I love luxury hotels and the Ritz-Carlton Cruise is made for people like me

It was a tough day (wink) as a TPG reporter on Tuesday as leaders from Marriott International greeted me and a few colleagues on board. Evrimathe first ship to set sail under Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection trademark.

It’s also my first time on any cruise ship – yes, really. After all, they hired me to write about the hotel!

However, I could certainly be the type to keep this new Marriott International business going (well, if I could afford to spend a hefty penny on one of these trips).

While you can find rates as low as $5,000 per person for some excursions, the View Suites on the upcoming Evrima trip from Barcelona to Rome start at $52,100 per person based on a double room.

It’s an important tab, even for the luxury hotel traveler. The target audience is consumers who don’t blink at prices like here Aman in New York Citycan exceed $3,000 a night.

It is increasingly important that hotel companies like Marriott have something to offer their customers in different areas of travel. Marriott has done this with a number of luxury hotels on land — the sky and the sea are the limits to what can happen next.


“I think we’ll look at anything that can help us achieve our goal of making sure customers don’t have to look outside of our ecosystem to know what they’re looking for for virtually anyone. any trip purpose anywhere in the world,” Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano told me during a lunch with reporters aboard the Evrima this week as it docks in Fort Lauderdale.

I feel comfortable riding on the Evrima train. It doesn’t sound like my stereotype of a large cruise ship with a large reception area. Instead, it’s like stepping through the posh entrance of a luxury hotel or resort.

Admittedly we were there in a quieter revolving space before the passengers arrived. However, when passengers start arriving at the end of the day, it seems that they arrive more calmly with champagne and smiles.

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Bonvoy promotes sea trip ‘Bon trip!’

Capuano and Douglas Prothero, founders and CEOs of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, note that 75% of passengers booked on the Evrima have never been on a cruise before. Additionally, 70% are members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, they added.

As someone who knows a thing or two about luxury hotels, I walked away thinking there’s a reason this ship, eh, yacht, attracts so many non-cruises. Glitter companies don’t buy out the whole Evrima because they want the buffet experience.

“For the sake of the brand, [the passengers] know that they can expect the quality of the property, the quality of the service, and the quality of the [food and beverage],” said Prothero. “That’s why they come, because they believe [The Ritz-Carlton brand].”


Marriott Bonvoy has more than 177 million members. Not all of these people are ultra-luxury travelers, but winning just a fraction of them will help keep the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection alive for years to come. The Evrima has a capacity of 298 passengers and the next yacht in the works, Ilma, is expected to accommodate 456 passengers.

Intimacy is the name of the game when a hotel company comes to swim in the sea.

Accor’s CEO made a recent announcement about Orient Express launches its own line of superyachts; The announcement even includes a slight tease at Evrima by noting that the Paris-based company’s yacht will be longer, carry half the number of passengers and twice as expensive.

From atrium hotel to sea retreat

Today, the luxury hotel crowd increasingly favors seclusion, intimate settings and curated experiences.

Skylight hotels are not a must-have design trend of the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, the luxury and lifestyle hotel trend that is gripping the industry today is to subdivide the properties. spacious corridors into more personalized spaces.

This is the vibe on much of Evrima. The ship is filled with cocktail lounges and entertainment spaces lined with bookcases, as well as a cozy humidor room to enjoy a hand-rolled cigar, cognac or a bottle of wine that can rival the price of a suite. The Ritz-Carlton Spa on board is similarly equipped; it offers surprisingly spacious space for a cruise ship but intimate enough for a relaxing day of pampering yourself.


“We all hope we have a friend with a yacht — maybe we all hope we have a friend with a yacht this big, but it’s like a yacht,” says Capuano. yacht rather than a cruise ship.

Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection members aboard the Evrima this week regularly point out that the design resembles what you’d find at the Ritz-Carlton. There’s even an art guide on board, who can arrange gallery visits for passengers to meet local artists or make purchases when the train stops for the ride.

While there are some larger dining areas, they are by no means fancy restaurants. Instead, everything is like the high-end services you’d expect in a posh part of a big city.

There are more intimate dining options, like SEA – an offshoot of chef Sven Elverfeld’s Aqua, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, Germany. Even the indoor-outdoor Pool House restaurant feels more like an upscale hotel (thanks to its leather-accented couches and 10-seat bar) than a beachfront space you pass by on the street. to catch the sun.


Likewise, deluxe rooms also target travelers looking for a more streamlined experience rather than just discovering activities with their fellow passengers.

I would argue that on many yachts, travelers want to spend more time leaving the cabin or suite than staying in it. However, I would be happy (in fact, I might be a traveller now) if I spent the day reading, writing, and enjoying a set of Evrima.


The spacious ensuite bathroom with soaking tub and spacious work area in front of the window in the downstairs bedroom of the Loft Suite really sold me.

The urge to travel might also have to do with the fact that we’re touring the suites during revenue time: An Evrima employee stops by with a bottle of Champagne to put in each room, and other staff members are Polish the grand piano.

Although I did not experience Evrima at sea, it seems to have won over the hotel crowd.

“We’ve had people come in for a week and stay for a month, and we’ve had a lot of them — not just a few,” says Prothero.

Another Marriott option for the cruise crowd

Today, Marriott is not only interested in luxury resort tourism. The company’s strategy extends to land-based services as it attracts a different type of cruise tourists.

Of the company – and its competitorswent up recently in the field of all-inclusive resorts is likely to be tit-for-tat with the cruise business. All-inclusive resorts bundle costs into a single nightly rate, and guests don’t have to worry about hidden fees or bill spikes during their stay. A similar pricing strategy is what draws many tourists to the yachting sector.

Although Marriott hasn’t performed a specific analysis here, Capuano sees similarities between the two travel options.


“When we consider macro consumption trends and travel trends, simplicity [and] The lack of surprise in the package pricing strategy is increasingly appealing, which is why we see that the package portfolio grows exponentially,” he added. “And I think this is a natural extension: It’s the same predictability [as a cruise].”

Keep in mind that there are some elements of Evrima that cost more than your base fare: Meals at the SEA restaurant and bottles of wine found on the stocked wine list are subject to a pricing model. by order.

“We have people who spend more than they paid on wine excursions – on every trip,” says Prothero.

The future of pricing power

Trips on Evrima aren’t cheap, but neither are hotel rates on the mainland these days.

Hotel is a leading cause of inflation In summer last year. While things have cooled, industry analysts have been buzzing that it has given the luxury sector a long-needed cost difference compared to its more affordable sister brands.

It is thought that a room in St. The Regis or the Ritz-Carlton will cost several hundred dollars more a night than at the Westin or Marriott. Hoteliers who maintained higher rates throughout the pandemic helped achieve that goal.


Bottom line: The luxury crowd can handle these prices on land or at sea, so don’t expect them to drop any time soon.

“There has never been a visitor in the history of travel who has preferred to pay a higher price, but I particularly think that as you move up the quality tiers, there is a pretty good appreciation of supply dynamics–” says Capuano. bridge,” said Capuano.


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