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Old July 22nd, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Royal Caribbean to make cost-savings changes

"Too much of our profitability is being eroded by the increase in fuel prices. This is unacceptable and we are evaluating everything we can do to find ways to do it more efficiently and effectively," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, in a written statement Monday.

What do you think Royal Caribbean might do to save money from increased fuel costs? They did not say "make more money," they said they are looking to handle their fuel costs more efficiently.

Other than complicated things like hedging, one of the things they could do is just USE less fuel. Can you see Royal Caribbean making shorter itineraries? Would you still sail on them.

Assuming when Oasis of the Seas comes out, what if they said a 7-night cruise would only go to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Labadee? An extra day at sea (where they travel at 5 knots) is added. Would you mind?

Or what if they said they were going to Key West, Nassau and Labadee?

Would it make much difference to you, or is the ship the destination?
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I love the days at sea and three stops would be fine for me. However, we rarely take a 7 day cruise, much preferring 14 days or longer. Are considering a 46 day on the Mariner of the Seas next Jan. Goes all around the South American continent. Have you been on the Mariner? If so, please tell me what your overall opinion is.

Thanks!
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:20 PM
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I have been on the Mariner - and if you have been on Voyager, Explorer or Adventure then you have virtually been on the Mariner yourself as they are pretty much identical ships.

I like those ships, I enjoy the activities. I was not crazy about the dining room service on my Mariner cruise, but it is what it is. If the price is right I would have no complaints.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:21 PM
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a seven day cruise with one port and the private island and I am happy
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:23 PM
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I saw an article in Travel Trade that RCI is going to cut numerous middle management and other lower corporate jobs at their HQ in Miami to cut some costs.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:26 PM
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That's right, 400 jobs. I believe they have already been cut. Their conference call said they are looking at many ways to save money.

They restructured the commission table to favor the big cruise sellers. They are going to save in commission payouts and allow the big sellers to make more money (hurts the small agent is my guess).

They are also looking at cutting other corporate expenses like "travel & entertainment."
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 08:33 PM
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I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but they could quit building the floating whales as far as I'm concerned, and start building the smaller, more efficient ships, then run cruises with less ports, and more slow, relaxing sea days. That would make me VERY happy, and I'd probably start sailing RCI again! The way it is now, I don't care for the mega ships, and I absolutely don't like their prices.

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Old July 22nd, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
I have been on the Mariner - and if you have been on Voyager, Explorer or Adventure then you have virtually been on the Mariner yourself as they are pretty much identical ships.

I like those ships, I enjoy the activities. I was not crazy about the dining room service on my Mariner cruise, but it is what it is. If the price is right I would have no complaints.

Thanks, Paul. I have not been on any of the Megaships, except perhaps the Millennium. Don't think that qualifies. I am researching the prices for the mentioned cruise right now. The itinerary looks very interesting, have never been to South America, except for a brief stop in Colombia.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Well for myself if they were cutting out a port it would be just fine. The Oasis having 4 stops to me is way to much. There will be too much to enjoy on the Oasis.
At this point I cruise for the ship the islands are all the same. The ship is my destination.

Royal does have some of the higher rates vs. other cruiselines. The big Royal mega ships are high in demend.

If the plan is to cut ports that is fine with me the sea days are great.

I will continue to cruise with Royal they are the only cruiseline with ships that are equipped with everything I'm looking for in a ship.


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Old July 22nd, 2008, 09:13 PM
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I like a good mix of port and sea days. I don't think I would like only 3 stops for a 7 day cruise, hardly worth it IMHO. We'll just have to wait and see what they come up with.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:50 PM
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Three ports is fairly standard for a 7-day from Galveston. The Voyager is doing four ports in 2009, but only three in 2010. OK by me.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 11:22 PM
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I'm better with just a few sea days. I prefer island/country hopping. That's the main reason I cruise, I get to see so much for my money.

I hope RCI can come up with great ways to save without cutting too many jobs...but I'm sure that's an idealist opinion...
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:19 AM
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Java - I would strongly suggest that you seriously look into the Mariner around the Cape for next Jan.'09 - we are booked for the first two legs
and there are at least 300 to 400 loyal RCCL members already booked
for the entire 46 days. [edited for content]
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 10:05 AM
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One of the cost cutting measures they will be performing includes the removal of lobster from the dinning room menu. I believe they will be putting this into effect by the end of 2008. In addition, as to the aforementioned comment on Royal Caribbean not building larger ships, when you stop and consider it, by having more passengers on the vessel, the cruise line has the ability to gain "economies of scale" by spreading the cost of the voyage among more passengers; which could reduce their operating cost for each voyager. In addition, based on the design and technology they are putting into Oais, it will actually be more fuel and cost efficient than their smaller ships.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondMember
One of the cost cutting measures they will be performing includes the removal of lobster from the dinning room menu.
NO don't take away the Lobster!!!! :o :o :evil:

I guess I'll have one more chance to order Lobster before it is gone!
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Glad I had my fill of lobster on the Explorer last month! That will be truly missed!

I personally cruise for the ambience of the ship itself, ports of call are secondary.

I would most strongly urge against cuts that directly effect the passengers' experience aboard ship. Already, there are more than enough comments along the lines of "Oh how I miss the days just a few years ago when we enjoyed (whatever) that's now gone forever."

As we've only sailed on Royal Caribbean, I have nothing with which to compare our experience as regards other lines. Sadly, if Royal Caribbean isalready extremely efficient (and with Richard Fain at the helm, I don't see how it could be otherwise), I can't see how they could make substantial "passenger friendly" cuts other than with itineraries.

I agree with Diamond member's posting that the mega ships probably offer the greatest return on the investment. But one must remember, they also bear the highest operational costs when all factors are considered.

While I personally wouldn't want to be in Fain's shoes , I fully understand this is why he makes the big bucks and I for one, can't even begin to think of someone who could do better for Royal Caribbean. The man has an absolutely brilliant business sense and never loses sight that ultimately, he must please the consumer.

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:10 PM
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I do really enjoy sea days so it would not stop me from sailing. However if there was a port that I really wanted to visit I would also be willing to pay more to have more ports. It's a shame that it has come to this. Where are the hybrid cruise ships?
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 01:18 PM
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While it may be true that Oasis is more cost efficient for fuel economy than smaller ships, I believe that metric is still based on efficiency per GRT. In other words, the ship still burns more than a smaller ship, but not as much per ton based on size of each ship.

Itinerary planning includes weighing whether it is worth burning the fuel in order to make more shorex revenue vs. onboard revenue. Even whether you go 22 knots vs 18 so you arrive earlier and can offer a few extra tours makes a big difference in revenue. Ships engines become less efficient at top speeds.

In the last conference call RCI said their shorex revenue is a top generator, and so burning the extra fuel is worth it if you sell enough excursions.

I find it interesting that RCI went to such lengths as to carve out a new port in Jamaica as a stop for Oasis (press release):

Quote:
Royal Caribbean is working in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica to complete the new Falmouth Cruise Pier by March 2010, as well as establish the associated infrastructure necessary to welcome cruise ship guests. A historically important 18th-century settlement, Falmouth was a colonial center of Jamaica's sugar and fine rums industry. The town's rich history and Georgian architecture has most recently drawn the attention of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who has been a long time supporter of restoring historic buildings of Great Britain.
Since Jamaica is well-known as a place where you do not want to venture out on your own. Falmouth is close to a well-known river rafting spot; Bamboo rafting at Martha Brae, also close to "Kool Runnings Water Park" and "Chukka Cove's Canopy Tour."

Another stop is Labadee where I believe they have a new zipline attraction that should sell really well.

We still haven't seen much about onboard activities for kids on Oasis, strangely enough. Only one pool so far, no water park announced yet. We know it will have 2 flo-riders.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 01:31 PM
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No lobster; how about paying for the food? Everything will be a specialty restaurant with a $25/pp price tag.

Don't like that? Go to the buffet for $5/pp. :o
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
No lobster; how about paying for the food? Everything will be a specialty restaurant with a $25/pp price tag.

Don't like that? Go to the buffet for $5/pp. :o
A lot of people cruise because of the food. Why should we have to pay extra for the food served in the dining room or the buffet? It should continue to be part of the experience, not an extra cost.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:06 PM
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The seadays are the most important days for me.

Another way to solve it is to keep many ports and have them closer to each other. It´s not a problem to choose close ports in the Eastern and Southern caribbean and then they can travel slower between the ports during the night.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
Why should we have to pay extra for the food served in the dining room or the buffet? It should continue to be part of the experience, not an extra cost.
I'm with you CC. If that is what it comes down to paying extra for buffet and dining room I'll jump to another cruiseline if all the cruiselines were charging I would start doing All Inclusives again and forget cruising all together.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
Why should we have to pay extra for the food served in the dining room or the buffet? It should continue to be part of the experience, not an extra cost.
I'm with you CC. If that is what it comes down to paying extra for buffet and dining room I'll jump to another cruiseline if all the cruiselines were charging I would start doing All Inclusives again and forget cruising all together.
I really hope it doesn't come to that. I love the food option. But I love cruising so I can see so much for so little, which is the main reason. I would hate to have to do all inclusives just because I love cruising so much and don't want to be stuck in one place! Surely the cruise lines won't make too many dramatic changes passenger satisfaction-wise! ::crosses all digits and bits::
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:45 PM
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CC I don't see it coming down to that!!!! I hope not!!!

Let's enjoy our cruises now who knows what the future brings!
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
CC I don't see it coming down to that!!!! I hope not!!!

Let's enjoy our cruises now who knows what the future brings!
I need to win the lottery...that statement makes me want to go book 10 right now!
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
I need to win the lottery...
You and me both!!!!
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:31 PM
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I would absolutely stop sailing RCL if they started charging for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was shocked when they started adding "pay for" pastries and such. But - I make the choice to purchase them or not.

I have gone to the specialty restruants but if they got rid of them, I wouldn't be upset. I enjoyed my experience (but I also won it as a price and have never actually paid for this) but don't know if I'd pay for it.

Cuts in the extremely high salaries of some of the Executives might be a start! There are some positions that are grossly over paid!

Cut back on some of the show productions might help. I like the comedies, magicians, and things like that. But the large singing and dancing productions are about the same on all ships. Yawn!

I don't mcuh care what they do about ports of call. I enjoy the sea days just as much or more then the port days. However, if they did all shorter cruises, some other cruise line would have my business. I enjoy longer cruises. I could do short B2B's but I'd rather just do the longer cruise.

I would think, instead of cutting back on commissions to smaller agents, they should cut some of their own agent staff. Why pay unemployment comp., insurance, etc. when there are thousands of agents working for other companies who are willing to pick up the slack.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
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No cruise line is going to start charging for the dining room or the buffet on a cruise! Let's not start that outrageous rumor.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner
No cruise line is going to start charging for the dining room or the buffet on a cruise! Let's not start that outragious rumor.
When you cut cost, everything is on the table.

Look at the airlines, they are charging for meals and checked bags.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:57 PM
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I hope they don't cut out the belly flop contest
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