To those who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, we have some bad news: When the ship launches, she will not be in North America for very long. In a surprising turn of events, Royal Caribbean International announced that Quantum of the Seas will be homeported in China and sail from Shanghai, setting off the race for world ocean cruise domination.
“We have been very clear about our intentions to compete on a high level in China,” Royal Caribbean Cruises president and COO Adam Goldstein told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview about the move. “We feel like we have an asset here with Quantum of the Seas that is not really possible for our competitors to match.”
Also from that USA TODAY interview:
“Goldstein says the Chinese market places a high value on new, top-quality products, and Royal Caribbean believes it has a chance to achieve a long-term competitive advantage by taking the “bold step” of dedicating its newest, most-advanced ship to the region. The company has been expanding into China for several years, starting with some of its smallest and oldest vessels but moving recently to newer, larger vessels. The success of the effort is such that “we have decided to use (a ship like Quantum of the Seas) in China maybe a little bit quicker than had been our timetable.”
Bad news for North American cruise travelers but good news for Royal Caribbean International shareholders as their cruise company of choice gets ahead of the competition, hoping to stake their ground as the leader in world ocean cruise domination.
“World Ocean Cruise Domination” ? Did I say that?
A race for domination of the world cruise market is not all that far off course actually, as cruise lines frustrated with budget-conscious North Americans look to fill their ships with cruise-hungry passengers from other parts of the world. An industry insider told us of deployment in Asia “They (passengers) just can’t get enough. They clear the shelves in the stores on ships, have plenty (of money) to spend and don’t mind spending it.”
Still want a ride on Quantum of the Seas? Before repositioning to Shanghai in May 2015, the 4,180-passenger ship will sail a winter season to the Bahamas and the Caribbean from New York. Space still available, few discounts.