Global cruise retailer Starboard Cruise Services will commemorate its 60-year legacy with a number of innovative new retail concepts on four new cruise ships in 2018.
Under the leadership of President and CEO Beth Neumann, Starboard continues to bring new retail design, unique entertainment experiences, and exceptional guest hospitality to the cruise industry.
“Shopping must be every bit as entertaining and engaging as the rest of the onboard activities,” says Neumann.
“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. 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 explains.
In November 2017, Dream Cruises’ newest ship, 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.
In 2018, Starboard will debut exclusive shops and brands on the industry’s newest, largest and most anticipated ships, including Carnival Horizon, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge.
Starboard was awarded the Carnival Horizon contract as part of a multi-year agreement to operate retail on nine Carnival ships. Starboard also recently executed a multi-year retail contract with Norwegian Cruise Line to operate retail on three megaships, and a multi-year contract with Costa Cruises including the new Costa Smeralda launching in 2019 and additional future new ships. Several more partnerships will noon to be announced, further solidifying its leading position in the cruise industry, says the company.
By 2020, Starboard will operate over 360,000 square feet of cruise ship retail space, with more than 750 brands on 90+ ships, reinforcing the company as the largest and dominant cruise retailer in the world.
Throughout its 60-year history, Starboard has been a trailblazer in cruise retail, and the first to bring prestige brands such as Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany, Dior, Omega, IWC, Ferragamo, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Kiehl’s, La Mer, Shiseido, and Hublot to the retail cruise experience.
Many of these brands are exclusive partnerships, but it’s not only about luxury. 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, says the company.
For guests who desire personalization and customization, Starboard offers such interactive activities as O bag build-your-own handbags and Starboard’s exclusive make-your-own fashion jewelry with Crystals from Swarovski. They even host fun Flip Flop Workshops where cruise guests can design their own cruise footwear.
Starboard says it is all about delivering exceptional experience. “We know that guests on cruise ships are searching for the perfect memory of their vacation, not just merchandise. 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,” notes Neumann.
Examples of the unique experiences with brands that Starboard is delivering on the newest ships include:
High Tea with Tiffany at Sea: The first Tiffany & Co. store at sea in Asia serves more than a full selection of Tiffany jewelry and accessories. Guests can enjoy the Tiffany & Co. High Tea on World Dream, featuring a set menu showcasing exclusive Tiffany treats and British delicacies
Apprentice of Time: Guests aboard the Celebrity Equinox become amateur horologists, studying the inner workings and art of a Swiss timepiece movement by donning a loupe, disassembling, tinkering, and reassembling the tiny parts.
What Would You Do for Love? with Dior: Finding the perfect Dior makeup look has as much to do with creating emotion as it does selecting the right color. Certified Dior beauty experts on Celebrity Equinox host a unique combination discussion and seminar. Inspired guests learn makeup looks while sharing some of the secrets to their hearts as they celebrate their personal stories with other cruise guests of “what would you do for love?”
Designer Fashion Trunk Shows: On sailings of luxury lines such as Crystal and Silversea, guests are treated to exclusive, limited edition apparel collections often presented by the fashion designers themselves.
Victoria’s Secret Find Your Fragrance: In celebration of the first-ever Victoria’s Secret boutique on a Carnival ship debuting on Carnival Horizon, guests are invited to an interactive event in the boutique that’s all about their favorite fragrances. DJ tunes and cool cocktails make it a party, as participants take a fun quiz to reveal their fragrance style.
Kate Spade Eat Cake for Breakfast: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas guests will be invited to have dessert first at this event in the multi-brand boutique that incudes Kate Spade on the Royal Promenade. Cake and champagne are served as guests discover Kate Spade’s newest collections. The event wraps up with a unique photo opportunity at a step-and-repeat, featuring a quote from the designer herself: “She had a cocktail in her hand, and confetti in her hair,” while confetti falls from the sky.
Neumann participated in Seatrade’s “Designing Luxury Cruising for the Future” panel, examining cruising’s new age of luxury and experientially driven services. She discussed recent trends and insights with key cruise executives.