So a man walks into a bar...I mean my office...looking at a 10 day Regent cruise on the 700 passenger Mariner in May 2011. The itinerary is quite good and the fare is $7,800 per person in the lowest category Veranda Suite or $780 per day per person.
Just for comparison, we look at a 14 day cruise on the 200 passenger Seabourn Legend, also in May 2011 which covers a number of the same ports, and the price for an Oceanview Suite is $5,000 per person or $357 per day per person.
The man says he really doesn't want to take many tours and, in fact, hates bus tours. But he is concerned about air. Great flights out of the airport of his choice on a major airline will cost him under $900 per person...which adds $64 a day to the Seabourn fare. So his total comparison cost is $421 per day.
So the question assuming arguendo that the food and service is equal is there enough value in the Regent cruise to warrant paying $359 per day per person ($718 per couple per day) more for a balcony and some tours? [Yes, that is approximately double the price of the Seabourn cruise. It is not a misprint.]
In other words, when does the "free", "free", "free" or more inclusive package (take your pick as to wording), lose its cache...or does the Regent product really hold its value?