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Ch-ch-ch-changes?

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23 minutes ago, margbem said:

Chef is on until end of November.

Thanks for finding out. We board 23 November so may be lucky in trying his food before he leaves. 

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We have been on Seabourn twice:  A very long cruise on the Sojourn in 2014 and another very long trip on the Quest in 2018.  Could not document any changes between the 2 experiences other than the introduction of Thomas Keller and the demise of Restaurant 2.  Same food, same service, same lovely friendly passengers.

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Kleenex facial tissue replaced "made in China" rough stuff.   Same idea for the toilet paper.  

TK chocolate squares have been replaced.

Water changes confirmed.

At least ten other cost cutting moves noticed and none positive for passengers.  Of course, I'm quite sure few of you will notice and still think you are on some kind of ultra luxury outing.

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15 minutes ago, saminina said:

Kleenex facial tissue replaced "made in China" rough stuff.   Same idea for the toilet paper.  

TK chocolate squares have been replaced.

Water changes confirmed.

At least ten other cost cutting moves noticed and none positive for passengers.  Of course, I'm quite sure few of you will notice and still think you are on some kind of ultra luxury outing.

TK chocolate squares were amongst some of the worst chocolate I’ve ever tasted! 

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1 hour ago, saminina said:

Kleenex facial tissue replaced "made in China" rough stuff.   Same idea for the toilet paper.  

TK chocolate squares have been replaced.

Water changes confirmed.

At least ten other cost cutting moves noticed and none positive for passengers.  Of course, I'm quite sure few of you will notice and still think you are on some kind of ultra luxury outing.

 

I'm all for changes with the water... too much plastic polluting our planet.  I welcome any moves that way. 

The chocolate is a miniscule part of my cruising so not worried one way or the other

Toilet paper, maybe it's the same reasons as the plastic and is recycleable.

 

Not noticed any other cost cutting moves and find the whole experience luxury.  

Edited by Mauzac
spelling!

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3 hours ago, saminina said:

Kleenex facial tissue replaced "made in China" rough stuff.   Same idea for the toilet paper.  

TK chocolate squares have been replaced.

Water changes confirmed.

At least ten other cost cutting moves noticed and none positive for passengers.  Of course, I'm quite sure few of you will notice and still think you are on some kind of ultra luxury outing.

 

1 hour ago, Mauzac said:

 

I'm all for changes with the water... too much plastic polluting our planet.  I welcome any moves that way. 

The chocolate is a miniscule part of my cruising so not worried one way or the other

Toilet paper, maybe it's the same reasons as the plastic and is recycleable.

 

Not noticed any other cost cutting moves and find the whole experience luxury.  

 

2 hours ago, galeforce9 said:

TK chocolate squares were amongst some of the worst chocolate I’ve ever tasted! 

Yuk on the poor paper products...

 

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Saminia,

 

Please list the “other 10 cost cutting moves” already made that you expect others won’t notice. If you list all ten of them I will check them out, report back, and then alert everyone.
 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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Probably best to come on board with open eyes.   As predicted, many will never notice and some will cheer the cutbacks.

Markham, you will easily find a minimum of ten since your last visit.   It'll be fun.

 

 

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I do understand what people are saying and I am sure the comments are fair criticism. I was on Seabourn recently after a 4 year break and I accept some bits were "missing" but I still felt that it is a luxury product. Every cruise line, at all levels are cost cutting as they all try to remain profitable. The one thing I feel needs to be said is that the cost of cruising of this standard has never been lower, there is over capacity in the luxary sector and that means prices have to be competitive. Before I booked our recent cruise I found that prices are generally quite a bit less today than 4 years ago. We all understand that the price of staff, food, alcohol, security and general overhead has risen over the years. The only way the cruise lines can do this is by cost cutting across the board. Maybe I am wrong but if Seabourn suddenly change back all the cost cutting items and put up prices, yes many of us here will be happy to pay more, but not all of us. This will mean that the ships will be sailing with less occupancy and in time the line will cease to exist. To my mind we all need the global economy to improve so there is more demand, prices will firm up and then the companies will have to be more competitive with their product offering which I feel will mean standards will improve again as the passenger will demand it when paying a premium.

I feel this has to be taken into account....................

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11 minutes ago, rl787 said:

I do understand what people are saying and I am sure the comments are fair criticism. I was on Seabourn recently after a 4 year break and I accept some bits were "missing" but I still felt that it is a luxury product. Every cruise line, at all levels are cost cutting as they all try to remain profitable. The one thing I feel needs to be said is that the cost of cruising of this standard has never been lower, there is over capacity in the luxary sector and that means prices have to be competitive. Before I booked our recent cruise I found that prices are generally quite a bit less today than 4 years ago. We all understand that the price of staff, food, alcohol, security and general overhead has risen over the years. The only way the cruise lines can do this is by cost cutting across the board. Maybe I am wrong but if Seabourn suddenly change back all the cost cutting items and put up prices, yes many of us here will be happy to pay more, but not all of us. This will mean that the ships will be sailing with less occupancy and in time the line will cease to exist. To my mind we all need the global economy to improve so there is more demand, prices will firm up and then the companies will have to be more competitive with their product offering which I feel will mean standards will improve again as the passenger will demand it when paying a premium.

I feel this has to be taken into account....................

 

I can’t agree with your statement “the prices have never been lower” 

In actual dollar terms we paid three times more per night for our May cruise than we paid 6 years ago, for the same level suite.

Most of the current future prices are four to five times per night dearer than 6 years ago.

What annoys me is that Seabourn then discounts the cruises drastically at the last minute to fill their ships with the “Interline” system.

Why not offer a better than the 5% discount  on some cruises to their loyal clients e.g say every 100 days sailed gives you an even larger discount rate.

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Hi SKP, I don't know what Interline is but I can only say how I found prices, maybe I was lucky!

For me as I said I feel prices are lower these days. I know that Hong Kong - Singapore is not popular at the moment but Seabourn's offers in that region are so low they are almost paying us to go!

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1 hour ago, rl787 said:

Hi SKP, I don't know what Interline is but I can only say how I found prices, maybe I was lucky!

For me as I said I feel prices are lower these days. I know that Hong Kong - Singapore is not popular at the moment but Seabourn's offers in that region are so low they are almost paying us to go!

 

Interline rates are offered to current and retired employees of airlines and cruise lines (and travel agents, I believe), and is a widely used sales practice to fill unused inventory at opaque rates to which retail customers are not privy or entitled.  These can be booked months in advance.  Even lower rates (or free sailings) are offered to family and friends, often at the very last minute.  In addition, there are also consolidators - travel agencies who get a block of inventory and package the sailing with air and a pre-cruise hotel night - as well as non-revenues, i.e. corporates and contractors on duty who occupy guest suites.  That's why most voyages end up full even though they may not be selling well in advance.

 

I have met many airline pilots and flight attendants, both retired and active, over the years on Seabourn, and they do get a good deal.  The consolidators offer a decent deal, which usually isn't as good as interline rates, though.  (I got myself on the mailing list of an interline agency and a consolidator, even though I do not qualify to book under the former and am not interested to book under the latter, just to gauge in advance the passenger mix on my upcoming voyages.)

 

I, too, find that SB pricing has remained flat over the years, and so the cost cuttings do not surprise me.  While brochure prices are higher in recent years, in reality they get adjusted downward as the sail dates approach.

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Fist of all I’d like to mention  one thing that always seems to be missing from these doom and gloom threads that infer changes on Seabourn as the beginning of the end of the luxury experience  - and that is that all changes are not necessarily bad. And whilst  many posters pile on about all of the negative changes (negative in their opinion) no one has provided the other side of the story by mentioning  all of the positive changes they have made.  So here is my attempt at providing a balanced perspective by listing just ten of the positive changes I have noticed in the last 18 years of cruising on Seabourn.

 

1.Included Sauternes. When we started on Seabourn Sauterne was an additional charge and not included on the house wine list. 

2. And on the subject of wine, while subject to personal opinion I can state that without a doubt in the last few years I have seen more decent  included wines that retail in excess of $20 USD per bottle 

3. Decent coffee. When we started on Seabourn I was afraid our first cruise would be our last because it was so bad and coffee is very important to my DH. Now we have the wonderful coffee bar in Seabourn Square ( and even the coffee in other venues has improved). 

4.Upgraded tote bags. Seabourn has gone from the flour sack style bags to decent bags of a nice design, better fabric and best of all, a zipper. 

5. Departure bags. On most cruises in the last few years we have received a little heavy plastic clear zip bag which comply with the airline security regulations on many countries.  And inside are a few items help ease the trauma of flying.

6. USB ports - no longer is it necessary to bring bulky gadgets to convert a standard plug to one which facilitates the charging of many electronic  devices as there are now outlets by the bed.   

7. Conversion of TK Grill - okay, not everyone’s favorite venue but most seem to join me in agreeing that it is far surprise to the red bordello themed R2. 

8. Lunch on embarkation - Some of you may remember that it used to be you were not served lunch on embarkation day. I remember many cruises when we would either get by with little sandwiches and cookies served in the lounge or order room service to be delivered to the Sky Bar. 

9. Suites often ready by 12:30- Until recently suites were not ready until 2PM. Now there are usually ready at 12:30. It may not seem like much but it is very much appreciated by many and I can’t begin to imagine the Herculean efforts on the part of the housekeeping department to make this happen. 

10. The Ventures Program- I don’t know much about other cruise-lines but I’m not aware of any similar program on other cruise lines. What a great way to provide active options for cruisers like us who used to take numerous expedition type cruises to satisfy our interests. 

 

If I thought longer I’m sure I could come up with many more of these sorts of “changes” Maybe some-other fair minded posters will chime in to balance this mostly one sided thread. And yes, as noted, what we pay for a Seabourn cruise now is less than what we paid years ago. 

 

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6 hours ago, SKP946 said:

Most of the current future prices are four to five times per night dearer than 6 years ago.

What annoys me is that Seabourn then discounts the cruises drastically at the last minute to fill their ships with the “Interline” system.

Indeed the prices at which cruises are offered 12 months or more out are well out of our reach and many, even most, start showing up on the sales 6-9 months out and as the 120 days mark is crossed get discounted again. This is partly why I never worry too much about Seabourn being the last to release their schedules as there's no way we could ever afford a cruise which hasn't been through the discount cycle and we don't really like playing the price matching lottery game. 

I haven't seen a particularly large ratio of Interline passengers on our Seabourn cruises, Interline always does a little better than whatever rate the rest of us get however in my experience Seabourn continues to offer lower and lower rates to everyone if cruises approach sailing date and are looking like they'll sail too empty. We've picked up some very good absolute last minute deals on less-than-popular itineraries. 

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Chairsin,

 

Spot on you are, as usual, and so thank you for the effort to put things into perspective across the board of those ten positive and substantive changes.

 

I don't know at all about changes that have disappointed me. And if there were something "missing" on a cruise I could always ask about it. Chances are I wouldn't have to anyway, but if I did there would probably be a good explanation from the officers I have grown to know and trust. For example, if few passengers are interested in some past "benefit" it should be discontinued to save on waste and money. Ditto for less or non-biodegradable tissues if that was the earlier complaint. Simple as that.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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Adding to the list of positives.

1) laundry returned in nicer bags.

2) more Russians promoted to position of Captain.

3) collectively, the best group of hotel managers. 

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Improvements: Better champagne!!!!  Improved spirits list.  Earth & Ocean concept.

 

Not sure about the tissue and TP issue, on the Quest right now and I don't notice any changes, and having spent quite a bit of time in countries w/ sand paper-like TP I no issue with what is in the bathroom.

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Saminia,

 

I believe I know most Seabourn captains but don’t recall any from Russia. Who did you have in mind?

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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1 hour ago, 2SailingNomads said:

Improvements: Better champagne!!!!  Improved spirits list.  Earth & Ocean concept.

 

Not sure about the tissue and TP issue, on the Quest right now and I don't notice any changes, and having spent quite a bit of time in countries w/ sand paper-like TP I no issue with what is in the bathroom.

I’m currently on the Quest too... and I’m speechless.  This is my 15th SB cruise since 2012 and I find SB to be consistently excellent. . As for the TP issue: - so far not one TP malfunction yet.  My face likes soft.  My caboose likes strong.  And, just maybe, a little sand on the paper may help get job done.  

Edited by raphael360
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9 minutes ago, markham said:

Saminia,

 

I believe I know most Seabourn captains but don’t recall any from Russia. Who did you have in mind?

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Haven’t you met Captain Sergei Tatayana Markham 😳🕺

He really struts his stuff at the git to know yer neighbour fiasco.

Edited by Mr Luxury

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On 10/12/2019 at 4:43 PM, saminina said:

 

Thanks for the laugh. 

Not sure I understand the laugh part but I totally agree with Dans post. 

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On 10/10/2019 at 3:32 AM, wesport said:

We were on the Ovation in June, and it was fantastic. No complaints here. 

 

Thanks for the info.    Getting excited.  First Sojourn cruise on November 13 from Athens to Dubai.    Getting excited.   

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22 hours ago, raphael360 said:

I’m currently on the Quest too... and I’m speechless.  This is my 15th SB cruise since 2012 and I find SB to be consistently excellent. . As for the TP issue: - so far not one TP malfunction yet.  My face likes soft.  My caboose likes strong.  And, just maybe, a little sand on the paper may help get job done.  

 ha!ha!

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