Posted January 14th, 2008, 10:17 AM
That was the same year that Sitmar was sold to Princess. We were originally scheduled to sail on an Alaskan cruise on Sitmar - I think the ship's name was to have been Majestic or Majesty (?). We got a call from our TA that Sitmar had been sold and she wanted to know if we still wanted to do the same cruise on the ship that Princess got from Sitmar - the original Star Princess. We went and loved it.
Krazy - It was the Fair Majesty. I also sailed on the Star Princess to the Caribbean in 1989. I was a loyal Sitmar cruiser and was upset when they were bought by Princess. I couldn't see how the British reserve of Princess could blend with the Italian warmth of Sitmar. But somehow, it worked and I love Princess. I'm an ELite member in their Captain's Circle.
But I wasn't the only skeptic at the time. Sitmar loyalists were very upset about the sale. I can just imagine what the Sitmar/Princess boards would have been like had CC been around then! Every issue of Cruise Travel for 2 or 3 years had several letters from former Sitar passengers who ranted about the sale to Princess. On our cruise on the Star, we were approached by several cruise staff who wanted to know what made Sitmar so special that their passengers were so loyal.
At least Carnival allows it's cruise lines to operate under their own brand and maintain their own identities. Princess absorbed Sitmar, much the same way HAL absorbed Home Lines or Cunard absorbed NAC, before they were purchased by Carnival. You used to have numerous cruise lines. Now there's basically 3 - Carnival, RCI and Star (NCL). If there are any smaller lines still operating, they they tend to serve a niche market. they just can't compete with the giants for market share. That's just the way of the business world today. The bigger companies gobble up the smaller ones in all industries. It's all about increasing revenue and profit and keeping shareholders happy no matter what business you're in.
"Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call.
I've wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall"
63 cruises since 1981
Proud Members of:
Princess Captains Circle - Elite
RCI Crown & Anchor - Diamond
Celebrity Captains Club - Elite
NCL Latitudes - Platinum
MSC Voyagers Club - Black
Carnival - Gold
Cunard World Club - Gold
HAL - 2 Star Mariner
Celebrity Equinox - Southern Caribbean
Norwegian Escape - Eastern Caribbean
Regal Princess - Western Caribbean
MSC Seaside - Eastern Caribbean