When Price Comes Into Play, How Loyal Are You to Your Favorite Line?

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Poll: What will trigger you to swap lines?
Poll Results
What will trigger you to swap lines?

Nothing, I'm finding great deals with my favorite line.
56
12.73%

Nothing, I stick to my line regardless of price.
31
7.05%

I'd try a new line if they made it worth my time (and wallet).
160
36.36%

I don't have any brand loyalty, price trumps all.
73
16.59%

I'd only leave my line for a more luxury/upscale one.
31
7.05%

A combination of low prices and good reviews
130
29.55%

If my line didn't have a similar itinerary
83
18.86%

If my friends/family are cruising with another line
37
8.41%

Other, please post.
22
5.00%

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 440.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
Boston, MA
1,075 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Here at Cruise Shipping Miami, the massive annual cruise industry expo, we've heard over and over from experts in the field that the recession has driven lines to cut prices to "unheard of" or "unprecedented" levels (we've seen many of such discounts here on Cruise Critic). But during one particular panel discussion, a speaker made an interesting point: with rates being what they are, we may see folks who've been ardent supporters of certain brands for years quickly jump ship. There simply comes a point when the deal becomes too sweet to pass up.

So we want to know: What will trigger you to swap lines?
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#2
5,062 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Dan Askin
Here at Cruise Shipping Miami, the massive annual cruise industry expo, we've heard over and over from experts in the field that the recession has driven lines to cut prices to "unheard of" or "unprecedented" levels (we've seen many of such discounts here on Cruise Critic). But during one particular panel discussion, a speaker made an interesting point: with rates being what they are, we may see folks who've been ardent supporters of certain brands for years quickly jump ship. There simply comes a point when the deal becomes too sweet to pass up.

So we want to know: What will trigger you to swap lines?
I have lines I like better than others, and all things being equal prefer to sail with them. More important to me, however, are itinerary and price, in that order. That was true long before the current economic situation, and it's still the case.

How I book cruises:

1) Where do I want to go (someplace I've never been, destination-intensive cruise, a relaxing getaway without regard to the ports, etc)?

2) Who goes there and for how much?

3) Book the best deal, and go have a wonderful cruise.


I have no "brand loyalty" when it comes to cruising. Of course, I'm not an especially picky person, and I've never had a bad cruise on any line, which may make me luckier than some.

What "triggers" me to swap lines is finding a great deal for an itinerary I want to sail when I want to sail it -- it always has and it always will, I suspect.
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#3
Michigan
7,870 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I like RCCL, but would not hesitate to try a more luxury line in the future. We are giving Celebrity a try after 2 good experiences on RCCL. We are still waiting to be "wowed" in the food and service department. RCCL is great, but there is not really a WOW factor. Kind of hard to have that when there are loud announcments and hard sells going on all the time.
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#4
USA
8,951 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I am like the OP, its itinerary first, then schedule, and lastly price, in that order. In my limited cruising experience the differences between the lines seem small to me.

No question entry, medium and high end there is real measurable difference and as the discounts have started happening the high end and medium price gap is collapsing enough that it makes me think if they are still there on my next cruise I will be more then willing to pay a little more to get a measurable difference in service. Between comparable class its again itinerary, schedule, and price. Of course all things being equal I'll always pick the cheapest. I'll suspect that the Carnivals and other mainstream run the biggest risk to see flight to higher class lines as the price differential becomes smaller in difficult times.
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#5
Boston, MA
1,075 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by chipmaster
I am like the OP, its itinerary first, then schedule, and lastly price, in that order. In my limited cruising experience the differences between the lines seem small to me.

No question entry, medium and high end there is real measurable difference and as the discounts have started happening the high end and medium price gap is collapsing enough that it makes me think if they are still there on my next cruise I will be more then willing to pay a little more to get a measurable difference in service. Between comparable class its again itinerary, schedule, and price. Of course all things being equal I'll always pick the cheapest. I'll suspect that the Carnivals and other mainstream run the biggest risk to see flight to higher class lines as the price differential becomes smaller in difficult times.
You bring up a good point about being willing to pay -- if the price gets to a certain point -- for the measurable difference in service. Pam Conover, the President and CEO of Seabourn, mentioned just that during a luxury crusie line panel chat at the conference. For Seabourn, filling the ship is paramount (other luxury lines have different opinions), and so prices have come way down. Of course, this has the potential byproduct of giving folks who wouldn't normally pull the trigger on a more expensive crusie the chance to do so.

Itinerary all the way for me as well, but the geos I'm interested in automatically limit my cruise line choices.
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#6
Mainer in Florida
4,798 Posts
Joined May 2000
In the last 18 years, I've cruised more than two dozen times on six different lines. I don't think I have any "brand loyalty" but rather enjoy different attributes of each line (with one exception). I do look for good value in cruises, but price is not the primary criteria.
#7
seattle
4,665 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I haven't cruised enough to have any ship line loyalty - I have only been on carnival cruises but will be on a Celebrity cruise shortly. No, wasn't price cuts that got me to switch lines. Carnival canceled the transatlantic I had booked with them and had already put much time & effort into making plans, as well as having bought airfare.
What started out as a huge disappointment has turned into something good, I'm happy for the chance to give Celebrity a try. For me it is itinerary first, then it has to fit into my schedule & budget, cruise line loyalty would be far down the list.
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#8
Raleigh, NC
2,300 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I am mostly price driven, and that is nothing new. We are pretty flexible on dates, so we can get the desired itinerary for the best price.

I wouldn't sail an itinerary that I didn't like just because it was cheap though.

I have enjoyed all of my cruises and am not loyal to any one, but I do have my preferences but all of my cruises have been similar enough that I can't see paying a huge premium for a certain line.

Maybe I'm just low maintenance.
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#9
Austin, TX
2,027 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Itinerary trumps all for us. A great deal on a cruise that goes to places you have no interest in is not worth it to us. Dates are no the issue for us, price can be, but where we go to is the most important.
#10
10,074 Posts
Joined May 2008
My first priority is price......always.....

I'm a solo cruiser and it burns me having to pay such high "single supplements" but I understand the reasoning behind it....and, it never deters me from cruising.

I always check the right side of the menu first....don't care where the ship is going.... Whoever has the lowest price for a solo in a balcony gets my business.

Fortunately for me, my favorite cruise line always beats out the others.....always.....

I'd never consider cruising at a higher rate just because of some false loyalty to a particular cruise company. The money looks a lot better in my pocket than theirs, for sure.
#11
Marathon, FL USA
427 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
I have a slightly different slant on the switching thing. I have been very loyal to RCCL for years, but just recently I have been told that the line is confescating alcohol at boarding AND not returning it. I understand "rules", but this is nuts. We are participating in a gift exchange on a cruise for next week and the "tone" of the exchange has been that we are supposed bring items from our local areas. I bought a small bottle of New Mexico wine (275 ml) to put in the bag. But after the posting, I took it out. If this turns out to be true (I'll verify it on the cruse), I will be looking at different lines with a different "rule". I've paid corkage fees before, without complaining because I really didn't like their wine list. But this would seem to take this out of the option list too! Good Lord! Does this sound like nickel and diming to anyone else? Ann
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#12
Florida, USA
1,372 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Because most of my cruising is in the caribbean the itinerary is not as important to me as the ship I go on. I have my 2 favorite lines which I usually stay with and the flexibility to cruise anytime of the year.

So far I have found very good prices but if my favorite lines were to raise prices I would start looking elsewhere. However, there are some lines I would not book even at a great price!
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#13
Tracy City, TN
44 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I voted other because everyone that except the first two apply to my decision making.

The biggest make or breaks for me...

1. Smoking policy, If smoking is prohibited on a ship or severely restricted then I cross them off my list.

2. Itinerary, does the cruise go to places I want to go.

3. Size of ship, I like the bigger vessels because my wife tends to get sea sickness.

4. Cost/value, I will not pay hundreds more for the same itinerary as long as there are few differences in the cruise lines.

Any cruise lines that meet this criteria will be considered for a cruise in my book.
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#14
Tracy City, TN
44 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I voted other because everyone that except the first two apply to my decision making.

The biggest make or breaks for me...

1. Smoking policy, If smoking is prohibited on a ship or severely restricted then I cross them off my list.

2. Itinerary, does the cruise go to places I want to go.

3. Size of ship, I like the bigger vessels because my wife tends to get sea sickness.

4. Cost/value, I will not pay hundreds more for the same itinerary as long as there are few differences in the cruise lines.

Any cruise lines that meet this criteria will be considered for a cruise in my book.
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#15
Tracy City, TN
44 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I picked other because there are several factors that apply for my considering I have no loyalty to any cruise line

The biggest make or breaks for me...

1. Smoking policy, If smoking is prohibited on a ship or severely restricted then I cross them off my list.

2. Itinerary, does the cruise go to places I want to go.

3. Size of ship, I like the bigger vessels because my wife tends to get sea sickness.

4. Cost/value, I will not pay hundreds more for the same itinerary as long as there are few differences in the cruise lines.

Any cruise lines that meet this criteria will be considered for a cruise in my book.
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Women are made to love, money is made to spend, life is something buddy, you'll never live again!

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#16
Springfield, Mo.
296 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I have only sailed on 2 lines, and I do have my fav out of the 2, but for my Thanksgiving cruise this year I am trying a new line that has the exact same itinterary and schedule and for 3 people they are 1/2 the price of my fav. line!

Shirley
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#17
Tracy City, TN
44 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
sorry about the multiple posts....don't know how that happened.
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Women are made to love, money is made to spend, life is something buddy, you'll never live again!

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#18
Weatogue Ct
43 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I choose my ship based on what they don't have.Which is formal nights.I do not want to have the option of opting out of formal nite and and be regulated to a buffet line.Price and intinary are pretty close on the East coast for all lines.
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#19
Northern NJ
1,161 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Prices and dates are what I look at first.

I prefer to cruise out of NY because its only a half hour drive to the pier. Not only do I dislike paying for airfare, but I think it's a pain in the butt to sit around waiting in airports before and after a trip. I'm flexible with dates but I like to travel around April, May & June, so I usually look for the cheapest weeks in my timeframe. As long as it goes somewhere warm, I don't really care where we sail to. I prefer being on the ship to getting off at the ports anyway.

I'm cruising on the Dawn to Bermuda in May and since we dock for 2 nights, coming and going at my own leisure may change my mind on not caring where the ship goes. I already love the idea of no time constraints in having to get back to the ship each day, with the exception of the last day in Bermuda.
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#20
107,181 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have been sailing HAL for the last few years and feel that they are giving us some good deals.
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