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JES4845

Anyone Book SeaDream Innovation Yet?

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We are still looking at options, but since we will be on board SD1 in July and again on SD2 this fall, we are curious if any of the regulars here has booked the new ship SD Innovation?

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We did.  11 nights up near the Arctic Circle in July sounds pretty good to a couple of Floridians.  Would love to book a segment of the inaugural cruise when/if they break up the 70 day voyage into bookable segments.

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Cool Cruiser - we are in the same position.  Since we like you are based in Florida we’d welcome boarding the inaugural in Miami.

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Not sure how it is booking yet but have pals that are on the Inaugural as well as two other future cruises.  I wish SD well but they are taking a bold step here.  Lots of strong competition in the size range coming on line at about the same time.  Featuring the Arctic is not, in my thinking, the right place for this ship.  I have worked ships in the Arctic and can tell you emphatically that I would never pay someone to take me back there!  And for most I think the Arctic will be one and done.  Most regulars go back over and over to SD in the Caribbean.  SD does the Caribbean better than anyone else imho.  Another thing I believe SD need to take a look at is pricing.  At this price point SD is behind in inclusives.  Face it, all SD includes is tips and booze.  Silversea, Regent, Viking, Seabourn, Crystal and others are entering this market with similar offerings.  Check the inclusions.  One example I know personally is Viking Oceans.  One of the upcoming World Cruises is more days to more ports and includes Biz air both ways, generous OBC (in the thousands), unlimited wi-fi,  ship two bags, Visa service, tips, booze, all taxes/port charges, and an excursion in each port.  In pricing the SD Inaugural, by the time you include r/t Biz air, transfers, hotels pre or post as needed (also included on Viking Oceans) wi-fi, ship bags, etc. etc. and then $2,800 p/p in "port taxes and fees" SD prices themselves out of reality.  Viking Ocean's new "Expedition Ships" are set to have 220 passengers so very comparable.   Yes, SD food and service is top notch but our experience on a recent Viking Oceans WC is that the food and service was very similar to SD.  Not trying to nock SD just saying they need to look at what they include as well as competitors pricing.  I don't know about the rest of y'all but we have a finite pool of travel $$$ to play with. 😎🍸

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23 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Not sure how it is booking yet but have pals that are on the Inaugural as well as two other future cruises.  I wish SD well but they are taking a bold step here.  Lots of strong competition in the size range coming on line at about the same time.  Featuring the Arctic is not, in my thinking, the right place for this ship.  I have worked ships in the Arctic and can tell you emphatically that I would never pay someone to take me back there!  And for most I think the Arctic will be one and done.  Most regulars go back over and over to SD in the Caribbean.  SD does the Caribbean better than anyone else imho.  Another thing I believe SD need to take a look at is pricing.  At this price point SD is behind in inclusives.  Face it, all SD includes is tips and booze.  Silversea, Regent, Viking, Seabourn, Crystal and others are entering this market with similar offerings.  Check the inclusions.  One example I know personally is Viking Oceans.  One of the upcoming World Cruises is more days to more ports and includes Biz air both ways, generous OBC (in the thousands), unlimited wi-fi,  ship two bags, Visa service, tips, booze, all taxes/port charges, and an excursion in each port.  In pricing the SD Inaugural, by the time you include r/t Biz air, transfers, hotels pre or post as needed (also included on Viking Oceans) wi-fi, ship bags, etc. etc. and then $2,800 p/p in "port taxes and fees" SD prices themselves out of reality.  Viking Ocean's new "Expedition Ships" are set to have 220 passengers so very comparable.   Yes, SD food and service is top notch but our experience on a recent Viking Oceans WC is that the food and service was very similar to SD.  Not trying to nock SD just saying they need to look at what they include as well as competitors pricing.  I don't know about the rest of y'all but we have a finite pool of travel $$$ to play with. 😎🍸

Not to mention the two new Seabourn expedition ships, two new Scenic Eclipse ships, the Crystal Endeavor, the two new Hapag  Lloyd expedition ships. There had better be a large contingent of well heeled adventure seekers out there to keep all these luxury expedition ships filled.

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7 minutes ago, wripro said:

Not to mention the two new Seabourn expedition ships, two new Scenic Eclipse ships, the Crystal Endeavor, the two new Hapag  Lloyd expedition ships. There had better be a large contingent of well heeled adventure seekers out there to keep all these luxury expedition ships filled.

And Ritz-Carlton and I am sure we are forgetting a few. 🍸

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2 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

And Ritz-Carlton and I am sure we are forgetting a few. 🍸

I don't consider Ritz Carlton an expedition ship with exotic ports. Quite the opposite. I find the brand is aimed at people who want to be at a Ritz Carlton resort that happens to sail around. How else would you explain the cliche and boring itineraries?

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1 minute ago, wripro said:

I don't consider Ritz Carlton an expedition ship with exotic ports. Quite the opposite. I find the brand is aimed at people who want to be at a Ritz Carlton resort that happens to sail around. How else would you explain the cliche and boring itineraries?

Haha, right you are.  I never gave them much thought anyway.  I'm not exactly the Ritz-Carlton sort.  More the Soggy Dollar Bar type......😎

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One of the reasons we're doing our third Hebridean cruise since our last SD cruise is because it truly is all inclusive.  The price you pay is what you pay and it includes everything.  Also, I love Scotland and British humor.  😄

 

 

 

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On 6/1/2019 at 1:38 PM, Jim Avery said:

 Featuring the Arctic is not, in my thinking, the right place for this ship.  I have worked ships in the Arctic and can tell you emphatically that I would never pay someone to take me back there!  And for most I think the Arctic will be one and done.

 

As one who has gone to the Arctic (Norway) and Antartica on Hurtigruten, I can tell you people who are bit by the polar bug are happy to return. I'm doing just that. Greenland/Labrador in September and back to Antarctica in January. There are many lines out there that are filling their Arctic and Antarctic voyages quite nicely.  Many of us are happy to return many times!  It would be wrong to pigeon hole Seadream passengers as only liking the Caribbean. It just so happens Seadream hasn't offered it yet, until now.

 

But yes the competition is fierce in the expedition category and prices are high across the board for those cruises. It will be interesting to see where Seadream will fit in there.

 

Unfortunately they won't have my business for this as I'm a solo traveler. I only travel with Mom here on Seadream.  There are many lines that realize we solo travelers are a growing segment and offer either no solo supplement or pair you with a same sex room mate. 

 

I really do wish Seadream luck with Innovation. 

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42 minutes ago, mcpepe said:

 

As one who has gone to the Arctic (Norway) and Antartica on Hurtigruten, I can tell you people who are bit by the polar bug are happy to return. I'm doing just that. Greenland/Labrador in September and back to Antarctica in January. There are many lines out there that are filling their Arctic and Antarctic voyages quite nicely.  Many of us are happy to return many times!  It would be wrong to pigeon hole Seadream passengers as only liking the Caribbean. It just so happens Seadream hasn't offered it yet, until now.

 

But yes the competition is fierce in the expedition category and prices are high across the board for those cruises. It will be interesting to see where Seadream will fit in there.

 

Unfortunately they won't have my business for this as I'm a solo traveler. I only travel with Mom here on Seadream.  There are many lines that realize we solo travelers are a growing segment and offer either no solo supplement or pair you with a same sex room mate. 

 

I really do wish Seadream luck with Innovation. 

Right you are.  Yes there are some that go cold places for holiday.  I was speaking for myself having run ships above the Arctic Circle.  And I did not mean to infer SD passengers only like the Caribbean.  We have sailed SD in Mexico, Costa Rica, Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean so even I like more than the Soggy Dollar Bar.😎  I do think SD need to closely monitor their competition's inclusions if they are to make it with Innovation.  I certainly wish SD and especially the onboard crews all the best.

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Second the motion about the onboard crews!  An interesting HR question is how to staff Innovation.  Do they have all new crew, but then how do you make sure the new ship delivers the expected SD service experience?  Do they break up the crew and have some known crew from SD1 and SD2 on Innovation for continuity and guest relationships?  I assume the latter, but the details will matter in terms of who, how many current staff and in which key positions.

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