Cruise lines bundling tours, drinks, Wi-Fi and pre-cruise hotels are seeing serious success.
A Viking River Longboat
There is about to be a new entrant into the luxury cruise sector- Viking Ocean Cruises. The company inked a deal with the Fincantieri, the Italian shipyard, to build two cruise ships last July. The ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2015 and 2016. But that isn't all. Then in December they announced they had upped the order by two more ships with an option for a fifth vessel. The ships will each be 47,000-gross tons and have capacity for 944 passengers in 472 staterooms.
I have mixed feelings. You must know you are not getting this for free! One way or another you will pay for these services. As long as we could opt-out of the service/package it is fine.
On Celebrity with open seating your tips are prepaid. No problem with that as you are going to do this one way or another and you can modify the amount if you wish.
I would not want to have to buy into a drink program for wine and hard liquor. That must stay the option of the guest. And if desired there should be a way for one person in the cabin to buy into it if desired. I do not drink soda, wine etc but my husband does. We now would have to buy the package for both people. Yes, I know some will take advantage of it. Always someone who will. There has to be a way for one person to buy into this alone.
I will be interested in seeing how they bundle shore excursions. Will be interesting to see how much the cruise price goes up.
Will be watching for this to see how it works.
I think they would need to have the "right" bundle, in order for people to order it. If it works out and people purchase bundles, then they should have some savings and the cruiseline makes some, could be a win-win situation. But, it all depends on the actual bundles...
Regent probably has the best bundled program from what I have seen. I don't see why Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegien couldn't offer a bundled package or a all inclusive type of package for those who would like to pay one time before the cruise, get on the ship and not have to worry about a onboard account at the end of the cruise.
Women were made to love, money was made to spend. Life is something buddy, you'll never live again.
from the song..."Joe sure knows how to live" by Eddie Raven.
Carribean Princess 07
Carnival Valor 08
Carnival Holiday 08
Carnival Triumph 09
Island Princess 09
Carnival Miracle 10
Norwegian Pearl 11
Norwegian Sun Dec 13
Independence of the Seas Feb 14
Sometimes I wonder how the cruise industry looks at its customers.
I follow the cruise industry full-time, as do the very capable cruise agents who post here, and even we have hard time keeping up with ALL of the various rules and options the cruise lines have. Especialy when every single cruise line not only has their own options to sell, but they also keep changing them.
Sometimes I think the cruise lines depnd in keeping customers just a little bit "in the dark" about the "hidden rules," etc. If it was easy too compare cruise lines side by side for every option and its cost, then we would see price wars.
It is almost as if the cruise lines intentionally keep pricing as complicated as posssible - to the point where (1) they can hide the competitive cost of a given add-on, and as a result (2) the buyer has to rely upoon the advice of the seller.
In other words, there is nothing even close to a "show me the carfax" kind of moment where cruise buying is concerned.
I see bundling as a way for cruise line to sell convenience at a price, however they also have to make a profit, so the trick is finding out the top point a customer will pay for that convenience.
One unfortunate drawback of that is things like this... "how do you make a drink package more attractive? Raise the prices of individual drinks onboard."
The other concern for the cruise line is "how much do pay the ahent for selling this?" If they make a drink package commisionable (and they should), it essentially means they have to boost the price by 15% above what they already caalculated the "profit point" to be. That adds $7.50 to a $50 drink package. So, the customer is at $57.50, and he's also going to get hit with an 18% gratuity; add another $10. A $50 drink package now costs $67.50 - per day.
In any case - people have shown they will pay for inclusiveness (some people, anyway), but I can't help feeling the best deals are still pay as you go.
However, there is a certain buyer mentality out there that some people just want what they want, and the price is secondary. Those people are about to have a lot more packages to choose from.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Carnival's new drink package runs about $50 pp per day and every adult in the cabin has to pay for it. So, if you have two couples .. it might pay to put the two drinkers in the same cabin on paper when you book.