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Old November 21st, 2009, 09:24 PM
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Default Does RCI have wishful thinking or is it just me...?

I was curious the other day so I decided to do some simple math. Freedom class ships have a double occupancy capacity of 3634 passengers. To be considered "FULL" 4328 passengers would need to be booked and onboard at sailing(that is counting multiple ppl in stateroom and suites). If you do the math that's an overbooking of roughly 119% and a grand total of 12984 passengers if you do that for all three freedom class ships.

The same with the 5 Voyager class ships. Double occupancy is 3114 and "FULL" is 3855 which comes out to an overbooking of roughly 123% and for all 5 ships to be considered "full" they would need 19275 for a grand total of 32,259 passengers to FILL up all 5 voyager class and 3 freedom class.

With Oasis' first sailing coming up and not even selling out does RCI think that they will see these types of numbers plus, upwards of more than 5400 for Oasis, and another 5400+ people when Allure launches. I mean, is it just me or does 45,000 people (roughly) every week seem not likely to happen? and remember this isn't counting there smaller ships. I know every ship wont sell out, I know that, but isn't that just an extraordinary number to think about? I'm not bashing RCI I just think that with the economy being the way it is, it just might be better on their part to just consider dropping prices for Oasis and possibly other ships.

I just think that RCI has wishful thinking that they are going to see those kinds of numbers week, after week, after week, without negotiating just a little bit.

there's my rant....sorry....CruisinPilot
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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I agree with you and that isn't even taking into account all the other companies out there and how many each of them require to sail full each week.

Now, I also realize they are not going to be sailing "full" at at given time expect perhaps over the various holiday events but putting all those numbers together - I find it mind boggling.

Even when the economy returns to some semblence of normal - I find it hard to believe there will be that many people sailing in any given week.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Yes - I would have to agree with you.

I'm hoping that means the Oasis (and Allure) will some day be in the same price range as the other ships so I can go on them!!
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 05:38 PM
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in the middle of the night you thought about this what's even more scarier is that i read it about 3 minutes after you posted it

I suspect the number crunchers at RCI, figured that less then15%of the eligible cruising population has actually taken at least one cruise..so that makes for alot of potential full ships and that they are counting on the economy to go on an upward trend so that the Oasis and Allure will be well positioned to capture more then their fair market share

I also suspect that for the repeat cruiser..they are counting on the fact that to see/do everything onboard, you probably have to cruise twice on the OAS...I think you will continue to see the trend of theme cruises (which have an incredible repeat rate, the full charter smooth jazz cruises have a repeat rate of +70%), to attract both the person that would not think about cruising and the repeat business

I'm sure they have thought this thru, plus in the future it will be fewer cruise lines and less competition
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:09 PM
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I guess with the rates soooo high they don't need to fill the ship to the max.

Oasis and Allure will make it though this economy just like the other cruiselines will.

How many ships out there are sailing full these days? :neutral:

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Carnival Breeze
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisinPilot View Post
I was curious the other day so I decided to do some simple math. Freedom class ships have a double occupancy capacity of 3634 passengers. To be considered "FULL" 4328 passengers would need to be booked and onboard at sailing(that is counting multiple ppl in stateroom and suites). If you do the math that's an overbooking of roughly 119% and a grand total of 12984 passengers if you do that for all three freedom class ships.

The same with the 5 Voyager class ships. Double occupancy is 3114 and "FULL" is 3855 which comes out to an overbooking of roughly 123% and for all 5 ships to be considered "full" they would need 19275 for a grand total of 32,259 passengers to FILL up all 5 voyager class and 3 freedom class.

With Oasis' first sailing coming up and not even selling out does RCI think that they will see these types of numbers plus, upwards of more than 5400 for Oasis, and another 5400+ people when Allure launches. I mean, is it just me or does 45,000 people (roughly) every week seem not likely to happen? and remember this isn't counting there smaller ships. I know every ship wont sell out, I know that, but isn't that just an extraordinary number to think about? I'm not bashing RCI I just think that with the economy being the way it is, it just might be better on their part to just consider dropping prices for Oasis and possibly other ships.

I just think that RCI has wishful thinking that they are going to see those kinds of numbers week, after week, after week, without negotiating just a little bit.

there's my rant....sorry....CruisinPilot
It'll be rough for RCI.

NCL has just returned (last year) to the 3 and 4-Night Bahamas market and has surpassed RCI in sold inventory and revenue (according to some cruise sources on a recent cruise line sponsored sailing).

I predicted that in my review of the Sky in July on CM but it has happened much faster.

The 3 and 4-Night market is usually the entrance for new cruisers.

The Caribbean berth capacity you mentioned is a high number to fill week in and week out (and that does not include the Bahamas market or the regular scheduled 4 and 5 Night W Caribbean market).

I think I made the switch away from RCI just in time.

One of the problems I had with the investment policy is that none of the new builds were ever able to pull in enough revenue to become actually profitable (after deducting loan payments etc). The Voyager Class was introduced but the clientele for that Class was immediately pulled away by introducing the Freedom Class. The same happened to the Freedom Class with the immediate introduction of the Oasis Class.

Mr Fain was never really known to be the wizzard of business in the cruise industry. Just ask Carnival and their stunts to literally 'steal' Costa and Princess Cruises from RCCL.

Oasis requires a - besides the Freedom Class lovers - a brand new clientele. Added advertising cost will just add to the financial burden and the requirement to sail near capacity.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 11:55 PM
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I'm not sure about your math. However, your concept is clear.

RCCL signed on for these ships because interest rates were so low. The labor and materials for a ship this size is astronomical, but then, so would the loan repayments to the bank. With Interest rates down they could see there way clear for the investment.

Also, remember that it isn't just new cruisers and repeat cruisers they count on. It is also the rest of the 3 Billion people on the planet. That is a LOT of people.

Therein lies the answer.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:20 AM
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The interest rates will only stay low for so long then they will climb again. Normally a mortgage/loan is only good for 5 years then has to be renegotiated at the current rate. Not very often do they lock in at one rate for the duration.

The payments for these loans would be astronomical. This time next year they will be double. And who knows what the new rate of interest on th Allure will be. The financing isn't done for that one yet.

Are the freedom class ships paid for yet? Probably not. Basically - what is their debt ratio? Too high I imagine.

As for a billion people on the planet - that mean nothing. over 95% of them don't even know what the world vacation means. Of the 5% left most of them are barely able to etch out a living and the word vacation, while the may know it, it is alien the them. Of the tiny fraction of the world population who do take vacations, the majority of them will not even consider cruising or the cost of cruising expect maybe and I do mean maybe, once every 5 years or so.

5% of Canadians have cruised. With all the associated costs of cruising particularly from Canada I don't forsee that number going up appreciable. Canada is a well heeled country and if the best cruising can get out of here is 5% cruiselines have a long way to go.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
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HAL
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:31 AM
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It would be great for Voyager class ships to be doing the 3/4 nite runs. Who knows what the future holds for Majesty and Monarch.

Oasis and Allure will have the Loyal Royals, the first time cruisers and everyone inbetween. Not to mention the big summertime groups for the "Sweet 15" parties.

I don't think any clientele was pulled away from any class. In fact many many many of the Loyal Royals have the Oasis booked and also have other classes booked too from Freedom down to Majesty.

No ship in any cruiseline will be sailing full week after week after week. Epic as a brand new ship has rates as low as $599. Makes me wonder if Epic is not booking that well. :neutral:
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
As for a billion people on the planet - that mean nothing. over 95% of them don't even know what the world vacation means. Of the 5% left most of them are barely able to etch out a living and the word vacation, while the may know it, it is alien the them. Of the tiny fraction of the world population who do take vacations, the majority of them will not even consider cruising or the cost of cruising expect maybe and I do mean maybe, once every 5 years or so.
There are alot more people taking vacations these days more then ever. I think the percentages you are using are way off. 95% don't even know what the world vacation means - not true.

I think it is alot more then a tiny fraction of the world that take vacations. Cruising has become more and more popular thru the years. Not to mention some of the best bargins can be found in cruising.

I priced out Sandels AI in Jamaica for the week of 3/14 for two people they want $5,200. (with air). Anyone can book the Oasis (with spending money) for that price. Or any other cruiseline and have money leftover. Or take two to four cruises for the price of Sandels.

Not to mention cruising might be considered the better family vacation.
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CQ's Cruise Resume

Independence Of The Seas
Allure Of The Seas
Carnival Breeze
Oasis Of The Seas x2
Liberty Of The Seas x4
Freedom Of The Seas x3
Navigator Of The Seas x2
Explorer Of The Seas x2
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 09:53 AM
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Disagree with you completely. My figures are accurate. Just think about it. China has how many billions of people? They sure don't cruise for vacation even if they can afford it, which they can't. Right there takes a massive number of people out of the equation.

As I've already said only 5% of Canadians have ever cruised which means 95% haven't. Of that 95% I'm sure at least 25% would like to but can't begin to afford it, especially families. Those that live in the prairie provinces and provinces that arn't close to the U.S. border must also take into consideration it will cost them $$$ to fly to the various ports. This is of course, true from anywhere in the world.

Americans have a hard time realizing that people from outside the U.S. are not in the same easy position as Americans. You can drive to ports or if you do have to fly your costs are 1/2 ours. That I know for a fact - as a TA and living close to the border I send most of my clients out through BUF and they pay at least 50% less than flying from YYZ. My clients who live in the prairies are stuck with big $$ air fares.

I'm not saying cruising hasn't become more popular - but I am saying that people from China, Africa and many many others countries with big populations are just trying to exist - not vacation.

You have to be realistic here - the U.S. is not the only country in the world.

My numbers are not off actually. It's just that those who do have sufficient money don't think about the rest of the world in the same way.

AI from Canada are definitely cheaper than cruising - even on the smaller ships.

What is considered a better vacation is in the eyes of the person taking it. Some people love camping - I hate it. Some people love - AI - I can take it or leave it. Some people love cruising - so do I but I don't wear blinders in thinking that everyone else does.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
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NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

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Old November 23rd, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
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It would be great for Voyager class ships to be doing the 3/4 nite runs. Who knows what the future holds for Majesty and Monarch.

Oasis and Allure will have the Loyal Royals, the first time cruisers and everyone inbetween. Not to mention the big summertime groups for the "Sweet 15" parties.

I don't think any clientele was pulled away from any class. In fact many many many of the Loyal Royals have the Oasis booked and also have other classes booked too from Freedom down to Majesty.

No ship in any cruiseline will be sailing full week after week after week. Epic as a brand new ship has rates as low as $599. Makes me wonder if Epic is not booking that well. :neutral:
The Majesty and Monarch's future have already been determined. They will be leaving the fleet. I just can't remember the dates and moving over to Pulmater (which is owned by RCI).

Oh yes, clientele have been pulled away from other classes. However once the newness wears off they will be back to their favourites, especially if the price difference stays the same.

I can't imagine a voyager ship doing 3/4 night cruises as a regular thing. What a waste of a ship unless of course people do b2b2b type cruises. What would they have to charge for a 3/4 night on one of those ships?

As much as it pains me, I suppose they can use Radiance class ships for the 3/4 night cruises but I also think that's a waste of a good ship.

I do see the prices of the Epic and they certainly are low for a brand new not released ship. NCL has been having financial problems for a long time now so I suppose that has something to do with it.

True, no cruiseline/ship can sail full week after week after week. However they have a break even number and that does have to be met - for all of them.
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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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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Sorry for the error.
There are just over 6 BILLION people on the planet. Although 1/4 of them will never even see a cruise ship much less board one.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Cruising in the U.S. has been growing at a steady rate for the last 25 years. What is remarkable is that the rate of growth in Europe has just increased significantly and the Europeans are now where the U.S. was in roughly 1990 - where some 5% of the population has tried a cruise, but number of new cruisers trying a cruise each year has never been higher.

RCL expects Europe to grow quickly. The economic recovery is working more quickly over there and we already know about their vacation customs (up to six or eight weeks off per year). RCL is very wisely making steady inroads into the European market with the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity brands. They have not created a European brand as Carnival did with Costa, and that is probably a good thing.

Costa now has real competition from MSC for the multi-lingual market, which is probably much harder to manage and market. RCI is capturing a large share of the Euro market without changing their basic onboard formula much. They lucked out that there are so many Europeans who are comfortable on English-speaking ships.

It seems to me that Costa/MSC has captured the more rural, less upscale European market, the people who do not speak English, while RCI (with Celebrity) has done very well with the English-speaking Europeans. Aside from Cunard, I don't think Carnival Corp. has a brand that comes close to competing with RCL for the British market, and Cunard does not have that many beds.

RCL is also quickly moving into the Chinese and India markets which are just blips now but have enormous potential. With almost 3 Billion people combined and a growing middle class.

I started cruising 27 years ago, and while I was a technology analyst in the 1990s, when I switched to cruising I saw a completely different market. It is slow and steady growth. You almost never see a surge in people taking cruises, and rarely do you see a sudden drop (except in obvious situations and they tend to recover faster than most travel products).

keep in mind new ship introductions will go on almost complete hiatus after the next few deliveries, there hasn't been a new order in a couple of years, but that growth in the cruise market will continue.

We are all depressed by this economy, but recessions always end - some sooner than others. You can't judge where cruising will be in five years by today's numbers, you have to assume there will be recovery by then.

As for debt - Carnival got extremely lucky in the timing of their IPO - it is a well-known story. They have always had a pile of cash in the bank while the RCI approach has always been based more on a cash-flow model. Yes, relying on debt is riskier, but when you are as big as RCL, if you have cash-flow problems it isn't the company's concern, it is the bank's.

You have to give RCL credit for hanging in there. Their stock has gone up since Oasis came out, and so have the Oasis cruise fares. They take big risks, something of a Donald Trump model. When things are bad it is tough, but when things are good they are very, very good.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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I am a very happy Royal custumer. We have sailed on Liberty OTS twice and have booked Oasis as well as Allure for future cruises. I think that they do things well and will be OK with atracting cruisers.

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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Enough people can afford to cruise to fill all ships week after week. The cruiselines just have to make thoose people spend money on a cruise instead of on other things. Most people in the "rich" world can afford to cruise if they really wants too.

I'm sure that at least 75% of the Canadians can afford it and probably at least 90% of the people in the U.S. (a higher number there because lots of people live close to the ports and cheap airlines tickets are also easier to find). At least 75% of the people in Western Europe can probably afford it too even if they shall fly to Florida and lots of cruises are within Europe so a flight might not be needed at all.

A lots of people in China and India can also afford to cruise (probably more than 100 million), we also have Japan just to mention another rich country.

I know that all these people probably won't cruise but as I said, enough people can afford it so what the cruiselines has to do is to make them spend their money on cruises instead on other things!
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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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You are really off there. There is no way 75% of Canadians or 90% of Americans can afford to cruise. That is far to high an estimate. Where would you ever get those figures? If it did we wouldn't have an unemployment rate of 8.1% in Canada and that doesn't count all those receiving welfare and in low income jobs.

I don't even begin to believe those numbers for Europe either. As for India and China you are completely off base. So much so it's a silly assumption.

Whereever did you get those numbers from?
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

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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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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What country are you talking about? Not the USA I live in. 75% of the people I know have never cruised and do not have a lot of disposable income with which to cruise. The closest port to me is 700 miles away so flying with a family, is expensive. Driving less expensive, but uses up days out of your vacation... Hint- there are NO cheap airfares from here to Florida during school vacation peak season, which is when family groups have to take their time off.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I have NO idea what the true figures are, but I will bet you there is some research, probably at the CLIA web site (cruising.org) that will shed some light on this.

You have to assume that the basic premise of "who can afford to cruise" is highly variable.

I see 7-day cruises going for $299. For one couple that is possibly under $1000 total with added fees, etc.

You also cannot assume what the "average" American is. As far as i know, the average America does not live with a "family" anymore - there are many singles adults these days, childless couples, etc.

Any time you start tossing out percentages without research it is purely speculation. but I think the point is that there are a lot more people who could be cruising who are not yet, but they will because it grows by about the same percentage every year, but that means it grows by more people every year.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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You are right to an extent. However, I am aware of the lower end of the scale here in Canada. I have worked in that area for a very long long. 8.1% unemployed in current in Canada, therefore you can multply that by 2.5 to get the numbers of people affected. In the U.S, the unemployment rate is around 10%, therefore they same applies. Then you take the number of people who etch out a living on welfare (we have a huge welfare system in Canada - don't get me started on that) and again, the same applies to the U.S. Of course you add in the low paying jobs are your numbers are very high.

As far as countries such as China - they are so badly paid and to add to that they can't even get out of the country for the most part, without government permission - but again, lots do.

However, not to get political here, yes, there are a lot of people who haven't cruised who could - try telling them that . The numbers are not going up in Canada. We have had approximately 5% of Canadians cruise and that % has not increased for years.

Anyway, there is a vast field open to recruit cruisers and I think that's where your trying to go.............whether or not it happens it completely another story.

Oh, it is not cheaper to take a decent cruise for Canadians than a land vacation - not by far when you put the costing all together.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

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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Old December 8th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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I agree with Paul that it's wrong to toss out percentage without doing research first, I did that only because other did it, obviously without doing research first.

The people I talk about is those who can afford to cruise if they really, really wants to. They might have to sacrifice other things to do it. Maybe the percentages I mentioned are a little high but I'm sure that 75% for Canada is closer to the correct number than 5%.

Maybe both Canada and the U.S. are much poorer countries than I thought so my example has to be something else. You can get an mediterranean cruise, one week, for less than $1000 and if you add cheap airlinetickets from Sweden, transfer, service charges etc. you are up to $1500, $3000 for a couple. Almost everyone in Sweden can save that money if they really wants to = they can afford to cruise every year. People living in Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom and some other countries might not even have to buy airlinetickets so their cost is much lower, I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to cruise too.

As for 100 million possible cruisers from India and China, I really don't think that number is too high. That's less than 5% of the population. I know that most people in India and China are poor but far from everyone.

I don't know how wrong my percentages are but I do know that enough people can afford to cruise to fill all ships week after week.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Working with the lower end of the scale I am quite aware of the numbers here in Canada. If you re-read what I posted you will see I do know what I'm talking about.

As for your figures - here ya go. To fly to Europe for Canada is a minimium of $1,000 per person which includes over $200 in taxes. That doesn't change. Then of course there is the cruise. I'm not talking about the bottom basement although that is of course, available. Average cruise cost from Canada about $1,200 per person. That would be for an OV or Balcony. Then there is the spends. lets go cheap and say $200. That's about $5,000 for a decent European cruise for a couple from Canada. Offord it - probably 20% of the population maybe - will they do it - highly unlikely.

5% of Canadians cruise and that number has not changed in several years.

I don't believe all the ships out there are going to sail full every week. They arn't now.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

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RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
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and some unknown tub

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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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Working with the lower end of the scale I am quite aware of the numbers here in Canada. If you re-read what I posted you will see I do know what I'm talking about.

As for your figures - here ya go. To fly to Europe for Canada is a minimium of $1,000 per person which includes over $200 in taxes. That doesn't change. Then of course there is the cruise. I'm not talking about the bottom basement although that is of course, available. Average cruise cost from Canada about $1,200 per person. That would be for an OV or Balcony. Then there is the spends. lets go cheap and say $200. That's about $5,000 for a decent European cruise for a couple from Canada. Offord it - probably 20% of the population maybe - will they do it - highly unlikely.

5% of Canadians cruise and that number has not changed in several years.

I don't believe all the ships out there are going to sail full every week. They arn't now.
You don't have to fly to Europe to cruise, you can fly to Florida, New York, Seattle or a few other towns. It's also easy to pick the price of a cabin that cost extra, lots of people cruise in an inside cabin so if we shall be fair about who can afford to cruise, we have to pick an inside cabin.

$3000 for a couple is probably more correct than $5000. How many can afford to pay $3000 for two? Remember that I said that people might have to sacrifice other things to be able to fly. My guess is that every average smoker can afford it if they quit smoking, it's not up to me to decide if they shall do that but they are counted for in my percentage. Many can also use their car much less, I know that some really need to use their car but some don't. Some people also eat at restaurants often, if they don't do that they might be able to save some money. Some people have a home which is bigger than they need.

I don't say that all those people will ever cruise, I only say that they could afford it if they really wanted to.

Lots of people might say that they can't afford to cruise if you ask them but often, not always, it's about choosing to do other things and spend money on other things than cruising. I know very few who has done a cruise but most people I know could afford it if they really wanted to. The cruiselines just have to convince them!
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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You don't have to fly to Europe to cruise, you can fly to Florida, New York, Seattle or a few other towns. It's also easy to pick the price of a cabin that cost extra, lots of people cruise in an inside cabin so if we shall be fair about who can afford to cruise, we have to pick an inside cabin.

$3000 for a couple is probably more correct than $5000. How many can afford to pay $3000 for two? Remember that I said that people might have to sacrifice other things to be able to fly. My guess is that every average smoker can afford it if they quit smoking, it's not up to me to decide if they shall do that but they are counted for in my percentage. Many can also use their car much less, I know that some really need to use their car but some don't. Some people also eat at restaurants often, if they don't do that they might be able to save some money. Some people have a home which is bigger than they need.

I don't say that all those people will ever cruise, I only say that they could afford it if they really wanted to.

Lots of people might say that they can't afford to cruise if you ask them but often, not always, it's about choosing to do other things and spend money on other things than cruising. I know very few who has done a cruise but most people I know could afford it if they really wanted to. The cruiselines just have to convince them!
You were talking about a European cruise therefore so was I. However to fly to Florida from Toronto is still $7 - 800 so my numbers are not off. As for what type of cabin - you better offer something decent and not an inside if you want to talk them into changing from resort to cruise.

You are being judgemental in stating what people should give up to cruise. Not going to work and not nice. Each person must decide for themselves what they want to do with their disposable income.

My point is - your % are way off the mark - I can speak from the Canadian point of view - so if you want to discuss who can and can't sail you need to use realistic figures.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

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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Old December 8th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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You were talking about a European cruise therefore so was I. However to fly to Florida from Toronto is still $7 - 800 so my numbers are not off. As for what type of cabin - you better offer something decent and not an inside if you want to talk them into changing from resort to cruise.

You are being judgemental in stating what people should give up to cruise. Not going to work and not nice. Each person must decide for themselves what they want to do with their disposable income.

My point is - your % are way off the mark - I can speak from the Canadian point of view - so if you want to discuss who can and can't sail you need to use realistic figures.
I was talking about a European cruise because that cost less if you live in Sweden, for someone living in in Canada it's probably cheaper to do a Caribbean cruise.

I agree with you that an inside isn't decent for me but lots of people love them, very rude of you to decide what's decent for everyone else.

I totally agree that each person must decide for themself what they want to do with their money, I have already told you that. I can start to smoke and then I can't afford to cruise, my choice. To say that people have a choice is no problem for me. I only say that many people can afford to cruise but they have to choose cruising instead of other things.

The only point I have tried to make is that enough people can afford to cruise to fill all ships week after week and that's the truth even if only 20% of the people in the US and Canada can afford to cruise.

I have always thought that Canada is a rich country with an economy close to the economy in Sweden, since you say that I'm wrong, I'm prepared to appologize to people in Canada but I still say that the ships can be full week after week. At least 5 million potential cruisers from Sweden may not sound much but it's still 8-9 filled Oasis week after week.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Hopefully our economy returns to somewhere near where it was. Part of our problem is our taxes - we are taxed to death - however we also have socialized medicine and that's something I wouldn't give up for anything. Sorry - drifting away from cruising - but at the same time if we (in this case meaning me) had to pay for the scripts my DH and I need every month we would be in a whole lot of financial trouble. And definitely couldn't afford to cruise.

Perhaps over time there will be 20% of Canadians who will cruise but I very much doubt it. And I can never see all ships sailing full 52 weeks of the year. Would be nice - but unrealistic. That's why there are so many cheap cruises now.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

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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Old December 8th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Hopefully our economy returns to somewhere near where it was. Part of our problem is our taxes - we are taxed to death - however we also have socialized medicine and that's something I wouldn't give up for anything. Sorry - drifting away from cruising - but at the same time if we (in this case meaning me) had to pay for the scripts my DH and I need every month we would be in a whole lot of financial trouble. And definitely couldn't afford to cruise.

Perhaps over time there will be 20% of Canadians who will cruise but I very much doubt it. And I can never see all ships sailing full 52 weeks of the year. Would be nice - but unrealistic. That's why there are so many cheap cruises now.
As a Swede, I know about taxes...

I agree that it's unrealistic with all ships full 52 weeks of the year but it is up to the cruiselines to find out how they shall fill all ships, the people to fill them with exists if the cruiselines find a way to convince them.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I personally can't imagine any reason that would make 75% of the Europeans to spend their money for cruising with American companies. Actually I don't even believe that there are that many people who could afford it even if they desperately wanted to.

Being a family of five who has cruised once and is going for a second cruise we are a real exception. I don't know any other European family that would have cruised and I know just a few adult people who have been cruising. Some reasons for that:

- Cost fo cruising is not only the cruise, but you also have to pay for the flights, accomodation before and / or after the cruise, possible car rental, etc. When we have reserved everything by ourselves from internet the cost of the cruise has been about 25% of the total cost of the trip. And we are doing it real cheap and spending a lot of time comparing choises, not many people are able to do that!

- Most European people still want to use travel agencies with their own language to reserve a cruise and they often want a guide in their own language to accompany the group etc. That means, that the cost of the cruise is triple compared to making the reservations by yourself. And I'm not kidding!

Finnish TA:s offer 1 week Caribbean cruise and 4 nights in a hotel for a price of €2700-€2900 ($4000-$4300) per person double occupancy in inside cabin (balcony is $500 more), ok that's Oasis but anyway. If you take Carnival Glory it costs €2300 ($3400) for 1 night less. In either case you don't have a lot of days to choose since there are just a few cruises offered. We got our next cruise reserved by ourselves for €5100 ($7500 which is $1500 per person) for the five of us including the flights and 4 nights hotel****.

- Very big persentage of the European people don't speak english fluently enough to be able to do the whole thing in english on their own or they are afraid to do so. And having the service also in french, german or italian doesn't make it a lot better since most people dont speak those languages either. You also miss a lot of the program at the ship if you don't speak english well enough. Especially this goes to elderly people which I mean anyone over 60 or 50, even 40. You have to remember, that there are 230 different original languages in Europe and a lot more laguages brought here by immigrants!

- The language question also concernes families with kids. Most European kids don't speak english and that means that they can't take part in the kids programs. The parents can't have time on their own and the kids miss a lot of good program on the ship. Why would a family want to go cruising when they can go cheaper to somewhere else and their kids manage themselves better?

- Cruising from Europe isn't a lot better choise. The cruises from Europe are far more expensive than Caribbean cruises. For us it's actually cheaper to cruise in Caribbean than to go to Mediterranean, we have to fly to both places anyway. Also the climate in Mediterranean is not so pleasant as it is in Caribbean, it's only the summer when it's warm enough to swim etc. And the biggest thing is of course the glamour - going to cruise in Caribbean sounds great luxury, having a Cruise is Europe is something everyone does...

- And don't forget that there are a lot of European Cruise companies too! I'm sure that almost every Finn has cruised - to Stockholm or to Tallinn with Silja Line or Viking Line or Tallink, etc. It's definitely not the same, but since that is what people here do all the time and never go anywhere else to cruise, they don't know the difference and they are perfectly happy this way. There are also many European companies cruising in Mediterranean and Atlantic and providing service in different languages.

- And finally the biggest question: What would make people want to cruise, when they can do a lot of other wonderful things with the same money? You could travel to Asia or Africa or America, see places and live in hotels. Europeans have a lot longer vacations than Americans do, so they don't have the rush and they don't need to see 5 places in one week. Many people simply want to stay in one place for the whole vacation. Most finns are perfectly happy to spend their 5 week summer vacation in their own summer cottage beside the lake with their relatives.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 01:17 AM
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I personally can't imagine any reason that would make 75% of the Europeans to spend their money for cruising with American companies. Actually I don't even believe that there are that many people who could afford it even if they desperately wanted to.

Being a family of five who has cruised once and is going for a second cruise we are a real exception. I don't know any other European family that would have cruised and I know just a few adult people who have been cruising. Some reasons for that:

- Cost fo cruising is not only the cruise, but you also have to pay for the flights, accomodation before and / or after the cruise, possible car rental, etc. When we have reserved everything by ourselves from internet the cost of the cruise has been about 25% of the total cost of the trip. And we are doing it real cheap and spending a lot of time comparing choises, not many people are able to do that!

- Most European people still want to use travel agencies with their own language to reserve a cruise and they often want a guide in their own language to accompany the group etc. That means, that the cost of the cruise is triple compared to making the reservations by yourself. And I'm not kidding!

Finnish TA:s offer 1 week Caribbean cruise and 4 nights in a hotel for a price of €2700-€2900 ($4000-$4300) per person double occupancy in inside cabin (balcony is $500 more), ok that's Oasis but anyway. If you take Carnival Glory it costs €2300 ($3400) for 1 night less. In either case you don't have a lot of days to choose since there are just a few cruises offered. We got our next cruise reserved by ourselves for €5100 ($7500 which is $1500 per person) for the five of us including the flights and 4 nights hotel****.

- Very big persentage of the European people don't speak english fluently enough to be able to do the whole thing in english on their own or they are afraid to do so. And having the service also in french, german or italian doesn't make it a lot better since most people dont speak those languages either. You also miss a lot of the program at the ship if you don't speak english well enough. Especially this goes to elderly people which I mean anyone over 60 or 50, even 40. You have to remember, that there are 230 different original languages in Europe and a lot more laguages brought here by immigrants!

- The language question also concernes families with kids. Most European kids don't speak english and that means that they can't take part in the kids programs. The parents can't have time on their own and the kids miss a lot of good program on the ship. Why would a family want to go cruising when they can go cheaper to somewhere else and their kids manage themselves better?

- Cruising from Europe isn't a lot better choise. The cruises from Europe are far more expensive than Caribbean cruises. For us it's actually cheaper to cruise in Caribbean than to go to Mediterranean, we have to fly to both places anyway. Also the climate in Mediterranean is not so pleasant as it is in Caribbean, it's only the summer when it's warm enough to swim etc. And the biggest thing is of course the glamour - going to cruise in Caribbean sounds great luxury, having a Cruise is Europe is something everyone does...

- And don't forget that there are a lot of European Cruise companies too! I'm sure that almost every Finn has cruised - to Stockholm or to Tallinn with Silja Line or Viking Line or Tallink, etc. It's definitely not the same, but since that is what people here do all the time and never go anywhere else to cruise, they don't know the difference and they are perfectly happy this way. There are also many European companies cruising in Mediterranean and Atlantic and providing service in different languages.

- And finally the biggest question: What would make people want to cruise, when they can do a lot of other wonderful things with the same money? You could travel to Asia or Africa or America, see places and live in hotels. Europeans have a lot longer vacations than Americans do, so they don't have the rush and they don't need to see 5 places in one week. Many people simply want to stay in one place for the whole vacation. Most finns are perfectly happy to spend their 5 week summer vacation in their own summer cottage beside the lake with their relatives.
How many times do I have to say that I'm talking about everyone who can afford to cruise if they really wants to? They might have to sacrifice other things, which I'm aware of that not everyone will do.

You mention the short "cruises" between Sweden and Finland and I know people who would say that they can't afford a Caribbean cruise if someone asked them but they "cruise" between Sweden and Finland a few times every year and spend enough money on that to pay for a Caribbean cruise.

As for how many who can pay for the cruise if they desperately wanted to I know for sure that at least 75% of the people in Sweden can afford it, Sweden isn't as rich as it once was so I see no reason why the rest of western Europe shall be different.

As for the cost to cruise. Your figures are either way off or a Finnish TA really knows how to give you a bad deal. The brochure rate, which is what we in Sweden normally pay if we use a TA, for a one week Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Pearl next fall is less than $1000 for an inside cabin. Airlinetickets can be found from around $800 and the hotel doesn't need to cost more than $200 each if two adults are sharing. That's $2000 so even if you add some more costs you are far from $3400.

As for languageproblems. I mentioned United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain and all their languages are in many cases available on the ship, especially on a Mediterranean cruise so that's not a big problem. Most kids don't need the kids program, when I was a kid the main reason to be on vacation was to spend time with my parents so I shouldn't have used the kids program anyway.

When cruising with kids it's a big difference to cruise in the Mediterannean compared to cruise in the Caribbean. A planeticket to Spain or Italy cost almost nothing if Ryanair or any other low cost no service airline is okey for you and the kids cruise for almost nothing if they are 3-4 person in the cabin.

The last part of your post just prove my point. I have from the first post I wrote said that I'm talking about everyone who can afford to cruise if they really wants too and those who go to Thailand or Kenya instead of taking a cruise can afford to cruise, the cruiselines just have to convince them. I say it again, all ships can be full week after week if the cruiselines can convince enough people to cruise.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 02:20 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!
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