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ChucktownSteve

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Posts posted by ChucktownSteve

  1. I wish the people who use the term "all inclusive" not refer to the new XX program that way since it's NOT that and very confusing when they do.  The XX program is ALWAYS INCLUDED. Which means you will be forced to pay for the now included gratuities, liquor and WiFi hidden within the fare and no longer charged optionally at the cruiser's discretion.

     

    This Always Included program is XX's way of confusticating, (i.e. to confuse, confound, perplex; to complicate) their marketing to make people believe they're more an upscale/premium line then they actually are. This is demonstrated by the numerous number of people who refer to their program as All Inclusive.

  2. 36 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

    I don't follow your logic. With All Inclusive, the bar/wine choices remain the same, the only difference being that all passengers have access to the full range of offerings. 

     

    highway180 and Fouremco,

     

    Are y'all referring to XX's "Always Included" but calling it "All Inclusive"?  The  "Always Included" on XX is basically the "Classic" drinks package limited to bar brands.  The cruise lines with "All Inclusive" pour Premium liquors which you would have to pay additional to upgrade to on XX.

  3. 17 hours ago, ExArkie said:

    I hypothesized that AI was tied to the sale of Azamara, with the idea that the corporation wanted a three-tier system for their brands: Royal as the mass-market brand, Silversea as the luxury brand, and Celebrity as the mid-tier (semi-luxury? "better than average" doesn't quite cut it, I think). Without Azamara, the Celebrity brand needs to move a bit up-scale to make a well-defined distinction among the three and fill what could be perceived as a gap. Hence, some of the formerly added-cost items are incorporated into the bookings to give that impression.

     

    Always difficult to reposition an established brand in the minds of the consumer, although it has been done successfully on occasion. To me, that means that AI will stick around long enough to see if the brand distinctions sort themselves out.

     

    For XX to be semi-luxury or a premium cruise line, they need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.  I haven't seen the walk matching for the past several years.

     

    Keys Kathy, you forgot to mention taking away the daily aqua from Aqua Class. lol  That created quite an uproar back then from the AQ aficionados.

  4. Like many of the replies, we enjoyed AQ on both the M  & S class ships.  It's worth it there for only a few $$ more than Concierge because we appreciated the view and quietness vs the large two deck MDR.  We have not sailed Edge yet but chose a Sky suite for Luminae after reading many reviews for Edge's Blu.  But you will get a bottle of water in AQ the first night if they haven't changed that even though the AI now includes all the bottled water you desire if you go get it. LOL

     

    Pre-Covid I would have suggested upgrading to a Sky Suite for the Retreat and Luminae but I suspect the increased fares have gone through the roof.  Our suite booked last June more than doubled in cost once they switched to AI and had the backlog of cancelled cruise FCC fighting for fewer available cabins.

     

    I agree with those that suggest the SV is the better choice, if still available, to spend the savings on Specialty restaurants if you get tired of the four MDR restaurants.  The menus I saw online look very good in those as if they're specialty restaurants too. Plus the real balcony overlooking a wonderful aft, wake view can't be matched on port or starboard.

  5. 7 hours ago, jagoffee said:

    Do you actually believe that the $638 pp cost per day is driven by the AI change?  You are certainly implying that you do.

     

    Nope not all by that but a good portion. The other is the demand to use the inflated FCCs before they expire.  XX gave them 125% and then charge 200% of what they used to before the pandemic.  However the bottom line is what do you really get for what you pay.  If you have a lot of FCC then it's irrelevant.  So too if you L&S'd.  If you're paying out of pocket for a new booking, then OMG.

  6. 51 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

    lemmings will follow and obediently book.  So derogatory!  Spent your day scanning 1999 photos, good on you, note, the times have changed, welcome to 2021.  Clearly you can't accept change, oh well, Celebrity will fill your suite with someone who does.

     🤣

     

  7. 12 minutes ago, cantstopingcruising said:

    For next winter, we have b2b 21 days Jan and Feb. booked over a year ago. 

    I hope I don't have to cancel that, too!

    But, after that, they want $17,000 CAD for 21 days in an infinity balcony on Edge. For that price, you can be sure we will go elsewhere.

    WOW!!! That's $638pd US$ per day for a standard non real balcony infinity?  I wonder if they named it infinity balcony because the prices have gone to infinity and beyond? 😄

  8. 2 hours ago, Miaminice said:


    I am not surprised about the question. I am more surprised about the never ending feeling of entitlement here. Fact is that nothing is taken away from Elite and Elite+! They are just p...d that it´s also given to others! How terrible and shocking! 🙄

     

    I am more surprised about the feeling of entitlement by XX to believe they're a luxury cruise line just for including the gratuities and classic beverage package while hiding the cost in the increased fares. Jeeeeze, it's not even premium liquor without adding another charge. 

     

    Now go equate the real luxury lines and compare the ALL (not always) included items: the ship's passenger size, air fare, excursions, accommodations, food offerings and quality service level.  Granted you may pay more, but lately since AI, not much more or even less than XX is trying to get. 

     

    I'd rather try a real luxury line without club status until XX becomes a better value for what they include in the cost.  Club status on at least one other line actually gives you reduced fare percentages depending upon your level.

  9. Back to the car analogy, I remember the day when A/C was an option in the NE US.  When a dealer tried  to pack the rust proofing add-on to increase the sticker, I said I don't want to pay for that so remove it from the cost.  They did since it was an overpriced option that cost them very little money and they wanted to sell the car.  That equates to the WiFi XX is forcing you to pay for.  No out of pocket expense but a high priced profit. In essence, XX has become a car salesman.

     

    So the choice is pay sticker price for the cruise or buy someone else's "car."  Howz that for a mixed metaphor?

  10. 55 minutes ago, Oceangoer2 said:

    And your point is?  The buffet is just fine for me but the OP seemed to not enjoy dining there, just watching.  I suggested there are alternatives.

     

    And that was my point. 😃 In essence I was somewhat agreeing with you about someone appearing to be judgemental. Personally if I weren't eating in the buffet, I wouldn't be perched there passing judgement for enjoyment.  I'd be in a bar, the theater or in bed.

  11. 10 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

     

    I think this question can be answered without any stats...
    If the majority had booked the individual perks - some or all - Celebrity would have had no cause or benefit of switching to AI. 

    I am pretty sure they are not doing it to do us a favor 🙂

     

     

    What they more likely studied was how many passengers will they lose by forcing AI vs. how much revenue will they generate by having AI plus can they replace the lost souls with unsuspecting newbies who don't have the club status anyway; thereby saving the club benefit costs.

     

    On paper if they calculated correctly, it's a win-win-win for XX and a lose-lose-lose for others. Then for others, it's a wash.

  12. 1 minute ago, Oceangoer2 said:

    I couldn't willingly go to an area which I find 'disgusting'...just to watch and judge.  The MDR has a nice lunch and beverage offering, with sit down and privacy.  You wouldn't have to 'watch' anyone   fill their plate with unwanted food and be disgusted by it and enjoy your 'full glass' in comfort.

     

    Ah the privileged class looking down on the masses.

  13. Over the past several years, XX from time to time, would offer perks as an incentive to book during the promotion period.  By forcing the AI purchase of those perks, they've eliminated the incentive promotions.  The prime example was their Black Friday promotion of nothing.

     

    Another difference with the gratuities, even though you'll probably pay them (unless you're like some from the UK who don't believe in tipping),  is that you're paying them 90-120 days before the cruise instead of billing at the end of it.

  14. 8 hours ago, LGW59 said:

      It all evens out at the end, if one does not like AI, stop complaining, find a line that works for you.  It is not difficult.

     

    That sounds equivalent to the Ernest Tubs song using a paraphrase, "It's Celebrity, love it or leave it"

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/love-it-or-leave-it-has-a-racist-history-a-lot-of-americas-language-does/

  15. 3 minutes ago, gold1953 said:

    I was not Elite for our only RC cruise.. It was Oasis and by day 3 Bill called it a dam boat

     

    The Dam boats are at HAL. 😆

         

    Eurodam 

    Koningsdam

    Nieuw Amsterdam

    Nieuw Statendam

    Noordam

    Oosterdam

    Rotterdam

    Volendam

    Westerdam

    Zaandam

    Zuiderdam
     
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
     
  16. Sit. Stay. roll over. Jump through this hoop.  If you are in the UK, hop on one foot.  Get five PUP points.

     

    So other than the very few who are close to the next level...what difference at this point does PUP make?  With the AI program or Suite Life diminishing Elite and Elite+ benefits, what's the use?

     

    Anyone heard of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov? PUP reminds me of his dog experiments. And there's the circle back.  Here's your treat.  🤣

     

  17. 6 minutes ago, drsel said:

    A) Celebrity has now become too expensive for what it's worth.

    But, in the past, I always got incredible last minute price drops,  sometimes even 50%, around 45 to 60 days prior to sailing.

    I would look out for such incredible last minute price drops and hope that history repeats itself.

     

    B) right now MSC has got some fabulous deals in Europe, for the Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords and Baltic Cruises. UNBELIEVABLE PRICES !

    But if you want to experience the best of MSC, you have to book Yacht club

     

    XX was then. Those days will never return which is why I've moved upstream.

     

    So if I understand you, it's all about price and any cabin to get the price?  Guess we'll never see you on Regent. 😁

  18. drsel your points are valid especially if #7 is a higher priority. I believe the discussion really boils down to a person's priority.  I currently prefer fewer times at higher quality than quantity.

     

    Now with XX's Always Included and much higher pricing, if you were to select between XX and Regent, at similar cost, which would you choose?

     

    I'll compare an S1 suite I have booked on Apex in the Caribbean and a Concierge suite booked on Splendor through the Panama Canal.  (Disclosure: The Apex is at the prevailing rate after they changed to AI.) Both include premium liquor and WiFi.  Guess that negates #1 in your post.    The S1 cabin is 476SF, the Concierge cabin is 464SF. The Apex is $823pp/pd while the Splendor is $603pp/pd.

     

    So even if I booked my own flight and excursions, I'm still ahead if I ignored those included in the Regent fare.  Plus I get the Specialty restaurants and a pre-cruise hotel included.  The menus are so superior to XX's I can't even compare.  Of course I won't be having a butler in the Concierge cabin

     

    I have cruised XX several times in categories below suites until the Apex booking.  I haven't sailed Regent yet but have three on the books that I'm so looking forward to.   On paper and reading the comments on CC, I feel I made the better choice for me.  Everyone has to make the selection that best suits their priorities. I'm curious though, how many Regent cruises have you sailed?

     

    Eight to ten cruises per year equal to the Regent price?  What cruise line and cabin categories can you make that comparison?  Inside on Carnival?

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