Posted January 16th, 2014, 12:49 PM
Last edited by BWIVince; January 16th, 2014 at 12:52 PM
I agree that it seems most unlikely that anyone will be convinced by any new arguments on this question at this point. However, I wish to address a larger issue: As a number off the Crystal faithful, Keith among them, have pointed out, the amounts involved in Crystal's recent introduction of a fee for additional specialty restaurants are relatively small compared to the total cost of a luxury cruise: if you can afford the latter, presumably the former won't break you. This may well be, but at times perception is more powerful than reality. If money is no object, I'll cruise exclusively on Hapag-Lloyd's EUROPA or EUROPA II--trust me, it's a superior product. The fact that I don't is, ipso facto, proof that it is, and that Crystal is not justified in simply assuming cavalierly that it can charge me whatever it likes, according to its whim.
Nor am I comfortable with Keith's argument, which he has made before, that in order to stay in business, Crystal must make a decent profit in orderto keep providing him with the service that he likes and is comfortable with. Perhaps, perhaps not. It may also be that, in the manner which various international shipping companie and air lines used to be subsidized by their governments in order to propagandize on behalf of the national economy as a whole, N.Y.K. has this kind of arrangement with Japan and, in consequence, doesn't have to turn every nickel over twice. If, not so very often in a lifetime, one does stumble across such an opportunity, the thing to do is to take advantage, not to worry oneself unduly about the financial welfare of the service provider.
I'll spare anyone any discussion about the speciality restaurants because I'm literally blue in the face from talking it out, but your point about state-subsidized companies is an interesting one... But it would seem to be to be a very dated point.
In 2014, I don't think corporations are receiving operational subsidies like you think they are anymore. Sure, there are some examples (Like EAS service to the airlines, development subsidies to the oil companies, etc.), but the days of governments propping up airlines and shipping companies to be flagships of the state are LONG over. Money is injected where there's a practical (or politically practical) need, but not to put on a pretty show.
And using Japan as an example, JAL and ANA have both had a very, very rough time the past 6 or 7 years and have had to restructure a lot of the ways they do business to accomodate all of the belt tightening and cutbacks required in this economy. While there is investment money out there for companies who can put it to good use, there is no magic fountain of cash in Japan that can be tapped just to subsidize an American-based cruise line that can't turn a profit.
I totally agree that's not the customer's concern at all... That's management's problem. The customer just can't expect that if their service provider isn't turning a profit, that they will be around for long.