'Shopping must be as entertaining and engaging as the rest of the activities on board': Starboard CEO

Beth Neumann will participate in Seatrade Cruise Global's 'Designing Luxury Cruising for the Future' panel Wednesday and hone in on experientially driven retail services. Beth Neumann will participate in Seatrade Cruise Global's 'Designing Luxury Cruising for the Future' panel Wednesday and hone in on experientially driven retail services.

Starboard Cruise Services, an LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company, will have innovative retail concepts on some of the most exciting new cruise ships of 2018, including Carnival Horizon, Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge.

Carnival Horizon was awarded to Starboard as part of a multi-year agreement to operate retail on nine Carnival Cruise Line ships. Other newly executed retail agreements are a multi-year retail contract with Norwegian Cruise Line to operate retail on three of their newer ships and a multi-year contract with Costa Cruises including the new Costa Smeralda, launching in 2019, and additional future new ships.  

Several more partnerships, soon to be announced, will further increase Starboard’s stature in the cruise industry.

By 2020, the company expects to operate more than 360,000 square feet of cruise ship retail space, with more than 750 brands on 90-plus ships, establishing the company as the world's dominant cruise retailer.

This Wednesday Starboard president and CEO Beth Neumann will participate in Seatrade Cruise Global's 'Designing Luxury Cruising for the Future' panel and hone in on experientially driven services.

'The cruise industry in recent years has upped its game in creating ships that rival the imagination and it’s vital that our retail experience does the same,' Neumann said. 'Shopping must be every bit as entertaining and engaging as the rest of the activities on board. In the retail environment, entertainment doesn’t just mean a water slide or a theatrical show, it’s also about engaging the guest in learning something new, connecting with their fellow cruisers and making shopping feel like the celebration it should be. Our exceptional associates on board and the teams behind the scenes deliver on that promise day in and day out.'

Neumann called the Seatrade Cruise Global conference a 'vital opportunity to connect with key industry influencers, partners and thought leaders as part of our mission to transform cruise retail. We look forward to exploring ideas and having important discussions as a cooperative effort to promote and grow the cruise sector.'

Under Neumann's leadership, Starboard is bringing coveted brands, exciting new retail design, entertainment experiences and exceptional hospitality to sea.  

Last November Dream Cruises’ new World Dream was launched with exclusive features designed by Starboard, including Asia’s first Tiffany & Co. store at sea and the global marine debut for a Dior Jewelry and Watches boutique.

Throughout its 60-year history, Starboard has been the first to bring brands such as Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany, Dior, Omega, IWC, Ferragamo, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Kiehl’s, La Mer, Sheseido, and Hublot to cruising, many in exclusive partnerships.

Guided by consumer insights, popular brands like Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Swarovski, Benefit, Urban Decay, Chico’s, Vineyard Vines and Guess are also part of tailored merchandise offerings. And consumers' desire for personalization and customization are satisfied with such offerings as O Bag build-your-own handbags and Starboard’s exclusive make-your-own fashion jewelry with crystals from Swarovski. At Flip Flop Workshops cruisers can design their own footwear.

'We know that guests on cruise ships are searching for the perfect memory of their vacation, not just merchandise,' Neumann said. 'Cruise ships are the perfect place to entertain, delight through discovery, ensure guests are having a fun time in retail and deliver unparalleled hospitality. It’s not just about buying an item at a great price—it’s about capturing the joy of the vacation in a treasured keepsake.'

Examples of experiences and brands Starboard is delivering on the newest ships include a full selection of Tiffany jewelry and accessories and the 'Tiffany & Co. High Tea Set' on World Dream, featuring a menu showcasing Tiffany treats and British delicacies.

At 'Apprentice of Time' aboard Celebrity Equinox, participants become amateur horologists, gaining appreciation for the complex inner workings and art of a Swiss timepiece movement by donning a loupe, disassembling, tinkering and reassembling the tiny parts.

During 'What Would You Do for Love?,' also on Celebrity Equinox, certified Dior beauty experts host a seminar that shows how the perfect makeup look has as much to do with creating emotion as it does with selecting the right color. Participantss learn while sharing some of the secrets to their hearts as they tell their personal stories of 'What would you do for love?'

On sailings of luxury lines such as Crystal and Silversea, passengers are treated to exclusive, limited edition apparel collections, often presented by the fashion designers.

At the first Victoria’s Secret boutique on a Carnival ship, debuting with Carnival Horizon, travelers will be invited to an interactive event featuring fragrances. DJ tunes and cool cocktails make it a party, as participants take a fun quiz to reveal their fragrance style.

And aboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, travelers will be invited to eat cake for breakfast in The Collection luxury leather store where cake and champagne will be served as participants view Kate Spade’s newest collections and strike a pose in fun photo opportunities.

Starboard is based in Miami and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Genoa.

Posted 05 March 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review