Go Lean Commentary
Does anybody believe that?
This is the consistent theme in the book Go Lean…Caribbean; it posits that cruise lines have progressively tighten their practices and policies to ensure more revenues for them and less for the port cities (Page 32).
Scratch a liar, catch a thief!
Why so harsh a criticism? Simple: the dynamics of the Crony-Capitalistic cruise industry in the past, present and future.
The cruise line industry was not always as reflective of this Crony-Capitalism … as they are today. There was a time when passenger shipping companies submitted to the laws of the land – the home countries of the ship owners, i.e. US, England, Netherlands, Greece. This compliance dictated that the shipping lines conformed to labor, anti-trust and competition laws. Then the Crony-Capitalistic influence was embedded and the shipping lines started seeking ship-registry third-party countries that are agnostic to community best-practices (Liberia, etc.).
Today the Caribbean cruise industry is dominated by 3 cruise companies (with large percentages of the passenger traffic; Carnival alone had 52% global market share in early 2012), and the fast-growing Disney Cruise Line. These companies are now all publicly-traded on Wall Street – see stock-symbols listing as follows – so they now answer to new bosses, whose goal is singular: increase shareholder value:
|RCL||Royal Caribbean Cruise Line||
|NCLH||Norwegian Cruise Line||
|DIS||Disney (Cruise Line)||
The “modus operandi” is no longer a matter of extending hospitality to their guests, but rather the business ethos – fundamental spirit that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of an enterprise – is simply to maximize profits. This means increasing revenues while simultaneously lowering costs. (In a previous blog/commentary the full extent of the industries’ labor practices were detailed).
This is not a good trend!
The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU is a confederation of 30 Caribbean member-states with the mission to form a unified negotiating front in bargaining with the cruise line industry. The CU goal is simple: integrate the region into a Single Market.
Why a Single Market?
The Go Lean book posits (Page 3) that the problems of the Caribbean, cruise industry manifestations included, are too big for any one member-state to tackle alone. Even though some cruise destinations, (like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and St Martin) have demonstrated some success with this business model, the trend is for the opposite direction. (Wall Street firms try to improve profits more and more for each passing fiscal quarter). As demonstrated in the following news article, the trending is for this cruise industry to extract more and more passenger spending, not share. See the news article here:
Title: Carnival to ban carry-on bottled beverages
By: KDSK Reporting
Carnival Cruise Line is trying to put a stop to alcohol being smuggled aboard its ships disguised as bottled water.
Beginning July 9, Carnival will effectively ban beverages in bottles from being brought onboard at embarkation. The only exception is a single bottle of fine wine or champagne.
Otherwise, beverages must [be] packaged in unopened cans or cartons, including water, sodas and juices, with a maximum number of 12 packed in carry-on luggage.
In a letter being sent to passengers, Carnival said bottled beverages have become a prime means of bringing unauthorized alcohol on cruises. The line claims inspecting a growing number of bottles was bogging down embarkation, and that episodes of bad behavior on ships often trace back to smuggled alcohol. The letter also explained that cruise personnel cannot effectively monitor consumption of alcohol that isn’t sold on the ships, it said.
“We sincerely apologize for any disappointment these changes may cause,” said the letter, signed by Arlene Marichal, senior director, solutions and special services. “However, we firmly believe this will result in a safer environment while also improving the embarkation process and the overall guest experience.”
Concurrent with the policy change, Carnival has lowered the price of bottled water to $2.99 for a 12-pack of 500 ML bottles, if purchased in advance of the cruise, or $4.99 onboard. Carnival said the move is not intended to raise beverage revenues.
Source: KSDK NewsChannel 5 – St. Louis, Missouri Local NBC Affiliate – Posted June 9, 2015; retrieved July 22, 2015 from: http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/06/09/carnival-to-ban-carry-on-bottled-beverages/28744127/
The goal of the Go Lean roadmap is the Greater Good. This includes applying strategies and tactics to incite more spending at Caribbean ports-of-call.
Singlehandedly, these port cities-member states cannot effect change on this cruise line industry. But together, as one unified front, the chances for success improve exponentially.
The cruise lines “ply their trade” in the Caribbean region (waters and ports-of-call); this is our marketplace so it would be expected that we would have some jurisdiction. After all, the Caribbean is the attraction for Caribbean cruises.
The confederacy goal of the CU entails accepting that there is interdependence among the Caribbean member-states. The Go Lean book initiates with this quest for regional integration with an opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 13); consider these pronouncements:
v. Whereas the natural formation of our landmass and coastlines entail a large portion of waterscapes, the reality of management of our interior calls for extended oversight of the waterways between the islands. The internationally accepted 12-mile limits for national borders must be extended by International Tribunals to encompass the areas in between islands. The individual states must maintain their 12-mile borders while the sovereignty of this expanded area, the Exclusive Economic Zone, must be vested in the accedence of this Federation.
vi. Whereas the finite nature of the landmass of our lands limits the populations and markets of commerce, by extending the bonds of brotherhood to our geographic neighbors allows for extended opportunities and better execution of the kinetics of our economies through trade. This regional focus must foster and promote diverse economic stimuli.
viii. Whereas the population size is too small to foster good negotiations for products and commodities from international vendors, the Federation must allow the unification of the region as one purchasing [or bargaining] agent, thereby garnering better terms and discounts.
x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats …
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law …
xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.
xxv. Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures.
This Go Lean roadmap represents change for the Caribbean and all of our stakeholders, including sailing/cruising and flying visitors. But our quest in the CU to elevate Caribbean society is not designed to antagonize cruise line operators. Just the opposite; we set out to be their able-bodied trading partners, not adversarial opponents. We seek the Greater Good for their interest as well, a win-win.
The CU/Go Lean prime directive is identified with the following 3 statements:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines, including maritime activities on the Caribbean Sea.
- Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.
Collective bargaining is the key.
The Go Lean book promotes collective bargaining as a community ethos, so as to mitigate the perils of “going at it alone”. The book details the applicable community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to elevate the benefits of regional cruise line industry in the region:
|Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices & Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Return on Investments (ROI)||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations||Page 32|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing||Page 35|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategy – Confederate 30 Caribbean Member-States||Page 45|
|Strategy – Customers / Stakeholders – Governments, Businesses, and Citizens||Page 47|
|Strategy – Customers / Stakeholders – Cruise Passengers||Page 48|
|Strategy – Competitors – Choices for Cruise Passengers: Pacific Coast, Mediterranean, etc.||Page 55|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology||Page 57|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change – More Intense Tropical Storms Disrupting Cruises||Page 57|
|Anecdote – Carnival Cruise Lines Strategy Report||Page 61|
|Tactical – Foster a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Shared Portal: www.myCaribbean.gov for Cruise Marketing||Page 74|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Regional Tourism Coordination||Page 7?|
|Implementation – Year 1 / Assemble Phase – Consolidate Organs into CU||Page 96|
|Implementation – Foreign Policy Mandates at Start-up – Collective Bargain with other Cruise Destinations||Page 105|
|Implementation – Security Provisions at Start-up||Page 106|
|Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Shared/Single Currency – Cooperative Central Bank & Cruise Line Pay cards||Page 127|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance||Page 168|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract – Ensure level playing field||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives||Page 176|
|Advocacy – Improve Homeland Security – Emergency Management Readiness||Page 180|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Tourism – Cruise Passenger Pay Card/Currency||Page 190|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Cruise Tourism – Fostering more Port-side Commerce||Page 194|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management – Cruise Ship Incidence Readiness||Page 198|
|Advocacy – Reforms for Bank Regulations – Cruise Passenger Pay cards||Page 199|
|Advocacy – Ways to Develop Ship-Building – Cruise Ship Dry-Dock Maintenance – Deal-making||Page 209|
The issues raised in the foregoing article weigh heavy on a lot of Caribbean commerce. For example, we have a thriving rum industry in the region, with products deemed the best in the world. An objective of rum producers is to market their wares to the 10-million-plus cruise visitors. An unchallenged cruise line policy, dissuading onshore beverage purchases, would undermine this rum industry goal.
The cruise lines have invested heavily in new amenities and duty-free shopping options on board their newer ships. See photos and VIDEO here:
VIDEO – Disney Fantasy Shopping Areas on the Disney Cruise Line – https://youtu.be/OvjxlzoetrY
Published on Apr 22, 2012 – A look at shopping on the Disney Fantasy including Sea Treasures, Mickey’s Mainsail, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and White Caps. Visit http://www.wdwinfo.com for more information on Disney Cruise Line.
While these onboard retailers may be in direct competition with port-cities, it is the Go Lean assertion that there is market enough for all these stakeholders; onboard and onshore. There is no need for anti-trust practices.
Consider these previous blog/commentaries that drilled deep on the Go Lean vision and opportunities for the cruise industry:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5210||Cruise Ship Commerce – Getting Ready for Change|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4639||Tobago: A Model for Cruise Tourism|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3956||Art and Science of Collaboration|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5307||8th Violent Crime Warning to Bahamas Tourists (including Cruises)|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3889||RBC EZPay – Ready for Change and Cruise Industry Pay Cards|
Issues Creating New Cruise Industry Opportunities
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3225||Caribbean less competitive due to increasing aviation taxes|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2207||Hotels are making billions from added fees|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=242||The Erosion of the Middle Class|
The Caribbean region and the cruise line industry must do better … and work together to grow this industry.
In the end, these changes will be for the better; for the Greater Good and to promote a better partnership for all cruise industry stakeholders.
We welcome the 10 million cruise visitors and the many cruise ship operators. Let’s work together … to make the Caribbean destination a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!