In scanning this year's brochures for the Europe market, I noticed that Princess seems to be commanding significant premiums over Celebrity for similar itineriaries. Some examples from the respective brochures (all fares are the discounted fares published in the respective brochures and are per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy):
>> MV Millenium "Classical Mediterranean" (12 nights, Barcelona to Istanbul), $2599 (Category 12 - Inside, Continental Deck) vs. MV Golden Princess "Grand Mediterranean" (12 nights, Barcelona to Istanbul or Reverse), $2840-$3090 (Category K - Inside, Plaza or Fiesta Deck)
>> MV Millenium "Westbound Trans-Atlantic" (14 Nights, Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale), $1299 (Category 12) vs. MV Golden Princess "Trans-Atlantic" (15 Nights, Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale), $3040 (Category K)
The second of these represents a premium of about 130% for one extra night at sea!
The two cruises in the first comparison have what I regard as minimial differences in their ports of call, as follows:
>> MV Millenium stops at Villefranche, France, whereas MV Golden Princess stops at Monte Carlo, Monaco (for Nice and Monte Carlo in both cases),
>> MV Millennium stops at Civitavecchia (for Rome) whereas MV Golden Princess stops at Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), and
>> MV Millennium stops at Katakolon, Greece, (for Olympia) whereas MV Golden Princess remains overnight in Barcelona.
The other ports of call are identical between both itineraries.
The trans-Atlantic itineraries are radically different. MV Millenium's -- arguably the most interesting since it includes ports of call not found on her Mediterranean itineraries -- calls at Cadiz (Spain); Funchal (Madeira Islands), St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. MV Golden Princess calls at Marseille (France), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Livorno and Civitavecchia (Italy, respectively for Florence and Pisa and for Rome), Lisbon (Portugal), and Ponta Delgada (Ašores) -- with one extra day aboard the ship.
As both a frequent cruise passenger and an investor in both companies, I would appreciate your input and comments regarding the following questions.
>> 1. Is there something fundamentally superior, either about Princess's product or about MV Golden Princess, to justify a premium in the range of 10-18% in fares for nearly identical Mediterranean itineraries?
>> 2. Is there something so fundamentally better about Princess's trans-Atlantic itinerary to support a premium of $1741 -- about 130% -- for only one extra night aboard the ship?
Thank you in advance for your comments!