SIC 4481

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in operating vessels for the transportation of passengers on the deep seas.

NAICS Code(s)

483112 (Deep Sea Passenger Transportation)

483114 (Coastal and Great Lakes Passenger Transportation)

Industry Snapshot

The passenger cruise industry, as we know it today, was formed around 1970 when approximately 500,000 people took overnight cruises. Since that time, the number of passengers has increased dramatically, reaching an estimated 7.4 million people in 2002. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), this number was expected to reach nearly eight million in 2003. To encourage this activity, cruise line companies have worked with airlines to offer built-in fares and so-called "drive-cruise vacations," whereby airline-leery travelers embark from nontraditional ports closer to their homes. According to CLIA, the cumulative market potential for the cruise industry was projected to reach $85 billion between 2000 and 2005.

The North American cruise industry, which includes the United States and Canada, has represented approximately 90 percent of the worldwide cruise market in recent years. In 2001 alone, the industry's benefit to the U.S. economy totaled $20 billion, according to CLIA. This included some $11 billion of direct spending on U.S. goods and services. By 2002, approximately 167 ships were serving the North American market, with an aggregate capacity of 173,846 berths.

By capacity, almost half of all cruises leaving from North American ports traveled to the Caribbean in the early 2000s. Other leading destinations included Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, and Mexico. Historically, the most popular U.S. ports for embarkation have included Miami, San Juan, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, and Los Angeles. By 2002, CLIA reported that Florida, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia contributed the most to the cruising business.

Since the mid-1980s, the cruise industry has conducted extensive market and consumer research. As a result, the industry has added new destinations, new ship design concepts, new on-board/on-shore activities, new themes, and new cruise lengths to reflect the changing vacation patterns of the public.

The cruise industry continues to have a very close working relationship with the travel agency community. More than 90 percent of all passengers were projected by the CLIA to have been booked through travel agents. Travel agencies found that cruises were profitable to sell and that many people who take a cruise want to repeat the experience.

Organization and Structure

Cruise lines generally offered either luxury, mass market, or specialty cruises, although some analysts believed two more distinct categories have emerged: super-luxury cruises, catering to the very rich, and shorter budget-priced cruises, targeting middle-income vacationers.

Luxury cruise lines emphasize personal service aboard relatively small cruise ships. The mass-market category includes such highly advertised companies as Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. These companies offer resort-style cruises aboard mammoth ships. The specialty cruise segment includes companies like Windstar Cruises, which offers adventure cruises to exotic ports of call aboard small ships that often carry as few as 100 passengers. Destinations include Africa, the Amazon, Antarctica, and seldom-visited islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Specialty companies also offer theme cruises with lecturers or celebrity hosts from the world of science, entertainment, or sports. For example, the Cunard Steamship Co. once offered murder mysteries aboard the famous Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) and opera and classical music experiences in which amateurs were invited to study and play alongside professionals aboard the Sagafjord.

Registry. U.S. cruise industry vessels are primarily of Panamanian, Liberian, or Bahamian registry, which provides cruise line operators with significant tax breaks over U.S. registration. Foreign registration, known as "flags of convenience," also allows U.S. ships to hire foreign crews and escape strict U.S. safety inspections. The only U.S. flagged ships in the North American deep-water cruise industry are those operated by American Hawaii Cruises and Clipper Cruise Lines.

Likewise, major cruise companies, although they operate from U.S. ports and their headquarters are in the United States, are often incorporated elsewhere to avoid U.S. taxes. For example, the corporate headquarters for Carnival Corporation, the largest North American cruise operator, are in Miami, but the company and its cruise subsidiaries are incorporated in Panama, the Netherlands Antilles, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Liberia.

National Organizations. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), headquartered in New York, was formed in 1975 to promote the cruise industry and provide training to affiliated travel agencies. In 2003, 25 cruise lines belonged to CLIA, as did 17,000 affiliated travel agencies. Travel agents began actively suggesting cruises as a vacation alternative in the 1980s. Cruise-only travel agencies have since been formed, and large agencies have created cruise divisions. CLIA also sponsors National Cruise Vacation Month in February. The International Council of Cruise Lines, headquartered in Washington, D.C., lobbied on behalf of foreign-flag cruise ships operating out of U.S. ports.

Background and Development

Until the early 1800s, most ocean-going vessels sailed only when they had a full load of cargo and the weather was favorable. Passengers were secondary. However, in January of 1818, the Black Ball Line in New York began regularly scheduled service between the United States and England. The first ship, the James Monroe, left New York Harbor on time, despite a blizzard, and arrived in Liverpool three weeks later. The Black Ball Line proved so successful that other ships began regular service. "Packet ships," as they were known, were the first ships to concern themselves with the comfort of their passengers.

In the 1830s, steamships began to replace packet ships for carrying mail and passengers. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company, an American line founded in 1848, eventually came to dominate passenger service across the Pacific, but English companies dominated transatlantic service. One of these companies was the Cunard Steamship Co., Ltd., founded in 1840 by Samuel Cunard. Cunard was a Canadian who won the contract to deliver mail between England and Halifax, Nova Scotia. He and English partners formed the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., which was renamed the Cunard Line in 1878. The first Cunard ship was the Britannia, which set sail from Liverpool on July 4, 1840. The ship carried a cow on board to provide passengers with fresh milk during the 14-day crossing. By 1880, the Cunard Line operated 19 ships that provided regular transatlantic passenger service.

Notable Firsts. In 1852, the City of Glasgow, owned by the British Inman Line, became the first ship to provide regular transatlantic passenger service without also having a contract to deliver mail. The Glasgow was also the first ship to be fitted with a spar deck covering part of the main deck. The spar deck provided passengers with a sunny recreation area in good weather and protection on the main deck during bad weather.

In 1879 another Inman ship, the City of Berlin, became the first passenger ship outfitted with electric lights. The Inman Line was also the first to carry immigrants to the United States on a regular basis in "steerage class." Throughout most of the nineteenth century, passengers traveling in steerage slept wherever there was space in the hold and provided their own food or ate out of communal kettles. Signs aboard Cunard Line ships cautioned that "passengers of the First and Second Class are requested not to throw money or eatables to the steerage passengers, thereby creating disturbance and annoyance." By the end of the nineteenth century, carrying immigrants was profitable for most passenger ships. The International Navigation Company of Philadelphia, later known as the American Line, purchased the Inman Line in the late 1890s.

The first organized recreational activities aboard an oceangoing passenger ship may have been aboard the Great Eastern in 1858. A commercial failure, the Great Eastern, owned by the Eastern Navigation Company, was the largest ship of its day. It was also the first ship with enough space for passengers to congregate on deck. On its maiden voyage, passengers organized a marathon and played ninepins. Most on-board recreation would be organized by passengers until after World War I, when deck tennis, shuffleboard, quoits, dancing, and bingo became popular ship-sponsored activities.

In 1870 the Oceanic, owned by the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, became the first ship with multiple passenger decks. The Oceanic also offered passengers an on-board saloon and oversized cabins equipped with electric bells to summon stewards. In the 1880s, the Umbria and the Etruria, owned by the Cunard Line, became the first ships with refrigeration for food storage.

Superliners. By the early 1900s, Germany had begun to dominate transatlantic passenger service with luxury liners that rivaled the most posh European hotels. The Amerika, owned by the Hamburg-Amerika Line, was the first ship equipped with an elevator. It also boasted an on-board restaurant operated by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in London. Even the famed Cunard Line was losing money to the German competition, and American financier J. P. Morgan, who had purchased the White Star Line, was ready to buy the Cunard Line. However, the English government saved Cunard by subsidizing the construction of two new ships, the RMS Mauretania and the Lusitania.

The Mauretania and the Lusitania, launched in 1907, were the first "superliners," the largest and most luxurious passenger ships yet built. Aboard these English superliners two cruise traditions arose: dressing for dinner and the shipboard romance. Cunard's advertising promised, "Passengers will remember how romantically the glowing phosphorescent waves curled back in the ship's wake falling forever in flakes of diamond and pearl. They will remember how readily the damsel of their choice could be persuaded to a secluded spot in order to observe this poetic phenomenon."

In 1911 the White Star Line surpassed even Cunard for luxury when it launched the Olympic. In addition to the amenities that had become standard, the Olympic was outfitted with a swimming pool, Turkish baths, and a tennis court. The ill-fated Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, was a sister ship to the Olympic. White Star never fully recovered financially from the sinking of the Titanic. In 1934, the Cunard Line purchased White Star and became Cunard White Star Ltd.

The Lusitania also earned a place in history when it was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. Although kept secret by the U.S. and British governments for nearly 50 years after the sinking, the Lusitania was carrying tons of munitions for the English war effort, in violation of U.S. neutrality laws. Considered unsinkable by many, the Lusitania sank in only 21 minutes after being hit by a single torpedo, which detonated the contraband cargo. Nearly 1,200 people were killed, including 128 Americans, hastening U.S. entry into World War I.

After World War I, the largest of the German ocean liners were divided among the Allies. The United States Line got the Vaterland, which it renamed the Leviathan. The Leviathan became the first ship to launch a mail plane from its decks in 1927. Cunard, which lost 22 ships during the war, was given the Imperator. It was rechristened the Berengaria and became the line's flagship. White Star received the Bismarck, which it renamed the Majestic. The Majestic was the largest ocean liner afloat until 1935, when the French launched the 80,000-ton Normandie. The Normandie, described as a floating luxury hotel, included 28 six-room suites, 30 two-room suites, and 24 verandah suites along with the usual array of staterooms, each of which had a private bath. The ship also had an air-conditioned dining saloon, a movie theater, and a glass-enclosed garden complete with fountains and caged song birds.

The years between 1920 and 1940 were considered the glamour days for transatlantic passenger ships. The rich and famous from Europe and the United States often took long, slow, luxurious, pampered trips at sea, which were captured by the newsreels to be shown to common folks in movie theaters. However, the Depression of the 1930s almost destroyed the Cunard Line. Again the British government came to the rescue by subsidizing the construction of two more ships, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mary, launched in 1936, became the new symbol of luxury, surpassing even the Normandie, which was destroyed by fire in New York Harbor in 1942. Only 350 of the Queen Mary 's 1,100 crew members were needed to operate the ship; the other 750 catered to the needs of 2,100 passengers. The Queen Elizabeth was launched in 1940 but was soon converted into a troop carrier during World War II.

After World War II, the glamour of cruises faded. Jet planes replaced ships for those who could afford to fly, crossing the Atlantic in hours instead of days. By the 1960s, most passenger ships had become drab and dingy. In 1952, the American Line launched the United States, which was the largest passenger ship ever built in the United States and the fastest oceangoing passenger ship in service. However, a lack of passengers forced the ship to be mothballed in 1969. Cunard also sold the Queen Mary in 1967, symbolizing the end of an era. The ship became a tourist attraction in Long Beach, California. The Queen Elizabeth was sold in 1968, leaving Cunard with only one ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2. The original Queen Elizabeth caught fire and sank in Hong Kong Harbor before it could be turned into what was planned to be a floating university. Cunard repositioned itself as a cruise line in the 1970s.

The modern cruise industry began to take shape in the late 1960s. Faced with declining demand for transatlantic passenger service, especially during the winter when the North Atlantic was stormy and cold, passenger lines began offering vacation cruises to warm-weather locations. Instead of the transportation business, they were becoming part of the tourist and vacation industry. Princess Cruise Lines, founded in 1965, was one of the pioneers in this emerging industry, leasing a converted ferry from the Canadian Pacific Railway during the winter months to offer cruises from Los Angeles to Mexico. However, several business historians considered Carnival Cruise Lines and its co-founder Ted Arison to have actually invented the modern cruise industry in the mid-1970s.

Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines was founded in 1972 as a subsidiary of the American International Travel Service. The company purchased the former Empress of Canada passenger liner, renamed it the Mardi Gras, and invited 300 travel agents to sail on its maiden voyage, which almost proved disastrous. The Mardi Gras ran aground before it cleared the Port of Miami. By 1974, Carnival was near bankruptcy. Arison assumed more than 5 million dollars in debt and bought American International Travel's interest in the cruise line for one dollar.

What followed was a remarkable, serendipitous turnaround. Even with a complete remodeling, the Mardi Gras remained an aging, inefficient passenger ship. During the energy crisis of the 1970s, it was forced to sail slowly to save on fuel. To fill the additional time at sea between ports of call, Arison added a disco, comedians, singers, and other live entertainment. He also encouraged less formality, more casual dress, and a festive atmosphere. The crew began to call the Mardi Gras the "fun ship," and Carnival began advertising that time aboard ship was as fun and exciting for the passengers as the exotic destinations they were sailing to.

The "Fun Ship" marketing strategy, adopted as a registered trademark of the Carnival Cruise Lines, was an enormous success. Based on two people per cabin, the Mardi Gras sailed at more than 95 percent capacity in 1974 and 100 percent capacity in 1975. At the end of the year, Carnival purchased a second ship, the former Queen Anna Maria, which it renamed the Carnivale. A third refurbished ship, renamed the Festivale, was added in 1978. It was then the largest and fastest cruise ship sailing between Miami and the Caribbean. Over the next four years, Carnival built four new superliners and quickly became the largest cruise line in the world, capturing a quarter of the North American market and carrying twice as many passengers as its nearest competitor.

The cruise industry also received an invaluable boost from "The Love Boat," a popular TV series that aired on network television for nine seasons beginning in 1977. "The Love Boat," which featured a ship owned by Los Angeles-based Princess Cruise Lines, revived the Golden Era link between ocean liners and romance and made the point that cruises were not only for the rich. "The Love Boat" was a staple among syndicated reruns into the 1990s.

A 1997 Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) study identified some interesting—and favorable—trends in the passenger cruise industry. The study reported that by 1997, approximately 11 percent of the U.S. population had taken a cruise, compared to just 4 percent a decade earlier. The fastest growing segment of those taking cruises was passengers between the ages of 25 and 39 years old, and the average household income was about $50,000 per year.

An issue brought to the forefront by the International Council of Cruise Lines was the need for industry-wide international and national regulations governing the care of sick or injured passengers on cruise ships. For example, Holland America Lines, a passenger line with an excellent reputation for safety and sanitation, reported 325 to 375 emergency disembarkments in an average year. Council statistics indicated that if Holland America's figures were the industry norm, annual evacuations from ships would total roughly 3,760 to 4,350.

Only Norway, Britain, and Italy had any rules regarding cruise line medical care. The majority of deep-water vessels calling on U.S. ports, however, were registered in the Bahamas, Liberia, Panama, Norway, and Italy. The U.S. Coast Guard does conduct sanitation inspections of these foreign ships.

Attendees of an International Council of Cruise Lines meeting on the topic in early 1996 recommended guidelines that outlined the basic, advanced life support and cardiac life support that should be available on board by medical staff and stated that medical staff should be certified in competencies, including emergency medicine, family practice and internal medicine, emergency and critical care, advanced care for injured patients, and minor surgical skills. Approval of such recommendations, however, was expected to be a long process.

A sign of the times in the 1998-99 booming economy was the proliferation of mergers and acquisitions in corporate America, and the cruise industry was no exception. American Classic Voyages Company (AMCV, NASDAQ) announced an agreement to purchase the New Amsterdam from Holland America Lines for $114.5 million, with contingencies. The 1,200-passenger ship was expected to cruise the Hawaiian Islands beginning in the fall of 2000. AMCV reported a $2.2 million earnings loss for the first six months of 1999; however, its second-quarter 1999 earnings were $2.3 million.

Carnival Cruise Line had attempted to buy out Norwegian Cruise Lines but in December 1999 dropped its bid when Norwegian sold two of its ships in order to meet loan payments. Norwegian officials projected a $92 million profit for 2000. Its 1999 earnings were approximately $40 million.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines received negative press in 1999 for its plea-bargained agreement to pay $18 million in fines for illegal dumping of waste oil and sewage in Alaskan waters. It had previously conceded similar dumping near Puerto Rico, only after being caught falsifying log records and proffering false testimony during Congressional inquiry. Notwithstanding, the company's annual revenues were more than $1.9 billion by September 1999, with gross profits of $686 million.

A 1998 newcomer to the cruise industry was Disney, spending $130 million to launch its Disney Magic, followed by the launch of a sister ship, Disney Wonder, in August 1999. Both ships boasted 2,400 berths and three onboard restaurants.

Current Conditions

Despite weak economic conditions, rising unemployment levels, and concerns about terrorist attacks, CLIA reported that the North American cruise industry achieved record years in both 2001 and 2002, helping to sustain an annual growth rate that averaged more than 8 percent from 1980 to 2001. Some 7.6 million passengers went on cruises in 2002, the majority of which (7.5 million) cruised on CLIA member vessels. That year, North American passengers accounted for more than 86 percent of the passengers CLIA members served worldwide.

By the early 2000s, cruises lasting between two and five days continued to grow in popularity. This category, which included some 2.6 million passengers in 2001, increased almost 640 percent over 1980. Cruises lasting six to eight days saw 3.5 million passengers in 2001, an increase of almost 320 percent from 1980 levels.

In addition to marketing and public relations efforts aimed at assuring would-be travelers that it was safe to go on cruises, the industry offered attractive pricing to increase volume in 2002. Another innovative industry growth initiative involved so-called "drive-cruise vacations," whereby leading cruise lines introduced itineraries that originated in ports located near major North American cities. This helped to address concerns of travelers in the wake of the terrorist attacks made against the United States on September 11, 2001, and also opened up the cruise market to those who always have been reluctant to fly on airplanes.

The industry also was forced to address concerns about gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships after passengers and crew aboard a number of cruise lines fell ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between January 1 and December 2, 2002, the agency investigated more than 20 reports of illnesses involving 17 ships. Among the ships affected during this timeframe were Princess Cruise Lines' Sun Princess , Royal Olympic Cruises' Olympia Voyager , and Carnival's Carnival Spirit . Following these outbreaks, cruise lines were forced to transport passengers back home via airplane and clean and disinfect their ships. In some cases, assistance also was provided by CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program.

According to the CDC, "Of the 21 outbreaks, 9 were confirmed to be associated with noroviruses, 3 were attributable to bacterial agents and 9 were unknown etiology." In 2002, CDC confirmed 26 land-based outbreaks of gastroenteritis attributable to norovirus. Noroviruses (i.e., Norwalk-like viruses or NLV) are nonbacterial agents that can cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and watery diarrhea that can last from 12 to 60 hours."

Industry Leaders

Founded in 1972 as Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., and renamed in 1993, the Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise operator in the world, with 45 vessels and six cruise lines in 2003. In addition to Carnival Cruise Lines, which remains an operating division, the company owns and operates the Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Costa Crociere S.p.A. The company employed approximately 37,200 employees in 2002 and reported earnings of $4.4 billion.

The Carnival Cruise Lines division of Carnival operates 16 ships offering mass-market cruises, including the Sensation, a 2,600-passenger superliner launched in 1993. That same year, Carnival signed a contract to build the largest cruise ship in the world capable of accommodating 3,000 passengers. Called the Destiny, it became the world's first 100,000-ton cruise ship upon its delivery in late 1996. In 1995, two other superliners, the Fascination and Imagination, were launched into service. The Carnival Glory was scheduled for service in 2003, followed by the Carnival Miracle and Carnival Valor in 2004, and another unnamed ship sometime in 2005.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, founded in 1969, became one of the world's largest cruise lines by passenger capacity in the mid-1990s, offering more than 50 different itineraries ranging in length from 3- to 15-night cruises. In 2003, its 25-ship fleet, which had a combined capacity of about 59,000, called at more than 200 destinations. Among its fleet were the 3,100-passenger Navigator of the Seas ; 2,100-passenger Brilliance of the Seas ; 2,354-passenger Majesty of the Seas ; 2,354-passenger Monarch of the Seas ; 2,276-passenger Sovereign of the Seas ; 1,804-passenger Legend of the Seas ; 1,600-passenger Nordic Empress ; 1,512-passenger Viking Serenade ; 1,402-passenger Song of America ; 1,004-passenger Song of Norway ; 714-passenger Sun Viking . Between 1996 and 1998, five additional megaships were planned to be launched for Royal Caribbean: Splendor of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas.

The Holland America Line, which Carnival purchased in 1988, is one of the oldest names in passenger ship history, dating back to 1873 and the Netherlands America Steamship Company. More than one million immigrants came to the United States aboard Holland America ships between 1873 and World War I. Holland America provided regular transatlantic passenger service until the late 1960s, when it retired the Nieuw Amsterdam and devoted attention to the cruise industry. Under Carnival's ownership, the Holland America Line added two new ships in 1993 and in 1994. Holland America offers premium-priced cruises to Alaska, Europe, and the Caribbean. In 1993 Holland America also resumed around-the-world cruising. The company planned to introduce a number of new ships in the early 2000s, including the Oosterdam in 2003 and two other ships in 2005 and 2006.

Windstar Cruises, founded by Circle Line Cruises in 1986, offers luxury adventure cruises aboard four-masted schooners with computer-controlled sails. Each of Windstar's 440-foot windjammers, the largest sailing ships ever built, carry about 150 passengers in a yacht-like environment. Windstar's North American cruises are primarily to small warm-weather ports in the Caribbean and focus on water sports such as scuba diving and windsurfing. The line also offers cruises in the Mediterranean, South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Circle Line sold Windstar to Holland America in 1988. Carnival acquired Windstar when it purchased Holland America.

Seabourn Cruise Lines, founded in 1987 by Atle Brynestad, a Norwegian entrepreneur, offers luxury cruises aboard two 200-passenger, all-suite ships, the Seabourn Pride and the Seabourn Spirit. Along with luxury accommodations, the Seabourn ships offer under-water observation rooms and sea-level platforms for water activities. Seabourn is part of Carnival Corp., which first purchased a 25 percent interest in Seabourn in 1992.

The Cunard Line, one of the oldest passenger ship companies in the world, formerly was a wholly owned subsidiary of the multinational Trafalgar House Plc, based in London. By the early 2000s, the company was one of six cruise lines owned by industry giant Carnival Corp. Founded in 1840 by Samuel Cunard to deliver mail between England and Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Cunard Line included such famous ships as the Lusitania, sunk by a German U-Boat at the beginning of World War I, and the Queen Mary. Cunard headquarters were moved to New York in 1977. In the 1990s, Cunard offered cruises to more than 300 ports of call. It also was the only ship line providing scheduled passenger service between the United States and Europe.

P&O Princess Cruises Plc was the third largest cruise line in the North American market, with a fleet of 20 ships. Princess was founded in 1965 by Seattle entrepreneur Stanley MacDonald, who leased the 318-passenger Princess Patricia, a converted ferryboat, from the Canadian Pacific Railway during the winter months and offered cruises between Los Angeles and Mexico. Princess continued to operate ships under charter until 1971, when it purchased the Island Venture, which was renamed the Island Princess. In 1974, Princess was purchased by the P&O Lines, a venerable British firm that added the Sun Princess to the Princess fleet. In 1977 Princess became the model for the hit television show "The Love Boat," which provided market exposure to Princess and the cruise industry. During the late 1990s, Princess added the Dawn Princess, the sister ship to Sun Princess, and the 104,000-ton Grand Princess, reportedly the largest cruise ship ever built. P&O spun off its Princess line in 2000. A failed acquisition attempt by Royal Caribbean followed in 2002. By 2004, the company plans to increase its fleet with seven new vessels.

Celebrity Cruises, founded in 1972, is one of the largest companies in the luxury segment of the cruise industry. In 1997, the company merged with Royal Caribbean. Celebrity Cruises introduced Royal Celebrity Tours in 2001, which provided travelers with "land-and-sea" packages. According to the company, by 2003 it remained committed to "high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine."


The majority of jobs aboard cruise ships generally fall into three categories: crew, food service, and accommodations. Crew is comprised of deck hands, engineers, and maintenance. Food service is comprised of all the jobs associated with running restaurants, including managers, waiters, cooks, and kitchen staff. Accommodations is comprised of all the jobs associated with running a hotel, including reservations, laundry service, and housekeeping. The ships also employ numerous clerical personnel, activities directors, and managers of the on-board retail shops and passenger services. Cruise ships are also among the largest employers of entertainment, including singers, comedians, dancers, and stage actors for musicals produced at sea.

Although many onboard cruise line employees are not from the United States, CLIA estimated that the North American cruise industry generated 267,762 jobs for U.S. workers in 2001. Direct industry employment within the United States was 27,379 that year. In addition to wages and tips, employees also received room and board.

Further Reading

Beirne, Mike. "Carnival Augments Six Lines' Image." Brandweek, 12 April 1999.

Celebrity Cruises, Inc. "About the Company." 28 March 2003. Available from .

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Notice: Gastrointestinal Illness Aboard Cruise Ships." 13 February 2003. Available from .

Chater, Amanda. "1998: Food Spending Tops $527 Mil., Ship-Counts Up." Food Service Director, 15 April 1999.

Corzo, Cynthia. "Cruise Line Offers Two-Night Florida-to-Nassau Getaways." The Miami Herald, 25 June 1999.

Cruise Lines International Association. "CLIA Lines Host 8.66 Million Cruise Vacationers in 2002." 4 March 2003. Available from .

——. "Cruise Industry Brings In 2003 With New Ships, Innovations, Close-to-Home and Worldwide Ports." 3 January 2003. Available from .

——. "Industry Overview." 2003. Available from .

——. "Profile of the U.S. Cruise Industry." 2003. Available from .

——. "A Vital Part of America's Economy." 2003. Available from .

Grimm, Matthew. "Bells and Whistles To Go." Brandweek, 15 June 1998.

Havre, Randy. "American Classic Voyages In For Smooth Sailing." Pacific Business News, 15 October 1999.

"In Brief." Waste News, 13 December 1999.

Stieghorst, Tom. "Carnival Drops Bid for Cruise Line." Sun-Sentinel South Florida, 16 December 1999.

Verrier, Richard. "New Cruise Ship Arrives at Port Canaveral, Fla." The Orlando Sentinel, 15 November 1999.

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