August 3, 2000


TooferOne - that is, a double Windmill issue, OK?

In this first edition, to be published with the second edition next week, we started out in regular manner - JOE FISCHER led the Pledge, and then a troika took over the music - BILL MAXWELL and LENNY FRIEDMAN were joined by JACK HARRIS, showing that his hand was coming along, in America. MYRON TAYLOR gave the Invocation - and it does show that he has done this before - Good Job, MYRON.

TERRY WHITE spoke of a guest from West Hollywood, Bill Lustig. SUSAN ALLEN introduced her compatriot, Mary Hart, Assistant Curator of Antiquities at the Getty. Both Prez STEVE and GEORGE DEA had something to say about Sharon Klisser, of the Century City Club. It was good to see JOHN CROWELL back with us. PP MIKE NEWMAN brought us up to date on Hiro Ishidaki, one of our Ambassadorial Scholars, who just got his MBA from USC. MIKE knows him well, since Hiro stayed with MIKE for a couple of months. Hiro was helping with our Japanese exchange students. There were eight of them, all dressed in traditional garb, plus four of our own youth who were with them recently in Japan. Those who helped with the students, mainly in transportation, included GEORGE DEA, LEO TSENG, RAY ZICKFELD, JIM GREATHEAD, PETER MORE, and Sloss Viau. PP MIKE NEWMAN helped at the Beach Club, and DICK LITTLESTONE took the group on a tour of UCLA before lunch. The bell then tolled, costing YOE twenty five clams for failing to include Prez STEVE'S thought for the day - these fines do get one's attention€¦

Our speaker was Joseph Watters, President of Crystal Cruises, who was accompanied by Michael Norton, his Marketing Director. They were introduced by PETER MORE, and YOE remembers Joe Watters when he was President of Royal Viking Line in the '80s. Joe started with some most interesting stats - in 1970 l/2 million people cruised, growing to l.4 million in 1980, 3.6 million in 1990, and 7 million this year - that's 7.9% average annual growth since 1980! The ships keep getting bigger - the Grand Princess is 102,000 tons, and the just - launched Voyager of the Seas is 142,000 tons, making it too big to go through the Panama Canal, for instance. The average size is about 50,000 tons, which is where their two ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony fit. Currently, there are 111 ships cruising in the North American market, and 50 more will be built by 2003. This tremendous increase in capacity means, of course, that there will be some bargains available to fill all these new ships - stay tuned!

In general, there are three categories of cruises - mass market (Carnival, for instance), Mid-range, or Premium, with Princess as an example), and luxury - Crystal Cruises has been voted the World's Best Large Cruise Line in '96, '97, '98, and '99 - thus they lead the Luxury category, are rated six stars, and will have another ship themselves within a couple of years. Space ratio is tonnage divided by # of guests, and they are at 52. Service ratio is dividing the # of guests by the number of crew, and Crystal is at l.74, which means one crewman for less than every two guests. No wonder they are # one, year after year.

Their market is the 50-year old plus crowd, with incomes of $100K, again plus. That includes (the 50 plus, that is) 72 million people, and they are working on families to join the parade. They do enjoy the highest repeat factor in crew retention - which means client satisfaction, as well.

Q&A - where are ships built today? In Europe; (even though Crystal is Japanese owned). There are 47 such yards in Europe - Finland, France, Italy, mainly. Crystal flies the Bahamian flag - and the reason comes down to the expense of U.S. unions - They recruit their crews in the Philippines and in Norway. Joe Watters, thanks for showing us a part of the world we'd all like to spend more time in!

Thought for the Day - Nobody got anywhere in this world by simply being content.

Wait'll next week for the COMPLETE DOUBLE EDITION, in printed form - it will, obviously, be worth waiting for.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe.