Jump to content

Why does Princess sail older ships from San Francisco


Recommended Posts

I would take any Princess ship vs any Carnival ship. The ones out of LA Inspiration and Imagination do not have balconies, and are the worse ships I have ever been on. Having Princess in San Francisco is a big plus for us as well, and will continue to cruise on them if the price is right. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
We are happy to have cruises from SF. It would be lovely to have more choices of ships, but we're grateful for whatever we can get.:D Quite a pleasant change from several years ago.

 

Agree. I don't chose a cruise based on the ship, I go for the itinerary. Right now, due to work constraints; I sail out of Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. When I am able to cruise out do other ports. It certainly won't be the ship that is my first choice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that the older I get, the more I hate flying. So we have been taking a number of cruises from SF because it is just a BART ride and walk to the pier.

 

I am wondering if anyone knows why Princess seems to sail the older ships from SF? So far I've been on the old Regal, the Sun, the Grand and the Star. The only times we were on the Coral/Island was when they were repositioning cruises.

 

One possibility would be the occupancy rate. If the ships with a passenger capacity of 2600 aren't selling out, there is no point in putting 3000+ passenger ships in that port. Another financial factor might be the port fees charged by the port. I have no knowledge of how port fees are assessed but if the size of the ship is a factor in calculating the fee, then that would influence the decision of what ships to base there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
. I would not sail on the newer ones even if someone paid me to do so.

When someone wants to pay you to sail on one of them, let me know, and I'll take your place. :D

I would take any Princess ship vs any Carnival ship. The ones out of LA Inspiration and Imagination do not have balconies, and are the worse ships I have ever been on. Having Princess in San Francisco is a big plus for us as well, and will continue to cruise on them if the price is right. ;)

The two I ships are not the only ones sailing out of LA, but they do have regular routes. I like them since they are small. I usually get a suite on them since those do have the balcony. It's also easier to avoid the "fun" if there's a nice roomy suite to hide in.;) They are also significantly cheaper than a Princess suite. But that said, I prefer Princess, and any west coast sailings are a blessing for us. One of my favorite cruises of all time was the old Regal out of SF to Alaska.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just grateful that Princess has good options from California unlike other lines. I also prefer the design of the older ships after recently touring the Crown.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Edited by bachcruise
Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so lucky to live close to a port. I just flew 6 hours on a sold out plane to cruise the Star to Alaska. Great ship and a gtreat time. Count your lucky stars to live where you do and have this opportunity.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You are so lucky to live close to a port. I just flew 6 hours on a sold out plane to cruise the Star to Alaska. Great ship and a gtreat time. Count your lucky stars to live where you do and have this opportunity.

 

Believe me I DO count my lucky stars:)

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Grand and the Star have some things that other ships don't...

 

The Grand has Alfredo's and the Star has the special dessert area at the buffet.

 

So nice!

 

Aloha and Mahalo!

 

The Grand also has their desserts in the same configuration at the Star. I know this because I always had to put on my invisible blinders each time I walked pass the dessert area. I cruised both the Grand and the Star last year so I'm pretty sure of this. Please correct me if you have something else in mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We cruised Grand earlier this year and will be cruising Star in November. We are quite happy with both ships. We did a 15 day SF / Hawaii on Star as well. I do think it's too bad Sea Princess doesn't sail out of SF any longer though. We liked that ship a lot and sailed on her out of SF to Alaska a few years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see good old Regal Princess 1 or one of the original Sun Class ships back in San Francisco. They were just the right size and I'd sail them any day. Besides that they have a deeper draft than the Grand Class ships and took to the waters along the California coast much better.

 

San Francisco does have some strict environmental rules which might keep some of the newer (aka bigger) ships out of the area...just guessing on that one. Also there is the ship to shore electrical connection when the ship is alongside. Do all of the newer ships have this capability?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Believe me I DO count my lucky stars:)

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

 

Count me in on that also. We can drive to LA which would take us 6 hours, but hate the drive back after being on a nice cruise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Count me in on that also. We can drive to LA which would take us 6 hours, but hate the drive back after being on a nice cruise.

 

We are also about a 6 hour drive to LA and HATE the drive back.

SF...about a 30 minute drive:)

I love crossing the bridge and see that pretty white ship docked there:D

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love to see good old Regal Princess 1 or one of the original Sun Class ships back in San Francisco. They were just the right size and I'd sail them any day. Besides that they have a deeper draft than the Grand Class ships and took to the waters along the California coast much better.

 

 

 

I'd love that also.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Link to post
Share on other sites

For us LA is about an 8 hour drive, a 19 hour train ride, or a 4 hour flight. Of course the flight is assuming that the last leg - SF to Chico - isn't cancelled which seems to frequently happen. That would mean renting a car and another 3 hour drive.

 

Cruising out of SF is a 3 hour drive which is vastly preferable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm .... according to a quick search on the Princess web-site, the following ships are now on the schedule for sailing from San Francisco:

 

Star Princess

Golden Princess

Grand Princess

Coral Princess

 

While they certainly are not as old as the current Royal and Regal, they don't seem like "old ships" to me.

 

Well ... You should try living in Australia. Been stuck with Sun, Sea and Dawn. Oldest in the fleet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well ... You should try living in Australia. Been stuck with Sun, Sea and Dawn. Oldest in the fleet.

 

I would be more than happy to see them at Fort Lauderdale and send you the Royal and Regal in exchange.

 

I realize that it's a two for three swap but one of these will carry more passengers than all three of yours.

 

Mike:)

Link to post
Share on other sites
For us LA is about an 8 hour drive, a 19 hour train ride, or a 4 hour flight. Of course the flight is assuming that the last leg - SF to Chico - isn't cancelled which seems to frequently happen. That would mean renting a car and another 3 hour drive.

 

Cruising out of SF is a 3 hour drive which is vastly preferable.

 

We drive 90 minutes to Sacto and fly from there. The parking fee isn't bad and it beats the 9 hour drive. We've done it several times, but it does get old. It's only a 3-1/2 hr drive to SF, but the parking at 55 Francisco Street, SF for 11 days is $200. I think it's actually cheaper than driving to LA and getting a hotel room and leave your car at a hotel which caters to cruisers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that the older I get, the more I hate flying. So we have been taking a number of cruises from SF because it is just a BART ride and walk to the pier.

 

I am wondering if anyone knows why Princess seems to sail the older ships from SF? So far I've been on the old Regal, the Sun, the Grand and the Star. The only times we were on the Coral/Island was when they were repositioning cruises.

 

Easy answer.

Cruise Lines ALWAYS follow the money.

 

Newer and bigger ships are more in demand - so they can charge higher fares. Older and smaller ships like Grand and Golden cannot compete in a market with other, newer ships.

So Princess is forced to place these older ships in a market with little competition.

 

Since San Francisco - along with most other California ports - is not very profitable for the cruise industry, the majority of ships has left the West Coast.

Princess knows that with very little competition, their older, smaller ships can still charge a bit more to sail out of San Francisco, than if they were in a competitive market with newer ships. Most likely the smaller ships can fill up nearly every voyage.

 

It would be too risky to put their newer, larger ships in that market, as they probably could not fill them every voyage. Also, the newer ships can compete in a much more lucrative market (like Alaska or Europe) charging higher fares while still being assured of 100% occupancy every voyage.

 

Just the cost of sailing into and out of San Francisco Bay is a deal breaker. The local "Mafia" there requires that each cruise ship sailing in SF Bay must hire 2 tugs to follow it in and out. Each tug charges $19,000 per hour (each way) - with a two hour minimum charge. It normally takes just over 2 hours to get in and over 2 hours out, so most ships have to pay each tug for 3 hours, each way. So that's $114,000 to get from the GG Bridge to the pier and another $114,000 to go back out. Nearly a quarter million dollars just to get the ship to the pier!!

 

Then the local Bay Pilot (required) is paid far more than any pilots anywhere else on earth.

It's $15,000 for him to stand on the bridge and drink coffee, while reading a newspaper for 2 hours, while coming into San Francisco. And then another $15,000 for him to drink more coffee for 2 hours on the way out.

Then the local Union Stevedores have to get their cut. We pay them over $40,000 to load and unload your suitcases.

Before the cruise has even started, the cruise line has paid nearly a third of a Million dollars to the port.

 

But then there are the wharfage fees, port fees, and head taxes that must be paid to the port. That's another $100,000.

 

Then the State of California gets in to the act.

The new state environmental laws require all ships sailing into and out of California ports to burn low sulfur marine gas oil when sailing within 45 miles of the California Coast. You know it as jet fuel.The cost is 250% higher than regular fuel.

Just the fuel required to get the ship from the 45 mile line to the port and back again is around $50,000.

So now the cruise is just a few hours old, and the ship has already had to spend around $500,000 to get into and out of San Francisco.

The total cost to visit Seattle or Vancouver (both much nicer ports) is around $100,000.

 

Where would you send your cruise ships???

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Bruce. This is exactly the information I was looking for. Looking forwards to our 5th cruise on the Star from SF in January 2015. Our first was back in 2003 from Long Beach when she was two years old.

 

I do remember the old Regal having a lot of charm and HUGE Mini-Suites (and no card key system as we know it today).

 

But must say that the Grand was showing her age when we sailed on her earlier this year.

Edited by cflutist
Link to post
Share on other sites

BruceMuzz-your points are well made, but I do take issue with some of them!! The tugs are required for a very good reason. The combined horsepower of the tugs must equal 5% of the gross weight of the ship, and have the power and bollard strength to control the ship should it loose power and or steerage. Can you imagine the cost and havoc if a ship hit the Golden Gate bridge and damage or destroyed it? Or perhaps ran aground and caused a massive oil spill killing and destroying marine habit and shorelines. All over the world, not just San Francisco Bay such escort tugs are now required by local authorities to help prevent such incidents. Perhaps in some parts of the world marine Pilots just stand around and drink coffee leaving all forms of navigation to the ship's officers. However in many areas of the world the "local knowledge" of the pilots is essential for the save movement of the ship. Concerns such as traffic management patterns, strong currents and eddies, effects of winds and their vortexes all are things that deep sea mariners, regardless of their expertise, have no hope of knowing for each of the many ports they visit. Pilots are often a nation's first line of defense for potential dangers sailing in from the seas, with a keen eye open to competency of the crew, condition of the vessel, and compliance with local regulations and laws. Tugs and pilots should not be taken lightly, they have a very important role to play in the safe navigation of ships. I have to comment on the longshore situationl

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce,

 

What is the source of the costs you have detailed? The sum of those costs is far more than for the Coral or Island to transit the Panama Canal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Azamara - We are back with New Greece Voyages
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...