Norwegian + Sixthman - What does it mean?
Posted by Andy Levine
Now that I am able to, I wanted to share some deeper details on the strategic relationship Sixthman has with Norwegian Cruise Line. I want you to know what it is, what it is not and most importantly what it means for you our guests and the events we create. I've put together this quick FAQ that will hopefully give a little overview, answer some of your questions, address some concerns and help to paint a picture of some of the great things that lie ahead for you and the Sixthman family….."
1) I heard that Sixthman was acquired by Norwegian Cruise Lines, is that true?
Early this year we formed a new entity called Sixthman, Ltd that is funded by Norwegian Cruise Lines and operated by Sixthman. The full transition was not finalized until last month. Our main goal in seeking a partner was to to find a company that could provide the stability to the company and enhanced options for the cruise. By partnering with Norwegian, we can simplify the logistics part of the equation, freeing us up to focus on what we do best - obtaining the talent and delivering the best experience ever to the guests AND making sure the events will continue to grow and live on ten years from now.
2) How come you weren’t able to share the details sooner?
Big business decisions require a lot of time to get the details worked out and we wanted to be sure that everything worked out the way both parties intended before spreading the news.
3) What exactly does this mean for Sixthman?
Our vision for the future is to have a ship outfitted, customized, and staffed to deliver an immersive experience for like minded guests. We believe that every vacation should be an opportunity to connect and share passions with people who are making the same life choices as you are and Norwegian Cruise Lines feels the same way. We are designing a path to achieve this vision and over the next few years, with the help of our guests, artists and partners, we are confident we can change the game.
3) How will this effect Sixthman events and more importunely, how does this effect us as guests?
We will continue to operate just as we have. There are no changes planned that should impact our events other than beginning to improve venues and more collaboration with the ship board staff. I am responsible in leading our team under the Sixthman brand and we have the full support of Norwegian to keep doing what we have been doing. The only real difference is that we now have a focus on investing in the future with the comfort of stability that comes with partnering with Norwegian.
4) Will Norwegian be involved in the event planning and booking process?
We are a stand alone entity that interacts with Norwegian the same way we did before. We are the only ones responsible for deciding which events we do, how they are planned and the only ones interacting with our guests. We will continue to innovate and grow, just as we have over the past decade. One such example of this would be our plan to build a dedicated team within Norwegian to service our guests for all the things that cruise ship company still does handle, such as shore excursions. We are still going to use the same booking engine, which Norwegian was impressed with, so your booking process and interaction with Sixthman will still be the same, from start to finish.
5) Can Norwegian dictate anything about Sixthman events? Ports? Artists? Programming onboard? Prices?
We will be making all the decisions just like we have since inception. We listen to what our guests and artists want, then we do everything we can to make it happen. We select all the artists, ports and set prices. They support us in continuing to do this. Our prices are a function of costs not demand because we believe there are different laws around community pricing. If prices go up or down, it’s because the ship, fuel, production or artists change. One thing we are excited about is that we have access to the leaders of Norwegian responsible for the onboard experience and they are helping us do more onboard in creative ways.
6) I've come to know and love the Sixthman staff members, are they still going to be as intimately involved in our events as much as they used to be?
Of course. Everyone is here in Atlanta doing what they were doing and continuing to engage our guests on the phone, email, chat and onboard.
7) Will my high five still be waiting for me when I board?
We get more energy from this than you guys do and not only will we be High-Fiving you all but we will be High-Fiving you on the way out. Purel up people.
8) Are all events going to be on Norwegian ships now?
Believe it or not, Norwegian wants Sixthman to be successful and that means being able to offer our guests, artists and partners the option to sail on the ship that best meets their needs. We actually have a sailing with our partners at Turner Classic Movies on Celebrity and we are free to work with any cruise line we want. Norwegian has a goal to make their ships the best by engaging us to share with them what’s most important, but support us in making the best decision for our communities. How cool is that?
9) What's going to become of the sailing Status I've amassed with Carnival?
Your point system with Carnival will remain intact. However, we recognize that many of you have earned reward points through their program that makes sailing with Sixthman an even more pleasurable experience. We are working towards a plan to acknowledge all guests with the equivalent status they have earned on other cruise lines through a new program. Details will be announced soon.
10) Will Sixthman be doing more events in the future because of this?
There are a lot of eyes on this industry right now and everyone wants to do their own music cruise and other concepts. Our plan is to work with the best artists and partners to build annual experiences with them. In the next few years, we could possibly be executing 15 or so each year but it will be a function of what we believe we can do well without compromising our commitment to “Special” (Find out what special is by visiting this blog entry - http://www.sixthman.net/blog/2011/05/12/special/ )
11) Hey Andy, will you buy me a beer....?
Even though this is a bit personal and private for me, I look forward to discussing it further in person over a beer, coffee, wine or tea when we are together onboard. Thanks for your support and trust. We love what we do and believe that you will continue to see more of what you love about us. We are still 30 people that love to set the stage for you to have moments that you will never forget.