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Ocean Princess for sale


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I just got off a wonderful cruise on the Holland America Prinsendam, which is a small ship about the same size as the Ocean and Pacific. During a public Q&A session with the Captain, he indicated that he heard that the smaller Princess ships were going to be transferred to HAL.

 

Interesting, since HAL is sending two of its mid-size ships to P&O. The Prinsendam has a very loyal following, so perhaps HAL wants to build on that niche market?

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RDSGIRL-How do I know if I have never taken a holiday on one? Ever working day I am on ships, including Pacific several times over the last few months. And, I do see beyond the doors marked "crew only". And that is exactly why I have avoid the 8 old R ships. I must admit though, that Oceania's Regatta is absolutely stunning after her major refit earlier this summer, but still not part of my holiday plans. At least they threw more than paint, upholstery fabric and carpets into the old girl.

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RDSGIRL-How do I know if I have never taken a holiday on one? Ever working day I am on ships, including Pacific several times over the last few months.

 

Working on ships is the same thing as taking holidays on one? Wow! Guess I better get me one of those jobs. A paycheck in exchange for sleeping in nice cabins, eating in the MDR, being waited on hand and foot, taking interesting shore excursions in exotic places, whiling away the evening in a nice cocktail lounge? Yep, I can see that you are certainly qualified to make judgments about the sailing experience on the Ocean or Pacific.

Edited by shredie
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:(. Bummer...we love the small ships. Did a World Cruise and West Africa on the former TP, Tahitian Princess, now called Ocean Princess and did Amazon on the Pacific....some of our favorite voyages ...love the libraries.

 

Sad to see them go.....

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Oh No :eek: I hope the sale takes a while. We love the small ships but like a lot of others thought that it was only a matter of time before they were moved aside.

 

Our first cruise in recent years was in 2005 on Pacific Princess when she was based in Sydney over the cruising season and we fell in love with the small ships then :D We would be more than happy if she was sent to Princess Aus but I don't think that this is going to happen any time soon. While we have enjoyed our cruises on the larger ships such as Sun, Dawn and Diamond Princess we much prefer the small ones. Our choice as we enjoy the lack of crowds and ease of tendering and the more intimate atmosphere. Not to mention being able to sail up the Saigon River to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City;)

 

We just completed 51 days from Sydney to Cape Town on Ocean and found her to be in good shape so hopefully that doesn't change while she is on the for sale list.

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2015

 

Compagnie du Ponant - Le Lyrial - 264

Viking - Viking Star - 930

 

2016

 

Regent Seven Seas - Seven Seas Explorer - 938

Viking - Viking Sky - 930

Viking - Viking Sea - 930

Seabourn - unnamed - 604

Seatrader Insider

 

Amongst all the mega ship new builds for the mass market, nice to see that there are still new builds under 1,000 passengers.

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We love the small ships and we are booked on the Ocean again for a Singapore to Cape Town cruise in April of next year. I have my fingers crossed that it won't be sold and we still be able to cruise on her one last time.

 

Saying that, we do love HAL's Prinsendam which is a really beautiful ship with bigger public rooms etc. than the little "R" ships. HAL though has increased the prices on that ship and are now charging top price for a cruise. The Prinsendam is a much older ship than the all the ex "R" ships and has had its share of troubles on board such as the air conditioning not working properly, the sprinklers coming on for no reason etc. so if HAL does take over the little ships, I would imagine that perhaps the Prinsendam could be retired.

 

I hate to see the end of the small ships and I think we would probably stop cruising as we really don't like the bigger ships. Of course if they sent the Pacific and Ocean Princess down here it would be a huge bonus for the Aussie market.

 

By the way we have done the Amazon cruise in a larger ship than the Ocean or Pacific. We did it back in 2006 on HAL's Veendam and we made it to Manaus where we spent 2 days before returning and finishing the cruise in Tampa.

 

Jennie

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I have to admit, I'll be disappointed when they're gone, especially if the Ocean goes before the one I have scheduled for next december. That said, I'm wondering how easy it's going to be to get rid of them, because I don't really see a huge market for companies that are going to want them. I seriously doubt Oceania would have any interest, even they've gone to larger ships. Azamera seems unlikely too, because last I heard they've had issues making a profit as it is, so I serious doubt they'd be looking to add more of that size ship. The unfortunate thing is that it's just tough these days to make money with a ship this size at prices people are willing to pay. Luxury lines can get away with it easier because they command a pretty significant premium in price, but I don't see that any of them are going to be in a hurry to acquire these particular ships.

 

I'd be curious just how big a ship you could run up the Amazon. My guess is it's a lot larger than most people would expect, although sand bars can be an issue. But there were some pretty decent sized cargo ships a long ways up, and the reality is that until you've really seen the Amazon, it's hard to comprehend just how much water is there, even at the low times of the year. Even during the dry times, the river is still really deep enough for navigation.

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Thanks for the info & something I thought would happen sooner than later. With the Pacific's fully booked 50th anniversary cruise in December 2015 she'll be sailing Princess until then & probably kept in good condition. :)

 

It'll be interesting to see if Oceania who already has a couple of these old Renaissance ships in their fleet will purchase these three ships & remodel them.

 

The Island will be sailing Med cruises beginning next summer because she is the largest Princess ship (along with her sister the Coral) allowed in Venice. Before then she is undergoing a 5 week drydock which among other changes will add more cabins.

 

Frank;

 

I'm curious as to where on the Island will they be adding the extra cabins.....:):):)

 

Bob

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Frank;

 

I'm curious as to where on the Island will they be adding the extra cabins.....:):):)

 

Bob

Hi Bob,

 

Previous discussions have said they would be added in the area of the Universe Lounge overhaul being done to improve site lines in the showroom. It was also said the Bayou Café would be replaced by a Crown Grill. I have no way to know the source of that information & would consider it merely speculation until something official is released by Princess.

 

I hoped the Princess site about the Island's "revitalization" would have more info but only mentions the extra 120 cabins which to me isn't the highlight of a "multimillion dollar drydock upgrade" that I wanted to hear about.

 

http://www.princess.com/learn/ships/ip/new-island-princess/

 

I looked at both versions of the Island's deck plans plus went through a post-drydock cruise booking & I cannot find any new cabins nor any other changes that I've read about in CC posts.

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send em to australia, a dumping ground for tired old ships lol

 

Sadly true. It would be nice to see a brand new Princess ship for Australian waters.

 

However, we will likely continue to get the hand-me-down liners since we willingly accept them as customers (just as we do with second hand fashion from the northern Hemisphere).

 

It's clear with the sale that Princess is repositioning itself as a big ship fleet with newer vessels. There is a place for small ships, but having huge variation as Princess does currently must be financially problematic. It's inevitably better for the bottom line to have younger, bigger ships (just like what legacy airlines are doing With aircraft fleets).

 

In these high fuel price, low fare times it makes good business sense to sell.

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The bride said "Can we buy her .. pleeeeease can we buy her, pretty please."

 

Funny, I had that thought too. At first I thought I didn't have enough friends to join us on private voyages. Then I realized I certainly do, they're all here on Cruise Critic.

 

I ran the idea by my bride who quickly got out the checkbook ... and used it to smack me across the head.

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Funny, I had that thought too. At first I thought I didn't have enough friends to join us on private voyages. Then I realized I certainly do, they're all here on Cruise Critic.

 

I ran the idea by my bride who quickly got out the checkbook ... and used it to smack me across the head.

 

Just noticed that you have booked a 64 day FLL return around South America for 3/1/2016 on Ocean Princess.

 

Why would Princess have such a lengthy cruise being marketed for 2016, when the ship is for sale?

 

Do the bean counters have any idea of what is entailed for a cruiser, from say Australia, to organise such a cruise, usually with land content?

 

We have flown overseas to join both our cruises on Ocean Princess, both with land content. However, I would now be reluctant to make plans involving Ocean Princess long term, which is disappointing.

 

I can just hear the bean counters saying "See there is little interest in the smaller ships", without acknowledging they may be the root cause, in this case.

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Cruise lines look at the fleet in 5, 10, 20 year terms. The Ocean Princess may need upgrades and maintenance in the further that just may not be financially viable for a smaller ship due to the huge capital expenditure. Selling this ship may not viable in the short term, but as long as there isn't any major issues with the operations they'll keep it in the fleet as long as possible. You saw that with the original Pacific Princess. Selling the ship doesn't mean it isn't profitable; just that larger ships are more profitable due to economies of scale.

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Just noticed that you have booked a 64 day FLL return around South America for 3/1/2016 on Ocean Princess.

 

Why would Princess have such a lengthy cruise being marketed for 2016, when the ship is for sale?

 

Do the bean counters have any idea of what is entailed for a cruiser, from say Australia, to organise such a cruise, usually with land content?

 

We have flown overseas to join both our cruises on Ocean Princess, both with land content. However, I would now be reluctant to make plans involving Ocean Princess long term, which is disappointing.

 

I can just hear the bean counters saying "See there is little interest in the smaller ships", without acknowledging they may be the root cause, in this case.

 

At first I thought you had the date wrong but realised (notice I can spell in both languages) you use a more logical date format than us Yanks.

 

Yes we are booked for the 3-Jan-2016 cruise. We're taking 2015 off from cruising to save up for this trip. That's most likely why I'm advocating to "Save the Ocean Princess".

 

Why do they still sell cruises that far out? Because the Ocean Princess might not sell by then. If it does, the deal might not close by that time either. If it does, Princess will do the math and make sure they're covered financially in the sale price for any costs they incur by cancelling future cruises.

 

I agree in your case, I'd be reluctant as well to book OP with such uncertainty. NOTE: Full suites on this cruise are already sold out.

 

In our case it's domestic flights, albeit across most of the continent, and we intend to use frequent flyer miles which are simpler to cancel and get miles reinstated (for a fee of course).

 

Flight bookings in the US will open in March 2015 for the outbound segment and in May for the return. We'll be checking with our TA and/or Princess in March for what kind of guarantees we can get regarding our commitments.

 

For now, all we've invested is two refundable FCCs plus lots of enthusiasm.

 

I'm hoping this cruise fills in spite of the uncertainty. Using an FCC to book isn't a big commitment at this time and could push the bean-counter's scales toward keeping the OP a bit longer.

Edited by beg3yrs
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Just noticed that you have booked a 64 day FLL return around South America for 3/1/2016 on Ocean Princess.

 

Why would Princess have such a lengthy cruise being marketed for 2016, when the ship is for sale?

 

Do the bean counters have any idea of what is entailed for a cruiser, from say Australia, to organise such a cruise, usually with land content?

 

We have flown overseas to join both our cruises on Ocean Princess, both with land content. However, I would now be reluctant to make plans involving Ocean Princess long term, which is disappointing.

 

I can just hear the bean counters saying "See there is little interest in the smaller ships", without acknowledging they may be the root cause, in this case.

 

I strongly suspect that Princess is counting on most of the cruising public to be unaware of the possibility that Ocean Princess might be sold (and if there is a sale, a whole bunch of cruises will be cancelled). On that basis, they are counting on there being enough people continuing to book the ship so that Princess still will be able to make money on those cruises.

 

As someone else has posted, I strongly believe that cruises on the small ships are profitable for Princess, just not as profitable as are the cruises on larger ships. If these trips were not profitable, Princess would simply mothball the small ships rather than continue to operate them and lose money on each cruise. So they'd be happy to continue to book and operate these cruises as long as they still own the ship. If/when a sale happens, they will have to deal with some very disappointed customers and there will be some amount of goodwill lost, but pragmatically, that will relate to a very small fraction of the cruising population. At least that's what I suspect their thinking is.

 

As it happens, as one who does know about Princess' desire to sell the ship, that is inhibiting me from booking the Ocean Princess. We've been seriously looking at a July, 2015 cruise on this ship and were probably a day or two away from placing a booking when I read about the ship being for sale. As you point out, there are additional costs one incurs when booking a cruise (e.g., insurance, airfare) and these are non-refundable (at least in part). In our situation, I figure that I'd be looking at about $1000 out-of-pocket in insurance costs and airline change fees if the cruise is cancelled and I doubt very much that Princess would reimburse me for that. (I sent an email to Princess yesterday asking about this but I've not yet gotten a response. I'll be surprised if Princess says they will reimburse such expenses.) Based on what I know now, if I book the Ocean Princess I'm betting about $1000 that Princess will not be able to sell the ship before July 2015. Yes, it's probably unlikely a sale will happen by then but why should I have to place this bet at all?

 

For those who already have a booking on Ocean Princess, presumably there is no decision they need to make at this time-- unless they have not yet booked airfare. But for those who might be considering a booking and know about the possibility of a sale... Princess has created quite a bit of uncertainty for us.

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Thanks for the info & something I thought would happen sooner than later. With the Pacific's fully booked 50th anniversary cruise in December 2015 she'll be sailing Princess until then & probably kept in good condition. :)

 

It'll be interesting to see if Oceania who already has a couple of these old Renaissance ships in their fleet will purchase these three ships & remodel them.

 

The Island will be sailing Med cruises beginning next summer because she is the largest Princess ship (along with her sister the Coral) allowed in Venice. Before then she is undergoing a 5 week drydock which among other changes will add more cabins.

 

Or Azamara. Their 2 ship fleet is also made up entirely of these old Renaissance Cruise ships

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