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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:21 PM
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Default Ports disappearing off of itineraries

I think it's interesting how some ports fall in and out of favor over time,and dissapear from itineraies, or, become infrequent ports of call.

St. Croix , Caracas, Martinique & Grenada, were popular, but now,you hardly see them on any itinerary anymore. I never sailed to St. Croix, but , the other 3 ports, I found so interesting. I would enjoy revisiting them.

I would love to know the inside skinny on how it's determined who stays, and, who goes... This info on Grenada, shows, things could be looking up.
Grenada to address major cruise ship passenger decline - Caribbean360
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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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those are some of my favorite ports, don't under stand Grenada which is a gorgeous island and has one of the top ten beaches in the world. Maybe because it is far south and can't be reached on a 7 day Caribbean cruise?
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Old October 18th, 2011, 12:36 AM
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We have been to all those ports more than once, however not for a few years. I believe as far as St. Croix is concerned, it was initially a crime problem but then people just weren't that excited about St. Croix itself. Actually, I cared little for the island and don't miss it at all. There just wasn't that much there, although it's the largest of the U.S. V.I.
Re / the other ports, you would have to take at least a 10 day cruise from Fla. to get to those and most folks work and a week is about their limit. Unless of course, you fly to San Juan,which is what we used to do but airfare had become so expensive that most folks don't want to spend as much or more for airfare than what the cruise costs. Just my opinion.
I love the Southern Caribbean and would love to go back to Grenada, St. Vincent, etc. if we had the time to do so.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 10:06 PM
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I will be in St.Croix next year .
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:31 PM
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Hi !
Marketing of the ports in media, internet etc, create the interest in some locations. To keep the people coming back for more cruises, I think they try to find other unheard of places, where the tourist dollar hasn't changed the landscape due to greed. Just being on a remote part of the ocean world away from moden society and forget about life for a while. May the ocean seas never rise into huge swell, happy cruising, Bye for now!
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:29 AM
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The DW & I talked about this recently. I'm not aware of any search engine that would allow a query of - show me cruise scheduled to stop at X destination during the month of Y.

Of course this is a dangerous way to market a cruise as itineraries do change and those who booked specifically for X will be very disappointed if it does not go there.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Default I'm No Expert...

...but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

Okay, I really AM no expert, but I know I've read one reason why certain ports are missed could be the ever-increasing size of the newer ships; some ports can't handle the larger vessels.

Doing a cruise in January (Princess) that sails from Fort Lauderdale and visits Aruba and Curacao - 2 ports I haven't seen in 8 Caribbean cruises. I think almost every cruise we've been on has hit St Thomas (still love it) and San Juan (don't love it).

I'd like to see more ports, but the trend is definitely heading in the opposite direction.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Default Costs, crime, politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I think it's interesting how some ports fall in and out of favor over time,and disappear from itineraies, or, become infrequent ports of call.

St. Croix , Caracas, Martinique & Grenada, were popular, but now,you hardly see them on any itinerary anymore. I never sailed to St. Croix, but , the other 3 ports, I found so interesting. I would enjoy revisiting them.

I would love to know the inside skinny on how it's determined who stays, and, who goes... This info on Grenada, shows, things could be looking up.
Grenada to address major cruise ship passenger decline - Caribbean360
Hello Trip,
Suggest many reasons exist and certainly passenger loads is a large factor, crime in the region that causes trust by passengers and even politics by governments.

In the Caribbean , a downturn has happened due to air/cruise from Europe and Britain with a heavy tax for a flight from Heathrow to Barbados as an example. Families were looking at a surtax not only for fuel but leaving that airport amounting to $300 a ticket as an example including flying to the States.
The Caribbean nations sent a delegation last fall to London to see about reducing these taxes on tourism.
Traffic demand in Europe has been increasing so cruise lines are moving ships where the market is . Disney for 2012 has moved its Alaska sailings from Vancouver , Canada to Seattle ,USA to reduce air expense for its passengers who are mainly families.

Thoughts
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:44 PM
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I just spent the past 2 weeks in our corporate offices, meeting and going over the 2014 and 2015 proposed itineraries for our ships.

#1 Issue discussed was fuel cost and how to decrease fuel consumption by altering itineraries. All ports requiring high speed runs and tight arrival / departure times are being eliminated. Generally, port calls are being scheduled for later arrivals and earlier departures - resulting in lower cruising speeds and lower fuel consumption.

#2 Issue was how much money people spend on particular itineraries. We are dumping all itineraries where passengers just do not spend money onboard. Mexican Riviera is the best example. (Mexican violence has NOTHING to do with it. People who sail from San Diego are too frugal for us, and California is legislating ships out of their state. We can no longer afford them.)

#3 Issue was port charges. Ports with high fees are being eliminated.

#4 Issue was ports charging sales tax. Those ports forcing us to charge sales tax for onboard sales will be seeing reduced calls.

#5 Issue was sea and weather conditions / passenger comfort / damage to ships. The NYC to Caribbean runs are being reduced/eliminated due to frequent bad weather, passenger complaints, high fuel costs, and damage to ships by rough seas.

#6 Issue was how passengers rated each port on their comment cards. Low rated ports are being eliminated.

#7 Issue was avoiding hassles with US Customs/ Immigration and USPH. We try to keep US port calls at a minimum due to these potential problems.

#8 Issue was berth availibility. Based on what the other cruise lines are planning, we try to avoid over-crowding and tendering into ports.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:17 PM
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Extremely informative, but what cruise line, if we may ask?
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 12:01 AM
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Robh, it's very interesting to learn how getting to point A, from point B, is so much more expensive due to all the taxes/surcharges etc. & how they vary all around the world.. It adds up fast, surely making it difficult for many. I remember with my son's honeymoon, in the Mexico airport,there was an exit tax. Who knew?? Young, and naiive, they spent all their money,and tried to sell their camera for the tax. A couple took pity, and, paid their tax. Upon arrival home he mailed off a check to this thoughful pair.

Bruce, thanks for sharing some insider information, Interesting to see the specifics that are discussed... and, with the outcome of your meeting, it looks like some significant changes are around the corner, in the cruise world.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 12:12 AM
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I'd venture a guess the cruise line is probably NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) based on the run out of New York City to ports south.
I'm surprised though the points shown are being placed on a publc board though one might say this is a 'white paper'

Some of the points are interesting but certainly if you are running short cruises and attracting local people who cruise a lot on the Pacific Coast then onboard purchases can be low than a ship with a good mix of people outside.
People though are staring to back off from high drink prices coupled with taxes and % of tips.

You can see the newer ships have the ability to reach destinations due to their speeds they could not prior but the fuel point is a solid point.
I think of Florida to Barbados on a 7- 10 night where prior it might have been San Juan to Barbados .
I certainly see the point on US Customs and Immigration as some lines earlier this year lost a whole day dur to the antics of the decison makers at one port. A ship that leaves the Florida coast and travels the Islands but stops at St Thomas prior to making its way back to Florida has to endure with its passengers an immigration check. makes no sense, has to be a better way.

Governments do not think outside the box that if you impose high port charges and taxes then of course tourists with planes and ships will not come. Some cruise lines from Britian and EU have elected not to stop at an American port anymore , the hassle is not worth it and the passengers will go elsewhere.
Spain has imposed a VAT tax on onboard products and services for ships leaving and returning to its ports for onboard purchases so that is an issue.
I was reading that a lot of folks now leave London for a domestic flight to Europe and then fly on to the US / Caribeean / SA as the EU airport charges are much less.

We live in a world where we can benefit if we share together
Interesting
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Last edited by robh; November 3rd, 2011 at 12:22 AM.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Robh, it's very interesting to learn how getting to point A, from point B, is so much more expensive due to all the taxes/surcharges etc. & how they vary all around the world.. It adds up fast, surely making it difficult for many. I remember with my son's honeymoon, in the Mexico airport,there was an exit tax. Who knew?? Young, and naiive, they spent all their money,and tried to sell their camera for the tax. A couple took pity, and, paid their tax. Upon arrival home he mailed off a check to this thoughful pair.

Bruce, thanks for sharing some insider information, Interesting to see the specifics that are discussed... and, with the outcome of your meeting, it looks like some significant changes are around the corner, in the cruise world.
Trip,
I can remember always placing a sum of monies away as soon as we arrived in Barbados (married to one) to ensure when we left , we had the exit fee. Always had to be cash and ATMS were not around that much.
Now the tax is buried in the Air fare, much more civilized.
Some of the changes Bruce mentions have already started with some lines.

Recently Cunard has registered itself out of Bermuda in order to cash in to the onboard wedding market.
Fair enough reason but did you know the British Equallity Act of 2010 mentions paying EU workers on British Registered ships equal wages to EU wages on land.

The world of finances can be quite interesting. Certainly cruise ships market will move ahead and be profitable and we will adjust . Still a no fuss vacation destination.

In our case we just finished a 28 day cruise around all of Australia and part of our return airfare to Sydney from Vancouver Canada, iincluded a fuel surtax of $500 each. Part of life and we went to that ship as its destination were what we wanted. Let me say our onboard expenses were almost the price of the cabin for one of us but it was great.
So Bruce we made one of your competitors a profit onboard for sure.
Cheers
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robh View Post
I'd venture a guess the cruise line is probably NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) based on the run out of New York City to ports south.
I'm surprised though the points shown are being placed on a publc board though one might say this is a 'white paper'

Some of the points are interesting but certainly if you are running short cruises and attracting local people who cruise a lot on the Pacific Coast then onboard purchases can be low than a ship with a good mix of people outside.
People though are staring to back off from high drink prices coupled with taxes and % of tips.

You can see the newer ships have the ability to reach destinations due to their speeds they could not prior but the fuel point is a solid point.
I think of Florida to Barbados on a 7- 10 night where prior it might have been San Juan to Barbados .
I certainly see the point on US Customs and Immigration as some lines earlier this year lost a whole day dur to the antics of the decison makers at one port. A ship that leaves the Florida coast and travels the Islands but stops at St Thomas prior to making its way back to Florida has to endure with its passengers an immigration check. makes no sense, has to be a better way.

Governments do not think outside the box that if you impose high port charges and taxes then of course tourists with planes and ships will not come. Some cruise lines from Britian and EU have elected not to stop at an American port anymore , the hassle is not worth it and the passengers will go elsewhere.
Spain has imposed a VAT tax on onboard products and services for ships leaving and returning to its ports for onboard purchases so that is an issue.
I was reading that a lot of folks now leave London for a domestic flight to Europe and then fly on to the US / Caribeean / SA as the EU airport charges are much less.

We live in a world where we can benefit if we share together
Interesting
NCL is not only a wrong guess - it's not even close.
I am not allowed to divulge the name of my employer.

FYI, foreign flag ships on a closed loop cruise out of Florida are no longer forced to go through US Customs/Immigration inspections at St Thomas and San Juan. This law changed about 3 years ago.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:11 AM
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Bruce - thanks for your comments - my lame comments/suggestions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
#1 Issue discussed was fuel cost and how to decrease fuel consumption by altering itineraries. All ports requiring high speed runs and tight arrival / departure times are being eliminated. Generally, port calls are being scheduled for later arrivals and earlier departures - resulting in lower cruising speeds and lower fuel consumption.
Our most recent cruise averaged about 15 knots. Previous cruise we sailed back from Cozumel at about 12 knots. I asked myself why we couldn't have stayed in Cozumel for a couple more hours. I guess this answers that question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
#5 Issue was sea and weather conditions / passenger comfort / damage to ships. The NYC to Caribbean runs are being reduced/eliminated due to frequent bad weather, passenger complaints, high fuel costs, and damage to ships by rough seas.
Another way to reduce passenger complaints is to not board New York passengers
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Bruce reaffirmed my thoughts on this. Fuel is a major issue and a major expense.

Also, overall passenger satisfaction plays into it. Martinique had a pretty bad reputation for rude locals and being quite expensive. I found the locals to be quite accommodating and pricing was definitely higher than Mexico but not out of line. I actually enjoyed Martinique but I've spoken to a number of people who did not.

Then there's Costa Maya. It is a port I like but I don't think I want to go back after three times. We've done the small town, the ruins and the giant mall that has been built. I know why cruise ships stop there. It's cheap and not a long way from other Western Caribbean ports.

I foresee more sea days in the future, cruising along at 10 knots, and fewer long runs between ports. European, especially Mediterranean, itineraries are great because of the number of ports within a short distance.

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Old November 3rd, 2011, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
NCL is not only a wrong guess - it's not even close.
I am not allowed to divulge the name of my employer.

FYI, foreign flag ships on a closed loop cruise out of Florida are no longer forced to go through US Customs/Immigration inspections at St Thomas and San Juan. This law changed about 3 years ago.

Thanks Bruce,
One down...
I was referring more to a non closed loop cruise per some comments by friends.
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