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Is Princess turning off their customer base?


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On 11/29/2018 at 7:37 PM, Cruise Junky said:

As mentioned, you don’t attract a younger crowd with 4:45pm dining. That’s aimed at the nursing home crowd. They need to pick a demographic.  Their marketing and actions are opposing each other. 

the younger demographic tends to go more Anytime than traditional so not much impact there.

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On 12/2/2018 at 10:29 AM, Coral said:

 

Also remember - some people simply can not "disconnect". In today's world, some are expected to check work emails on vacation and also, some have had aging parents (or children) at home that they need to check on. For awhile - I could not get away unless I could check in daily back home. Everyone's circumstances are different. 

There is also the reality that an increasing number of jobs have no geographic or temporal boundaries.  My wife has a job where it is entirely possible that fast internet would mean the ability to work part time while we cruise the world, with little to no restrictions on time and place.  Further, access to high speed connectivity allows for those who are working on a degree or do free-lance work to travel and still maintain connectivity.

 

That isn't to say that we (myself and my wife) don't enjoy disconnecting from the world now, because the opportunity to travel is severely limited by my work commitments, but high-speed internet at sea has the potential to change the paradigm for us and others in the future.  For a large number of travellers, the line between vacation, work, travel and home life has the potential to become increasingly blurred.  I for one think it will be great for us.

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I think some folks are confusing advances in technology with changing the focus of who their baseline customer is.  Call me crazy, but this site is filled with folks that are using advanced technology from a  short decade ago.  We are reading "Live blogs" from cruisers on ships all over the world.  Technology is not limited to the young (although they are more adaptable to some forms of technology...like gaming).  How many of you 50+ or 60+ or even 70+ have smart phones, and I-pads, and other forms of technology that make life easier or more fun?  The advances by Princess are geared at making things better, easier, and yes, in some ways hoping to attract new customers that may be younger with more mad money burning a hole in their pocket!!

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I see the techie approach, as just another version of Big Brother, trying to shake more money out of your pockets while on board.  I do not plan you use the tech stuff at ... do need it, we spend money on board but probably are not high rollers, lol.

I don't need some one to anticipate when I might want a drink... etc.    We get a mini suite, spend a good deal of time there, enjoy the crown Grill often, take in a show if catches are fancy... don't gamble any more because it has been high tech spoiled for me.  Even bingo... not much as much for me, do believe you can't win unless you use the high version...i only play the last day, last game... 

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On 11/30/2018 at 11:57 PM, Crystal04 said:

To keep up with the times they need to upgrade their TV's. Flat screens and on demand have kind of been a thing for quite some time now. 

 

You are, of course, correct.  I apologize for misinterpreting your original post.

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Just going to point out the obvious here... 

The "customer base" is getting older.... and dying off.  If they don't attract a younger audience, the cruise line will also die off. 

I'm 39, btw, and I love Princess. I also enjoy the more laid back "old people" excursions - not the ziplines and such. 

 

~Blondee419

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On 12/4/2018 at 2:04 PM, cougaraz said:

There is also the reality that an increasing number of jobs have no geographic or temporal boundaries.  My wife has a job where it is entirely possible that fast internet would mean the ability to work part time while we cruise the world, with little to no restrictions on time and place.  Further, access to high speed connectivity allows for those who are working on a degree or do free-lance work to travel and still maintain connectivity.

 

That isn't to say that we (myself and my wife) don't enjoy disconnecting from the world now, because the opportunity to travel is severely limited by my work commitments, but high-speed internet at sea has the potential to change the paradigm for us and others in the future.  For a large number of travellers, the line between vacation, work, travel and home life has the potential to become increasingly blurred.  I for one think it will be great for us.

Me too!! I used to work at a manufacturing company and was a willing slave to my job. I loved it! Then I got laid off. Now I’m consulting on the same software, and I still love it. However, when I vacation I disconnect 100%. They get me 24/7 when I’m working. I’m okay saying my 5 or 10 weekdays days off are mine. 

I could work while vacationing. High speed Internet would make that possible. After years of being irritated with Princess that the Internet was too slow to do that, I’ve become comfortable saying, I’m on vacation, talk to you when I get back. It’s so freeing to not lug around my work bag with me! I could bonus more and make more money if I worked on vacation but so many people die after they retire! I want to enjoy life while I can 

Edited by jennybenny
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We have for the past 8 years nearly exclusively traveled on cruise lines because of our kids (the cruise line's daycare generally start at 3 years old; hotel/resort daycare usually starts at a much older age at which time it is much easier to take care of your kids yourself.)  Our last cruise had to be on Cunard, since we had a 2 year old and they are one of the few lines that take 2 year olds into drop off daycare.  Our itinerary to Norway was determined by the one cruise Cunard offered that went to Geiranger and Flam and was after our youngest turned 2 and eligible to be dropped off at daycare.  After that sailing, we learned that Princess is still our favorite cruise line, but Cunard is a very nice line and we would happily sail that again if we like their itinerary.

 

I think the kids club could be a place cruise lines can really compete to try to bring in a  younger demographic without ruining the experience for older cruisers.  If Princess had a fee based nursery for children under 3, I think more families would have a stronger incentive to try Princess over other lines.  Some lines also offer meals in which the children eat under the supervision of the kids club staff (which will get the children out of the main dining rooms, where they will annoy other patrons).  Or they have family dining, in which families are assigned early seating and the children eat their food quickly and are picked up by the kids club staff halfway through the early seating and taken back to the kids club so the parents can eat the rest of their dinner in peace and the kids are less likely to be disruptive since they don't need to wait for their food - it just comes out quickly, they can eat and go play.  Of course, there are people who don't want extra children on board so all of this would just annoy them.  And that goes back to the core question of this discussion - how does Princess attract new and younger cruisers without upsetting the core base.  

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kitkat,

I think it is a very fine line on the kids club. We have been cruising almost exclusively Princess with our DS (9 now, started cruising at 6 mo). From my observations, on Princess kids tend to be generally way better behaved than any other cruiseline we have tried with DS (Carnival, NCL). Personally, I think this is because time at kids club is somewhat limited and parents end up actually actively supervising kids for big part of the day vs. dropping them off and getting plastered by the pool (you all know which line I am thinking of). Plus, Princess attracts different type of passenger/family - my DS actually enjoys all Discovery channel activities/excursion Princess offers and could care less about waterslide on the ship.

We have sailed ships full of kids (sping break/easter) and almost no kids (total of 32 on the whole Ruby one year) and to me there was not much difference from behavioral standpoint. Unless you are actively looking to be annoyed at youngsters, they were all very well behaved. Plus the tone parents/grandparents set for the vacation and how they behave themselves towards fellow passengers translates to how polite and behaved kids are.

Princess does offer supervised meals for kids, BTW. They do lunch on port days and "kids only" dinner on fancy nights.

 

Edited by nattie
typo
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Just off the Regal....

MANY medallions now onboard.

 

The thing that I notices and liked was that the music and the main band ROCKED!!!!!!

Very different and improved vibe over our last cruise a couple years ago.

I still cannot imagine wanting to bring a kid or teen or even very young adult onboard.

 

To answer your question, though...

After this cruise on the Regal...  "Is Princess turning off their customer base?"

My answer is def. 'yes'.

We found much to be lacking.

The Medallions and the Entertainment were not a factor at all.

 

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34 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

Just off the Regal....

MANY medallions now onboard.

 

The thing that I notices and liked was that the music and the main band ROCKED!!!!!!

Very different and improved vibe over our last cruise a couple years ago.

I still cannot imagine wanting to bring a kid or teen or even very young adult onboard.

 

To answer your question, though...

After this cruise on the Regal...  "Is Princess turning off their customer base?"

My answer is def. 'yes'.

We found much to be lacking.

The Medallions and the Entertainment were not a factor at all.

 

Please expound.  I currently have the Regal(for Feb sailing) on hold and need to decide by tomorrow.  We previously sailed her in Dec 2018 and really enjoyed the cruise.  I AM encouraged by your comments in regard to the live music as that of great importance to us when cruising.  I would appreciate anything you are willing to share.  Thank you.

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Just posted a very truthful, hopefully objective, and thorough review.

 

Xcite is amazing.  Most of the entertainment is really good-excellent!!!

 

They truly 'carried' this cruise!

"Don't 'Believe Me, Just watch..!!!!!"

Their version of Hey Jude brought down the house.   Beatlemaniacs paled in compare.

 

Yes, there were some factors that I found to be down-sides.  But, overall, the cruise and entertainment were great!

 

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We have often questioned the “loyalty” thing when it comes to cruise lines.  After more then forty years of extensive cruising  we acknowledge that passengers do change as they age.  Cruise lines are also constantly evolving.  It is up to the customer to select the travel/cruise option that best meets their current needs/wants.    That is why we are currently on our 15th cruise line....and it is not Princess.

 

My point is to simply do your homework and make the best decision.  When a line is no longer meeting your needs then go elsewhere.

 

Hank

PS.  We still cruise on Princess...but with far lower expectations then in the past.

 

 

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Forgive me if my response has already been addressed above.  I haven't read through all the replies since a lot was focused on the meal hours.

To me, it's are they moving us toward a reason to stay or a reason to leave?  The brand was built on the pocketbooks of people such as ourselves that have cruised almost exclusively with Princess for over 25 years and 40+ voyages. For that, what do we get? The loyalty program is getting to be a joke.  We get the same benefits as those that can do 45 days if they accumulate 15 voyages.  Granted some of the perks with Elite are nice and welcomed, but they pale against other cruise lines with similar cruise history.

Give a reason for the current base to stay loyal and not want to "jump ship".  Expand the loyalty program to add an upper level.  Provide a more variety of itinerary.  Bring back more educational programs for those sea days. Have a broad entertainment experience that appeals to all demographics and, above all, maintain a level of quality throughout the total experience. 

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On 11/29/2018 at 8:52 PM, Cruise Junky said:

The people who had their early dining arbitrarily moved to 4:45 with no notice didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to keep traditional dining. Granted, booking now and knowing what we do about their dining times you can plan for later. 

Mine moved from 7:15 to 8 so I met with the maitre d 1st day and ate at 6. So not sure what you mean by 'didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to keep traditional dining'

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29 minutes ago, Ombud said:

Mine moved from 7:15 to 8 so I met with the maitre d 1st day and ate at 6. So not sure what you mean by 'didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to keep traditional dining'

Did you originally have early dining that was moved to 4:45? If not then my post has nothing to do with your situation. 

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2 minutes ago, Cruise Junky said:

Did you originally have early dining that was moved to 4:45? If not then my post has nothing to do with your situation. 

Not to be snarky but I had 5:30 which was moved to 4:45 by Princess so I selected 7:15 which they then moved to 8 so I met with maitre d and re-selected 6pm TD

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19 minutes ago, Ombud said:

Not to be snarky but I had 5:30 which was moved to 4:45 by Princess so I selected 7:15 which they then moved to 8 so I met with maitre d and re-selected 6pm TD

You were lucky you were able to move there were a lot of reports to the contrary. 

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All I can do is state what my personal experience was: 

 

After 2 switches by corporate, apparently a number of cruisers needed a 'modification.' The line to switch dining times on the Sapphire 11/28/18-12/8/18 opened at 1. I got there at 3. Long line still. Most were processed rapidly but I need a special diet so I had to actually wait and talk to more than just the head waiter taking down names and making computer changes. So I was shifted to another line for the maitre d. The only thing he wanted to know was would I be okay with a table of 8 & what the dietary restriction was. My change made, I continued on. That night a head waiter walks up and ask 'do we have room for one more?' the guy just walked into the main dining room and ask to be added to our table as his sister was there.  It wasn't possible that night but 2nd night on we became a table of 9.  Maybe this is only on the Sapphire that they are so agreeable. But I found it to be true on the Royal in July as well. And I'm hoping for the same kind of service on the Star in March.

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On 11/30/2018 at 11:50 PM, Mrterryl said:

The older repeat crowd does not spend money on the ship.   The younger crowd will drink, go on excursions, and gamble.  Profit is the reason why Princess is after the younger crowd.

As a 47 year old (almost empty nester, still full time worker) my hubby and I cruise only Princess.  I spend less than $20 a day once onboard (those ultimate Mai-Tai's will get me every time) and simply follow my nose and explore when in port.  I absolutely love sitting at a table of 8 or 10 'older' cruisers and hearing their stories, their experiences and their advice.  This for me is the beauty of Princess.  I don't mind the techie stuff as I will have my phone with me to check on home etc, but I've not felt that Princess is losing their way ... yet.  

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For my DW and I who are in our mid 60s, we're looking forward to trying Princess and Celebrity again. We've been cruising mostly with Oceania and HAL the past 5 years and have recently found that for about the same amount of money we were spending on a veranda on O or HAL, we can book on certain cruises a club mini-suite or VS on Princess or a sky suite on Celebrity. In addition from past experience both Princess and Celebrity have a lot more fun things to do on sea days and the evening shows are definitely more young at heart and upbeat than Oceania or HAL. At least that's what we're hoping is still the case.

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Princess really needs to try to keep up with advances in technology or they will fall behind. That is now the way of the world. I don't see their attempts to advance their technology on board as an attempt to change their customer base. I see it as necessary to assure growth and long term retention of their customer base. As an example- I have absolutely no desire to have my cell phone on me on a cruise and I like to unplug but times have changed. I wish that we didn't need to touch our internet minutes when on a cruise but unfortunately we can't travel if we can't at very least keep up with our business email. Our choice is to travel and stay connected or to wait until we retire to travel... One of those two options is most definitely preferable! 

 

In reference to the changes to dining times, my husband and I are in our early/mid 30's and are thrilled that Princess is opening the dining rooms earlier. I think it is a bit of a misconception that early dining only or even primarily caters to a senior citizen crowd. We prefer to eat dinner around 5:00pm and will happily eat at 4:45pm but we do totally understand that it is way too early for many people. Our work days start earlier than they do for many  and therefore we are hungry for lunch earlier and thus hungry for dinner earlier. When we go out to dinner around 5pm there are people of all ages in the restaurants, there are not a disproportionate number of any particular age group- at least not where we live. I think your daily routine and obligations dictates when one prefers to eat and you get used to those times so even though you may have more flexibility on vacation you are probably still likely to want to dine at times that are normal for you. 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ombud said:

All I can do is state what my personal experience was: 

 

After 2 switches by corporate, apparently a number of cruisers needed a 'modification.'

 

Before the Personalizer recently changed the times listed, the previous times in the Personalizer rarely reflected the times on the ships.

 

I do not understand why so many believe the new times in the Personalizer are any more accurate than the old times were.

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18 hours ago, Grego said:

Give a reason for the current base to stay loyal and not want to "jump ship".  ....  Provide a more variety of itinerary.  Bring back more educational programs for those sea days.

 

When Princess had more smaller ships in the fleet (even if large at the time they were introduced) there were more special itineraries available.

 

The newest ships cannot be properly accommodated at many of the ports they used to visit. For example, the Royal class rarely can made it all the way to Stockholm while the Grand class ships always did. 

 

The number of passengers on the largest ships would overwhelm the available tourist infrastructure at ports that used to be special on Princess itineraries and do so on some ports that continue to be visited. For example, when the Golden Princess went to the Falkland Islands many passengers were disappointed because excursions filled up very fast. When the Royal Princess goes there with about 1000 more passengers than the Golden had, even more passengers will be left out of the excursions they want.

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