Cruise lines and any business that offers food and drink have to make choices that may anger customers.
If, for example, a coffee chain decides to stop stocking 2% milk because people tend to order whole, skim, or plant-based milk, that might be the right thing for its bottom line, but it will bother a small subset of customers. .
Most choices are not absolute. You add oat milk without dropping another milk or decide to offer Splenda without getting rid of another sugar choice.
This is not true, however, in one key area. When it comes to drinks, most dining establishments – and that includes major cruise lines, Royal Caribbean (RLC) Carnival Cruise Line (CCA) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) — have a key choice they must make.
While there’s no legal requirement for a company to make this decision, logistics (and almost certainly incentives) force most places that serve drinks to choose between Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (DYNAMISM) some products,
Coke Vs. Pepsi
The choice of drinks to be transported plays a greater role on a cruise ship than in a land-based restaurant.
If you ask for a Coke in a restaurant on land and the waiter asks, “Will Pepsi be okay?” you can say no thank you and later get your soda of choice elsewhere.
On a cruise ship, it’s not that simple. Drinks are an important part of the overall experience (at least for people buying a drinks package), and you can’t find an alternative to what’s on offer on board except when you’re in port.
On Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian, soda (with rare exceptions) is a paid item. You can opt for a package that includes unlimited sodas or buy drinks a la carte, but your base cruise fare in most cases doesn’t include anything beyond tap water, basic coffee, tea and usually lemonade or iced tea.
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If you get a drink package, however, you get access to unlimited sodas. Royal Caribbean offers Coca-Cola products, and people with a beverage package receive a special mug that gives them access to the beverage company‘s Freestyle machines, which allow all sorts of flavor customizations.
Carnival offers Pepsi products, a move the cruise line outlined on its website.
“The growth of the beverage industry has moved quite rapidly to incorporate juices, tea, coffee, flavored, enhanced and sparkling water, low calorie and low sugar options,” said the cruise company.
“As we research more ways for Carnival guests to choose fun, we also want to offer our guests more drinks to choose from – and after careful evaluation, we’ve concluded that PepsiCo offers both greater variety, as well as many popular drinks from leading brands.”
Until recently, Norwegian was also a Pepsi customer, but with the launch of its new Prima – the first in a new class of ships focused on delivering a premium experience – the cruise line has quietly made a change.
Norwegian switches to Coca-Cola
On the weekend of August 27, Prima was baptized in Iceland with her “godmother”, Katy Perry, accompanied by Coca-Cola’s polar bear mascot. And while no official announcement has taken place, Cruise Industry News reported that the cruise line has made a big change.
“Norwegian Cruise Line switched to Pepsi products over a decade ago, and now Coca-Cola is not only back on the line’s newest and most innovative ship, but is expected to be available across the entire fleet. by the end of the year,” sources familiar with the situation said. the website.
“Crews aboard the company’s other ships would replace soda fountains and bar equipment for the new contract.”
Although Coca-Cola is vastly more popular than Pepsi, this move is sure to anger some customers – those who have a favorite Pepsi product that has no Coca-Cola equivalent.
It’s a risk, up to a point, because few passengers are likely to enjoy their cruise or not based on the soda offered on board.
(Granted, you wouldn’t know that among the few who fuss when a change occurs on board or supply chain issues cause a favorite brand to run out of stock.)