 3rd March 2009 Royal Caribbean stock was low, in fact very low at $5 a share. This was during the construction of the worlds largest cruise ship, The Oasis of the Seas.
Now, Just over two years later the stock price has soared, despite rising fuel costs and instability during the Arab Spring. The below stock value graph can be clicked on to make it bigger.
Now while some of this can be said to be the growth and improvement of the economy as a whole, I believe a lot is based on the initial disbelief that Royal Caribbean were adding a huge vessel in a terrible economic environment. Something which I remember Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean dismissing as irrelevant due to the growing nature of the cruise industry.
Also at this time Azamara Cruises where struggling to shine, with Oceania proving tough competition. Since then the Azamara product has been redefined, and that line appears to be now making its own mark, with the ships being voted highly in the recent CruiseCritic cruisers choice awards.
Many will remember that Azamara was split at last-minute from Celebrity Cruises meaning that the ship was unfinished and departed on her first cruise late.
Furthermore Celebrity was about to accept a continuous stream of new vessels, the largest they had ever ordered. All these capacity increases in troubled economic times worried investors. However the shares now stand at $34.19, a remarkable investment if anyone committed.
The buzz surrounding Oasis of the Seas was huge, the features onboard this vessel along with the news coverage of cruising during this time is likely to have filled a few cruise ships up. It was the early news coverage that encouraged my parents to book.
The size of the vessel, Central Park in the middle, the Boardwalk and the hundreds of other features on this vessel (zip wire, rock climbing, flowrider…) entertained the media who had previously only talked in such detail about Queen Mary 2, which is not the mainstream cruise experience. This vessel gave the industry a kickstart in the recession.
I think this has been good for the rest of the fleet who have benefitted from being associated with Oasis of the Seas and now Allure of the Seas. Like the iPhone & iPod for apple, Oasis & Allure have enlightened new people to the concept of cruising, and specifically that of Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean – www.royalcaribbean.co.uk