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Luxury Cruising Is it a state of mind?

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  #1  
Old October 8th, 2010, 02:40 PM
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LauraS LauraS is offline
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Default Luxury Alaska Fare War: Book Now for Some Great Cruise Values

Check out this news item from Cruise Critic:

Luxury Alaska Fare War: Book Now for Some Great Cruise Values
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  #2  
Old October 9th, 2010, 05:04 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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I just read the article to me some of what is mentioned has nothing to do with a fare war in Alaska but how the cruise lines are promoting many or all of their cruises for 2011.

For example, Crystal Cruises is promoting all cruise fares with 2 for 1 pricing, including air fare, and as you wish credits on all cruises in 2011 not just Alaska.

I don't think the way that Silversea is promoting their cruise fares is any different than some of the other ones mentioned where the article seems to allude that some are heavily discounting their cruise fares.

Likewise Oceania offers 2 for 1 pricing on all of its sailings.

I feel that I am pretty familiar with the luxury cruise line fares for Alaska having sailed on the Silver Shadow in Alaska last summer and booked on a Crystal Alaska cruise for 2011.

At this point I haven't seen any deep discounting. However, that was not the case in 2009 when some further discounts beyond the what is norm were implemented on cruise lines such as Silversea and Regent because of the economic situation in 2009.

To me, what might be different in 2011 compared to say even 2010 is that you have a greater choice of luxury cruise line for Alaska in 2011. As such, pricing will be more competitive than if only one luxury line was sailing there but I would not call any of the pricing to be a fare war. Time will tell if that translates to discounting specific to Alaska.

Keith
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  #3  
Old October 22nd, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Regent seems to be pushing hard to keep it's ships as full in 2011 as they have in 2010. Now, in addition to including most excursions, they are adding an overnight stay at a luxury hotel. While I do not like to tout Regent on the luxury board since I am known to have a preference for them, in this case, it is warranted IMO. As most people know, Regent includes airfare, tips, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage and many excursions. Because many flights from the east coast to the west coast arrive in the afternoon, an overnight stay will be included in many cases. The cost for excursions in Alaska are some of the highest we have seen in our travels. It is hard to beat what Regent is offering in Alaska in 2011.
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  #4  
Old October 22nd, 2010, 09:16 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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Regent seems to be pushing hard to keep it's ships as full in 2011 as they have in 2010. Now, in addition to including most excursions, they are adding an overnight stay at a luxury hotel. While I do not like to tout Regent on the luxury board since I am known to have a preference for them, in this case, it is warranted IMO. As most people know, Regent includes airfare, tips, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage and many excursions. Because many flights from the east coast to the west coast arrive in the afternoon, an overnight stay will be included in many cases. The cost for excursions in Alaska are some of the highest we have seen in our travels. It is hard to beat what Regent is offering in Alaska in 2011.
If someone is interested in sailing Alaska on a luxury cruise line, my recommendation would be for them to do their homework and to look into all of the luxury cruise lines that will sail Alaska in 2011. There are certainly plenty to choose from and my recommendation when it comes to Alasks is to be sure to look closely at the itinerary. After all, a main attraction for an Alaska cruise is the itinerary.

Factors to consider include the length of the Alaska cruise, which ports the are stopping at, the ports of embarkation and disembarkation and other factors such as which Glacier the ships are spending most of the day at. There is quite a difference between what some of the lines are offering in the way of itinerary.

My wife and I have been to Alaska numerous times most recently in 2009 and have another sailling planned for 2011. For us, Alaska is one of those itineraries that we do not feel compelled to do ship excursions and one that with a little bit of research one can find the excursions that they want to do at reasonable prices. The Alaska ports of call board has lots of great information on private excursions.

I remember someone saying that when they sailed in 2009 on Regent that the prices had been lowered considerably because of the economic situation and the ship was overwhelmed with children. I am all for sailing with children but this person said that the shiip was overcrowded. This might be fine for some but just again something that folks need to carefully research and consider.

Again, there are lots of lines sailing Alaska both luxury and premium on top of the traditional lines that have been sailing Alaska for years.

Keith

Last edited by Keith1010; October 22nd, 2010 at 09:17 PM.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 11:13 PM
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Keith brings up a good point. . . . children! Of the luxury lines that sail in Alaska, Crystal and Regent have children's program and can have upwards of 100 children on a sailing. For those who prefer less children, I'd recommend sailing in May (usually good weather) or late August. . . . or, check out Silversea. The Silver Shadow sails Alaska next year -- less than 400 passengers . . . small enough to get up close and personal with those glaciers.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Keith brings up a good point. . . . children! Of the luxury lines that sail in Alaska, Crystal and Regent have children's program and can have upwards of 100 children on a sailing. For those who prefer less children, I'd recommend sailing in May (usually good weather) or late August. . . . or, check out Silversea. The Silver Shadow sails Alaska next year -- less than 400 passengers . . . small enough to get up close and personal with those glaciers.
Travelcat, interestingly enough our last Alaska Cruise was on the Silver Shadow in 2009 and the cruise was in August and we had a lot of children on board. The reason according to the crew was that the cruise was promoted. We were fine with the kids but some seasoned Silversea cruisers were not. So, when cruises are heavily promoted there can be a lot of kids on board who normally would not be withou the discounting. In fact, there were more kids on the Silversea Ship than on Crystal's when we took our first Crystal Cruise.

I'm still a believer when it comes to Alaska to look hard at the itineraries.

We are returning to Alaska in 2011 and taking the Crystal Symphony. We wanted an itinerary of 12 days rather than seven that other luxury lines such as Regent and Silversea area offering as we wanted to visit more ports. With a R/T out of San Francisco it works perfect for us and we wanted to revisit Glacier Bay.

Again, each person needs to look at the details and to see what works better for them.

Keith
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  #7  
Old October 23rd, 2010, 06:10 AM
Texas Tillie Texas Tillie is offline
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Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
Regent seems to be pushing hard to keep it's ships as full in 2011 as they have in 2010. Now, in addition to including most excursions, they are adding an overnight stay at a luxury hotel. While I do not like to tout Regent on the luxury board since I am known to have a preference for them, in this case, it is warranted IMO. As most people know, Regent includes airfare, tips, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage and many excursions. Because many flights from the east coast to the west coast arrive in the afternoon, an overnight stay will be included in many cases. The cost for excursions in Alaska are some of the highest we have seen in our travels. It is hard to beat what Regent is offering in Alaska in 2011.
Aren't the included excursions just the ones that cost under $150? Alaska excursions are expensive and many of the "good" ones (especially the ones that involve aircraft - floarplanes, helicopters, etc.) are much more than $150. Is Regent discounting (i.e. deducting the first $150) the more expensive excursions?
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Tillie View Post
Aren't the included excursions just the ones that cost under $150? Alaska excursions are expensive and many of the "good" ones (especially the ones that involve aircraft - floarplanes, helicopters, etc.) are much more than $150. Is Regent discounting (i.e. deducting the first $150) the more expensive excursions?
To be honest, I don't know the exact cost of their tours. They offered the crab feast (a truly wonderful experience) at no cost. They take you on a boat to the venue where it is held. You have all you can eat crab (very fresh), a glass or wine or beer, a salad, etc. and then a bus back to the ship. There was a option that we took. We paid $129/each for this tour (used OBC). . . . the main difference was a 25 minute float plane ride back. Also, there were only 12 of us and the wine and beer were being freely poured.

Other "free" Alaska tours that we took was rafting by a glacier, ziplining and "ale trail" (which was actually fun and was done in Astoria, Oregon).

Based on looking at what I just posted, it does seem that you are correct. . . . these included excursions were under $150. We are going on Silversea next month and a 4 hour tour by boat and bus is $129/each. This makes the crab feast sound like quite a deal!
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  #9  
Old October 23rd, 2010, 01:37 PM
Texas Tillie Texas Tillie is offline
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To be honest, I don't know the exact cost of their tours. They offered the crab feast (a truly wonderful experience) at no cost. They take you on a boat to the venue where it is held. You have all you can eat crab (very fresh), a glass or wine or beer, a salad, etc. and then a bus back to the ship. There was a option that we took. We paid $129/each for this tour (used OBC). . . . the main difference was a 25 minute float plane ride back. Also, there were only 12 of us and the wine and beer were being freely poured.

Other "free" Alaska tours that we took was rafting by a glacier, ziplining and "ale trail" (which was actually fun and was done in Astoria, Oregon).

Based on looking at what I just posted, it does seem that you are correct. . . . these included excursions were under $150. We are going on Silversea next month and a 4 hour tour by boat and bus is $129/each. This makes the crab feast sound like quite a deal!
That's what I thought. I'm no Alaska expert, but have been the past 4 years and have my cruise booked for next summer (Crystal), so I know that the excursions that really let you see Alaska are $$$$. Just don't want anyone to think that you're going to get EVERY excursion included with Regent....just the ones that they're paying the vendor under $100.
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