I am really excited by this move by Crystal. They've always been considered a high-end cruise line, but still held to the vestiges of mainstream by charging for bar sales and tips. I predict Crystal will see more bookings. I will be among them. This was a great management decision and I think the lines who were already all-inclusive are worried. They need to be.
I disagree with this move. A lot of people use the credits for shore excursions. I know some people who don't drink a lot so they aren't that thrilled that they now have to pay for the "extra" items that the credit would have been used for.
I think we will see a strong surge in people converting to Regent since they offer a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay along with some shore excursions included.
All inclusive, basically to me it's saying no slips to sign at service delivery. Why should a non drinker pay for a drinker, etc? The prices are so high now, one is really paying for things in the cruise fare instead of broken down on mainstream cruises. At least in mainstream YOU have choices as how to spend your money.
Crystal is giving luxury cruisers what they say they want.
The line tried everything to appeal to the logic of cruisers, including offering up to $2500 per person of shipboard credit instead of going all-inclusive.
That is by far a more logical approach to paying for a luxury cruise. That way you are not paying for someone else's drinking, and you get an "all inclusive" experience since the amount of onboard credit is far more than you would ever drink.
It was even better because you could use it for the spa or shore excursions.
BUT - testing has shown that luxury cruisers want drinks and gratuities included even though they are fully aware it is not a "value" proposition. They just do not want to be worried about "all those details" during the cruise.
There is no sense to it, really, because they do still get a bill at the end of the cruise for shore excursions and other expenses. But that is what they want... go figure.
Hi, new to the board and to cruising. Heading out on the NCL Dawn in a few days.
After pouring over all the details on all the different cruise lines tying to decide on our first cruise, I think that this is an interesting move by the line.
Several years back we did an all-inclusive in Mexico and it was one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Mainly because I didn't have to think about what anything was going to cost! It was great!
If they are able to pull this off at a decent price, I think it will attract some people to their line. I am certainly going to look into it.
It all depends on what you want. I also like Silversea because I have had some wonderful experiences on the line - especially with their outstanding shore excursions.
Regent also specializes in shore excursions - in fact they include them in the cruise fare - so I would also have no problem recommending them.
In terms of sheer shipboard experience, I personally prefer Crystal because of its abundant onboard activities. I hear people complain about the smaller staterooms (they are older ships) but I find them to be extremely comfortable.
I like the look of Regent's itineraries - packed with many ports of call. Crystal tends to have fewer days at sea - because their customers really enjoy the onboard experience.
The one type of "luxury" cruise I do not enjoy much is the very small ship (lots of motion of the ocean) on itineraries where you rarely get off the ship. This is OK for people who don't mind the solitude and remote feeling of being at sea with limited communication with the outside world, but to me it feels more like a prison.