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  #31 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 04:01 AM
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Well, I don’t understand what’s the point of talking about people affording a cruise if they sacrifice everything else. That way people can afford just about everything, but no businessman can make them do the sacrifice. Far less people can afford it really and only minority of them want to no matter what you do.

Those “cruises” between Finland and Sweden cost actually nothing: You pay less than $50 for the “cruise”. People spend money there for food and alcohol they buy from the ship because it costs far less than alcohol in mainland. Actually people sail for free if you count the savings in the alcohol price and that’s why they do it. (We can discuss northern drinking habits somewhere else)

About Finnish travel agencies. I found total of 4 TA:s that theoretically offer cruises in Finland at the moment and only 2 of them had the prices in their pages (and nearly all of them were fully booked already). I’m not surprised about the prices, that’s what the TA:s here do with all trips – the more exotic the trip, the more they add to the price. Generally booking by yourself saves you 50-80% of the price, but requires good knowledge of the language and courage to do that. I wonder how many Americans would book a cruise, airline ticket a car rental if they didn’t have the contract in English or possibility to complain or even discuss the topic in English? In addition to the language problem there is still the problem with cultural differences, there are many manners you run into that you are not familiar with, for example tipping and gratuities, having a guide helps you to manage with them.

The cheap airlines don’t fly everywhere, actually from Finland they fly to very few places. You would need to change planes which is not very easy with cheap airlines and still you propably need to rent a car anyway which costs money too. Family of five doesn’t fit into one hotel room or a cabin anywhere and neither does it fit into a normal taxi with it’s luggage. And anyway – booking in internet in English is the big question for most of the people, they want to book face to face with an agent that speaks their language!

The cruise lines haven’t done anything so far to provide a simple way to cruise for the Europeans. Either you have to pay fortunes to the TA:s to have everything arranged to you, to be able to sign the contracts with your own language and to have a guide you understand. Or then you have to be able to and also want to do all that by yourself in the internet using English. I would say that propably less than 5% of finns are capable of that and want to do that. 75% doesn’t even own a credit card and far less are courageous enough to use that in internet!
Almost everyone has to sacrifice other things to be able to cruise, I think that it's a very good point to talk about that. ENOUGH PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO CRUISE TO FILL THE SHIPS WEEK AFTER WEEK, THE CRUISELINES JUST HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM TO DO IT. (Sorry for the screaming but what else can I do?)

I know that the "cruises" between Finland and Sweden can cost $50, sometimes they are free and sometimes they cost $200. The total cost for 5-6 cheap "cruises" every year can still be equal to a real cruise.

Lots of people in Finland talk and understand Swedish and my advice to them is to take one of the cheap "cruises" and go to a TA in Stockholm, maybe they can get a fair price for the cruise. If you live in Spain, Germany or Italy the language is only a problem if you decide to make it a problem, on Mediterannean cruises they get all information they need and also excursions in their own language (at least on NCL, I assume that RCI does it too).

You can use cheap airlines even if you live in Finland, it's normally no problem to change plane somewhere. For most europeans that's not a problem since they don't have to fly at all if they choose a cruise in the Mediterannean.

I agree that a family of five might get problems but most families are smaller than that so for the cruiselines prospects to fill the ships week after week, which this thread is about, that's a very small problem.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Wow Erik - I can't believe how wrong you are. To think that people will sacrifice other essentials things to cruise or even consider doing so is ludicrous. It's the same as the welfare reciepent sacrificing food for smokes and booze. I don't know why you keep carping on that. It isn't going to happen.

The fact is the cruiselines cannot and will not fill their ships week after week after week. The fact is that only a small percent of people worldwide are going to cruise or have any interest in cruising. If you are saying there is enough people in the world to keeps the ships full, of course their is. However they CANNOT AFFORD TO CRUISE - most of them can't afford to eat. I can't believe you would actually think people would sacrifice to cruise. They won't plain and simple. Cruising is a luxury that the majority cannot afford.

I don't know what you do for a living. I don't know if you have ever had to sacrifice for your family to eat I don't know if you even have any idea what it is like to wonder if you will have a roof over your head at the end of the day. I suggest you find out that information before you tell people they need to sacrifice so that cruise ships can sail full every week.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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I agree with Eric and know what he is saying.

My girlfriend just went into a bigger home and now will be cutting the family vacations down to one trip every other year versus 1 or 2 vacations each year. Did they need a bigger home...No but they wanted one. Having their dream colonial home is more important then vacations.

My sister just bought a brand new Cadillac did she need a top of the line Caddy....No but she wanted one and is willing to drop a vacation here and there for the awesome car.

Nobody is saying the cruisers are scarificing their next meal to cruise.

Some of the posts in this thread make it sound that everyone in the world is broke and don't know where the next meal is coming from.

Yes it is a bad economy out there and many people without jobs however there are still plenty of people that have travel funds.

My son met some kids on Liberty OS that were from Europe and did not speak any english it was not a problem. Liberty pulls in alot of cruisers from Europe. They even have guest/crew soccer matches. (Soccer the one and only sport in Europe)
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Wow Erik - I can't believe how wrong you are. To think that people will sacrifice other essentials things to cruise or even consider doing so is ludicrous. It's the same as the welfare reciepent sacrificing food for smokes and booze. I don't know why you keep carping on that. It isn't going to happen.

The fact is the cruiselines cannot and will not fill their ships week after week after week. The fact is that only a small percent of people worldwide are going to cruise or have any interest in cruising. If you are saying there is enough people in the world to keeps the ships full, of course their is. However they CANNOT AFFORD TO CRUISE - most of them can't afford to eat. I can't believe you would actually think people would sacrifice to cruise. They won't plain and simple. Cruising is a luxury that the majority cannot afford.

I don't know what you do for a living. I don't know if you have ever had to sacrifice for your family to eat I don't know if you even have any idea what it is like to wonder if you will have a roof over your head at the end of the day. I suggest you find out that information before you tell people they need to sacrifice so that cruise ships can sail full every week.
Have you read what I have said that people might have to sacrifice to be able to cruise? When have I suggested that people shall sacrifice to eat to be able to cruise? I never go to a restaurant at home, I sacrifice that so that I will be able to afford to cruise. You can believe whatever you want but some people, not only very rich people, spend more money on restaurants and bars in a year than the cost of a cruise. I heared yesterday that the average grown up in Sweden spent around $850 on christmas presents last year, to sacrifice that can not be compared to sacrifice eating! I have never said that those who barely can afford to buy food shall stop eating to be able to cruise!

As said before, at least 5 millions Swedes can afford to cruise once a year if they really wants to, and that does not mean that they must stop eating, and Sweden is a very small, and I agree, rich, country.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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I agree with Eric and know what he is saying.

My girlfriend just went into a bigger home and now will be cutting the family vacations down to one trip every other year versus 1 or 2 vacations each year. Did they need a bigger home...No but they wanted one. Having their dream colonial home is more important then vacations.

My sister just bought a brand new Cadillac did she need a top of the line Caddy....No but she wanted one and is willing to drop a vacation here and there for the awesome car.

Nobody is saying the cruisers are scarificing their next meal to cruise.

Some of the posts in this thread make it sound that everyone in the world is broke and don't know where the next meal is coming from.

Yes it is a bad economy out there and many people without jobs however there are still plenty of people that have travel funds.

My son met some kids on Liberty OS that were from Europe and did not speak any english it was not a problem. Liberty pulls in alot of cruisers from Europe. They even have guest/crew soccer matches. (Soccer the one and only sport in Europe)
Thanks for understanding what I mean!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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The point is people can make choices and the choices they make are their's only. Those that choose to vacation will - of those that will some will cruise - some will not.

For those who choose to spend their money elsewhere that is their choice. That is the crux - choice - most will not choose to cruise over a new car (love my caddy too) or their big house.

Very, very few are going to sacrifice much of anything to cruise - cruising is great - I love to cruise - but will not sacrifice much of anything - nor will anyone else.

Hence, not enough people to keep ships full 52 weeks of the year.
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HAL
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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I have never said that it's easy to fill all ships week after week. I have only said that if the cruiselines do everything right, how is not for me to say, they can fill all ships because enough people can afford to cruise if the cruiselines find a way to convince them.

1. The right advertising. 2. Make everyone happy so that they come back.

Some people likes a new car, some people likes a big house, some people likes to go to restaurants, some people likes to cruise...

Lots of people don't buy Christmas gifts anymore and take a trip with the family instead. How to make that trip a cruise is for the cruiselines to find out, that's not my job. (That means that the average $850 in Sweden is more for thoose who do buy gifts...)
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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I can't see the point in discussing who could cruise and with what sacrifices. It's true that more people could cruise if they especially wanted to cruise and the sacrifices wouldn't be the size of a house or food from children but more like giving up of partying, eating in restaurants, having cheaper hobbies, travelling not so often, having a smaller car or less cars etc. Anyhow, I don't believe Eriks numbers, with those numbers the sacrifices rise to big ones.

I see the point rather being the question why would people choose a cruise instead of some other way of spending their money? I see neither reasons for people to change their habits nor any effort from cruise companies to try to make people do so. Advertising and good service are not enough, they would need to make cruising both easier and cheaper in total expendes for the Europeans. I would also recommend them their own travel agents in every country that would speak the clients language, offer complete service and still be in reasonable price.

I disagree with Erik about the "easines" of cruising for Europeans. The ways you suggest that people should do it are suitable for a little minority of people, mainly to young, single, english-speaking persons with no disabilities and a lot of time. And often they are the ones that don't have the money to do it.

Not everyone wants to fly with cheap airline for multiple reasons:
- The tickets have to be reserved from internet, which not everyone is comfortable with. Even if the pages would be on your own language there still comes the point you need to use foreign language to understand the rules or complain about something. The tickets are also not cheap all the time, but you need to check the prices very often and be quick and flexible.
- The airports are not main airports, but could be far away and need transportation. You also need to carry yourself all you belongings, children, etc. This is very difficult or even impossible for families with small children, for elderly and for disabled people.
- Changing a plane means that you have to pick up your belongings and check in yourself for the new flight (pointing to the previous one). It's possible that you even have to change the airport.
- The timetables for the cheap airways are often very uncomfortable, because it's cheaper to fly those times. It's ok if you travel alone, but if you again travel with kids or need more rest or have to arrange things beforehand for some reason it could be very uncomfortable. Even reserving a hotel is sometimes very hard if you arrive past midnight and with kids you wouldn't want to try many hotels...

You also tell how people could do other things cheap to affor a cruise. I just wonder, what's the point of a "luxury cruise" if it means that you have lousy time carrying your luggage around the world airports at night, spending your time in bad hotels and spending days to get to the cheapest travel agencies. I don't believe you can get very many people to choose the cruise if they can have direct flights to 4 star all inclusive hotel beside the beach at the same price or cheaper. Luxury vacation should be at least almost luxury all the way and not just struggling towards the luxury.

You also insist Finnish people to "cruise" to Stockholm to make their reservations cheaper. Are you serious? I claim that most of the people who would cruise with real cruise lines are not the ones that travel between Finland and Sweden all the time, they don't have the time or the need. Some arguments I have:
- Time is money. It takes 3 days to "cruise" to Stockholm and back. Not everyone has the time or want's to use their spare time for that.
- The "cruise" to Stockholm costs something too. So does driving to the port. Usually the flights sold in Sweden are from Sweden - so a finn should visit Sweden twice for this reason, first to book the cruise and second to attend it. It's propably not any cheaper and in anyway it's far more arduous.
- From previous one you can quess how realistic this is for families with children, for elderly people or for disabled. It's also quite difficult for people who work, they have to take days of from work to do that!
- You claim that most Finns speak swedish. Well, yes, everyone has studied swedish at school, but it doesn't mean that they would speak it well enough to be able to book a trip in swedish and in sweden (finlandsvenska är lite olikare från er svenska som du kanske vet). Actually most finns speak english a lot better they speak swedish.

I quess you are young and don't have kids. You also speak quite well english. You don't seem to understand how difficult the language question is to some people. I quess I belong to the best english speaking 10% of finnish people. I also have travelled (independently) a lot more than most other people and lived outside the country. I can write e-mail in english and make reservations in internet in english. Even I wouldn't arrange anything important in phone if I wasn't absolutely forced to. In phone you never know who's in the other end of the line and what they understand. There could be someone with terrible accent or the line could be so bad that you can't hear anything. Neither can you check some word from the dictionary if you don't undestand. It's better to do it in written form when you have the extra time it takes with a foreign language and you end up with documents about the discussion. Unfortunately even most cruiselines offer only telephone service if you happen to need anything that's not the most ordinary (for example connecting or multiple cabins, a suite, etc.).

Travelling without a TA and making the reservations in internet always includes the risk that you have to settle some errors, mistakes, misunderstandings, etc. in english. You could be robbed or get into a serious accident, etc. You may run into that situation in anywhere and at any time. And if you don't survive that in english, you may loose a lot of money or your health or even life, or be in a really difficult situation. People who speak english worse than I don't usually want to take that risk, but they rather pay more for the service and quide in their own language, who can help them if they run into trouble. Especially so if they haven't traveled a lot and don't know how things are done in other countries.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old December 10th, 2009, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Nipo View Post
I can't see the point in discussing who could cruise and with what sacrifices. It's true that more people could cruise if they especially wanted to cruise and the sacrifices wouldn't be the size of a house or food from children but more like giving up of partying, eating in restaurants, having cheaper hobbies, travelling not so often, having a smaller car or less cars etc. Anyhow, I don't believe Eriks numbers, with those numbers the sacrifices rise to big ones.

I see the point rather being the question why would people choose a cruise instead of some other way of spending their money? I see neither reasons for people to change their habits nor any effort from cruise companies to try to make people do so. Advertising and good service are not enough, they would need to make cruising both easier and cheaper in total expendes for the Europeans. I would also recommend them their own travel agents in every country that would speak the clients language, offer complete service and still be in reasonable price.

I disagree with Erik about the "easines" of cruising for Europeans. The ways you suggest that people should do it are suitable for a little minority of people, mainly to young, single, english-speaking persons with no disabilities and a lot of time. And often they are the ones that don't have the money to do it.

Not everyone wants to fly with cheap airline for multiple reasons:
- The tickets have to be reserved from internet, which not everyone is comfortable with. Even if the pages would be on your own language there still comes the point you need to use foreign language to understand the rules or complain about something. The tickets are also not cheap all the time, but you need to check the prices very often and be quick and flexible.
- The airports are not main airports, but could be far away and need transportation. You also need to carry yourself all you belongings, children, etc. This is very difficult or even impossible for families with small children, for elderly and for disabled people.
- Changing a plane means that you have to pick up your belongings and check in yourself for the new flight (pointing to the previous one). It's possible that you even have to change the airport.
- The timetables for the cheap airways are often very uncomfortable, because it's cheaper to fly those times. It's ok if you travel alone, but if you again travel with kids or need more rest or have to arrange things beforehand for some reason it could be very uncomfortable. Even reserving a hotel is sometimes very hard if you arrive past midnight and with kids you wouldn't want to try many hotels...

You also tell how people could do other things cheap to affor a cruise. I just wonder, what's the point of a "luxury cruise" if it means that you have lousy time carrying your luggage around the world airports at night, spending your time in bad hotels and spending days to get to the cheapest travel agencies. I don't believe you can get very many people to choose the cruise if they can have direct flights to 4 star all inclusive hotel beside the beach at the same price or cheaper. Luxury vacation should be at least almost luxury all the way and not just struggling towards the luxury.

You also insist Finnish people to "cruise" to Stockholm to make their reservations cheaper. Are you serious? I claim that most of the people who would cruise with real cruise lines are not the ones that travel between Finland and Sweden all the time, they don't have the time or the need. Some arguments I have:
- Time is money. It takes 3 days to "cruise" to Stockholm and back. Not everyone has the time or want's to use their spare time for that.
- The "cruise" to Stockholm costs something too. So does driving to the port. Usually the flights sold in Sweden are from Sweden - so a finn should visit Sweden twice for this reason, first to book the cruise and second to attend it. It's propably not any cheaper and in anyway it's far more arduous.
- From previous one you can quess how realistic this is for families with children, for elderly people or for disabled. It's also quite difficult for people who work, they have to take days of from work to do that!
- You claim that most Finns speak swedish. Well, yes, everyone has studied swedish at school, but it doesn't mean that they would speak it well enough to be able to book a trip in swedish and in sweden (finlandsvenska är lite olikare från er svenska som du kanske vet). Actually most finns speak english a lot better they speak swedish.

I quess you are young and don't have kids. You also speak quite well english. You don't seem to understand how difficult the language question is to some people. I quess I belong to the best english speaking 10% of finnish people. I also have travelled (independently) a lot more than most other people and lived outside the country. I can write e-mail in english and make reservations in internet in english. Even I wouldn't arrange anything important in phone if I wasn't absolutely forced to. In phone you never know who's in the other end of the line and what they understand. There could be someone with terrible accent or the line could be so bad that you can't hear anything. Neither can you check some word from the dictionary if you don't undestand. It's better to do it in written form when you have the extra time it takes with a foreign language and you end up with documents about the discussion. Unfortunately even most cruiselines offer only telephone service if you happen to need anything that's not the most ordinary (for example connecting or multiple cabins, a suite, etc.).

Travelling without a TA and making the reservations in internet always includes the risk that you have to settle some errors, mistakes, misunderstandings, etc. in english. You could be robbed or get into a serious accident, etc. You may run into that situation in anywhere and at any time. And if you don't survive that in english, you may loose a lot of money or your health or even life, or be in a really difficult situation. People who speak english worse than I don't usually want to take that risk, but they rather pay more for the service and quide in their own language, who can help them if they run into trouble. Especially so if they haven't traveled a lot and don't know how things are done in other countries.
I still talk about those who can afford to cruise if they sacrifice other things, if sacrificing other things is not an option the percentages goes down very much and I agree with that. If sacrificing other things isn't an option, the diskussion can end here because I then agree with you. I can't afford to cruise without sacrificing other things and almost noone else I know can.

I agree with you that one way for the cruiselines to sell more cruises is to make it easier for people who doesn't speak english to cruise but how easy does it has to be? In Sweden you can go to a TA and book everything for a decent price, I know that you can't do that in Finland because you told me that. If you can book a cruise in Sweden, what reasons do you have to believe that you can't do that in Italy, Spain, France and Germany?

I hate the low cost no service airlines and should never use them myself but lots of people, young and old, do so I think it's wrong of you to exclude them. Remember that I only talk about those who can afford to cruise, I don't say that it's easy for everyone. My sister has travelled by herself with her small children on low cost airlines, no problem but not easy either.

Lots of people do other things cheap to be able to afford the cruise, what's wrong with that? If you look around on this and other sites you can see that lots of people use low cost airlines to be able to cruise. If I only could afford to cruise if I did other things cheap, I should do that.

When did I insisted that Finnish people should "cruise" to Stockholm to book their cruise? I suggested it since the Finnish TAs can't give you a decent price. Is it really correct to say that it takes three days to cruise to Stockholm? You can leave on Friday afternoon and be back on Sunday morning, not really three days. It was you who said that it's cheap to "cruise" between Sweden and Finland, not me. You can buy a ticket for a plane leaving from Finland from a TA in Sweden, you don't have to come back to Sweden for your cruise. I never said that most Finns speak Swedish, I said that many Finns speak Swedish.

I have a sister who lives in Italy so I'm aware of the language problems which might occur but for someone from Italy it's not necessary to speak English to be able to cruise, if they have enough money they can cruise anywhere as a part of a group with a guide and if they don't have enough money they can cruise in the Mediterannean and no guide is needed. The language problem is there even if they fly to a resort somewhere so that has nothing to do with cruising.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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I just with the US had the same cheap airfares they gave in Europe. Then I would cruise more.

Itlaians, French, Spanish and German can all cruise on Costa and MSC - that about 30 ships all together, with no language barrier. Plus each of those nations has their own smaller lines.

The price of cruising is pretty low these days. It has come down to the point where people will buy them, 7 days for $399 (275 Euro) is not uncommon.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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I desperately wish Canada had airfares that were even a tiny bit reasonable. So frequently the cost of flying is much more that the cost of the cruise. It is extremely discouraging and it's going to get worse.

Our VAT (known as the HST here) is going to be even more costly come the first of July, 2010 and the taxes on flights will go up even more.

I'm lucky - living as close to the US/Canadian border as we do, we usually fly out of BUF. Even though it usually means one plane change it is well worth it to us as it saves hundreds of $$.

I have priced air from YYZ using Jan. 22/30 as dates. Cost is $577.73 per person. From BUF $393.90 per person. Big difference. Most Canadians must pay at least that amount and usually more, depending on where they are coming from.

Couple that with the actual cost of a cruise - even the cheapest at about what - $400US per person plus gratuities, hotel (my dates allow for going in one day early) meals for that day and cabs. Let's not forget drinks

Now, leaving from YYZ going to a upscale resort in the Dominican - large bright room with terrace or balcony (cruise at $400 is an inside), all meals, drinks, air transport to and from resort. Cost from YYZ is $1468.00. - true inclusive.

More Canadians choose the resort over the cruise. It's Canadian $$ vs U.S. $$.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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