Business Perspective: Mariner of the Seas
Central Florida residents are inundated with a multitude of short weekend excursion opportunities. Popular ventures may include trips to the beach, visiting amusement parks such as Disney or Universal, and enjoying any one of several state parks. However, A growing trend for Florida residents is weekend cruises. Weekend cruises typically leave port on Friday afternoon and return on Monday morning. Because of the popularity of cruises for Florida residents, a business perspective review of the Mariner of the Seas is in order.
Mariner of the Seas
But, a little background before we begin… The Mariner of the Seas was launched on February 28, 2003. The ship is over 1,020 feet long and can service about 3114 passengers per voyage. The ship is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. Mariner of the Seas is a favorite for Florida residents seeking short three-day weekend cruises. However, to fully appreciate what the ship offers, longer ventures, like 7 to 8 days, would be on order.
Business Perspective: Everybody needs a break. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. Weekend getaways on a cruise ship, such as the Mariner, are a great way to not only disconnect from your business but also provide entrepreneurs with uninterrupted opportunities for strategic planning and other reflection opportunities.
The hustle and bustle of the work week all too often include returning emails, providing customers with exceptional customer service, managing employees, and examining/optimizing business operations. With so many balls in the air, entrepreneurs and small business owners all too often forget about their health and fitness.
With this said, spending time in the Mariner’s fitness center, whether it be in the morning or afternoon, is an excellent investment during your short travel. The Mariner’s fitness center has a wide selection of cardio opportunities like treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes. Further, the facility also has weightlifting machines galore! For the hard-core fitness person, their free weight section consists of dumbbells and a Smith machine. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. And finally, the view from their fitness center, especially from the treadmills, is spectacular; it consists of nothing but the ocean and, possibly, if you’re lucky, an island or two.
Business Perspective: Relaxing on a three-day getaway does not necessarily mean avoiding strenuous exercise. Entrepreneurs need to take care of themselves mentally as well as physically if they are to be any good to our employees, customers, and family.
The Mariner of the Seas has a wide selection of dining opportunities. Their most popular selection, at least for the first day, is the Windjammer. The Windjammer is Royal Caribbean’s signature buffet restaurant. In the Windjammer, visitors may enjoy stable items like eggs, bacon, hash browns, and an assortment of lunch meats for breakfast. During lunch and dinner, there is often a theme presented, which may include Mexican night, Italian, and Asian. Staple dishes for lunch and dinner may be salads, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and a meat such as turkey, roast beef, or steak.
In my humble opinion, the best thing about the Windjammer is that it’s super convenient. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, go in, and grab a bite, and exit… it’s crazy convenient.
Business Perspective: There is so much an entrepreneur can learn from how Royal Caribbean operates its Windjammer Buffet. To illustrate, the setup of the buffet is strategically structured to provide visitors with similar buffet items whether they head right upon entry or left. One of the benefits is that the structure does an excellent job of dispersing visitors, which leads to more efficient services provided to all visitors.
View of the Bridge
Wandering the Mariner of the Seas and just looking for surprises or unexpected events is a great way to fill up a slow Sunday afternoon. One of the Easter eggs my wife and I had found on our latest voyage was that on deck 12, towards the front of the ship. At the helm, there are several windows looking down upon the bridge. From this viewpoint, we were able to watch crewmembers conduct their daily operations in navigating and sailing the ship.
Business Perspective: Providing passengers with a view of the internal workings of the bridge provides them with insights into how the business operates. Entrepreneurs and small business owners should take this perspective to heart. This strategy is similar to what breweries do, where they provide a glass wall so patrons can watch beer actually brewed. By providing customers with insights into operations, you invite them to almost be part of your business. This is a great way to build customer loyalty!
The two most popular dining options on the Mariner of the Seas are the ship’s Windjammer Buffet and their traditional dining option. However, for a few dollars more, passengers are able to enjoy a fine dining steakhouse experience on their weekend getaway. In our latest venture on the Mariner, my wife and I decided to do just that and visit Chops Grille.
The menu selection for Chops Grille includes colossal shrimp cocktail, tuna tartar, and grilled black pepper bacon for appetizers. From the main entrée, the selection abounds with filets, bone-in ribeye, rack of lamb, and roasted chicken. As for sides, there seemingly is no end in sight; options are cream spinach, mac & cheese, truffled French fries, sautéed mushrooms, and my favorite gruyere cheese tater tots.
Business Perspective: Royal Caribbean seems to use a multitude of free amenities to attract passengers to sail on their ships. However, their main revenue generators, in my humble opinion, do not come from room fares but from their premium services provided, such as fine dining opportunities. As such, small business owners should consider providing free services to attract customers and get them in the door. From this point, make sure to provide a wide selection of services, both affordable as well as premium opportunities.
Taking short excursions on the Mariner of the seas, especially for Florida residents, is not only a great way for entrepreneurs to get away from the hustle and bustle of work. But, it also provides entrepreneurs and business owners with opportunities to reflect on their business, observe new trends and strategies from a customer’s viewpoint, and also allows for rest and relaxation.
Business Perspective: As entrepreneurs, we are always thinking about new ideas, better ways to provide our services, and new marketing activities. But in order to fully focus on our business on a daily basis, extraction from the business is all too often critical. From this, short cruise excursions are a great way to accomplish this task.
Author: Paul Borosky, Doctoral Candidate, MBA., Author. and Tishauna Borosky