How cruising has changed – but travel agents still feature

“Most group travel, most cruises, many complicated itineraries and even the majority of lodging reservations still are booked through travel agencies” according to Douglas Quinby of PhoCusWright, a travel industry research company who is quoted in a recent SMH Traveller story on The Decade in Travel. However cruising has changed hugely in the last ten years. I often write about a new ship that has just been, or is about to be, launched.
Ten years ago cruising was not a choice many travellers considered. In the 1970s the industry began to recover from the decline caused by the increased availability of air travel when Cunard introduced one-class travel across the Atlantic and provided entertainment that made the 4-day trip an experience in itself. In the 1980s bigger ships with more facilities were built but as cruising moved into the 1990s ships were built to cater to different markets. Today we have cruise ships that are built to cater for families or for discerning couples, we have ships that are built for expeditions and ships, like Oasis of the Seas, that are floating cities with parks and wave pools and much more. If we in the industry are flat out keeping up to date with what the cruise companies are offering, it is no wonder the traveller who wants to cruise chooses to go with a cruise travel agent.