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In April of 2009, ELP Equities is considering purchasing shares in Royal CaribbeanInternational but will need to know more information regarding how their new cruise line, Oasisof the Seas, will be launched. Multiple factors such as the maturity of the market and theuncertainty of consumer preferences need to be considered in order to successfully launch Oasisof the Seas. This means that the problem Andrew Gonzalez must consider is: What is the optimalmarketing plan that Oasis of the Seas must develop in order to gain financial success as well asimproving brand awareness in a time of a recession?Decision CriteriaThe decision criteria identified are: ensuring financial feasibility relating to the utilizationrate and operating profit, the brand awareness generated from the launch, and how well Oasis isable to differentiate itself other than being the largest cruise liner. More analysis regardingdecision criteria and the explanations relating to alternatives can be found in Exhibit A.RecommendationOasis of the Seas should target the Explorers and Marines segments (all segment basesare detailed in Exhibit B). It will position itself as a vehicle for its passengers to experience avariety of locations and different cultures. For Marines, Royal Caribbean should highlight themyriad of activities which will be available on the ship and at the different destinations.This proposal states that the Oasis of the Seas will be a premium ship (however, it willhave a select amount of luxury rooms available). It should operate in the developing routesmentioned in the case -- namely Europe (including the Mediterannean) and Asia (South Pacific,the Orient, and South-East Asia) -- on a rotating basis. It will be the only premium ship operatingin these routes (refer to Exhibit 7).
Internal AnalysisMarketing Strategy: Royal Caribbean has positioned itself as “The Nation of Why Not”.With destinations around the world and filled with amenities, Royal Caribbean encourages itspassengers to say “why not” to every experience. With the majority of their cruise shipscategorized as a “first class cruise line” or “contemporary”, Royal Caribbean focuses on offeringmore affordable, casual, and value-oriented vacations at a greater capacity (refer to Exhibit 10,Exhibit 3).Product: Royal Caribbean is one of the top three cruise lines in the world. They own afleet of 42 cruise ships, including 36 ships that travel throughout North America and 6 ships thattravel around the rest of the world. The majority of their cruise ships are categorized ascontemporary, with a small group in North America in the premium category, and two ships inthe luxury category (refer to Exhibit 7). As is common in the cruise liner industry, RoyalCaribbean’s most popular destination remains the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean,as well as the rest of the cruise liner industry are in the maturity stage of the product life cycle,meaning sales are at their peak and cruise liners are trying to rejuvenate their cruise ships byadding features or repositioning them (refer to Exhibit C).