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We don’t want to be Disney!

October 25, 2022

In 1999 we answered the call of a new industry and began to move away from theme parks and casinos after about 20 years. Although we were quite successful in those industries we found new challenges in the new Cruise Ship Era. Long gone were the ideas that cruises were for older guests and adventures were slow paced. The new ships being planned were so large they had no place to dock!

We were engaged by Royal Caribbean to begin a creative process of defining a new approach to cruise ships and destinations. In our first introductory meeting we were in the room with the Chairman and President of Royal Caribbean International. After we quickly introduced our company with their VP’s and Directors, we shared our approach to developing guest experiences and we were hired to further other RCL projects. We have since enjoyed 23 years on this new adventure and enjoyed the creative challenges we have met. With over 17 ports conceived and developed around the world it has been quite a journey. However I wanted to blog about the cautionary beginning of our journey with our client Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines. As they were awarding us an additional opportunity to direct some new strategic planing, their President’s closing remark still resonates with me. After seeing the ICON of the Seas being promoted today online, I had to recite that classic closing remark. “Hugh, we appreciate your extensive Disney background and experience, but we do not want to see the Cruise Industry and our private islands start to look like Disney World”. It may have taken 22 years, but now success; we have inspired yet another industry to exceed the customers’ expectations! Sail on!

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