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How are you deciding if (and when) you may book a cruise again?


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To address the original question and to add to the other contributors, we go from Southampton but are closely monitoring the shore side / customer service capabilities alongside the other requirements around when a restart bis safe.

 

The reality is, things may go wrong when cruises restart and that is more likely than before.

 

If this happens, you need to have confidence that the company will treat you properly; not just from a fundamental safety perspective, which is an unwritten expectation, but also in terms of their customer care, attitude and overall approach. 

 

The behaviour of P&O and some of the other Carnival Corp lines in the midsts of the crisis and during the crisis management phase now has to be taken in to account on this, in a way whereby before it wasn't always great, but wasn't bad enough to put you off.

 

No cruise lines are perfect, life isn't perfect; the whole scenario is very imperfect.  But I would say we are considering Fred Olsen more because of the above, who seem, overall, to be doing better.  Any lingering doubts of giving Marella another go have gone for good.

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3 hours ago, No pager thank you said:

I know Jean - remarkable how the IT system can sometimes work!  Had the same email.

It's also interesting to see what the reaction to the P&O message is on another social media site. The vitriol vented against P&O and their refund performance is overwhelming.  There are so few of us on here  that we do not see the bigger picture.

From a PR point of view,  the refund performance has been a catastrophe. And Ryland is getting some serious criticism. 

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7 hours ago, wowzz said:

It's also interesting to see what the reaction to the P&O message is on another social media site. The vitriol vented against P&O and their refund performance is overwhelming.  There are so few of us on here  that we do not see the bigger picture.

From a PR point of view,  the refund performance has been a catastrophe. And Ryland is getting some serious criticism. 

A very good point you make there about the tiny size of this forum, as against vastly larger forums which have now taken over.  We hardly represent today's views of cruising!

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45 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

A very good point you make there about the tiny size of this forum, as against vastly larger forums which have now taken over.  We hardly represent today's views of cruising!

Yeah, but we are nicer.. 😊

Although smaller, I feel the core of the posters on here are so knowledgeable and helpful, you learn who to listen to. 

More people watch this site than we realise, proven by the surge in posters when something particularly affects them. 

Not everybody likes to spout off like we do Harry 😊

But point taken, fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

Andy 

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13 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

Yeah, but we are nicer.. 😊

Although smaller, I feel the core of the posters on here are so knowledgeable and helpful, you learn who to listen to. 

More people watch this site than we realise, proven by the surge in posters when something particularly affects them. 

Not everybody likes to spout off like we do Harry 😊

But point taken, fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

Andy 

Don't get me wrong, Andy - I loathe that other site with a passion for all the damage to society it's caused with fake news, and for the devious way it operates.

 

But we have to face facts - that's where the vast majority of people go now.  Bring back Friends Reunited!   😉

 

Harry

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8 hours ago, wowzz said:

It's also interesting to see what the reaction to the P&O message is on another social media site. The vitriol vented against P&O and their refund performance is overwhelming.  There are so few of us on here  that we do not see the bigger picture.

From a PR point of view,  the refund performance has been a catastrophe. And Ryland is getting some serious criticism. 


I don’t even look at FB, let alone use it, but that’s very interesting as I suspect that their users are, on average, younger than those of us on here and a far greater proportion of potential first time cruisers. This market is, of course, P&O’s new target audience with those of us who might be classed as ‘traditional cruisers‘ becoming increasingly less important to them. I can see why. A lot of posters on here book inside cabins and pride themselves on spending very little on board. The ‘new to cruising market’, in general, want balcony cabins, will use Select Dining restaurants more and spend more on board in bars etc. I know I am generalising and there will be exceptions both ways (such as my wife and I who only book balcony cabins or suites and use Select Dining restaurants a lot), but I bet I’m not too far off the mark.
 

The ‘new to cruising’ market will have less brand loyalty, aren’t as set on cruises as the ‘be all and end all’ of holidays and are more likely to vote with their feet if they feel badly treated. Whilst I can understand why P&O have deliberately delayed paying out refunds for cash flow purposes, they have shown a lack of maturity of management thinking in failing to consider the reputational damage that will ensue from this approach. We ‘only’ had to wait 45 days for our refunds (31 days over the legal requirement) so were luckier than most, but it has left us feeling that, for the first time, we are now considering other cruise operators once we feel safe to do so. Yes, I know, P&O has not been unique in delaying refunds, but it’s interesting that having, at last, got to Caribbean loyalty tier as a result of only cruising with P&O, we no longer feel any brand loyalty to them. 

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31 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

Yeah, but we are nicer.. 😊

Although smaller, I feel the core of the posters on here are so knowledgeable and helpful, you learn who to listen to. 

More people watch this site than we realise, proven by the surge in posters when something particularly affects them. 

Not everybody likes to spout off like we do Harry 😊

But point taken, fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

Andy 


I’d love to see your list of who you listen to and who you ignore Andy, but suspect that many of us might not like what we see 😂 

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18 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


I don’t even look at FB, let alone use it, but that’s very interesting as I suspect that their users are, on average, younger than those of us on here and a far greater proportion of potential first time cruisers ...
 

The ‘new to cruising’ market will have less brand loyalty, aren’t as set on cruises as the ‘be all and end all’ of holidays and are more likely to vote with their feet if they feel badly treated.

P&O have a number of issues when it comes to the "new to cruising" market:

 

1) In the land based holiday market, all-inclusive resorts and holidays have become a norm over the last 10-15 years.  Although there are various complaints about cost cutting and stinginess when it comes to what is included (i.e. small plastic cups, one at a time), this product is popular and more larger hotels are switching to this concept from B&B or HB.  People will pay more, but want convenience and not to have to reach for their actual or electronic wallet every 5 minutes.  The new to cruising market will look for the same from P&O.  Why pay £280 a week per person for something that is included on Marella?

 

2) The attraction of a traditional, British cruise product, based on comfort, style, fair price, and good service cannot be underestimated.  However, this competes with an experience which is more family orientated, and technologically innovative (i.e. Theme Park style on board), P&O have to rely on these old fashioned qualities to keep custom.  Hence the risk of being seen to be overcharging and ripping people off with FCCs, or being perceived to be doing worse in managing the crisis than other brands.

 

3) Much said around official Facebook and Twitter etc being a better gauge.  Some truth in this.  However, this site is overrepresented from "loyal" cruisers who understand the product intrinsically, therefore should not be ignored.  I would say that in most circumstances, beyond the usual gripes and spouting, P&O should get a better reception on here than in official Facebook and Twitter Etc.  The fact that this is not the case, and that a very high proportion of contributors are fed up with them, and considering alternative holidays / brands more than they were (you can exclude the pandemic in this analysis) is a problem for P&O.

 

They risk being squeezed from both ends.  Iona now has to be a success, more so than 6-12 months ago.  Just my view.

 

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1 hour ago, AndyMichelle said:

Yeah, but we are nicer.. 😊

Although smaller, I feel the core of the posters on here are so knowledgeable and helpful, you learn who to listen to. 

More people watch this site than we realise, proven by the surge in posters when something particularly affects them. 

Not everybody likes to spout off like we do Harry 😊

But point taken, fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

Andy 


Totally agree Andy. On here most people accept cruising wasn’t likely this year. Elsewhere opinions are divided between the “I won’t go near a floating Petri dish” brigrade. Or those cancelling in May and re booking for August!
 

On the original question my next cruise is booked for September 21 and I’m not even 100% convinced I’ll be onboard. I’ll be watching closely when cruises finally resume.

I was just saying to the hubby this morning I’d happily go on Brittany ferries to Spain on France, I loved the holidays we’ve done with them before. The only problem for next year is late September is a bit late to book, their ferries get booked up very early. Decisions decisions.

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1 hour ago, AndyMichelle said:

Yeah, but we are nicer.. 😊

Although smaller, I feel the core of the posters on here are so knowledgeable and helpful, you learn who to listen to. 

More people watch this site than we realise, proven by the surge in posters when something particularly affects them. 

Not everybody likes to spout off like we do Harry 😊

But point taken, fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

Andy 

+1.

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1 hour ago, Selbourne said:


I’d love to see your list of who you listen to and who you ignore Andy, but suspect that many of us might not like what we see 😂 

I always look forward to reading your posts Selbourne and Andy's too.

Everyones posts on here is appreciated by me and Kalos's humour always makes me laugh.

Graham

 

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22 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

I always look forward to reading your posts Selbourne and Andy's too.

Everyones posts on here is appreciated by me and Kalos's humour always makes me laugh.

Graham

 


Thanks Graham. Have to say that the main dining rooms don’t have tables big enough for the ‘fantasy table companions’ that I would pick from this forum. You and Andy would definitely be amongst them though as well as quite a few others! The devil in me would also pick one or two of the more provocative posters though, as I’d like to see if they are as confrontational ‘in the flesh’. I somehow suspect that they would be 😂 

 

P.S. I should add that I have actually met a handful of the regulars on here on board P&O ships and all were a joy to talk to. I would happily meet any of them again. Whether they would feel the same may, of course, be a different matter 😂 

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2 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


Thanks Graham. Have to say that the main dining rooms don’t have tables big enough for the ‘fantasy table companions’ that I would pick from this forum. You and Andy would definitely be amongst them though as well as quite a few others! The devil in me would also pick one or two of the more provocative posters though, as I’d like to see if they are as confrontational ‘in the flesh’. I somehow suspect that they would be 😂 

Thanks Selbourne.

I too would pick you and Andy and a few more of our friendly group.

Some of the anonymous keyboard warriors are probably nasty in person too and I avoid that type of person as much as possible.

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1 hour ago, AndyMichelle said:

You know who they are Selborne.. 

I don't listen to antagonists but I take notice of knowledgeable people with no agenda. 

Just like life really. 

Andy 

Oh dear, you won't be reading this, then.😄

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2 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

 fb has taken over the world, just not my world.. 

What is fb, and am I missing out on something really important that will enhance my life?😞

No??  I didn’t think so. I'll stay with the lovely folks on CC.😘

Avril 

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Just now, Adawn47 said:

What is fb, and am I missing out on something really important that will enhance my life?😞

No??  I didn’t think so. I'll stay with the lovely folks on CC.😘

Avril 

Good morning Avril,

I can assure that you are not missing out...much more polite and friendly on here 😁

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1 minute ago, Adawn47 said:

What is fb, and am I missing out on something really important that will enhance my life?😞

No??  I didn’t think so. I'll stay with the lovely folks on CC.😘

Avril 

The book of face has one use, and that's if you have a local village/town page for local information and recommendations (painters, decorators etc.) That's all I use it for, but it's proved very handy over the years.

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3 minutes ago, AnnieC said:

The book of face has one use, and that's if you have a local village/town page for local information and recommendations (painters, decorators etc.) That's all I use it for, but it's proved very handy over the years.

I know what fb is Annie. I was just being sarcastic. I know, I know that's not like me, but ------? '😆

Avril 

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7 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

I know what fb is Annie. I was just being sarcastic. I know, I know that's not like me, but ------? '😆

Avril 

I knew you knew, Avril😄

 

Even the local village page can get heated and unpleasant at times, and they're (presumably) posting under the own names in a tiny village. 

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3 minutes ago, AnnieC said:

I knew you knew, Avril😄

 

Even the local village page can get heated and unpleasant at times, and they're (presumably) posting under the own names in a tiny village. 

Our village page is heavily moderated, so anything unpleasant, if it gets posted, is quickly removed. The people who run it have a sort of chocolate box image, having moved in from a nearby city, and they also tend to remove anything which detracts from their rose coloured view. It certainly isn’t a chocolate box village.

 

My wife frequents gardening and cooking pages, and she says the people there are all lovely. Very rarely anything remotely unkind or unpleasant.

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Whilst we all have different points of view, and sometimes things can get a little heated at times, I always feel on here that underneath it all there is a level of basic civility. This is not always the case on FB.

It is entirely possible to have a disagreement and still be respectful.

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1 minute ago, wowzz said:

Whilst we all have different points of view, and sometimes things can get a little heated at times, I always feel on here that underneath it all there is a level of basic civility. This is not always the case on FB.

It is entirely possible to have a disagreement and still be respectful.

As one of the black sheep of the ‘family’, I’d agree entirely. Rudeness achieves nothing.  😄

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