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Reinstating PC does nothing for me. How about South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar and that area. Or around Japan without including China or South Korea. Or a segmented circling of the Americas ala the Australian circumnavigation. There are many more potential places, not just same old same old itineraries we get foisted on us.

 

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Africa just does not have the infrastructure yet to handle thousands and thousands of pax just suddenly appearing for a day. Maybe South Africa, but the vast majority of countries can’t. Madagascar definitely couldn’t handle that load. These more exotic places are better served by expedition ships, and not mass market cruise lines.

 

At least RCI is coming up with some more interesting things routes in Australia. I do not see why they don’t do some expanding in South America. A couple two week cruises from Rio ending in santiago during dec-feb would be a great time rather than flooding the Caribbean with even more ships.

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Most of the cruising public can't afford the longer, more exotic itineraries. Even if they have the money, most people won't invest that kind of time on a cruise vacation. We are a small group. Even on Cruise Critic we are a tiny part of the community as a whole. Royal knows that. They are a mass market cruise line. They know their niche, that is why they are successful.

 

I have still been able to find new and exciting itineraries for us. But even though many of our friends think we are cruise crazy we are way down the line from so many of you! We won't be D+ until after our Alaska cruise next year - that is another 33 days at sea. LOL! Maybe I will say ho-hum over Europe, Alaska and the Northeast, but not for a long time yet. There is much I haven't seen. I even would love to do a repeat of the Southern Caribbean, and even though I agree the Oasis Class itineraries are the same old same old, I am still looking at a cruise on that class again as they are a great multi-generational experience, IMHO. I recommend those for family reunion cruises all the time.

 

I do think they could fill their niche offering cruises from the West Coast,, though. Mexican Riviera is just one. I know, I am tired of that one,too - but many people are not. I have friends and co-workers here in Arizona seeking out Carnival who would prefer RCI just because they want the MR. I just set up a group of co-workers with a TA for a MR cruise on Carnival. Then there is the Sea of Cortez - an up and coming market. Also, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii R/T. I would do the last three in a heartbeat.:hearteyes:

 

Just look at the prices people will pay for the more exotic RCI routes. That just shows there is a demand.

 

Cruising and travel in general is exploding these days, especially with the advent of social media. There is no better advertisement for travel than social media. It gives people ideas of where to go and what to do that they would never have had before.

 

If they sail it, they will come. RCI is focusing on the mass market, but they can also expand their reach significantly given the size of their fleet. Given the number of pinnacles and diamond plus, they could almost assuredly pick a vision class ship and send it on a world cruise. Just look at how well the repositioning for the quantum classes that start in Barcelona and end in Shanghai do when they first launch. That’s a big boat to fill and they do it without much difficulty.

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Just look at the prices people will pay for the more exotic RCI routes. That just shows there is a demand.

 

Cruising and travel in general is exploding these days, especially with the advent of social media. There is no better advertisement for travel than social media. It gives people ideas of where to go and what to do that they would never have had before.

 

If they sail it, they will come. RCI is focusing on the mass market, but they can also expand their reach significantly given the size of their fleet. Given the number of pinnacles and diamond plus, they could almost assuredly pick a vision class ship and send it on a world cruise. Just look at how well the repositioning for the quantum classes that start in Barcelona and end in Shanghai do when they first launch. That’s a big boat to fill and they do it without much difficulty.

Been increasing their ship numbers for 25 years, still a limited number. For a while ships almost doubled in size every 10 yrs, 1978-23K Gross Tonnage, 1988-74K, 1998-138K, 2009-225K... Yes I'm paying a premium doing B2B both ways threw Panama Canal in Feb on Jewel, but the Spectrum Europe to Asia B2B isn't expense and not filling that fast. Lately Royal has started sending TA without passengers, know they are doing maintenance but rates were always a give away to fill the ship anyway. Royal won't be doing World cruise, at some point Celebrity might...

Edited by ONECRUISER
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Just look at the prices people will pay for the more exotic RCI routes. That just shows there is a demand.

 

Cruising and travel in general is exploding these days, especially with the advent of social media. There is no better advertisement for travel than social media. It gives people ideas of where to go and what to do that they would never have had before.

 

If they sail it, they will come. RCI is focusing on the mass market, but they can also expand their reach significantly given the size of their fleet. Given the number of pinnacles and diamond plus, they could almost assuredly pick a vision class ship and send it on a world cruise. Just look at how well the repositioning for the quantum classes that start in Barcelona and end in Shanghai do when they first launch. That’s a big boat to fill and they do it without much difficulty.

Quite, and not all RCI cruisers originate their cruises from North America, many of us are from the European countries and would/do happily fly further afield for new exotic itineraries that don't involve the US.

 

I'm UK based and next year's cruises include PNG out of Brisbane, Cook and Loyalty Islands out of Papeete and Sydney to Barcelona repo out of Sydney, all of which currently have cruisers booked from around the world, and that's just the ones on these boards.

 

There is definitely a market for exotics.

 

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Been increasing their ship numbers for 25 years, still a limited number. Yes I'm paying a premium doing B2B both ways threw Panama Canal in Feb on Jewel, but the Spectrum Europe to Asia B2B isn't expense and not filling that fast. Lately Royal has started sending TA without passengers, know they are doing maintenance but rates were always a give away to fill the ship anyway. Royal won't be doing World cruise, at some point might see Celebrity do it...

 

They have more ships than any other line, and they have the capacity.

 

No chance RCI ever does a world cruise, but I believe given the number of pinnacles and diamond plus it would fill.

 

I paid $4,600 for the cheapest inside cabin for the Ovation from Barcelona to Dubai. That is pretty pricey for a repositioning. And that was the lowest price I saw as I stalked it and got every price adjustment that came.

 

The Northbound TA is Absurd that stops in Greenland. Given what they are charging they are making crazy cash without even accounting for on board sales.

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Africa just does not have the infrastructure yet to handle thousands and thousands of pax just suddenly appearing for a day. Maybe South Africa, but the vast majority of countries can’t. Madagascar definitely couldn’t handle that load. These more exotic places are better served by expedition ships, and not mass market cruise lines.

 

At least RCI is coming up with some more interesting things routes in Australia. I do not see why they don’t do some expanding in South America. A couple two week cruises from Rio ending in santiago during dec-feb would be a great time rather than flooding the Caribbean with even more ships.

Sorry, a quick Google of "cruises to Madagascar" will show you that Costa, Fred Olsen and various lines world cruises already do visit Madagascar and the ships used definitely aren't small expedition size vessels.

 

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They have more ships than any other line, and they have the capacity.

 

No chance RCI ever does a world cruise, but I believe given the number of pinnacles and diamond plus it would fill.

 

I paid $4,600 for the cheapest inside cabin for the Ovation from Barcelona to Dubai. That is pretty pricey for a repositioning. And that was the lowest price I saw as I stalked it and got every price adjustment that came.

 

The Northbound TA is Absurd that stops in Greenland. Given what they are charging they are making crazy cash without even accounting for on board sales.

Yes agree there is a few over priced cruises. But for 16n and 14n Spectrum Europe/Asia total for 2 on a 30nite cruise is little over $6K in a Balcony. This before any discounts... Been sailing Royal 30+ yrs, retired, always looking for a deal but has to be in a great cabin like Aft/Corner. I'm doing 33n aft/corner on Serenade this Fall for $5300, but that's with the Diamond+ over 350point solo discount. I watch prices daily, 3 reductions so far... Back in the 1990's was Diamond, at most 6-8 of us on a preferred cruise. Now Diamond Plus for another 18 months, and when I'm on a Preferred Repo/TA I'm somewhere in the middle. Took 10 yrs off from cruising as Single Dad raising 3 kids on my own & finishing up my Army Career. Now, kids are in College and I'm making up for lost time...

Edited by ONECRUISER
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Sorry, a quick Google of "cruises to Madagascar" will show you that Costa, Fred Olsen and various lines world cruises already do visit Madagascar and the ships used definitely aren't small expedition size vessels.

 

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The Fred Olsen ship has a pax of 500, I’d consider that nearly expedition level. The Costa ship is smaller than the Vision class and has a pax in low 2000s, which is shockingly high. I was aware of the Fred Olsen ship but did not realize Costa and apparently MSC as well had started calling on that port, so I stand corrected as I did not realize that larger cruise ships had started stopping there. I had seen the cruises stopping in South Africa and Mauritius but didn’t realize they were stopping in Madagascar as well. I knew the small world cruises for princess were stopping but as a one off thing and not as a continual stop.. Makes sense though as Mauritius seems to have a budding tourism as does South Africa. The World Cup really was a boost to their tourism industry. I’d be interested to see how a tour bus manages those roads as the roads there are among the worst in the world. You are lucky to do 20-25mph on them and that’s in a small Jeep.

 

I guess my point is that these ports do not have the infrastructure to absorb 20k-25k in tourists just popping up in a day like St Thomas, Grand Cayman, etc. In the same way Havana and Cuba does not yet have the port capacity or infrastructure to handle endless waves of cruise ships on the same day, neither does Madagascar.

Edited by rimmit
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Yes agree there is a few over priced cruises. But for 16n and 14n Spectrum Europe/Asia total for 2 on a 30nite cruise is little over $6K in a Balcony. This before any discounts... Been sailing Royal 30+ yrs, retired, always looking for a deal but has to be in a great cabin like Aft/Corner. I'm doing 33n aft/corner on Serenade this Fall for $5300, but that's with the Diamond+ over 350point solo discount. I watch prices daily, 3 reductions so far... Back in the 1990's was Diamond, at most 6-8 of us on a preferred cruise. Now Diamond Plus for another 18 months, and when I'm on a Preferred Repo/TA I'm somewhere in the middle. Took 10 yrs off from cruising as Single Dad raising 3 kids on my own & finishing up my Army Career. Now, kids are in College and I'm making up for lost time...

 

I apologize. Forgot to mention that that was for a family of four in the inside as our 13 month and 5 year old were with us. Not sure what the two pax rate would have been. Either way we surf the deals and that was the most expensive repo we have ever done on a per night basis. Normally they are cheaper than that. However, given a more exciting stops they can charge more. There were 10 or 11 sea days if I remember. The standard price for this shoulda been in the lowere 3000s at least but because the stops were more exciting like Rome, Petra, Dubai it was notable more than a standard repo.

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Africa just does not have the infrastructure yet to handle thousands and thousands of pax just suddenly appearing for a day. Maybe South Africa, but the vast majority of countries can’t. Madagascar definitely couldn’t handle that load. These more exotic places are better served by expedition ships, and not mass market cruise lines.

 

At least RCI is coming up with some more interesting things routes in Australia. I do not see why they don’t do some expanding in South America. A couple two week cruises from Rio ending in santiago during dec-feb would be a great time rather than flooding the Caribbean with even more ships.

 

The short answer -- it's all about the money. RCI tried to develop their South American market in 2009, and had to abandon it 2 or 3 years later, as it was not producing enough onboard revenue. They do not seem to be any more eager to go back there than they do to Los Angeles. In addition, even though Mariner (Voyager Class) did the Around the Horn cruise in 2009, anyone who was on that will tell you that the ship did not navigate several ports very well. We scraped the bottom of the harbor in Buenos Aires, ever so slightly. So, that leaves the smaller ships, Radiance (4) and Vision Class (currently 4).

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The short answer -- it's all about the money. RCI tried to develop their South American market in 2009, and had to abandon it 2 or 3 years later, as it was not producing enough onboard revenue. They do not seem to be any more eager to go back there than they do to Los Angeles. In addition, even though Mariner (Voyager Class) did the Around the Horn cruise in 2009, anyone who was on that will tell you that the ship did not navigate several ports very well. We scraped the bottom of the harbor in Buenos Aires, ever so slightly. So, that leaves the smaller ships, Radiance (4) and Vision Class (currently 4).

 

Yes, the channel into and out of BA is thin narrow and shallow. We were caught blindsided by 100+MPH winds in that channel in 2000 on the Celebrity Mercury. The ship took major damage as it could not steer into the wind, and water was coming up on deck 5 and flooding the lower decks. The crew was in mass hysteria, and deck chairs were getting sucked off the deck like toothpicks. It was unbelievable. Unbeknownst to me, this was a landmark case in the cruise industry apparently in regards to safety. I found out MANY years later on another cruise ship when I was talking to our waiter one day about winds and bad weather and told him about this cruise. His eyes LIT UP and IMMEDIATELY knew what cruise we were talking about. He said the Chief Safety Officer on that ship got onto a life boat and tried to launch it with just himself aboard it. He said it is a case that is reviewed and talked about in all safety lectures as WHAT NOT TO DO. Apparently the Safety Officer was blacklisted in the industry after that cruise, and is no longer in the cruise industry. If this event happened in todays social media climate, it would be all over facebook and the media. They lost THOUSANDS of dishes as it was during dinner and all the entrees were already prepared in the galley and all the gift shops were overturned and our cabin furniture was all against the door when we got back to cabin from sliding from one end of the room to the other. They were serving dishes on whatever plates they could scrounge up. We then missed our next port due to wind, so couldn't get any resupplies, and then finally got at least some supplies in Ushuaia.

 

Sorry for the long story. So yes, Money talks and clearly in 2009 it was not profitable enough to maintain. I question if marketing was the problem. Those were marketed primarily to the Brazilian market in the same way the Asian cruises are primarily marketed toward Asia and are "Culturally Enriching" as the staff is converted to accommodate the crowd they are marketing toward. Had they marketed more toward the an international crowd, rather than local market, maybe it would have made a difference?? What was the passenger demographic then? On our cruise around the horn in 2000 it was from everywhere, with a slight predominance of US and Europeans. Was the Mariner primarily Brazilians and South Americans or was there more of an international flavor? I know the "culturally enriching" tag can maybe scare off some travelers, as most prefer to be on a ship in which they know the predominant language.

 

Those ports in general are windy, and missed ports is pretty common. Perhaps that played apart. Also the seas are pretty rough going around the horn, and maybe passenger feedback fed into the decision to abandon those routes. It's a pity as it is gorgeous down there. I love traveling to the Patagonia and that region.

Edited by rimmit
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I apologize. Forgot to mention that that was for a family of four in the inside as our 13 month and 5 year old were with us. Not sure what the two pax rate would have been. Either way we surf the deals and that was the most expensive repo we have ever done on a per night basis. Normally they are cheaper than that. However, given a more exciting stops they can charge more. There were 10 or 11 sea days if I remember. The standard price for this shoulda been in the lowere 3000s at least but because the stops were more exciting like Rome, Petra, Dubai it was notable more than a standard repo.

No problem, enjoying reading your experiences...

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Yes, the channel into and out of BA is thin narrow and shallow. We were caught blindsided by 100+MPH winds in that channel in 2000 on the Celebrity Mercury. The ship took major damage as it could not steer into the wind, and water was coming up on deck 5 and flooding the lower decks. The crew was in mass hysteria, and deck chairs were getting sucked off the deck like toothpicks. It was unbelievable. Unbeknownst to me, this was a landmark case in the cruise industry apparently in regards to safety. I found out MANY years later on another cruise ship when I was talking to our waiter one day about winds and bad weather and told him about this cruise. His eyes LIT UP and IMMEDIATELY knew what cruise we were talking about. He said the Chief Safety Officer on that ship got onto a life boat and tried to launch it with just himself aboard it. He said it is a case that is reviewed and talked about in all safety lectures as WHAT NOT TO DO. Apparently the Safety Officer was blacklisted in the industry after that cruise, and is no longer in the cruise industry. If this event happened in todays social media climate, it would be all over facebook and the media. They lost THOUSANDS of dishes as it was during dinner and all the entrees were already prepared in the galley and all the gift shops were overturned and our cabin furniture was all against the door when we got back to cabin from sliding from one end of the room to the other. They were serving dishes on whatever plates they could scrounge up. We then missed our next port due to wind, so couldn't get any resupplies, and then finally got at least some supplies in Ushuaia.

 

Sorry for the long story. So yes, Money talks and clearly in 2009 it was not profitable enough to maintain. I question if marketing was the problem. Those were marketed primarily to the Brazilian market in the same way the Asian cruises are primarily marketed toward Asia and are "Culturally Enriching" as the staff is converted to accommodate the crowd they are marketing toward. Had they marketed more toward the an international crowd, rather than local market, maybe it would have made a difference?? What was the passenger demographic then? On our cruise around the horn in 2000 it was from everywhere, with a slight predominance of US and Europeans. Was the Mariner primarily Brazilians and South Americans or was there more of an international flavor? I know the "culturally enriching" tag can maybe scare off some travelers, as most prefer to be on a ship in which they know the predominant language.

 

Those ports in general are windy, and missed ports is pretty common. Perhaps that played apart. Also the seas are pretty rough going around the horn, and maybe passenger feedback fed into the decision to abandon those routes. It's a pity as it is gorgeous down there. I love traveling to the Patagonia and that region.

 

Quite a story, thanks for sharing. I had not heard it before.

 

I think RCI did market their SA itineraries to Brazilians. When we went around, there were a lot of Brazilians onboard, but also a lot of Americans and Canadians, with a sprinkling or Europeans (if I recall correctly). Most of the Brazilians were on the first segment only, from PC to Rio. Marketing could have been a problem, as well, but I think the Great Recession also contributed to low bookings. We never got the feeling we were in the minority on the ships -- English was still the primary language spoken, at least on Mariner. I don't think RCI attached the culturally enriching tag, to those sailings, anyway.

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We did Rhapsody from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires the Horn in February 2016. Due to wind we didn't go "Around the Horn" but the cruise after ours from BA back to Valparaiso did. I think that was the last year RCI did SA itineraries. Celebrity and other cruise lines still do and in Mar 2019 many Royal Caribbean cruisers are sailing b2b on Eclipse from BA to San Diego. This itinerary is in demand and cabins sold quickly.

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We did Rhapsody from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires the Horn in February 2016. Due to wind we didn't go "Around the Horn" but the cruise after ours from BA back to Valparaiso did. I think that was the last year RCI did SA itineraries. Celebrity and other cruise lines still do and in Mar 2019 many Royal Caribbean cruisers are sailing b2b on Eclipse from BA to San Diego. This itinerary is in demand and cabins sold quickly.

 

Those Celebrity cruises are very expensive as we were looking into it, but may do something in Southeast asia instead where the prices are more reasonable.

 

But this is my point, there is clearly a demand, I just question if RCI wasn't marketing the South American cruises well? If they can fill the ships doing Norwegian Fjords, and Southeast Asia, I would think there would be demand for South America.

 

I realize the Brazilian economy is in the tank right now, but you would think there would be stronger international demand, as shown by the prices of the Celebrity cruises, which are much higher than other routes that Celebrity cruises. The bean counters clearly have access to analytics that my off the cuff analysis does not. That's what they are paid for.

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Quite a story, thanks for sharing. I had not heard it before.

 

I think RCI did market their SA itineraries to Brazilians. When we went around, there were a lot of Brazilians onboard, but also a lot of Americans and Canadians, with a sprinkling or Europeans (if I recall correctly). Most of the Brazilians were on the first segment only, from PC to Rio. Marketing could have been a problem, as well, but I think the Great Recession also contributed to low bookings. We never got the feeling we were in the minority on the ships -- English was still the primary language spoken, at least on Mariner. I don't think RCI attached the culturally enriching tag, to those sailings, anyway.

 

If we had digital cameras and facebook back then it would have been everywhere. Celebrity did a great job IGNORING anything ever happened. NOT ONE ANNOUNCEMENT EVER during the cruise that anything had gone wrong. No acknowledgement that there was any disaster whatsoever, despite the fact that the ship had clearly taken on damage and most of the areas near the doors on deck 5 were soaked, and the floors below had water everywhere from where the water was pouring in through the doors. The fact that the crew was coming up from below deck in their lifejackets in a panic was not making matters better, and made me realize in a true emergency it was every man for themselves. I was a teenager with that feeling of invincibility at the time, and me and many other teens were on the top deck under cover watching the pools empty out and deck chairs get sucked off the deck. The pitch was enough that a bunch of chairs slid and blocked the sliding doors, and eventually crew saw us out there, rushed to the door, shoved the chairs aside and literally picked us up and moved us inside. The ship's stabilizer was damaged afterwards, and we were cruising at a slight tilt for the remainder of the cruise. We had heard the rumor that the Chief Safety Officer tried to launch a life boat by himself, but thought it was just a rumor. It wasn't until many years later, I think on the Celebrity Solstice, that we met a waiter who knew the full story of everything that had happened. Small world.

 

I think it was marketed as "Cultural Immersion" or something like that as I remember looking into those cruises, but the fact that they stated that the cruise would be primarily catered to Brazilians made me a little weary to go back on that Itinerary with RCI.

 

Either way, maybe someday RCI as they keep adding ships will find some more interesting places to go. In the mean time, we enjoy RCI, but are open to other lines as well these days just for a change of pace and locations, and once the kiddos get older we can get back to doing vacations that don't have a kids program and kids specific activities all the time.

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If we had digital cameras and facebook back then it would have been everywhere. Celebrity did a great job IGNORING anything ever happened. NOT ONE ANNOUNCEMENT EVER during the cruise that anything had gone wrong. No acknowledgement that there was any disaster whatsoever, despite the fact that the ship had clearly taken on damage and most of the areas near the doors on deck 5 were soaked, and the floors below had water everywhere from where the water was pouring in through the doors. The fact that the crew was coming up from below deck in their lifejackets in a panic was not making matters better, and made me realize in a true emergency it was every man for themselves. I was a teenager with that feeling of invincibility at the time, and me and many other teens were on the top deck under cover watching the pools empty out and deck chairs get sucked off the deck. The pitch was enough that a bunch of chairs slid and blocked the sliding doors, and eventually crew saw us out there, rushed to the door, shoved the chairs aside and literally picked us up and moved us inside. The ship's stabilizer was damaged afterwards, and we were cruising at a slight tilt for the remainder of the cruise. We had heard the rumor that the Chief Safety Officer tried to launch a life boat by himself, but thought it was just a rumor. It wasn't until many years later, I think on the Celebrity Solstice, that we met a waiter who knew the full story of everything that had happened. Small world.

 

I think it was marketed as "Cultural Immersion" or something like that as I remember looking into those cruises, but the fact that they stated that the cruise would be primarily catered to Brazilians made me a little weary to go back on that Itinerary with RCI.

 

Either way, maybe someday RCI as they keep adding ships will find some more interesting places to go. In the mean time, we enjoy RCI, but are open to other lines as well these days just for a change of pace and locations, and once the kiddos get older we can get back to doing vacations that don't have a kids program and kids specific activities all the time.

 

Hopefully neither of us will ever have that experience (again). I think I would hang up my swim fins if something like that happened to me.:eek:

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Quite a story, thanks for sharing. I had not heard it before.

 

I think RCI did market their SA itineraries to Brazilians. When we went around, there were a lot of Brazilians onboard, but also a lot of Americans and Canadians, with a sprinkling or Europeans (if I recall correctly). Most of the Brazilians were on the first segment only, from PC to Rio. Marketing could have been a problem, as well, but I think the Great Recession also contributed to low bookings. We never got the feeling we were in the minority on the ships -- English was still the primary language spoken, at least on Mariner. I don't think RCI attached the culturally enriching tag, to those sailings, anyway.

Another recent problem was that at the height of the Olympics and world cup in Brazil they simply stopped providing visas. As a result NCL was selling 10 day cruises, inside cabins for $289 pp. Their prices are much higher now, but they have cut down on the number of SA cruises.

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I just did a cruise on Celebrity Eclipse out of Dublin that included Iceland and Scotland...I would have much rather sailed this itinerary on my favorite RCI...it seems like RCI could have...Agree they need to expand on their itineraries...their getting kinda stale.

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I just did a cruise on Celebrity Eclipse out of Dublin that included Iceland and Scotland...I would have much rather sailed this itinerary on my favorite RCI...it seems like RCI could have...Agree they need to expand on their itineraries...their getting kinda stale.

 

We've done similar itineraries on RCL a few times, twice out of Harwich, and once out of Copenhagen without Ireland but including Scotland. The August North Atlantic TA's are usually similar to what you are describing.

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We've done similar itineraries on RCL a few times, twice out of Harwich, and once out of Copenhagen without Ireland but including Scotland. The August North Atlantic TA's are usually similar to what you are describing.

Yes...similar but not the same...and certainly not interested in a TA and why I said RCI could easily do this particular itinerary.

 

Over night and departed from Dublin so we had two nights on the ship....then a sea day...then over night in Reykjavik then Akureyri...at sea...Lerwick...at sea...Cork..back to Dublin.

 

This was just an amazing 10 night itinerary....we saw and did so much using private tours...I just wish it would have been on RCI...not a fan of X now that I've tried it...other than the food ;)

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