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  #31 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvabill
Now 30,000 GRT won't hardly get you a good lifeboat on one of these behemoths.

Bill 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Actually you can get quite a nice cruise on ships that size but not for $499.
You have to pay a bit more for the smaller deluxe type cruises.

Our first ship was on a 20,000 ton ship with communal bathrooms...how things have changed!!

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Old May 21st, 2007, 02:08 AM
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The smallest cruise I was ever on had only 143 people on board. All men. To the North Atlantic and under the ice cap. We were out for 129 days and only saw the sky when we broke through the ice.

Those sub cruises can be tough, even on a Navy Vet.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Default Smaller Ships

We have always appreciated the smaller ships..The last time we were on the NCL Majesty I ran into the Captain on the Lido Deck (at least I think it was the Lido having a smoke)..and I asked... his answer.."it's like cars...people want bigger and better".. When asked what ship was replacing the beloved Majesty he replied he hadn't been told,but now we know it's the NCL Dream.. The Port of Boston isn't really big enough for mega ships and truthfully I hope it never will..not on a regular basis anyhow.On the other hand.. we have discovered that a new port is being contemplated for Gloucester, MA, north of Boston. A few ships have stopped there already and the feedback from passengers is wonderful. Meanwhile, back at the ranch..we discovered the Celebrity Century two years ago and this year we are doing the Celebrity Galaxy..siser ships.. Wish I could afford the more upscale smaller ships, but one of my pre-requisites is that they have days at sea and most are port intensive.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Default I don't think they are big enough yet.

I can't wait to cruise on a 250,000 ton ship. Of course by the time I get my first omlette on the lido deck of this monster we will be disembarking again, .

Seriously, there is something exciting about going on the largest whale of a ship you can find, maybe just to see how it feels in the ocean, or to feel more secure, or whatever your reason. I guess I have not gotten to the "I don't like all the crowds stage yet".

Anyhow the bigger they get the more likely the prices will stay down in range for the public to continue to buy.

Energy prices are going up if you have not noticed, not to mention foods, durables, as well as raw materials. I guess what I am saying is the big ship is the only thing standing between you and me and a really expensive 7 day cruise that we may not be able to afford without selling one or two of the kids :-)
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old May 26th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: I don't think they are big enough yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirobin171
I can't wait to cruise on a 250,000 ton ship. Of course by the time I get my first omlette on the lido deck of this monster we will be disembarking again, .

Seriously, there is something exciting about going on the largest whale of a ship you can find, maybe just to see how it feels in the ocean, or to feel more secure, or whatever your reason. I guess I have not gotten to the "I don't like all the crowds stage yet".

Anyhow the bigger they get the more likely the prices will stay down in range for the public to continue to buy.

Energy prices are going up if you have not noticed, not to mention foods, durables, as well as raw materials. I guess what I am saying is the big ship is the only thing standing between you and me and a really expensive 7 day cruise that we may not be able to afford without selling one or two of the kids :-)

SELL THE KIDS!!!!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old May 27th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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"Anyhow the bigger they get the more likely the prices will stay down in range for the public to continue to buy".

I could not have said it any better myself, that is today’s cruise industry for the masses.

And that is the course we are now sailing, bigger and so called better.

But me as a person, on those ships I may meet 4 or 6 people that happen to dine with me at night, the rest is a blur of people.

I have met and still make contact with people that I met on 28k ton ships, more than I ever have on the "big guys". Yes facilities are great, but personal feeling of being part of something on these ships, nil points.

They are beautiful, but unlike the old small ships, they are now far too impersonal, a floating "travel lodge". Get on, get off, and never really meet others.

That is actually quite sad.

I cannot remember when on the last three “big guys “ I sailed on how many “PEOPLE? I actually met, talked to and had some Chit Chat with.

But on the smaller ships I got plenty, why because we fell over each other, it was more personal. These are the people and ships I remember most
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Old May 27th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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DBG,
I'm totally with you on this one!
Marty
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old May 28th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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The Horizon was the smallest ship we've been on - and now it's gone! We loved being on that ship because we met so many nice people - saw the same people everywhere we went. And the crew knew us - it was great! Anything over 2,000 is too large!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBgood
"Anyhow the bigger they get the more likely the prices will stay down in range for the public to continue to buy".

I could not have said it any better myself, that is today’s cruise industry for the masses.
The prices will stay down, but only if they can keep that big ship full week after week. And, believe me, your actual price will not be lower on the big ship because you'll wind up having a larger and larger onboard bill to settle up at the end of the cruise.

That's the problem with the mega-ships. They have an awful lot of berths that have to be filled every week. Those ships only are cheaper to operate if those berths remain full. So, in order to fill them, the cruise lines have to offer those berths at cheaper and cheaper prices. They have to make it so that people actually can't afford NOT to take a cruise. It will clearly be the cheapest vacation option available ... anywhere. But then ... once they get you on there, they will fix it so that your onboard bill will be a reasonably large one. That's because you'll pay extra for so much ... from specialty dining venues, to high-priced drinks, to various classes, etc. By the time you disembark a week later, you'll find that what you spent in total will be about the same as what you would have spent on a smaller ship or even at a land resort.

So, don't think those mega-ships are the great deal they sound like ... cause they're not. And, they'll get to be even less of a good deal in the coming years.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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I respectfully disagree,

Case in point.

I originally paid around $4000 for my mini suite to Alaska, I then called and re-faired my price and it ended up making the cruise $670 cheaper per cabin because they were having trouble filling the ship.

As far as I know the cruise lines don't raise prices to the specialty restaurants and other paid activities due to a ship being less full than needed. That would be bad for business if that got around.

A bigger ship allows more efficency with fuel, food and staff. It's the same concept as the Boeing 747 and now the new double decker Airbus. more seats, lower seat per mile cost to the carrier.

Because they can move more people at a lower price per person, they can pass some of that to the consumer and stay competitive.

Ok one last example.

Look at the smaller ships sailing, lets say under 81,000 tons Most are higher end lines, like Radison Seven Seas and such. They all charge a premium to be on those ships, in part for special service, but also because you are paying to have a more intimate setting.

Before you hit me with, "There are smaller ships that are not high end", I did not say all, there are nitch markets that can do smaller ships at Carnival prices.

Like the Bahamas, both RCCL and Carnival sail smaller ships there, but they are packed with people, and the trip is relativly short, the boat is anchored most of the time at two ports, so costs for fuel are lower as an example.

I think you will notice more and more that the smaller ships are going to be sold off or used in short haul trips, or go into a high end service sector.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBgood
"Anyhow the bigger they get the more likely the prices will stay down in range for the public to continue to buy".

I could not have said it any better myself, that is today’s cruise industry for the masses.
The prices will stay down, but only if they can keep that big ship full week after week. And, believe me, your actual price will not be lower on the big ship because you'll wind up having a larger and larger onboard bill to settle up at the end of the cruise.

That's the problem with the mega-ships. They have an awful lot of berths that have to be filled every week. Those ships only are cheaper to operate if those berths remain full. So, in order to fill them, the cruise lines have to offer those berths at cheaper and cheaper prices. They have to make it so that people actually can't afford NOT to take a cruise. It will clearly be the cheapest vacation option available ... anywhere. But then ... once they get you on there, they will fix it so that your onboard bill will be a reasonably large one. That's because you'll pay extra for so much ... from specialty dining venues, to high-priced drinks, to various classes, etc. By the time you disembark a week later, you'll find that what you spent in total will be about the same as what you would have spent on a smaller ship or even at a land resort.

So, don't think those mega-ships are the great deal they sound like ... cause they're not. And, they'll get to be even less of a good deal in the coming years.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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sirrobin,
Once again, I agree with you. And I like that set up, since I then have to option of how much I spend. I don't gamble, use the spa, go on-line, and I don't drink much at all. I have been to most Caribbean ports often enough to know my way around, so I only book tours if it is something I really want to do. So, I can get a cabin, have a fun vacation, and definitely spend less than I would any other way.
Marty
P.S. Rael men do drink fru-fru drinks in pink glasses. You're proof of that!
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirobin171
A bigger ship allows more efficency with fuel, food and staff. It's the same concept as the Boeing 747 and now the new double decker Airbus. more seats, lower seat per mile cost to the carrier.
Yes, that's certainly true. BUT ... and this is a big BUT ... only if they can keep all the cabins filled week in and week out. And that's an awful lot of cabins to fill up. If they can't keep the ship sailing at 100% capacity, then they have to start cutting prices ... sometimes to the point of taking an actual loss on the cabins. And then those sailings are not as profitable as they should be. That's why the cruise lines will charge for as much onboard as they can get away with ... so that they can boost revenue and make up for some of those cabins they practically gave away. You'll come home from a seven-day cruise that you supposedly got for $500 per person, having an onboard bill of close to $3,000 between the two of you ... whereas on the smaller, niche ship it would probably have been half that.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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I still disagree, they may up prices but not on a ship by ship basis, based on how full one voyage is, rather as a whole, all ships, and not that often.

If cabin prices are reduced due to the ship not filling, is that not lower prices?

The trend is not to charge more if sales are bad, in the cruise industry the trend is to charge less to fill up what is not sold. This is how they operate.

Look at the Caribbean, the insiders say the caribbean is a soft market right now, yet cruise prices are not high, as a matter of fact they are pretty good right now.

Keep this in mind.

There is a fairly good margin in the cruise business, its not just about selling cabins, if it were there would be a problem because cabin prices are not high now.

Here is their industry secret to success..

They have you captive on their realestate, you have no choice to buy this or that from a competitor. You gamble in their casinos, you eat in their specialty restaurants, if you don't want to eat the free food. You buy their beer and Alchohol, you visit their spa's, and you buy their tshirts in their stores for the entire duration of the cruise, with the exception of ports.

Think about this, this is just flat our genious... They don't need to worry about how much they will sell, they know. Thats why you pay 5, 6, or 10 dollars a beverage on a cruise.

The business plan is perfect, they invest in a platform, they get you on it, and also make you pay to get on it, and then they have you captive (and willing) to buy all of their stuff for up to a couple of weeks in most cases.

Nowhere else is such a monopoloy tolerated.

So don't look at it like the poor cruise line is not filling their boat, they must have to up prices to make up. Believe me they are not hurting even when they dont fill up the boat.

One final note, don't forget about their buying and operational leverage as a company.

They hire people from other countries that work for much much less per hour, they buy their food, and fuel in bulk accross the fleet. They have a maximized operational structure to make up for some lean days as well.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirobin171
Think about this, this is just flat our genious... They don't need to worry about how much they will sell, they know. Thats why you pay 5, 6, or 10 dollars a beverage on a cruise.

The business plan is perfect, they invest in a platform, they get you on it, and also make you pay to get on it, and then they have you captive (and willing) to buy all of their stuff for up to a couple of weeks in most cases.
And you want to hear a crazy prediction of mine?

I'd be willing to bet that if the cruise lines keep building bigger and bigger ships, they will one day GIVE the cabins away. Yes, give them away. But, there will be a catch, of course. You get a free cabin for that seven day cruise, but you must purchase a couple of thousand dollars in non-refundable onboard credit before you get that cabin. The amount of the credit will be determined by how many people will be occupying that cabin ... or by the size and quality of the cabin.

The cruise lines will still make a bundle ... especially on those megaships ... and the stupid customer will actually be nuts enough to believe that they are getting their basic cruise for nothing. And, it will seem that way because the amount of the onboard credit will not be that bad. But, once they get you onboard, and you see how much you have to pay for ... things that maybe at one time were free ... you will quickly realize that the thousand or so per person of credit you bought will not even begin to cover your expenses onboad ... shore excursions, purchases, drinks, casino, spa, you name it.

Personally, I'd rather be on a smaller ship ... doing a more interesting itinerary than the cookie cutter ones these large ships will do, and just pay my fare upfront. Somehow I think I will have a better time.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirobin171
The business plan is perfect, they invest in a platform, they get you on it, and also make you pay to get on it, and then they have you captive (and willing) to buy all of their stuff for up to a couple of weeks in most cases.
Let me cite you an example that will prove my point that the focus will be more on onboard revenue than on the cost of the cruise ... more and more so in the coming years.

January of 2006 I took a VERY expensive cruise ... 30-days Hawaii/South Pacific itinerary on HAL's ms Amsterdam. Paid top dollar for this cruise because it was very much in demand ... HAL didn't have to give any price breaks. I think even the discount TA's were charging almost rack rate for this cruise.

Well, in the interest of making sure that ship sailed with EVERY cabin full, HAL actually overbooked the cruise. They weren't gonna risk so much as ONE empty cabin.

About thirty days before sail date, HAL realized they had a problem. More people than cabins. So, they started making offers ... and some very nice ones ... to get people to "stand down" from this cruise and book something else. In fact, these offers would give these people an even LONGER cruise, at less money. One of the offers was 90 days of the 2006 World Cruise (all except the last segment ... from Rome to Fort Lauderdale) ... for the same price, in similar or better accommodations, for NO additional money. That's the offer they made to me. I would have loved to accept it. Problem was that I had a boss that would have laughed in my face if I had asked for 90 days off.

Once we got onboard, some of us started comparing notes. Do you know who the folks were that got the offers of better deals? It was the people who were sailing single in a cabin. Since HAL had more willing passengers than cabins, they wanted to pump up the onboard revenue by getting the singles out and couples in. Presumably they figured two people would spend more than one ... and generally that's true.

So, don't be surprised when you see yourself being asked to pay for things that were once included in your cruise fare. That's because the cruise lines have discovered that a relatively small percentage of their revenue is made on the base fare. It's all those little extras that can add up to big, big money.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:51 AM
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The larger cruiselines are putting in more specialty pay for use restaurants because they have cut costs on the "free food" in order to have a good meal you pay extra.
You pay extra for ice cream, pizza etc...
They have done their research and people think because they got a great deal of $399. for a week
then they have to sneak alcohol onboard because the drinks cost too much, they take of the auto tips in pretense of tipping indivually (then don't tip at all)

The smaller ships sail fully booked on most of the cruises, the food is good everywhere on board so no need to up sell.

Soon it will be like Easy cruise
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:34 PM
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First, I have to say I don't like the mega ships. Nothing to do with money. They are just too big for me to get around easily and not as friendly as smaller ships were....if my memory serves me, which is always debatable.

Second, I can't imagine having an on board bill of $3,000. We would have a mutual heart attack if we even came close. Now, part of that is our habits just don't lead to big spending, but my point is that we probably could not cruise if they did not offer cheap cabins and then charge extra for other stuff, which we just skip. I personally love that system! You big drinkers and gamblers help finance my cruise...how kind of you!
Hmmm...I had anotehr thought, but it went bye-bye. Oh well, just proves my memory isn't on today!
Marty
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:38 PM
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AHA! I remembered.
We were on a HAL cruise a few years ago. I have no idea what happened, but the cruise right after ours had no bookings, or very few at least. They offered everyone on board a 7 day cruise for $300, including all those add ons, such as the gov't taxes, etc. We were told we could just stay in the same cabin. So, probably no bookings. We couldn't do it, but what a temptation. I suspect a screw up on dry dock scheduling. We have gotten killer deals several times as a result of variations on that theme.
Marty
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:34 PM
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Some great reading above.

"So, don't be surprised when you see yourself being asked to pay for things that were once included in your cruise fare"

Thats it, and it has "creeped in" to what was once free and I agree, with prices at the level they are now per cabin. That is the logical "financial" direction they have to take, and make up the difference.



To me it's an honesty thing, in the past you paid your money up front and then "all" was available to you. In other words if you could pay the real "unhidden cost" price, then you could afford to cruise

But so many things now that people may want to do or enjoy are under "stealth costs". So you have people thinking they can afford to cruise, find they cant once on there.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBgood
But so many things now that people may want to do or enjoy are under "stealth costs". So you have people thinking they can afford to cruise, find they cant once on there.
I remember on one of my cruises ... I felt so bad for this woman. She was asking one of the cruise director's people ... "what's this about $10 a day automatically added to my account?" She apparently got a great deal on her cruise, but realized once onboard that the cruise was working out to be far more expensive than she dreamed. She didn't realize she would have to pay for drinks, including sodas, pay for even bottled water. I heard her telling another passenger that the trip seemed so cheap when she booked it ... far cheaper than anything else her family had looked at. She came onboard with her husband and two kids ... all staying in a smallish inside cabin to economize. They weren't rich by any means. Now she was faced with $40 a day in auto-tips ... and apparently she could not afford that. She felt bad, but what could she do? She was going to the front desk to have those tips taken off her account and said she would tip individually what she could afford. My guess is that tip was probably very small.

In her case, I blame the travel agent. That agent should have clearly told her what she would be paying for and what extra money she would be expected to fork over. Clearly that wasn't done ... and the woman was put through embarrassment, not to mention the service people were screwed.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorcrazie
Second, I can't imagine having an on board bill of $3,000. We would have a mutual heart attack if we even came close.
Depends on the length of the cruise. Believe me ... you do a 25-day or longer cruise ... your onboard bill could easily be in the $3000 range ... or even higher.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Sorry Rita,
Not even then! We drink water and lemonade or coffee provided free, don't gamble, etc., etc. Have done some long cruises and still would have that heart attack!
Marty
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:04 PM
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We did a 32 day cruise this year and came no where near $3000. for our S& S account.

YIKES I think the most we ever had on an account was $2000. and we did the Baltic with ships tours
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