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Prinsendam's conversion into Amera

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9 minutes ago, iancal said:

I believe that HAL has a strategy.  Spend as little as possible on aging ship maintenance/upkeep  and position/sell this to your loyal following as premium,  nostalgia, experience, atmosphere, whatever. 

 

 Unload the ship when it is clear that the end is near without a large capital spend.

 

 In the interim move to larger builds and hope that the new generation of cruisers will be as loyal as the last generation.

And if that doesn't work, what then?

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Posted (edited)

If it does not work and revenues are down then start chopping expenses to enhance the bottom line in the short term.  Staff, food, entertainment, preventative mtce,  whatever.  Just cut to the bone across the fleet  and hope that customers do not notice it.

 

We are in our late sixties.  We are certainly not so called 'loyal' to any one vendor.   Our children are even less so.  They are willing to pay but they shop based on price/benefit and never brand loyalty.   They judge based on their last product experience or that of their friends.  Not on the fuzzy adverts or whether they can get a free bottle of water, priority boarding, or a medallion or pin of some sort as a reward for loyalty.

Edited by iancal

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On 7/21/2019 at 1:07 PM, Hawaiidan said:

 The  market demographic of HAL would  just not accept  paying 600-1000 a day for a cabin in a  new Prinsendam size.....   Too Silver Sea, Azamar, Crystal,  Oceaina, Viking,, Pondant (?) Regent have the market already covered.

One thing these cruise lines have in common is that none of them are owned by Carnival.  CCL owns Seabourn whose ships range from 400 to 600 or so passengers.  I could see them possibly getting slightly larger but not much as they would soon lose their luxury status.  

 

The remaining CCL brands are all into large builds in excess of 2,500 passengers.   CCL, as they slowly sell off their aging fleet of mid size ships, is abandoning a market of the 800 to 1,500 passenger ship.   This is pretty much the area of the premium class lines such as Azamara under Royal Carribean or Oceania under Norwegian.  Perhaps CCL knows better than these other large corporations but it does seem that they are abandoning a large market.

 

Instead CCL has two upscale mass market brands in competition with each other, as Princess and HAL seem to be competing in the same size builds and in the same customer price range.  I would think it would be in CCL's corporate interest to keep an operating business in this midsize market .  CCL could create an entirely new subsidiary  or acquire one of the independent premium brand.  But if they wanted to convert one of their current brands into the premium brand, I would think HAL would be the best fit.

 

The conversion for HAL would involve any new builds to be in the 1,000 to 1,500 passenger range.  Probably an increase in price of the cruises and a decrease in number of interior cabins.  The wide wrap around promenade decks, the consistent quality of the Indonesian and Filipino crew, and the general old time classic cruise experience would be the selling points to distinguish the line from the other premium lines.

 

Because of the need to raise the prices to meet the added costs to match  the standards needed to compete in this market, ie food and entertainment upgrades, the line would probably alienate a large portion of its customer base over time but at least the CCL corporation would not be competing with itself and abandoning a large market share to its competitors. 

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One wonders if the overall strategy for each of the lines is driven by Carnival Corp and the cruise line management is simply tasked to carry out that strategy in a way that yields the highest amount of revenue and profit to the parent company.  

 

Or can the  various Carnival Corp cruise lines chart their own direction and strategy as long as they deliver best in class revenue and profit targets to Carnival Corp?  In either case there would have to be some sort of capital/build investment oversight  by Carnival

Corp.

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Amera, ex-P-dam, will be christened on August 16th in Bremerhaven, Germany after which she will set off on a five-day inaugural cruise with stops at Dover, Antwerp and Amsterdam

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A nice you tube video showing some of the lovely spots on the Prinsendam before the changes and the work going on to change her to the Amera.

 

Thanks to samsonmo who was kind enough to send it to me:

 

 

 

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Wow, what a transformation and what an embarrassment for the boys in Seattle to let a gem like that float away..

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On 7/19/2019 at 8:09 AM, TiogaCruiser said:

 

We were on her final voyage and were being encouraged to make our desire for a small ship (likely between an S and R) known on our comment cards and surveys.

 

This is with the hope the Powers That Be consider a build after Ryndam is released.

We were on that same voyage and made the same comments.  We have booked cruises on HA's smaller ships, but are also looking at Oceania and Viking. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 3:18 PM, Storylady said:

Thanks John for posting. The Prinsendam was our favorite ship and we were lucky to do the last Kiel Canal, the last Panama Canal, the last Antarctica Cruise, the last cruise that took her to the top of Norway and back to Amsterdam where she left to go to the shipyards in Hamburg. She may have been old, but she was even able to visit new ports of call even during her last cruises: Isle of Jersey, Arendal Norway and Esjberg Denmark. She cut through the waves like no other ship we have sailed on. And if we could speak German, we would sail on her as the Amera like some President Club friends plan on doing.

 

Quite jealous! More than half of our cruise days with Holland have been on the Elegant Explorer,  but would have loved to visit the Amazon, Antarctica,  and the Panama Canal.  Our Kiel trip remains our favorite cruise.

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On 7/21/2019 at 1:33 PM, kazu said:

 

so, you did not sail her when she was the Prinsendam nor pay the pricing

 

 

 

 

Nope, there is no need for this.  You can take me at my word as someone who has sailed her a LOT or not.  

 

This sounds good in theory but the Prinsendam didn’t sail the same routes as Crystal and Oceania.  Oceania’s itineraries are pretty ‘standard’.  Most of Prinsendam’s were not.  That’s part of what made her special.  Nothing like being greeted in open arms as the first cruise ship to visit a port ever or the first cruise ship in 30 years to visit.

 

She sailed to a lot of ports that the others didn’t go to and yes, that carries a cost and yes, a number of us were willing to pay for it.

Agree. We took the Prinsendam to Melila and the tourists were so rare there, the press came down to interview us. Personally I  was willing to pay a premium to see places where the 6000 passenger ships don't go. One of our favorite cruises on the Prinsendam last year was around the British Isles, small towns only. It was awesome, no Dublin, no London, just small coastal communities,  and almost no other cruise ships. 

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There is no midship pool  It's now a beer garden.

 

Roy

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On 7/19/2019 at 8:15 AM, sevenseasnomad said:

Carnival Corp. has chosen to sell the smaller ships in the HAL fleet, claiming they're not profitable.  I wonder if they'd elected to renovate these ships, particularly such a beloved ship like Prinsendam, would they retain a lot of loyal HAL passengers who are now booking with other lines, some of which aren't even connected to Carnival Corp?  I would love to think that some time in the future Carnival Corp. would consider smaller new ships, maybe 2-3 for HAL.  Does anyone see this happening or am I building "castles in the sky"? 

 

Funny, Mrs Banjo and I were just talking about that today.  We are 4 star cruisers on HAL. We cruised on Prinsendam a number of times and loved her.  We also have enjoyed the Veendam, and other ships in her class.  Our one experience on Zuiderdam, was the one we disliked and won’t book the bigger ships again.  The fact that HAL is only building bigger means, for us, when the small boats are gone, Mr & Mrs Banjo will be gone as well.  There are plenty of other options 

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 1:06 PM, Hawaiidan said:

The problem is that newer smaller ships would  not be in the same economic fare range that HAL charges  you would need to have fares starting at $150-200pp  per day... and up   Your talking prem/luxury level cruises and HAL demographic would not match the new ships.       CCL wants HAL passengers to leave HAL and go to Seabourn  when their wants change for smaller and better experience.     Making HAL  a competitor  of their Seabourn rather than a feederwould not be productive foe them

 

I don’t disagree with that and have thought about it that way as well.  We have sailed on the smaller lux lines and like them, but they are very pricey.  When we sail on HAL we buy a Neptune Suite, when we sail on Seabourn or other lux lines we buy the less expensive veranda cabin.   I think there is a market for a HAL small ship and Carnival is missing the boat !

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I wonder how much the prize tag was for this renovation. 35 million?

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1 minute ago, Sir PMP said:

I wonder how much the prize tag was for this renovation. 35 million?

 

My memory is short but I believe it was 45, definitely over 40.

There were some people from the new ship on board when we sailed her and they were quite forthcoming with what the plans were as well as the cost.

 

they were quite proud to have this ship.

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1 hour ago, crusinbanjo said:

 

I don’t disagree with that and have thought about it that way as well.  We have sailed on the smaller lux lines and like them, but they are very pricey.  When we sail on HAL we buy a Neptune Suite, when we sail on Seabourn or other lux lines we buy the less expensive veranda cabin.   I think there is a market for a HAL small ship and Carnival is missing the boat !

 

 

I totally agree with you and, if HAL / CCL thinks we are all running to Seabourn, they are truly missing the boat.  There are a lot of premium/  luxury lines out there and small ships.  Just because we liked the Prinsendam doesn’t guarantee that we will go to Seabourn.

HAL needs to wake up and smell the roses or at least the reality.  They took away the only ship that was different in the fleet, split up the ‘family’ that was her crew.  Do they really think that if we are going to a smaller ship than what they now offer that it is a given it will be Seabourn?  They can dream.  I don’t think it is going to happen.  JMO.

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25 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

I wonder how much the prize tag was for this renovation. 35 million?

"The cost of the upgrade has not been disclosed, but earlier this year Phoenix MD Benjamin Krumpen said the ship’s first docking after takeover would amount to some €25m."  https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/phoenix-continues-expansion-with-prinsendam-and-anna-katharina/

If the €25m figures is correct, it would be about US$28m.

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16 hours ago, kazu said:

 

 

I totally agree with you and, if HAL / CCL thinks we are all running to Seabourn, they are truly missing the boat.  There are a lot of premium/  luxury lines out there and small ships.  Just because we liked the Prinsendam doesn’t guarantee that we will go to Seabourn.

HAL needs to wake up and smell the roses or at least the reality.  They took away the only ship that was different in the fleet, split up the ‘family’ that was her crew.  Do they really think that if we are going to a smaller ship than what they now offer that it is a given it will be Seabourn?  They can dream.  I don’t think it is going to happen.  JMO.

You hit the nail on the head in that it was the only ship in the family that was different.      That  was not a good thing for everything from mgmt/ maint to crew.    You want  same-0-same-o         It does not fit into the economy of scale that is their  business plan.   They can make far more with larger ships......why would they want to build a looser that compeat s with all their other ships?????    A HAL small ship  would have severe competition   Viking, Oceaina, Azamar, Regent, Silver Sea, Seabourn, Crystal, Poydant,..... the list goes on and grows

To those that liked the ship... to be frank they will be in an ever reducing group due to age.... pandering to them  will loose money  

  HAL  wants a new crowd  who will like their new big ship experiences.

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On 8/3/2019 at 12:21 PM, iancal said:

If it does not work and revenues are down then start chopping expenses to enhance the bottom line in the short term.  Staff, food, entertainment, preventative mtce,  whatever.  Just cut to the bone across the fleet  and hope that customers do not notice it.

It appears that some of that has already started. The elimination of the Port Guide, rebranding of the CD into the Cruise and Travel Director, cuts to shows, etc.. 

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Posted (edited)

Carnival Corp might rethink their plan to have no ship under 70,000 tons due to the possibly of banning those size ships from Venice. Other than Seaborn and Pacific Princess, they have no ships under 55,000 tons. And I don’t think they will want to give up the Venice market to the competition. I am certainly hoping that they will build a new ship. Problem right now is getting in line for a new build.

 

Edited by Storylady

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"The first interior shots of the finished MS Amera":

https://www.schiffsjournal.de/an-bord-der-amera-von-phoenix-reisen-die-taufe-in-bremerhaven/

The ship was christened by 40 year employee Petra Kaiser. I won't plagiarize the article. It mentions that a pool was replaced with an event area with stage and large screen TV. Cabin bathrooms were left as they were. The Crow's Nest chairs look familiar.

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1 hour ago, whogo said:

Thanks for the link to the pictures; I hadn't seen these before.

I did recognize most of the places easily, and all of them with a little thinking, and recognized quite a bit of HAL furniture in the public rooms. A lot fewer books in the library, though, at least from the looks of it. I like that the cabins have lighter color woods in them, but noticed the sofa was replaced by (what looked like) an uncomfortable chair.
The ship does look pretty enough to sail on!

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