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BamaVol

How crowded (or not) are repositioning cruises?

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6 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

The only time I recall being on ships which were partially empty was in early and mid 2002 (shortly after the 9/11 attacks) when many people were afraid or reluctant to travel.  In normal times (if any times nowadays can be thought of as “normal”) the lines are pretty good at pricing to meet demand - while making sure that any significant number of bunks wind up valueless by sailing empty.

Yes, I still think fondly of those flights I was taking back in 2002/2003 when there were lots of empty seats. Often I had an aisle to myself. Or would get upgraded to a higher category even at the lowest loyalty rung with my airline (at that time).

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1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

The only time I recall being on ships which were partially empty was in early and mid 2002 (shortly after the 9/11 attacks) when many people were afraid or reluctant to travel.  In normal times (if any times nowadays can be thought of as “normal”) the lines are pretty good at pricing to meet demand - while making sure that any significant number of bunks wind up valueless by sailing empty.

Right you are - there were bargains to be had after 9/11. I also recall some good deals on cruise fares after the stock market fiasco/financial meltdown of 2008 (somewhere in the time frame of 2009 - 2010) - particularly if one waited to book until after the final payment was due and the cabins were sold at deeply discounted rates. These ships were still full because the price point was much lower than average. I recall one of our "steals" - a 13 day TA. MIA to BCN for a little over $400 per person (inside cabin). 

Edited by dogs4fun

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We have booked 2 re positioning cruises

 

1 was Carnival 2300 passenger ship -No problems there.

 

1 was a P&O Oz 1500 passenger ship - no problems again.

 

Book a repo with a good passenger ratio older ship.

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On 7/11/2019 at 12:19 PM, BamaVol said:

Our last cruise was sold out.  A full complement of passengers on a mega ship made the cruise much less enjoyable.  I'd love to get on a ship that was half full.  I know there are folks out there that just love sea days and you can count me among them.  But are there enough of us to fill every transatlantic repositioning cruise?  Am I chasing rainbows here?

We have done three transatlantics on Oasis Class. They sail with all cabins sold but they carry about 1500 fewer kids. At times the ship is extremely uncrowded on the pool decks and flowrider.  We have also done transatlantics on Voyager class and Freedom class.  Oasis class have alway been at under 5000, on Caribbean cruise they sail with 6400. happy searching. We have the Nov. 1st  2020 Allure sailing out of Barcelona booked and I expect it will sail at 75 - 80% of capacity.  14 nights with 9 sea days and 1500 fewer kids. 

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I was checking the cabins left on our Crown Princess transatlantic cruise in September. There are very few available cabins showing up--and still several of us on the roll call thread awaiting our guarantee assignments. 

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The cruise lines will keep lowering the price until the cabins are full.   Sometimes it does not happen but they do try their best.

 

This is inventory that has zero value once the ship sails.  

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9 hours ago, iancal said:

The cruise lines will keep lowering the price until the cabins are full.   

Sometimes it does not happen but they do try their best.

 

This is inventory that has zero value once the ship sails.  

 

I had a conversation one time, with an RCL Captain -Stig

who mentioned that, although the marketing side of the Corporation

loves full occupancy = Ka-Chiiing! lol

as a Captain he prefers to sail with a few vacant cabins

(if it works out that way) for unforseen eventualities!

 

Cruise ships rescue people afloat on rafts, every now and then.

Where do you house them?

At times like this, it's handy to have an inside cabin or three 

to put them up until they can be put ashore safely in Port.

 

ship-happens.jpg

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I have been on a couple of Holland America transatlantic cruises that were not reported as full on end of cruise log. Some of the vacant cabins may have been occupied by workmen. I think my transatlantics have only had one or two children.

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My ship is currently 75% across the Atlantic.

We have fantastic weather and very calm seas.

 

We are a very upscale cruise line.

My guests are paying more than $1000 per day, per person.

Occupancy is 52%.

We have more crew than passengers onboard.

My guests tell me they have died and gone to heaven.

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We took a Costa cruise from Rome to Buenos Aires arrived Dec 4th 2019. Costa have passengers exiting and boarding at every port but some folk with guaranteed inside cabins were very unhappy with their cabins and tried to get a different one. They were told perhaps in Rio which was around Day 15 of a 19 day cruise.

Costa told them the ship was full and no other cabins were available.

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On 7/16/2019 at 2:17 AM, iancal said:

The cruise lines will keep lowering the price until the cabins are full.   Sometimes it does not happen but they do try their best.

 

This is inventory that has zero value once the ship sails.  

Costa and MSC get around this by having people exit and board at every port. On our cruise from Rome to Buenos Aires, around 2000 Europeans left the ship in Rio to head home and 1800  youngish Brazilians boarded for a short cruise to BA and back - 5 days. 

The whole atmosphere onboard changed with a fruit buffet at 2300, disco opened at 2400 and a late buffet dinner starting at 0100  and many more Portuguese announcements, music and dancing all over the ship.

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On 2/8/2020 at 7:50 PM, Donald said:

My ship is currently 75% across the Atlantic.

We have fantastic weather and very calm seas.

 

We are a very upscale cruise line.

My guests are paying more than $1000 per day, per person.

Occupancy is 52%.

We have more crew than passengers onboard.

My guests tell me they have died and gone to heaven.

The corona virus is taking a toll on sales right now. The April season of ships moving to the Med from the US is coming up. Celebrity for example has some 200 unsold cabins left on our cruise with prices as low as about $850pp. for 14 days.

A transatlantic whether full - usually - or less doesn't feel crowded as there are very few children and cruisers tend to be older.

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If you don't want a crowded ship, start with a ship that doesn't carry 5000 passengers. LOL

 

I also wonder if the number of passengers goes down if you depart from a less trafficked port, for example, Barbados instead of Miami. Of course, the airfare is a bit more, but...

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Reposition cruises have quite a following and they usually  sail pretty full.    One advantage is there are usually fewer children do to the length of the cruise.

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I sail NCL and prefer the smaller Jewel class ships. My TA this past April from Brooklyn was just about or even sold out BUT it didn't seem crowded as there are hardly any kids, think I saw about 5, most cabins have only two people in them versus 4 like on Caribbean sailings and many were solo, so even though sold out, the passenger count is lower from what I observed.

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Once upon a time ships sailed 1/2 full on repo cruises.  I remember when Costa used to send their ships over to Florida and they were completely empty!  Those days are gone forever.  TA crossings have become very popular.  I can’t tell you how many U.K. retirees I have met who were going over to Florida in October and November to spend the winter there.  They sail back in the Spring.  The USA allows them 6 months residency each year.  The repo cruises work great for them.

 

If you are worried about Crowded conditions then why not splurge on a suite.  With Celebrity and Royal Caribbean you get nice perks that take you out of the mainstream.  Holland America has special perks as does MSC and NCL.  There are no crowds In these venues.  You could also try Oceania or Azamara which feature smaller ships.  I have two great friends from the U.K. who I introduced to Azamara and they have sailed on everything...Oceania and Viking included.  They swear by Azamara for the size, the friendly crew, the food and the comfort.  All these ships sail on repo cruises.  Have fun finding what suits you best.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 12:19 PM, BamaVol said:

Our last cruise was sold out.  A full complement of passengers on a mega ship made the cruise much less enjoyable.  I'd love to get on a ship that was half full.  I know there are folks out there that just love sea days and you can count me among them.  But are there enough of us to fill every transatlantic repositioning cruise?  Am I chasing rainbows here?

Late to the party but, we have done 3 westbound TA'S on Oasis Class. Ship sails with all cabins sold but is has about 1500 fewer kids than a regular Caribbean cruise. Oasis class are awesome for TA'S. 

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There are some great bargains to be had on TAs at the moment - the cruise industry is suffering due to the coronavirus.

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I've never seen transatlantics so low as in the past week. Many like me aren't biting because of the virus and Italy starting to be impacted from northern regions down to Sicily and Florence now. 

 

With the possible exception of this spring, you will find TAs sold out which usually translates to two people per cabin. The more singles the better as that makes the ship seem smaller. Kids onboard will add to the totals and congested feeling. We love TAs!

 

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Edited by Markanddonna

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