With all the fleet changes in the Princes fleet do you think Princess Cruises is up to something. So far they have transferred 2 of their newer ships to P&O and 2 of their older ships (Crown and Regal) to P&O german cruise line, and are no chartering 2 R ships. Do you think Princess is trying to eventually send all of its ships to P&O leaving only the two R ships to who ever wins the merger deal?
I can't help but wonder what exactly is going on also. Is Princess in financial trouble??
I'm just back toay from my cruise on the Grand, where I attnded the Capt Circle party. The Carnival takeover and RCCL merger were discussed. The Grand captain said the Princess stockholders voted against the Carnival takeover, which we already knew from reading the princess.com website, and that the RCCL merger was still up in the air, which we also already knew fronm the same source. Then he said there was a third option which was for Princess to remain the same---which is certainly what I would vote for if I had a vote!
While Princess is transferring some of its ships to P& O, I just read that one of the ships under construction for P&O will join the Princess fleet when construction is complete. I think a careful analysis shows a realignment of the two fleets and not any plan to strip Princess of its ships. I have no knowledge Princess' financial status, but I do think that they have decided that the best way to remain competitive is to merge with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. A hostile takeover by Carnival is clearly, in their minds and mine, not in Princess' best interest, or that of the average cruise passenger.
I agree with BillG on the merger of Princess and Carnival Corp from a passenger standpoint, but as an investor in Carnival, Princess, and RCI the strongest company would be Carnival/Princess. I do not think regulators either in Europe or the US will allow the Carnival merger. It is possible that the RCI/Princess merger will not be allowed either. I do think the European regulators have a bias against Carnival so I would at least like to see a level playing field. What ever happens,I sort of hate to see the merger because each brand has its unique benefits and I would like them to stay separate products. Lets face it... the airline industry has proved "bigger is not better".
I agree that it is not in the best interest of the cruise passenger for Carnival to takeover Princess. Carnival is already the largest cruise line, but not particularly everyone's taste. I would prefer to see them stay separate, but if they must merge RCCL is the best choice, IMO. I just came from the Grand on 4/14, and Theresa/Coral summed up the "news" we received at the Captain's Circle meeting quite efficiently in a previous post on 4/14 PM or 4/15.
Since the "merger deal" involves the parent company and thus all of its lines, I don't see how you could perceive it to be an issue.
The real issue is that the British and German market are growing quite rapidly right now whereas growth in the North American market has slowed slightly. As a result, the company is reallocating capacity where it's needed. Note that there's a replacement for every ship that's leaving the Princess Cruises unit except MV Pacific Princess, which the company has retained only to comply with the terms of its permit to call in Bermuda.
"The Grand captain said the Princess stockholders voted against the Carnival takeover, which we already knew from reading the princess.com website,..."
Actually, this is complete misinformation -- and it never appeared on the Princess website (http://www.princess.com). In fact, the shareholders voted to adjourn the meeting without taking a vote on the Royal Caribbean merger proposal. The proposal from Carnival Corporation is in the form of a prospective tender offer, which does not require a shareholder vote, if certain preconditions are fulfilled.
"Then he said there was a third option which was for Princess to remain the same---which is certainly what I would vote for if I had a vote!"
As a shareholder, i'm with you -- and you can have a vote! Just have your broker buy some REAL ("ordinary") shares of the parent company, P&O Princess Cruises Plc. (LSE: POC) on the London Stock Exchange. Note that the American Depository Receipt ("ADR") shares (NYSE: POC) that trade on the New York Stock Exchange, although financially equivalent to four ordinary shares, carry NO voting rights.
I do agree with all your noticable "flaws" on the Grand class, but also, try to find the mini golf, may-be you missed it? Found it the second to last day, by accident and it was too windy and cold outside to play a game, but possibly a sign or two would help cruisers to even find the place?
Yes, I did find the nine-hole putting course and the "Princess Links" golf simulator.one level above and between the pools. I also noticed the prominent absense of the teak lounges on the Promenade Deck, being much more in need of their magic than a round of minigolf....