Would you take a mystery cruise?
On Facebook this past week Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald floated the idea of “a mystery 7 day cruise.”
“We promise you some surprises, some special guests and that’s it,” Heald wrote. “You have no idea what ports you will sail to on this 7 day surprise cruise.”
The move is reminiscent of a recent promotion by Lufthansa, in which the airline began selling roundtrip flights for as little as €69 – but didn’t tell travelers where they were going until after they had booked. Travelers were, however, given the option of selecting from nine vacation categories to make sure the vacation had something that interested them, with the categories including romance, bromance, partying and nature trips. At the time the airline said that the promotion would “bring wonderful variety” to travel planning.
In the cruise industry, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises hosted its own surprise cruise last year, although the mechanics were a bit different. On that Europa 2 voyage, the ship’s captain presented guests with a list of potential routes and ports, pointing out which locations would be sunniest over the next few days. A lecturer also described the highlights of the potential destinations. Guests then voted to determine the ship’s route. The options included 20 Mediterranean destinations in Greece and Turkey, including Limenas, Kavala, Samos and Mykonos.
Another “mystery cruise” that sailed last year really put the emphasis on the “mystery.” As described by The Daily Telegraph, passengers on a 16-night Secret Sailaway cruise from the Bolsover Cruise Club had to guess the ship’s itinerary by solving a series of 10 riddles. Travelers did not receive details on the itinerary, or even what ship to board, until they arrived at the departure point, although the cruise club did offer guests who aren’t good at riddles the option of learning the full itinerary once they had booked a cabin.
It’s important to note that a Facebook poll is far from official – there’s no indication that this could become a real cruise product in the near future.