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Do P&O have an issue with the age of their loyal client base?

I am no spring chicken however on cruises i find myself as a member of the 'youngsters' compared to the general clientele onboard, and i am fast approaching 50!

What does P&O need to do to attract younger repeat customers, and indeed should they?

Surely with the current average age of the passengers seeming to increase with each cruise i sail on, eventually filling the ships will become more difficult and will this make prices rise.

is the average age lower do people think on fly cruises? and is there the same age issue for other cruise lines such as the US?

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Do P&O have an issue with the age of their loyal client base?

 

I am no spring chicken however on cruises i find myself as a member of the 'youngsters' compared to the general clientele onboard, and i am fast approaching 50!

 

What does P&O need to do to attract younger repeat customers, and indeed should they?

 

Surely with the current average age of the passengers seeming to increase with each cruise i sail on, eventually filling the ships will become more difficult and will this make prices rise.

 

is the average age lower do people think on fly cruises? and is there the same age issue for other cruise lines such as the US?

 

 

Latest figures show an increase of 9% in 2016. This is in overall ex UK cruising.. So it would appear that they are doing something right.

 

 

 

 

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I think they are trying just now with more and more celebrities getting involved. In the Moments mag today it talks about who's producing the new Headliner shows. There's also the celeb chefs - people like James Martin and of course MPW. The acts in the Limelight are geared towards a younger audience too (e.g. Boyzlife) and having Ant and Dec do their show from Britannia was a coup. However the main thing that attracts younger people are the short cruises and I think more of these seem to be planned every year. BUT it is a very competitive market and if they went the way of RCI which I hate they would lose much of their original client base IMO

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It is some years ago while having loyalty club lunch with a Purser on the table and he said that P&Os long term aim was to encourage younger people to cruise with P&O and the reason he gave is that younger cruisers tend to spend more money onboard where traditional cruisers who had been cruising with P&O since Canberra days and possibly before are used to going on a cruise and not paying for anything except alcoholic drinks. He did go on to say that it is a policy that will upset "older" cruisers (his words not mine) but they are used to cruising and not paying extra for speciality dining and using Costa at extra cost therefore increasing P&Os profits. Of course only P&O will know if this has been successful some years later.

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I think there is a need for some cruise lines to appeal to older cruiser. If a cruise line only appeals to one demographic they are losing other parts of the market. And older people tend to have more disposable income.

 

If all cruise lines were focussed around surfing and rock walls and robot bars and water parks etc etc a lot of older people would just stop sailing.

 

And I think as people get older they will switch their cruise lines. The 20-something's of today who love NCL for instance might migrate to HAL in a few decades. My idea of a good holiday 20 years ago is v different from now.

 

I welcome "quieter" ships now. I wish more cruise lines did adults-only ships too. And I wish more went from Southampton, flying is so tiring these days.

 

That's the reason I choose p&o really - the quieter ships, sail from Southampton, fewer kids (if you book the right ship). If celebrity sailed the med from Southampton or other lines had adult only etc etc I'd use them and I reckon keeping that sort of thing will serve p&o (or other cruise lines for that matter) well in the long term.

 

I'm only in my 40s but I like when a cruise ship is full of older people - we know there won't be gaggles of hen parties or fights breaking out etc etc. Yeah you might get mown down by a wheelchair but folk are quiet, it's a gentle sort of experience. Relaxing. Chilled. Ahhhhh.

 

 

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The problem with providing for the younger cruiser is that for 30 weeks give or take there are very few of them around. As mentioned above.

During the winter months the company are reliant on the older generation. They are the ones with money and time.

 

 

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I think if P&O wish to attract the greatest number of people they should aim at families for school holidays. These vary around the UK but the most important ones for a cruise line to focus on are the short minor half term breaks etc. When these are occurring short cruises need to be offered and ones that fit exactly into school holiday dates. This would maximise the number of families booking cruises. They already have a "school holiday cruise" indicator on their website but they could increase this by many more. These cruises will attract younger cruises and at the same time older people wishing to go on quieter cruises would likely book at alternative times. This policy would allow P&O to aim entertainment more accurately at the niche market they perceive will book on cruises. I see this as a win win situation.

 

Regards John

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I'm not sure I understand the age group thing?

We've just come back from 4 nights on Ventura where some of our party -aged mid 40's , early 60's were the last one's dancing in Tamarind with some doing an all nighter, watching the sunrise, having breakfast two hours kip and back up again at 10.30 ready to enjoy a relaxing day at sea. 'Olduns' do like to pretend they are younger sometimes! ;)

 

Could their parents keep up with that sort of pace, no...but they'd have enjoyed the shows, enjoyed the facilities, enjoyed the ports and despite being mid/late 70's love nothing more than to be with their family while they enjoy themselves. I think it's great to see more than one generation of a family mixing with people they'd never meet in their daily lives. Cruises do that better than any hotel we've ever stopped in.

 

PS: Lets not forget Sir Mick Jagger is 71 and most of the Sex Pistols are 60+;p

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Do P&O have an issue with the age of their loyal client base?

I am no spring chicken however on cruises i find myself as a member of the 'youngsters' compared to the general clientele onboard, and i am fast approaching 50!

What does P&O need to do to attract younger repeat customers, and indeed should they?

Surely with the current average age of the passengers seeming to increase with each cruise i sail on, eventually filling the ships will become more difficult and will this make prices rise.

is the average age lower do people think on fly cruises? and is there the same age issue for other cruise lines such as the US?

 

I would be interested to know how many P&O cruises you have been on and on which ships as your experience doesn't reflect the reality of what I have witnessed during our time with P&O.

 

On our first cruise 21 years ago on Oriana, we were in our 30's and felt as though we were at least 20 years younger than almost everyone else on board. But cruises were very expensive back then and out of reach for many people. Those with the time and money to cruise regularly back then were mostly retired people.

 

Fast forward to today and it's an entirely different situation. Cruises are now much cheaper - and they have to be, as P&O has around 5 times the number of cabins to fill each week. As a result, we have seen the average age of cruisers fall significantly. Of course, if you do a cruise on an adult only ship out of season, then the average age will be quite high, but go on Britannia in the summer and there will be 500+ children, mostly with parents in the 30's to 40's range, with couples from 20's upwards.

 

I would agree that the on board 'entertainment' is still mostly geared towards the older generations, but the passenger mix is definitely getting younger and with more and more people discovering cruising (over half the passengers on our last Britannia cruise were first timers), P&O are successfully targeting a new generation of cruisers. They have to, as the era of generous final salary / defined benefit pensions is rapidly coming to an end and they will not be able to rely so heavily on being able to fill ships with affluent pensioners.

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I think the experience of the age demographic is very dependent on the cruise you are on, last year we did 24 nights in term time and the population onboard must have had an average age of 80, and this year a short party cruise probably has an average age of 35.

The OP raises an interesting question from a strategic perspective. In the U.K. we have an ageing population, by 2030 the number of people aged over 65 will have increased by 50% and the number over 85 will have doubled. The affect of this will be a massive strain on our infrastructure and we are already seeing state pension age being put back, there is no big government pot that pays our state pension, it comes from the taxes of those working today - and we have a long term shortage of working age people. Of course people don't rely on the state pension alone, but with the demise of DB pension schemes and less time to save in DC schemes people in their 50s are likely to be the poorest pensioners when they retire compared to current pensioners and younger people, it is anticipated that people will need to work well into the years that are traditionally thought of as retirement age. It therefore seems to me that P&O need balance, ships that can cater for any age group or preference, not only will there be more older people but they won't have as much disposable income and may have to holiday as continuing work permits.

 

 

 

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P&O are providing for younger people with the newer ships they built.

 

We went on Azura in the middle of August a few years ago because it went where we wanted to go - NEVER AGAIN! It was totally full of families with children ranging from babies up to 18 year olds - all having fun, as they should have been.

 

It is a fact of life that when you are young you usually like more boisterous times, but, as you get older, generally, you like to slow down a little, not completely, just a little. This means, inevitably, that the 'older' ships will have a more gentile atmosphere.

 

Personally my husband and I prefer the quiet life - we always have. Our first cruise was when we were 32 on Seabourn Goddess II around the Med. It was wonderfully peaceful and relaxed. We then went on Aurora the same year, again relaxed and relatively peaceful (we travelled in October).

 

We prefer this type of cruise, and we prefer Adult Only ships, but that is what we like - not everyone is the same.

 

I think that P&O are delivering ships now for both older, younger and inbetweeners - just as long as they don't forget about the type of cruiser that prefers a quieter time, like us, I shan't be complaining.

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P&O are providing for younger people with the newer ships they built.

 

We went on Azura in the middle of August a few years ago because it went where we wanted to go - NEVER AGAIN! It was totally full of families with children ranging from babies up to 18 year olds - all having fun, as they should have been.

 

It is a fact of life that when you are young you usually like more boisterous times, but, as you get older, generally, you like to slow down a little, not completely, just a little. This means, inevitably, that the 'older' ships will have a more gentile atmosphere.

 

Personally my husband and I prefer the quiet life - we always have. Our first cruise was when we were 32 on Seabourn Goddess II around the Med. It was wonderfully peaceful and relaxed. We then went on Aurora the same year, again relaxed and relatively peaceful (we travelled in October).

 

We prefer this type of cruise, and we prefer Adult Only ships, but that is what we like - not everyone is the same.

 

I think that P&O are delivering ships now for both older, younger and inbetweeners - just as long as they don't forget about the type of cruiser that prefers a quieter time, like us, I shan't be complaining.

P&O have adult only ships which gives you a choice of clientele you want to cruise with.

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P&O are providing for younger people with the newer ships they built.

 

We went on Azura in the middle of August a few years ago because it went where we wanted to go - NEVER AGAIN! It was totally full of families with children ranging from babies up to 18 year olds - all having fun, as they should have been.

 

It is a fact of life that when you are young you usually like more boisterous times, but, as you get older, generally, you like to slow down a little, not completely, just a little. This means, inevitably, that the 'older' ships will have a more gentile atmosphere.

 

Personally my husband and I prefer the quiet life - we always have. Our first cruise was when we were 32 on Seabourn Goddess II around the Med. It was wonderfully peaceful and relaxed. We then went on Aurora the same year, again relaxed and relatively peaceful (we travelled in October).

 

We prefer this type of cruise, and we prefer Adult Only ships, but that is what we like - not everyone is the same.

 

I think that P&O are delivering ships now for both older, younger and inbetweeners - just as long as they don't forget about the type of cruiser that prefers a quieter time, like us, I shan't be complaining.

 

 

If you analyse my post #9 this type of problem would be minimised, by trying to attract families at half-term and advertising that this cruise is in school holidays people would have a much better understanding of what the passengers demographic is likely to be. The families would spread more evenly over longer known periods. If children were not an issue, people could book up, if they felt that this could be a problem they could book another date to avoid the problem. The problem with "too many children" is that they are concentrated on the July/August holidays excessively. P&O do restrict the numbers of children within certain age ranges but not many people know this.

 

Regards John

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We have cruised both in and out of school holiday times, and we must have been fortunate with our school holiday ones because we had no problems with noisy children, or adults for that matter.

We have not sailed on an adults only ship, but our 28 day round trip Caribbean cruise was virtually child free, and had the highest age profile of any of our other cruises.

We have in the past done Caribbean fly cruises, which have a much younger age profile, especially on the US cruise lines.

Overall the experiences have been very similar so I suppose for us the cruise lines are getting their product placement correct.

It will be interesting to see just how Royal Caribbean compares with our other experiences, but I doubt it will be massively different to Princess, which is also very similar to P&O and Celebrity.

Having said all that, food and service standards do vary, even between ships of the same fleet, which is probably more of an issue than the overall cruise experience.

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