Why we go Royal
It's always interesting to look back to the reasons why you become loyal to one brand over another. Sometimes it's inherited, such as a car brand or cereal your parents bought when you were growing up so you simply followed the family tradition. When it comes to which cruise line we choose, being fans of Royal Caribbean makes the choice a little more interesting to figure out why we "go Royal" when we choose our cruise vacation.
Above all else, I fell like Royal Caribbean offers a balance in nearly every aspect of the business. Are there cruise lines that are cheaper? Yes. Are there cruise lines that offer more? Yes. But why do we end up with Royal Caribbean? I think it goes to balance. The cost of what we pay for what we go is the best balance in terms of value for the dollar. Royal Caribbean cruises tend to be competitively priced but at the same time, the product we get doesn't make me feel like I've taken the cheap road. Given the price I pay and what I get for it, I feel like there's that perfect balance of value. I feel like the product (the ships, service, etc) are of great quality while the price is something I'm comfortable paying. Even the brand new Oasis of the Seas, which carries with it a higher price tag for novelty, isn't really that bad a price when you consider the product you get.
Beyond just what you pay, Royal Caribbean offers that balance of activities, both on board the ship and at its ports. I can definitely tell that with the last few classes of ships to debut (Voyager, Independence and Oasis), there's been a focus on building ships that just aren't floating hotels. They continuously are adding more entertainment, such as shows, physical activities, and more. With the recent announcement of the Dreamworks deal, it's further proof that Royal Caribbean is not resting on its laurels but rather, trying to innovate in a highly competitive industry and as a consumer, I can definitely see that the fine folks behind the scenes are actively working on improving things.
When you finish any vacation, there's definitely a difference between thinking "that was a good vacation" and "that was a good vacation. I can't wait to go back again!" and I definitely think those of us who call ourselves Royal Caribbean fans fall into the latter category. We have great times on board the ships and even in the middle of a vacation we're on, we're already thinking about how we can book our next vacation back on a Royal Caribbean ship. The only way that sort of thought pattern occurs is when that balance of product is just right and clearly Royal Caribbean has left a lot of cruisers thinking the very same thing, "let's go again!".