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MarkBearSF

Large Proportion of Asian Cruisers on Grand?

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We were on the Grand Princess from SF to Mexico on December 13-23.  It was a wonderful cruise with great service, good food, great company, and calm seas.

 

One thing was very noticeable. There were large numbers of Asian cruisers, many from China (there were evidently a few tour groups). I would estimate that probably 30% of the passengers were Asian. (I'm allowing for the known bias where majority observers tend to overestimate "other" groups - the number seemed to be more like 40% to me).

This is in no way a complaint nor a negative (as far as I'm concerned) merely an observation. Certainly, the fact that the ship is homeported in San Francisco and the cruise departed from there is a factor, given the large Asian population in the Bay Area. Also, I know how a group or two can affect the impressions of the passenger mix. But I was wondering if it may be an indication of the increasing interest in cruising in the Chinese market.

 

Have any other recent cruisers (especially on the Grand) observed an uptick in Asian passengers aboard?

Also, do you know... Does Princess make Chinese language Princess Patters or menus available? (I noticed that there was both a Japanese and a Chinese Cruise Staff member aboard on this sailing)

 

 

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We were on this cruise as well as the one right before it. While we did notice groups of Asian passengers (like maybe 20 at the same time) meeting up to head off the ship together or in the Piazza together during the scheduled activities, we certainly didn't notice larger-than-usual numbers. And definitely not a third of the ship for sure. (Maybe we just don't notice passenger make up as much?) As for the Japanese and Chinese cruise staff members, those girls were there the week before and running activities then, too. I've also seen Japanese and Chinese cruise crew on other ships so for them to be on the same ship at the same time wouldn't be all that unusual.

 

I've done several hundred days on Princess over the past few years with several of the sailings out of San Francisco. I would say we see more passengers from different countries, age groups, and socioeconomic backgrounds than we have in the past. But that's not unique to San Francisco - we're seeing it no matter where we sail from. Cruising is now more accessible to more people.

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Interesting.  As I said, my estimate may be way off. However, I believe that the cruise had a larger contingent than they're used to since they ran out of honey and another item and the Maitre d' apologized and mentioned that it was likely because the larger number of Asian passengers when he conferred with our tablemate who had food allergies and would review the next day's menu with him and design her meals.  Later, I mentioned to the table that it seemed that there were more Asians aboard than on other cruises and they agreed. She and her husband are Chinese (I recall that she was originally from Hong Kong, I'm unsure about him.) We didn't further discuss it, and certainly wouldn't get into numbers.

In any event, I think I answered my own question - the 10 days we were on her, there were likely a larger than usual number of Asian passengers , as is the way things go - for whatever reason, occasionally a cruise will have a different "personality."

Thinking further, another factor might be how I primarily interacted with other passengers. My husband needs to use the elevator, which means that we were in continual, close contact with other elevator riders, which skews more elderly, ... (especially for short rides - we were on Deck 5, behind the Art Gallery. so lots of rides between 5,6,7) and for Chinese, likely more comfortable with Cantonese/Mandarin/... Interacting on things like elevator buttons meant that we were more likely to communicate than say, when passing in a corridor. There were a LOT of Chinese grannies on the elevators.

 

In any event, it was a wonderful cruise and I always appreciate being in the same boat as different people from different places - which is another reason I still love living in San Francisco.

 

 

Edited by MarkBearSF

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You did not imagine it. China is the fastest growing travel market, with millions of "new tourists" with money to spend and an interest in seeing the world. Cruises and land tours are their preferred travel style. Travel companies are spending a great deal of money to market to this giant, previously untapped market. 

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We have noticed it the past two years.  Our Baltic and last Mediterranean cruise were both a little frustrating with rude people.  

 

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4 minutes ago, compozer said:

We have noticed it the past two years.  Our Baltic and last Mediterranean cruise were both a little frustrating with rude people.  

 

Meaning what???

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We had a great time, and a great experience, meeting and speaking with cruisers from Japan on our Emerald b2b Alaska cruises, from Seattle, last September.  We were seated together at the Captain's most travelled luncheon.  Wonderful!

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3 hours ago, compozer said:

What this post is about   -More  Asian cruisers.

 

Let’s be careful here

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That is why I just put rude people in my comment

21 minutes ago, ne1travel said:

 

Let’s be careful here

 

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7 minutes ago, compozer said:

That is why I just put rude people in my comment

 

Lot of snowflakes around this time of year.

 

I find the rude people also seem to ignore the multi-lingual notices about not ramming their water bottle up the water and juice dispensers to refill them in the buffet thus contaminating them with who knows what.

Probably wouldn't notice them so much otherwise.

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Very interesting post.. and I feel we should be able to discuss and ask questions and assume good intent because that's how we learn from each other.

 

As a Chinese-American, I have seen more Asians and specifically Chinese travelers from China.  Our family of 15 (three generations) was on the Grand Princess on a 10-day cruse to Alaska in 2018.  I don't think I noticed it as much, but on a previous cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in 2017, it was very prominent and probably because there were many tour groups.  In fact, right after I returned, I did ask a friend who took the Seattle to Vancouver cruise to see if she saw the same :)  She didn't.

 

Many in China have a lot of money to spend.  That's why they can come here (and here meaning San Francisco, where real estate prices are crazy) and pay for a house in cash, so they will have easy spending money for cruises that the rest of us have to save up for (or at least I do).

 

And compozer, I sympathize and get it.  Different cultures have their own way of doing things.  My co-worker visited his parents in Hong Kong and told me that one time he was with his parents and were about to get out of the elevator when he held the door and let other people (strangers) out first.  His parents told him that while they understood in the US, that's the polite thing to do, he considered a "loser" there.  I'm also not saying that the entire region thinks like that.  This is just one example.  But that might be why one runs into elevator or queue related incidents.  On that Alaskan cruise w/lots of tour groups, a comedian even make jokes about it... I started laughing already when he said, "You know, I'm observing people on elevators..." because I knew what he was going to say. 

 

I don't want this to be permission to bash Asian travelers because we all know there are polite and rude people out there no matter what race, gender, nationality, etc.  :)  Happy cruising!

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I have found that, regardless of nationality, groups tend to be a pain.  We once wanted to go up the spiral staircase in the piazza but there was a lady posing for a photograph standing half way up the stair.  Being polite, we waited while each member of her group took her photo.  Then a different member of her group traded places with her and posed while every member of the group took her photo.  And so on it went until every member of the group had a photo of every other member.  Since that experience a few years ago, a lot of people have wondered who that man was that photo-bombed their stairway photos.

One other thing I have notice on many cruises that defies the odds.  in strolling deck 7 inside from one end of the ship to the other, there are a few places where the passageway is narrower than the majority of the length of the passageway.  For some reason beyond my comprehension, these narrow locations are were people will stop to talk with each other.

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Let me guess. Crazy Rich Asians was one of the featured movies on big screen during the cruise.

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4 hours ago, nukesubsailor said:

I have found that, regardless of nationality, groups tend to be a pain.  We once wanted to go up the spiral staircase in the piazza but there was a lady posing for a photograph standing half way up the stair.  Being polite, we waited while each member of her group took her photo.  Then a different member of her group traded places with her and posed while every member of the group took her photo.  And so on it went until every member of the group had a photo of every other member.  Since that experience a few years ago, a lot of people have wondered who that man was that photo-bombed their stairway photos.

One other thing I have notice on many cruises that defies the odds.  in strolling deck 7 inside from one end of the ship to the other, there are a few places where the passageway is narrower than the majority of the length of the passageway.  For some reason beyond my comprehension, these narrow locations are were people will stop to talk with each other.

I agree about groups on cruises. Once I was on a cruise to Alaska that hosted a huge American/ Canadian running group. I am a runner- but was not on this partial charter. 

 

The participants took over so many areas of the ship... lounges, the gym, the prominade deck, the spa. There was lots of yelling in the common rooms regarding mileage, splits, shoes, a poker run, etc... And because they were all runners- NO One took the elevators. They seemed to congregate in the stairways.

 

I am just not a fan of the whole group charter deal. I typically check to make sure my sailing is not one.

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Weve sailed on Grand out of SF 5 times over the past couple years.

Yes, there seem to be large amount of asians on these sailings.

We believe because you have large China towns in SF & Oakland.

Many of their extended family come here.

Plus its so easy to board in SF for the Locals.

 

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Several years ago when Princess had a ship in Galveston, we were aboard one week.  There were a large number of Chinese aboard (80 or so) all speaking some dialect of Chinese of course.  They had a desk in midship deck 6 for them that was manned often and they would gather there for shore excursions in groups with their own tour guides.  We were able one day to talk to one who appeared to be a leader and found out that there was a direct flight from China to Houston which made the cruise very attractive.  Furthermore the guide who turned out to be a TA from China told us that they had been bringing in Chinese for a number of weeks.  

 

So I imagine with SF being close to and having direct flights from China that this is the case on Princess cruises.  The Asian market is booming which is why Princess is stationing their newest ship in Asia and keeping other ships in the area.  

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10 hours ago, boltnut55 said:

Very interesting post.. and I feel we should be able to discuss and ask questions and assume good intent because that's how we learn from each other.

 

As a Chinese-American, I have seen more Asians and specifically Chinese travelers from China.  Our family of 15 (three generations) was on the Grand Princess on a 10-day cruse to Alaska in 2018.  I don't think I noticed it as much, but on a previous cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in 2017, it was very prominent and probably because there were many tour groups.  In fact, right after I returned, I did ask a friend who took the Seattle to Vancouver cruise to see if she saw the same :)  She didn't.

 

Many in China have a lot of money to spend.  That's why they can come here (and here meaning San Francisco, where real estate prices are crazy) and pay for a house in cash, so they will have easy spending money for cruises that the rest of us have to save up for (or at least I do).

 

And compozer, I sympathize and get it.  Different cultures have their own way of doing things.  My co-worker visited his parents in Hong Kong and told me that one time he was with his parents and were about to get out of the elevator when he held the door and let other people (strangers) out first.  His parents told him that while they understood in the US, that's the polite thing to do, he considered a "loser" there.  I'm also not saying that the entire region thinks like that.  This is just one example.  But that might be why one runs into elevator or queue related incidents.  On that Alaskan cruise w/lots of tour groups, a comedian even make jokes about it... I started laughing already when he said, "You know, I'm observing people on elevators..." because I knew what he was going to say. 

 

I don't want this to be permission to bash Asian travelers because we all know there are polite and rude people out there no matter what race, gender, nationality, etc.  :)  Happy cruising!

 

Thanks for this thoughtful and informative post.

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