In the final analysis of the Carnival Splendor incident at sea, and after seeing their stock price drop at market this week, a new series of "Austerity Cruises" is expected to be announced, to tap into the Economically Challenged traveler market.
Splendor ship personnel report dealing with their fair share of enraged customers to be sure, but another dynamic developed on board where a percentage of customers actually enjoyed the "campsite" nature of the experience. To that end, schedule planners quickly designed a new series of inexpensive cruises that remove nearly every amenity normally available on a luxury cruise.
"Clearly, we will offer lights and running water, but everything else is optional for our customers", says new Austerity Cruise Director, Hope Enpraey. "Customers are encouraged to bring their own food on board, and we've eliminated guest room services, laundry, formal dining, entertainment, and on shore activities. Basically they get an ocean ride to an exotic Mexican destination for about $139 per person, per week".
What sounds like little more than a campsite rental, calls are starting to flood in from people who would not otherwise consider cruising as a vacation option. One new customer commented, "We pack up some peanut butter and jelly, microwave breakfast sausages and a little laundry detergent to wash essential clothes in the sink. Hell, that's all we need, aside from a bottle of tequila and a dozen limes".
Other services will be offered on board on a cash basis, in case customers need to change sheets after, well, after an errant bull riding, banana or gerbil incident, while food and limited bar services are also available, cafeteria style.
The new program also repurposes a number of older cruise ships, normally sent to the scrap yard. "It's just good business", says Enpraey. "We keep our ships running, introduce Mexico to a whole new class of people, and offer new vacation options to average Americans. Bring your coolers and NASCAR Tee Shirts!"