Marc - I don't argue. I just look at facts. if it is more convenient for someone to take frequent flier miles to get to Europe and get a $1000 credit then they are doing the right thing, even if they might have gotten there cheaper another way. Maybe so, but maybe not as conveniently. Every case is different.
My understanding is that Regent raised their fares before they started this "free" air thing. But a lot of cruise lines are raising prices now anyway and offering nothing, so in itself that proves nothing.
But I do know that sister company "Oceania" just got their knuckles rapped by some gov't agency for claiming they had free air when in fact there were hidden service charges in the cruise fare - so...
But if a person is a satisfied customer who am I to tell them they are wrong? It is worth it to some people to pay extra for something they really like - not everyone has the same way of perceiving value.
I will pay extra for food I like, a bigger TV or a BluRay movie. Big TVs cost more per square inch - but does that mean I am getting ripped off? No.
That is what puts luxury cruising in a different category. A lot of it is personal taste. Some people want small ships, some people want bigger ones, some want the same waiter every night, some want open seating.
I do know that Eric has a lot of experience with the luxury lines - but he also seems to be enough of a pro that he understands that everyone deserves the right to their own opinion.