Cruise line vacancies
Two major cruise lines confirmed analysts' predictions that rate discounting is likely to continue through this year but said recently that the glut of new mega-ships isn't the only reason for empty cabins.
Executives of Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises cited travel patterns altered by higher-priced millennium sailings and by the upcoming Olympics in Australia; the late Easter holiday; the presidential election; heated competition among the leading cruise operators; and negative publicity from a spate of recent ship mishaps as factors responsible for the softer pricing they expect will continue through 2000, according to Travel Weekly.
Analysts think the deals will extend well into next year, and one said the parade of new ships joining the market isn't going to slow for the next four years.
Reports from ship lines and travel agents also indicate, however, that more passengers are discovering cruising for the first time, with Carnival reporting "the largest quarterly increase in passenger counts in recent history."
Glance up the next time you fly and you might see that the overhead bins have become little billboards.
Kansas City's Advent Advertising has already sold the idea to locally based Vanguard Airlines, which plans to have in-house ads on all its 15 aircraft this month and to introduce commercial ads later.
"The image of a bus or subway naturally comes to mind, but we are far from that," said Vanguard spokeswoman Danielle Molder. "It's not in-your-face marketing; it's subtle."
To meet safety regulations from the FAA, which was concerned about screaming ads overwhelming the Exit signs in an emergency, the ad tone is only 40 percent darker than the tan color of the luggage bins, she said.