Is there a Cruise line that will just tell you the total price of what you want up front instead of low balling, and nickel and diming you. Why can't they just say this is your bill it will cover everything......tips, excursions, beverages and that is that. Do they honestly believe they get more money from you this way and make your trip uncomfortable and/or awkward.
Give me an honest upfront cruise line that I can pay for upfront and I will give them some loyalty and surely more respect. Walter
While it's a nice thought, in my case, I think I prefer the "user pay method". Everyone can pay for their own bad habits<G>
There's some problems with the system, determining where the basic (included) levels are set, but overall I'd rather pay for what I use. Unless of course, everyone is interested in sharing my casino costs <G>
Some of the "luxury" brands are close to all inclusive, but then their fares reflect the difficult calculations required to include everything, and still make a profit.
But even there, they may offer free wine, but if the passengers wants a fine wine from the cellar, it's user pay!
Walter: There are a lot of people like Kuki who prefer to pay a fare reflecting just the bare bones af a cruise, then have a choice of extras to purchase. For these, there are many line choices.
But I agree with you in preferring a more all-inclusive experience. So check out the Radisson Paul Gauguin. For about $2500+/-(base room, 200 sq. ft. outside) you can get included air to Tahiti, all soft and most hard drinks, some shore excursions (and Private beaches like you've never seen), and an included mini bar constantly stocked with soda and one liter of liquor. For any non-included items, room credits of $300 are had by charging the cruise on AMEX platinum. Book with a TA who is a group member, like "Giants", and get more included excursions and/or credits. Many more inclusions too numerous to list here. Not quite truely all-inclusive, but very, very close.
I agree with Kuki. I'd rather pay for the tickets and then pay separately for any other services or consumables.
In my business I tried pricing all inclusive and found that it did not work. Most customers thought I was overpriced. Then when I switched to basic bare bones and charged extra for the miscellaneous my business began to blossom and customers thought we were very reasonable.
You know, this thread brings out the fact that different cruisers want different experiences; bare bones plus extras, or all inclusive.
It is a shame that the cruise industry does not do like the land resort industry. There, they have "European plan" facilities, which include only room and maybe some kind of breakfast. And they have "all inclusives" which also include all meals, drinks, tips, and on site activities (except for gambling, of course, where available). Though here, off site activities (like shore excursions) are not generally included.
It's clear that there are plenty of choices for those who want "European plan" cruises, but far too few for those who want "all inclusive, or more so.
Thomas. I'm afraid that all of the all inclusive land resorts and the near-inclusive cruises still require you to BYOL; bring your own Lady (or Ladies). Something about providing such to guests violating some laws, or something!
Clearly, we are always going to have some extras, even at an "all inclusive" The things I mentioned above. Gifts for people back home, too. What is bringing out posts like Walter's (and some of mine too) is that cruise lines seem to be adding extras every day for the past year, and becomming less inclusive than they traditionally were. That's OK with some, but motivates people like Walter and me to search out the more inclusive cruises, cause we (unlike some) like it that way. Problem is, there aren't that many. IMO, only Radisson really qualifies without too astronomical a price.
But like Kuki said, figuring out the price to charge customers is extremely complex and little more than a scientific crap shoot. Some people (non, or moderate drinkers) end up paying for the over-indulgence of others. And to me that is not fair. Although, if that's what they prefer I'm glad they have a choice to do so.
I would like to see cruiselines publicize what it's going to cost me to take their cruise. Recent legislation in Florida has helped to keep the cruiselines honest, but TA's don't have to comply. If it's publicized that I can take this 8-day cruise for $799 p/p then doggone it I want to write out a check for $799 and board. That's all.
Thomas: According to a lot of posts on this board, there are enough customers who want more "all inclusive" to justify more cruises that are this way. Not all of them, but just more. Remember that the lines buy their drinks (hard and soft) dirt cheap (such as liquor wholesale in St. Thomas), so drinks shouldn't be an issue, except that some cruise lines seem to be making a major part of their revenue from them. Tips are usually already subjected to a "suggested" schedule, so not hard to roll in the fare. Snorkel equipment rental and such? Shouldn't be a big deal.
Think of all the land based "all inclusives" that are thriving (especially in Cancun and south), so it's not an exceedingly difficult task to come up with a rate for them, and shouldn't be that hard for a cruise line either.
Babe, I checked out those all-inclusive resorts just to get a comparison. Granted I looked at Sandals and Beaches only and their prices, in my humble opinion were really high. Their cheapest rate was $240 a day per person. Not being a drinkerI don't think I would like to subsidize someone elses habit. I do agree that tips and other things could be included and cruiselines should be up front on what things will cost. I would also like to see a day when I don't have to keep telling those guys pushing the drinks that I do not want one....
In calculating an all inclusive fee, it's all the "little inconsequential costs" that often go directly to or from the bottom line (profit).
For example, even if they buy their liquor cheap... they would have to calculate the profit they need for the liquor consumption into the fare. Shore tours are another revenue center for them.. so that profit would have to be included in the fare.
I think its difficult to compare a land based all inclusive to a cruise. I doubt there are many land bases all inclusives which cost $350 or $400 MILLION dollars to build. Not to mention the maintenance of alot more mechanical equiptment, and the cost of fuel to move the ship.
To my mind it's quite amazing that the cruise lines are able to compete VERY favorably in terms of costs to land bases all inclusives.
And the down side of an all inclusive land based resort.. it's only all inclusive if you don't step foot off their property.
Kuki you are right. I don't know how they figure all that in. They must have some guy with a sliderule! Land based resorts are nice I guess, I have never been to one, but since cruise lines pay no taxes even though some have head offices in Miami they claim to be foreign companies and hence pay no taxes. I wonder how much that saves them?Land based resorts cannot pull that stunt and although I don't know first hand, I am sure they are taxed on their property and possibly a "entry and departure" tax that some of the caribbean countries charge. Either way it is quite a feat that they are able to keep their prices as low as they are and make money.
To Gaines: Check out the Allegro Royal Hideaway in Playa del Carmen, MX. We've been there before, and my wife got a fairly recent quote at something like $132 pp per day. And it's a great, fancy place where we've been before.
To Kuki: If you check out the resort mentioned above, considering land costs, I think you'll find its cost was not too far out of line with a ship of the same capacity (small for a ship). That beachfront porperty ain't cheap! Also, the equivalent of "shore excursions" are not included at any all inclusive land resort I know of, and aren't generally included in near inclusive cruises, such as Radisson's Paul Gauguin (except it does offer a couple of free ones).
To both of you: We just booked on the Paul Gauguin (again) for about $2500pp for 7 days, including air from Okla to Tahiti which must be worth $1000 at least.. That puts the cruise per deim at about $215, not taking into account the $600 double room credit given for things not included, and the fact that the cabin would be several categories upgrade on other lines. And I hear of absolutely no rumors of Radisson or the PG going broke, despite the fact that it must comply with some rather tough French Polynesian labor laws that significantly raise its labor costs. IMO, this proves to me that it is possible for the other lines to offer SOME (not all) near inclusive cruises, albeit at a higher price, but not a prohibitive one. As this thread makes clear, many cruisers prefer the bare bones approach at a lower price. They should be served. But for the others of us, there really need to be more like the Paul Gauguin.