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?
Are you talking about Love Boat Savers rates above?? If so you can find much better prices though an agency with Group rates or Captians Circle rates. The top producers of Princess can get you better rates.
I have seen prices for Balconys about $400-$500 per person lower then Love Boat Savers. This can make a difference. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.
Ignore my last post....I looked up your rates and I found you are right about the Transatlantic. Princess has had strong sailings in the past so I would guess they are hoping the future Trans cruise will be strong to. But I am surprised of the difference in price. I would guess Princess will adjust rates as the Celebrity will fill up and Golden will need help. I would not pay the extra $$$ for Golden after looking at both ships and there prices. Im not sure what your #'s are for the Med Cruises. You did not give any $$ amounts or what the dates were. How did you come up with the 10-18% figure??
I'm aware that additional discounts might be available -- especially for those who book late. In fact, I often take advantage of such discounts since they often let me cruise twice per year instead of only once.
Although I enjoy cruising, I'm actually asking the question as an investor who holds an interest in both companies, wondering whether there's something significantly superior to the pricier product. If so, Princess will generate exceptional profits. If not, Princess will be holding a "fire sale" on unsold berths as savvy passengers flock to the less costly competition. It could also be a situation in which Princess has more built-up demand from a more established presence in the European cruising region, in which case both fares might be appropriate but the fares will equalize one way or the other in the future as Celebrity's presence becomes more established.
Princess this year is much better at giving better Prices to Captians Circle members. I have found the rates on many sailings to be the same as Group rates.
I think many CC Members found out they had to pay more in the past and really let Princess know they were not happy about the difference in fares. And Princess has changed the rates to make them more CC Friendly.
Cases in point: Golden Princess Europe 2001 Special Introductory Fares are identical to their Captain's Circle Fares. That's the case also for Pacific & Crown Princess Special Africa/Mediterranean & Transatlantic sailings in April.
Sailed Princess for the first time last November and they have a great product to offer. However, I am extremely disappointed at the fact that past passengers are not always extended better fares than the general public.
Furthermore, after 4 months, I have yet to receive my Captain's Club package after 3 phone calls to Princess. They just tell that they are "backlogged". I hope that they are backlogged with new bookings from first-timers because I'm about ready to book our next cruise on Celebrity, anyhow.
On top of that, since we cruised Princess, the special mailings and e-mails stopped coming.