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I am tired of the archaic internet package system. I just returned from a Viking Sea cruise. One of the reasons they are ranked higher than Seabourn is the don’t nickel and dime you for internet fees.

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Posted (edited)

While we were on Sojourn in June, there was a presentation given by the VP of Exploration to guests onboard.  The presentation was about the new expeditions ships. A question was asked to the VP about the internet on board.  Specifically the question was, "Will the new ships have internet included?"  (Meaning will it be included in the cruise fare.) The VP, without skipping a beat said, "If it was, would that make you book the cruise?"   This told me that SB has calculated that the vast majority of passengers will not go to another cruise line because of having to pay extra for internet.  They have also concluded that if the internet was included in the fare that this would not tip the balance and make more people book a SB cruise.  It's a financial decision.  If the cruise line can make a profit on the internet connection for guests, they are going to keep things the way they are.  

 

About Viking--it's a very different product than SB.  I've read enough about Viking to realize that while I might enjoy a cruise on Viking, I would most likely enjoy SB more---in spite of the less than desirable internet situation. Included internet will not be enticing me to switch lines. 

Edited by SLSD

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The "slow and expensive internet" ember keeps reigniting.  The internet is slow and is expensive. It is what it is.  If free fast internet is a priority when choosing a cruise, one should not book on SB.

 

The RCC Oasis has an internet system that allows 5000 shipmates to all stream live at the same time.  AND there's gold by the inch and bingo.

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1 hour ago, raphael360 said:

The "slow and expensive internet" ember keeps reigniting.  The internet is slow and is expensive. It is what it is.  If free fast internet is a priority when choosing a cruise, one should not book on SB.

 

The RCC Oasis has an internet system that allows 5000 shipmates to all stream live at the same time.  AND there's gold by the inch and bingo.

 

Free internet is slow on Silversea, Regent and Crystal but it is included in their fares.  All luxury lines include internet in their fares. Seabourn is still the only luxury line to continue to charge for internet and they provide the same, slow connectivity. Just as they were one of the last lines to change its outdated smoking policies, they are an outlier in this area.  When will Seabourn move to the 21st century in alignment with their competitors and provide “free” internet to all passengers albeit slow?

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8 minutes ago, Focused1 said:

 

Free internet is slow on Silversea, Regent and Crystal but it is included in their fares.  All luxury lines include internet in their fares. Seabourn is still the only luxury line to continue to charge for internet and they provide the same, slow connectivity. Just as they were one of the last lines to change its outdated smoking policies, they are an outlier in this area.  When will Seabourn move to the 21st century in alignment with their competitors and provide “free” internet to all passengers albeit slow?

As I tried to explain above, Seabourn has made a financial calculation that the profit they are making on their slow internet connection is worth annoying some (many) guests with the fact that it is slow AND expensive.  Seabourn also does not think that providing internet service "free" is going to make more people book their cruises.  You may disagree.  But this is the calculation they have made.  

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3 minutes ago, SLSD said:

As I tried to explain above, Seabourn has made a financial calculation that the profit they are making on their slow internet connection is worth annoying some (many) guests with the fact that it is slow AND expensive.  Seabourn also does not think that providing internet service "free" is going to make more people book their cruises.  You may disagree.  But this is the calculation they have made.  

 

I guess it must be nice to have official insider information such that you can speak so affirmatively on Seabourn’s marketing strategies in this competitive environment. 

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33 minutes ago, Focused1 said:

 

I guess it must be nice to have official insider information such that you can speak so affirmatively on Seabourn’s marketing strategies in this competitive environment. 

As I also said above, I gleaned this information from listening to the VP of Exploration answer a question on this very point.  His message was, to me, quite clear.  You may see it differently--and that is your prerogative. 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Focused1 said:

 

Free internet is slow on Silversea, Regent and Crystal but it is included in their fares.  

I still don’t understand the argument.  If you don’t like the policy don’t buy the product. What else is there to be said. It is what it is.  

Edited by raphael360
Sic

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5 hours ago, raphael360 said:

I still don’t understand the argument.  If you don’t like the policy don’t buy the product. What else is there to be said. It is what it is.  

 

That's not the point. Obviously people posting here do like Seabourn. But that doesn't mean they aren't annoyed or frustrated that Seabourn continues to charge for Internet service on otherwise all-inclusive cruises. 

 

And policies do change over time, in response to customer expectations. Remember when you had to pay for Internet in most hotels? Now, most of the major chains make it free as long as you''re a member of their loyalty program. On various cruise lines, think about how dress codes, open dining, and smoking policies have changed. So I will continue to hope that Seabourn changes their policies on Internet service. And if people speaking up about it on forums and social media and cruise surveys helps give them a shove to make a change, I'm all for it. 

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14 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

That's not the point. Obviously people posting here do like Seabourn. But that doesn't mean they aren't annoyed or frustrated that Seabourn continues to charge for Internet service on otherwise all-inclusive cruises. 

 

And policies do change over time, in response to customer expectations. Remember when you had to pay for Internet in most hotels? Now, most of the major chains make it free as long as you''re a member of their loyalty program. On various cruise lines, think about how dress codes, open dining, and smoking policies have changed. So I will continue to hope that Seabourn changes their policies on Internet service. And if people speaking up about it on forums and social media and cruise surveys helps give them a shove to make a change, I'm all for it. 

I am also very much in favor of internet being an included item in SB's cruise fare.  BUT---I truly saw that it is not even close to happening---based on the answer the VP gave to the question this summer.  He didn't even have to think even a second about this answer.  That told me that the issue has been discussed and decided upon.  Disappointing yes.  Deal breaking?  Not for me.  

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Worse case scenario.......you add $400 to your cost to cruise.....7 days, 70 days.......$400

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Yes but it’s tacky, not a luxury image for a 5*cruise line in 2019.  All inclusive, is all inclusive. Not a bill at the end of your cruise for your internet. Very soon Seabourn will offer included wifi ( our latest booking includes 300mins each of internet time ) 

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It could be worse...take a look at Cunard which has the same bad service but without an unlimited option.  At least on SB we are able to buy unlimited at $400, and for a long cruise, that is a good buy.  But still, we go a little crazy having to take our devices into ports to find good wifi just to perform basic functions, like banking and keeping in touch with family and friends at home.

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Appreciate the drinks included in fare but really, how luxury is a cruise line to charge for internet? 

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On 7/23/2019 at 10:22 PM, Jgrossman said:

I am tired of the archaic internet package system. I just returned from a Viking Sea cruise. One of the reasons they are ranked higher than Seabourn is the don’t nickel and dime you for internet fees.

     I have to check my email for business reasons so I'm happy to pay for internet service.  As an IT engineer, I can assure everyone that free unlimited internet would overwhelm and crash the current system and then no one would have it.  So I could not even go on SB if they offered free internet because, with their current system, 20 guys streaming live cricket matches would crash the system.

    

     There are lots of other cruise ships offering high speed and sometimes free internet.  If that's the primary reason to go on a cruise....

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3 hours ago, vaitape said:

Appreciate the drinks included in fare but really, how luxury is a cruise line to charge for internet? 

 

Drinks included in the fare isn't the main attraction for many (most?) SB regulars though. I meet plenty of people who are repeaters who don't drink alcohol at all.

There's much more to luxury cruising than a few 'free' drinks. Of course, if SB did begin to charge for drinks there would likely be uproar (!),  but for me,  luxury isn't defined by offering included drinks. Or included internet for that matter.  

For me, the advantage of included drinks is that it's just less hassle not having to sign and it makes socialising much easier without anyone fretting over whose turn it is to get the tab. Those points are not issues with internet. I need to remain connected whilst I'm on a cruise and so I accept that I need to pay for unlimited internet. It will be added to the cruise pricing when SB does eventually introduce it, so everyone will be paying for it one way or another.  

 

 

Plus, how would SB find an alternate benefit of equal value for their Diamond level members who already have unlimited internet as one of their benefits? 

 

Anyway, I appreciate that this is taking the discussion over into 'what defines a luxury cruise' so I'll leave it there before it's deemed to be off-topic!

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, sanne said:

All inclusive, is all inclusive. Not a bill at the end of your cruise for your internet. Very soon Seabourn will offer included wifi ( our latest booking includes 300mins each of internet time ) 

We love SB because they offer a premium product for a very good price relative to their peers.   All inclusive is not always all inclusive as you so correctly point out.  Not included in SB's all inclusive pricing includes: internet, up charge for 25 year scotch, premium wines, Dom Perginon, shore excursions, Kit Katt candy bars, personal training, massages longer than 20 minutes and hair cuts.  I always see those items on my bill at the end of the cruise.  Darn!

Edited by raphael360
sic

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1 minute ago, raphael360 said:

We love SB because they offer a premium product for a very good price relative to their peers.   All inclusive is not always all inclusive as you so correctly point out.  Not included in SB's all inclusive pricing includes: internet, up charge for 25 year scotch, premium wines, Dom Perginon, shore excursions, Kit Katt candy bars, personal training, massages longer than 20 minutes and hair cuts.  I always see those items on my bill at the end of the cruise.  Darn!

 

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Don’t overlook the “free” internet offerings to Seabourn Club members: 2, 3, 4 or unlimited hours, depending on one’s membership level. This is in addition to any promotional package in effect at the time of booking. 

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2 hours ago, ibnoland said:

Don’t overlook the “free” internet offerings to Seabourn Club members: 2, 3, 4 or unlimited hours, depending on one’s membership level. This is in addition to any promotional package in effect at the time of booking. 

Plus the value of those “free” offerings can be applied to the $400 package. I’m not sure if the charges are really money makers or a way to throttle a limited resource. 

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And who hasn’t walked onboard without at least $150pp on board credit?  

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On 7/24/2019 at 5:55 AM, SLSD said:

A question was asked to the VP about the internet on board.  Specifically the question was, "Will the new ships have internet included?"  (Meaning will it be included in the cruise fare.) The VP, without skipping a beat said, "If it was, would that make you book the cruise?"

 

This is the wrong question and the wrong answer. The far more important question than cost included or not is whether the Internet capability on the new ship will be markedly better (and corollary, when will current ships be retrofitted with better capability). I'm not nearly as concerned with paying an additional $400 than I am about the very limited utility of the Internet service itself. It doesn't have to be streaming quality, but there needs be enough reliable bandwidth for VOIP and photo uploading/backup. If it can be done for 5,000 people on a megaship, it can be done for 500 people on a Seabourn ship.

 

As to the answer, the better reply question is 'are you more likely to look at or favor cruises/lines where it's included (or in answer to my question, cruises/lines with better quality Internet)'.  Certainly on the latter it's something I would factor, particularly on longer cruises with many consecutive sea days. A world cruise itinerary ship like Sojourn really needs better capability - I couldn't imagine 100+ days with Sojourn's limited capabilities. 

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18 minutes ago, Robisan said:

 

This is the wrong question and the wrong answer. The far more important question than cost included or not is whether the Internet capability on the new ship will be markedly better (and corollary, when will current ships be retrofitted with better capability). I'm not nearly as concerned with paying an additional $400 than I am about the very limited utility of the Internet service itself. It doesn't have to be streaming quality, but there needs be enough reliable bandwidth for VOIP and photo uploading/backup. If it can be done for 5,000 people on a megaship, it can be done for 500 people on a Seabourn ship.

 

You make a very good point Robisan.  Your question is a better one--that no one thought to ask.  

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