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Private island would be a great innovation, Andy Stuart tells Cruise360 Australasia

PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon
Andy Stuart said innovations are not necessarily about big ideas
The keynote speaker at Cruise360 Australasia said being creative and original impacts the guest experience and an example could be an Australian company taking Norwegian Cruise Line’s lead by buying a private island.

Andy Stuart, president and ceo of Norwegian Cruise Line, said his company’s private islands—Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas and Harvest Caye in the western Caribbean—are examples of innovations that enhance the cruise experience.

Magic Carpet, North Star, race track ...

Stuart said so, too, is Celebrity Edge’s Magic Carpet, Royal Caribbean’s North Star and the race track on board NCL’s latest ship, Norwegian Bliss.

‘This year our friends at Cruise Critic listed 10 jaw-dropping cruise ship innovations,’ he said.

‘They discussed tech-based innovations including virtual views, as well as smart screens in public areas allowing guests to look up activities, menus, availability and open appointment times.

‘They talked about offerings such as exclusive access suite areas and show kitchens.’

He said Sixthman, which had operated several NCL charters, had innovated so well, NCL bought the company.

Original thinking needed every day

However, Stuart said, innovation is not necessarily about big ideas.

‘We have to drive creativity and original thinking in our every day,’ he said. ‘The ultimate goal is to drive growth, performance and ultimately valuation.’

He said it is important to remain relevant and not go the way of companies like Toys 'R' Us.

‘It is up to us to prevent our business, and ultimately our industry, being on the list of doomed companies because we don’t see some disruption coming or we’re not innovating as new technology or concepts come to the forefront.

Staying relevant

‘We do not want to become irrelevant to the consumer. We must know what guests are looking for and what matters to them.

‘Coming up with ideas is relatively easy, fast and inexpensive.

‘Invest the time and budget to take a rough idea, refine it and you have an innovation.'

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