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is there a tipping point?

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32 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

I assume that means you'll either quit cruising, or move up in price to something like Oceania or Silversea.

 

Roz

You are correct! 

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

The tipping point for us would be the decline in quality/experience, decline in ship maintenance on older vessels, and  the increase in price, and the increase in nickel and diming.

 

These are the stimuli that cause us to  consider higher cost premium cruise lines that deliver better overall value based on our preferences.

Amen.......  when I went to prem/lux lines  I found, to my surprise that in many cases the prices less expensive when one  added in a similar  cruise on many a  mass market ship by the time you nickeled and dimed .  The difference was something like 30$ a day pp !     When you add the hidden costs  then add the hard sell and hype   and  the thousands more people you have to contend with....  

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There is a tipping point as far as the capacity of ships in port.  In Alaska this year the Maasdam, being the smallest ship in port, is tendering in Ketchikan and Juneau.  The big ships get the docks.  Go big or tender.  Ports in Alaska are favoring the large ships that bring more passengers (money) into the state.   

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We tried a 2800-passenger ship.  One and done.  It was a very "flat" experience -- really a waste of money. (And we paid for all the extra "frills" to try to get that "ship within a ship" experience.  Forget it.)

 

We'll continue to limit ourselves to smaller ships and we are much more careful about looking for port information to see how many ships will be in at the same time that we are.  That bit of extra research is worthwhile, I think.

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I feel like, if I limited my cruises based on tonnage or capacity, I’d be missing out on some wonderful experiences Last year we sailed to Cuba aboard a 48K ship and then a few months later we sailed the Mediterranean aboard a 167K ship. Both were absolutely fantastic cruises for various reasons, and both had pros and cons. 

 

I know big ships are not for everybody just like small ships aren not for everybody either, but I’m glad that I can enjoy both. 

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The Koningsdam was too big for me.  Have also been on a large Princess ship only to be part of a family reunion.  I would quit cruising if there were not an under 1800 passenger ship 

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The tipping point for us was not the size of the ship but the rapid decline in the quality of mass market cruise lines.  You get what you pay for.  I would rather stay home  than sail on certain ships. 

 

The mega ships are good for multi generation or extended family trips.  And they can be a great value for the money. 

 

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Jam says,

 

> My preference is a smaller ship. My favorite so far is Oceania Marina.

 

My preference is a smaller ship. My favorite so far is Oceania Regatta.

 

Ira

 

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We found Allure of the Seas (5,400 at double occupancy) to be too big for us. Though we liked that there were many amenities available, sometimes it just felt too crowded. We liked the size of Koningsdam, but don't think we'd like anything smaller as this would further limit the amenities available on board. 

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13 hours ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

I believe it is less the size of the ship that determine mal de mer but the way the ship is built.  It is the 1468 passenger Amsterdam that does the world cruises and other grand voyages.  It is very comfortable in the middle of the Pacific.  Limited to Inside Passage?  Not so.

I'm pretty sure that they assign ships to grand voyages by some algorithm that maximizes full inventory and best income, and not by the comfort of the passengers. That cynical comment aside, certainly a small ship with good stabilizers is better than a large canoe. Big ships also frequently put the pricey suites high and front or back rather than the low, stable, and economical oceanviews, a fact that has puzzled me forever.

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7 hours ago, crystalspin said:

I'm pretty sure that they assign ships to grand voyages by some algorithm that maximizes full inventory and best income, and not by the comfort of the passengers. That cynical comment aside, certainly a small ship with good stabilizers is better than a large canoe. Big ships also frequently put the pricey suites high and front or back rather than the low, stable, and economical oceanviews, a fact that has puzzled me forever.

 

They also like to use the smaller ships because they can get into ports that mid-sized or large ships cannot.  That is why you don't see the Vista class and larger ships on the Grand Voyages.  The Amsterdam, if you have never been on it, is a most comfortable ship, even in rough waters.  HAL would get more income by using the larger ships, at least on the WC's, which usually sell out.  

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Posted (edited)

We view buying a cruise or dealing with a cruise vendor just as we would any other purchase.

 

When we perceive that the value has diminished relative to cost and enjoyment, or another vendor has come to the market with what we perceive to be a better product with more value to us, we naturally consider changing vendors or products.  We don't aimlessly deal with the same vendor out of habit or some misplaced loyalty without regard to the product or service.  Does not matter if it is a cruise line, hotel chain, automobile manufacturer, or a retail establishment.  We vote with our feet and with our money.

 

Shopping is comparing.  When we see diminishing value or service in a product we start shopping for alternatives.

 

Edited by iancal

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18 minutes ago, iancal said:

Shopping is comparing.  When we see diminishing value or service in a product we start shopping for alternatives.

 

 

Totally agree.

 

Thank You for shopping at HALMART.

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43 minutes ago, iancal said:

We view buying a cruise or dealing with a cruise vendor just as we would any other purchase.

 

When we perceive that the value has diminished relative to cost and enjoyment, or another vendor has come to the market with what we perceive to be a better product with more value to us, we naturally consider changing vendors or products. 

 

 We vote with our feet and with our money.

Yes! Yes! Yes! 

We also believe that loyalty should be a two way street.. I hate it when a cruise-line begins to take my business for granted...

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14 minutes ago, rucrazy said:

Yes! Yes! Yes! 

We also believe that loyalty should be a two way street.. I hate it when a cruise-line begins to take my business for granted...

Totaly correct......   Too, it can be the passengers fault if they have unrealistic expectations  that can not be met.

Like  why  can not my Ford Focus  handle like a Ferrari GT 350  .    Expecting champagne while paying for beer.  What no caviar !!!... But the ads.....showed...

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When it comes to cruise line we believe that loyalty is a one way street.   That street only leads from the customer to the cruise line. 

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

When it comes to cruise line we believe that loyalty is a one way street.   That street only leads from the customer to the cruise line. 

Actually  there are some that do show a loyal passenger tangible appreciation for long term loyality   Sort of like  it is with good top tier travel agents too.

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It depends.  My preference is for long cruises to interesting ports, many too small for large cruise ships.  Those cruises are generally on smaller ships.  I consider the Amsterdam to be about the maximum size for that type of cruising.  If I'm doing a shorter cruise, like less than 30 days, I'd probably consider Vista class ships to be acceptable but certainly not optimum.  For a family cruise with the grandkids, then a mega ship is fine with me.  Plenty of activities for everyone in the family.

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7 hours ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

They also like to use the smaller ships because they can get into ports that mid-sized or large ships cannot.  That is why you don't see the Vista class and larger ships on the Grand Voyages.  The Amsterdam, if you have never been on it, is a most comfortable ship, even in rough waters.  HAL would get more income by using the larger ships, at least on the WC's, which usually sell out.  

A good point and one I had not considered. 

 

Have not sailed on the Amsterdam but on her sisters, Volendam and Zaandam. Dear brother and my BIL were both seasick crossing the Gulf of Alaska on the latter's 14-day R/T Seattle. DH was seasick on the S-class Statendam in the same place! 

 

As far as amenities, we find the R-class and the Vistas just fine: viewing decks, Crows Nest, and a full circle promenade plus a range of music including classical are the draws. We don't think our loyalty to HAL is misplaced; the well-maintained ships and fine service bring us back. We are not "mindless[ly] consistent" -- price and itinerary led us to try NCL (never again) and RCI (favorable comparison) and to book Princess x2.

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On 6/19/2019 at 11:19 PM, KroozNut said:

Smaller ships all the way for us, no floating Vegas's in our future thank you very much!

We cruise to be at sea and visit interesting ports of call. 

 

We don't need a drink package so that we can keep a buzz on all day nor do we need to spend the day on the Melanoma Deck with the lobster people. We do not want a cruise that is essentially a floating county fair with upsell barkers at every turn or making the rounds of the MDR interrupting our dinner trying to sell specialty dining.

 

We do enjoy efficient service, a quiet place to curl up with a good book, and a wrap around promenade deck for a good power walk.

 

 

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