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Everything posted by tfred

  1. Would love to see the reasoning behind this request for the e mail of the CEO. She certainly doesn't read any of these inbound communications efforts may be better spent on finding the right department at X to address the issue
  2. there are a couple of stickies at the top that would be worth while to look at. That said - what cruise lines have you taken and where did you go? Helpful so that we know a frame of reference for advice My experience with two river cruises (Crystal - fantastic) is that you generally dock in walking distance to town and bussing is at a minimum. Docking time is generally all day to 5 pm or so so it is more than a quick look I also dont know if I would take a two week river cruise, especially in winter as it is difficult to sit on deck and enjoy the view (cold)
  3. I don't think they figured it all out, but they do know some things that aren't worth the money. Agree with the multipliers for suite guests. "Heads in beds" isn't cutting it for them. They want higher end, better spending guests and that generally means suites or AQ or the like. They also know all the big data as well - what level of guests spend what on board. They must have figured out that the average elite (at or below a certain level) doesnt have any add on revenue.
  4. absolutely it is "lately".... Marriott Lifetime Titanium was re-qualifying every year as Plat (75 nights) for each of 10 years . I think there was a revenue amount in there as well. One Million BIS miles is not easy (got one of those too) and what does it really get you - better service recovery- which what it is all about on the road
  5. I know that - I am lifetime titanium with Marriott. I literally spent 1/4 of my adult life in hotels. The air/hotel loyalty program re-ups annually at whatever level you are at for that past year. Lifetime is conferred by meeting revenue AND nights in a certain time frame at certain levels. This is 'easier" to achieve than cruises since business travel is a major driver of air and hotel. The vast majority of cruises are personal. Lifetime anything in air/hotel are not easy to achieve these days Cruise lines have figured out that even with elite perks they weren't getting more business from those elite folks - they just weren't increasing nights or revenue to offset the cost of the program. That CC cocktail party cost some internal department money to throw and then they decide if that money was worth it long term. Cruise lines are taking enough of that money and putting it towards rewarding AQ, concierge and Suite customers for spending money today. Pretty much why you see the proliferation of suite class on many ships - those are the profitable customers. Pax who take one or two cruise/year at discounted rates looking for free drinks ? No thanks
  6. this is how it should be and realistically what cruise lines are doing now. Airlines and hotels do this to filter out low profit guests who think they should get suites, free drinks and unlimited upgrades with the "I've been customer for years" story
  7. Programs change all the time Airlines and hotels always had a short renewal time frame (yearly) that was time and night/mile dependent - now revenue as well. Easy for them as it was mostly business travel that drove it. I was flying 3 times a month and knew what the rules were for status. Status for the most parts get you recovery - delayed flights rebooked, rooms in sold out hotels, consistent service with no surprises . "Perks" would be bonus but not a deal breaker for most 99.9% of cruises are vacation and realistically how many can most people take, especially on their own dime? One or two cruises a year over 5 years means free drinks forever?
  8. I did read their policy and emailing the SB rep was my next step. Was trying to see if the reality was different than the stated policy - especially on a small ship
  9. what I the smoking policy on board? I see a few different ideas on line. The outdoor (somewhere) is allowed. Then I see veranda is ok and vape in room is allowed btw - we are not smokers and try to minimize contact
  10. Oceania is very nice - food is excellent. Above that Seabourn, Crystal, Regent Some of it depends on how "formal" you want to be. There are some suggested dress codes on the last 3 that you may not like As a suggestion - Crystal River Cruise. We have done Rhine and Danube (Xmas markets) and loved it. Top service, food and only 100 pax
  11. People like what they like and that is it when it comes to food. I have sat next to pax eating well done Filet Mignon and wonder what their thought process was for that decision. They told me how good the food was on the ship so.............. There are just some really bad eaters out there. They sample menus are posted on the X website and list multiple days so you can get an idea of what is available. I wouldn't call them adventuresome, but they aren't NY strip steak or baked chicken. Obviously the menu changes but it will give you an idea if you would like that kind of food prep. https://www.celebritycruisespresscenter.com/press-kit/10/celebrity-edge-menus/
  12. along the way X figured out that pax who don't use wifi or drink also don't use the spa, gamble or go to specialty restaurants in whole or in part. In other words they are low profit margin customers and no one really wants them as part of a business model going forward - especially when ships cost a billion dollars X knows all the numbers. They are trying to get people onboard (mostly new to cruising) that are spending that money now in Orlando, Las Vegas and land based Caribbean resorts
  13. Viking owns the marketing prize for river cruises, but they are really mid-market +. Our experience is that Crystal is really top. Once you actually price out a reasonable size room and then add in all the X factors they are the top. Food is excellent and I think that if you are looking for veg options it would be a place to be.
  14. nice review If Crystal can take the best of what they do on river and sea, Endeavor will be a success. The service with Crystal onboard is absolutely seamless, heartfelt and genuine. How they train for that is beyond me. We talked to one of the river bartenders at Vienna airport when we were leaving. He said that it is very difficult to get a job with Crystal and even tougher to keep it - pax reviews mean everything
  15. i would think that the easiest time to do this is before you board - at home. I couldn't imagine any discounts that would be given once you have boarded - why would they? Like hotels have learned, it would start to train people to wait at lower revenue cabins to see how empty the ship was and then lowball a number
  16. This reasoning comes up all the time on other cruise boards - I also look at Celebrity forum The money is one thing, but people choose vacations for many reasons - money is just one. Cruises allow someone to get on board and not have to worry about anything after that - especially with Crystal. Food, booze, entertainment, transfers, service. Where are we gong to eat tonight, what time, do we have milk? are not questions for on board pax Land based vacations always have a decision tree that goes along with it. Many people, no matter how well traveled, just don't want to do that. Disney World is full to the brim with people plunking down big money for basically a no decision vacation. You could fly to Paris cheaper than a week in Disney Endeavor will be a very high end, immersive experience no matter where it sails. Better and closer to the ground experience compared to a standard Crystal ocean cruise. At the moment they are caught in the Covid world so the itineraries are easily comparable to Carribean trips. Now that Crystal is essentially doing back and forth loops to islands (which they almost never do) it doesn't look like them as an experience.
  17. They are competing against.other lines that are introducing small, modern ships into the marketplace. Ritz Carlton has some similar, fairly eye watering prices for similar itineraries. Maybe it isn't Crystal, but the name recognition of Ritz is much higher to the "average" non-cruising consumer than Crystal. The Ritz website is very attractive to look at - if you haven't already you should I wouldn't view the Endeavor as only an expedition ship. It is a small yacht that can go on expeditions If you have been on the Crystal River ships (we have twice) there is something very attractive about a small ship with limited pax and a high service level. Many people would pay more
  18. this is a link for the study that the US State of Maine did for cruise ship stops. They are missing the money, but it is a trade off of income versus quality of life and expenses due to extra volume of tourists. In many ways it resembles some Rhine river stops in size, look and feel. https://motpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Survey-of-Cruise-Visitors-to-Maine-Behavior-Attitudes-and-Spending-of-Passengers-and-Crew-August-2019.pdf The average pax spends about $60 in port. Docking fees seem to be about $2 million/year. Just using existing docks are one thing, but the decision is when to expand or update the docks. Big money and then it can change the look and feel of the town. Rudesheim today is not the Rudesheim of 20 years ago
  19. Virtually every other travel experience (airlines and hotels) make the end user re-qualify annually for "perks". The re-qualification standards are pretty high for anything "good". Every "better" hotel chain has a concierge/executive lounge that is available only to people staying on that floor or with higher status. Been like that for years Cruise lines are going to concentrate on high margin users as that is where the profit is. Low margin pax will get perks but it isn't going to be all the things that existed years ago.
  20. tfred

    Med 2023

    I was looking for a longer trip - 15-25 days . There seems to be a one of those in 2022 (Venice- Barcelona) where I want to go. I was hoping to replicate that in 2023. The longer 2023s look more Athens centric
  21. I see that some Med 2023 cruises are out but only for one ship. I know it is 2 years away but does SS release the full schedule for all ships in the Med at once? 2022 seems to have a variety of trans Med and Italy choices some of which I find attractive. The 2023 choice are all Greek centric - not really what I am looking for . At this stage I don't mind waiting but Seabourn has some nice sailings as well
  22. I did see that some airlines are rescheduling pax flights to less attractive times. Main reason appears to be those earlier sold flights could be repriced at higher fares. The rescheduled flights are connections, early/late flights etc
  23. I see that this just came out for a variety of Med trips. We want to do something longer - 20 days or so a few questions I know it is way early, but any reason to either take a reservation now or wait "some time" to make it. Maybe prices go up or whatever. I am assuming that I would be protected against any value added promotions if they are added is 20 day reasonable on Seabourn? Too long ? Will we get bored with menu or general lifestyle on board. We like "better things" and are foodies but are not looking for over the top formality, especially on a summer Med cruise Our initial thoughts were Adriatic intensive, but also saw Barcelona to Italy, France, Sardinia. Not interested in Greece and Turkey for the most part Like the small ship idea so we can get into smaller ports and avoiding longer bus rides to the city. One reason we liked river cruises We have done a variety of cruises - mostly Celebrity, Oceania and a few Crystal River.
  24. tfred


    I wouldn't find a communal table attractive when in Blu or Luminae. I could meet people in the Retreat lounge. As I get older the idea of having to talk loud for everyone to hear at an 8 top is not a fun thing. 2 and 4 tops are good - more than that is a chore. Looking at new to cruising pax, I dont think that a communal table exists at any land based restaurants which is where most new people would be previously vacationing. In the MDRs I could see it, but not in AQ or Suites
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