Question for all you cruisers: Do you think it's more profitable for the cruiseline when the ship is in port or when it is at sea?
Consider that when at sea; the casino is open, the bars are working, the shops are selling, the spa is booked, etc. However, the gas is burning, the food is served, the workers are at it, the water systems are hummin'.
Consider when in port; the shore excursions are loaded up, the bars have some business, the food demand is less, there is no gas consumption, there's not a lot of towels being washed, not a lot of dishes, water demand is less.
We may have had an interesting practical lesson on this the other week on the Brilliance. The port azipod went down while we were at sea. We missed one port, had an extra sea day, then pulled into Portland a couple hours later than scheduled.
The itinerary called for us to leave Portland for Boston at 7pm, arriving for disembarkation at the usual 7am or so. Even before we got to Portland the captain announced that we wouldn't leave until 9pm because technicians would be boarding there and he wanted to give them maximum time to fix the pod.
During second seating dinner the captain announced that we wouldn't be leaving until 11pm, because he wanted to give the techs more time.
We left at 11 with the pod still not fixed, meaning that we were running at significantly reduced speed. Even so, we were in Boston when we woke up.
Scheduling a run for 12 hours that was easily accomplished in 8 at reduced power seems to indicate that the lines want to be at sea--at least at night. You could float from Portland to Boston in 12 hours, but you can't open the casino or the shops while you're sitting in port.
I have to vote for being at sea is more profitable. We will see in the next few years. If they start adding more sea days and removing ports to make money because the fares can't go any lower, then you will have your answer.
Personally I'm even amazed at the question. The ships rush to get out to sea to get the $$ flowing. The few dollars they make on an excursion sale can be made up with the sale of one drink or a couple of spins of a slot machine.
On any given itin in the Caribb., except for the jaunt back to Florida, you can see alot of the islands from any given island. In most cases they could stay a port of call until 3 AM and still be at the next island by 7AM.
Instead they take you out to sea and sail in circles. Why do you suppose this is? <VBG>
Yup, get ya out to sea to take your money. While in port, no casino revenue as well. Our last mini-cruise they hi-tailed it out of Seattle to Canadian waters so it could open. The next night after Vancouver we circled around off Tsawwassen for a few hours on the way to Victoria. That was our "scenic cruising", seeing the lights of greater Vancouver all night! but no one was complaining, we were all having a great time and RCI was making money.
As for drinks, they pay very little for it with little or no taxes and duty. Way back in 1994 I was on an Icebreaker for a few days in the Arctic and a beer was $1CAN. At that time I think it was about $1.50 at the Liquor store. Profits went back to the crews canteen fund-yes there was profits. I believe the key word here (correct me if I'm wrong) is "International" sailing, as opposed to "Hometrade".
Question, are the casinos open on the Alaska runs or just in Canadian waters? Thanks.
On my Inside Passage cruise in October, the only time I saw the the casino close was when we were in port. If I remember correctly, it was also closed for a few hours while in Glacier Bay, although I think that was more a "this is what you came to see and we're going to honor the beauty of the area with fewer distractions" move than a legal requirement.