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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:29 PM
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I just did a fast price-check on these 3 lines, and I have to say I was very surprised:

I would think you have to be very careful when your ships are almost identical to two other cruise lines that your prices remain in lockstep with theirs - or else you lose business. We all know the Azamara ships are virtually identical to Oceania and the small Ocean Princess class.

Here is the dealio - the Princess ships are smoking bargains compared to Oceania, but Oceania is currently selling at a premium to Azamara (I assume they have better food & service?). If larry Pimintel (new CEO of Azamara) is just bringing his prices into lockstep with Oceania and also bringing better food & service he should do OK, I assume, because Oceania does very well.

On the other hand - I just looked up a Princess itinerary, and it is about $282 pppd (balcony) for a fantastic 12-day Eastern med itinerary. Oceania has a more boring 10-day Med itinerary for $442 pppd. Azamara currently has a similar 10-day for 389 pppd.

I would take the Princess in heartbeat - they are very similar ships and the itinerary is great.

Lets be honest - these are average ships, not regent, crystal or silversea. They are small and have no amenities except for decent restaurants. Oceania has great beds, great food, great itineraries. that's it.

It looks like Larry wants to compete with Oceania who is priced higher than Azamara, but with what I see Princess offering with these ships I wouldn't take either Oceania or Azamara. I would take Princess.

The destinations are what most people shop for with these ships - not the ship itself (they are boring, small ships, really). All eight ships from these 3 cruise lines are virtually identical. I wonder how many people do not realize this?
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