Bring on more private islands I say. The days of quiet ports on beautiful Carribean islands are fading. With the amount of people traveling in the world now many ports are not just that nice anymore. Variations of that theme have been covered heavily in this and other blogs. All of the ports now seem to focus on shopping shopping and and more shopping. I think for the casual cruisers that is great. Duty free and they get a chance to buy something maybe they wouldn't but at home. A special rememberance for that anniversary cruised they have carefully saved for. I have participated in my share of adding $ to their economies. Alas, after umpteen cruises behind me I am not there to find the best deal on a watch anymore. I think a lot of people feel that way. As experienced cruisers how much did you spend in Nassau, Cozumel or Barbados the last time you were there? Not counting a meal or 2 I am guessing not a lot. Or even stayed on the ship and spent nothing. With the private islands cruise lines have the opportunity to make the experience tailored to the passengers. The activities, the excursions on or around the islands, the food, etc. Also they will be able to maintain the islands as beautiful vacation spots. Have you ever been to a dirty disney World? Or a broken down looking 5 star hotel? I like the idea of sailing to a private island that I dont have to go through throngs of vendors, or hassled for every form of transportation to get to beautiful beach or cabana or whatever excursion I may want to do. With the trend on many of the cruise lines catering to luxury suites with perks (endlessly discussed here) or areas of the ship like the Haven people are clearly looking for top shelf experiences and are willing to pay for it. Imagine what the marketing minds of cruise lines could come up with for perks on these islands for higher tiered members? Diamond member retaurants? Emerald level beach area? The "Key" gets you on a luxury launch to the island...possibilities are literally endless. Would that interest you? It interests me for sure.
I am still very happy to go on a cruise with multiple stops in many island nations and hopefully be able to enjoy the culture of each while adding $ to their economy while I am there. But, if the option is there to sail to a well maintained luxury "perfect day" island and possibly stay over night? I think I am on board for that experience.