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Is anyone else surprised that the Sovereign-class and Fantasy-class ships (about 30 years old) are being scrapped but the original Royal Viking ships (now almost 50 years old) are still sailing? That’s pretty amazing.

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The majority of the cabins on Empress are interior and ocean view rooms. The very few balcony cabins are suites — there are no regular balconies.  This presents a problem in today’s environment of preference to open air. It was reported that one of the largest ships to sail out of Germany a few days ago sailed with passengers in balcony cabins only.  If this becomes a trend post covid-19, then Empress can no longer be profitable.

 

Empress was perfect for the Cuba sailings and other small port itineraries and made RCI a lot of money.  Her fate would depend on how much it would cost to keep her under the current circumstances waiting for a return to normal one day  (if and when that ever happens). Her viability is much in question and economic obscelence a factor weighing against her.

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8 hours ago, BeachDiva101 said:

Well, RC gave a statement to CruiseCritic that Empress was not leaving the fleet. Time will tell if that is true.

I'm not sure that statement holds any meaning as RC takes deposits for cruises they must know will not happen. They are just preserving their business. They will deal with refunds and rebookings later.

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I have been looking at replacement cruises for my 8 day Empress in January........Is it me or is every other cruise over double the cost right now?    i looked at RCI  Celebrity Holland NCL and Princess...  all of the prices seem really high right now.

 

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34 minutes ago, SOUNDSGOOD! said:

I have been looking at replacement cruises for my 8 day Empress in January........Is it me or is every other cruise over double the cost right now?    i looked at RCI  Celebrity Holland NCL and Princess...  all of the prices seem really high right now.

 

 

I think we were warned prices would increase select weeks ago.  If they all can keep the prices up there remains to be seen. 

 

On one hand they are all desperate for money to make up for shutting down but many economies are in recession.  During such times historically not as many people put money into vacations like they do during better times.   In the US tens of millions lost jobs.  The effect is consistent with what Royal has stated - more bookings from return guests, fewer bookings from never cruised before.  The never cruised market has been the barely tapped resource but with so many impacted by the pandemic that market isn't buying cruise vacations like they used to.  

 

Eventually supply and demand factors will come back into play.  Lower demand may lead to excess supply which historically has reduced prices.   They raised prices.  If people stop booking they will be forced to reconsider.  Time will tell.  

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Empress has been having issues with plumbing for years. There are numerous postings on message boards that mention ongoing issues with flooded cabins, sewer stench on some decks, and crews trying to fix things during sailings.

My bathroom was flooded twice on deck three last September. I read about sewer smell months before my sailing, and then did smell it in some areas on some days.

 

The decor of the ship is very dated in some sections. It's not vintage, it's just plain dated.

 

On the other hand the service was exceptional. The crew was cheerful, happy, and they did try their best to make passengers enjoy their time aboard. I was very happy with this cruise.

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1 hour ago, SOUNDSGOOD! said:

I have been looking at replacement cruises for my 8 day Empress in January........Is it me or is every other cruise over double the cost right now?    i looked at RCI  Celebrity Holland NCL and Princess...  all of the prices seem really high right now.

 


Here's a theory. Only committed cruisers book new cruises at this time. Same people know that they will be able to adjust their booking prices lower when sales are announced, so they are not worried at this time that prices are high. A higher price at this time brings slightly higher deposit amounts to Royal coffers. Any extra cash helps. 

What I'm surprised about though is that Royal is not running any specials on high-margin extras. For example, there are no sales on WiFi packages, or behind-the-scenes tours, digital images, non-alcoholic beverages, etc. Prices are same as always, and I think they are missing a real opportunity here to raise some easy extra cash.

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6 minutes ago, PatMunits said:

Empress has been having issues with plumbing for years. There are numerous postings on message boards that mention ongoing issues with flooded cabins, sewer stench on some decks, and crews trying to fix things during sailings.

My bathroom was flooded twice on deck three last September. I read about sewer smell months before my sailing, and then did smell it in some areas on some days.

 

The decor of the ship is very dated in some sections. It's not vintage, it's just plain dated.

 

On the other hand the service was exceptional. The crew was cheerful, happy, and they did try their best to make passengers enjoy their time aboard. I was very happy with this cruise.

I agree, when I was on the Empress last year I found the crew to be the best.  My wife and I thought that the crew was super friendly and went out of the way to help.  This was our second cruise on the Empress.  Our first was 26 years earlier in 1993 when it was the Nordic Empress.

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1 hour ago, SOUNDSGOOD! said:

I have been looking at replacement cruises for my 8 day Empress in January........Is it me or is every other cruise over double the cost right now?    i looked at RCI  Celebrity Holland NCL and Princess...  all of the prices seem really high right now.

 

Found some decently priced msc for the end of next year 

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2 hours ago, SOUNDSGOOD! said:

I have been looking at replacement cruises for my 8 day Empress in January........Is it me or is every other cruise over double the cost right now?    i looked at RCI  Celebrity Holland NCL and Princess...  all of the prices seem really high right now.

 

 

Empress is generally Royal's least expensive ship. Also the oldest and smallest It's going to be hard to match that...SO...I'd look at ships out of Tampa for some of the best prices I've seen.  Generally older, smaller ships there that are less expensive.  Also 8-day aboard the Carnival Breeze isn't too bad as far a price goes. I've done that itinerary before and and it a good one.  Good ship.

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We have Empress booked for February 2021. I'm pretty sure that my Dec 2020 on Allure is going toe cancelled so this would be be our the first one for us after cruising resumes.  I booked Empress because of this review...

 

 

And this one...

 

 

Twangster does a better job selling cruises than Royals own staff!  Really hoping this one gets to go but I know that hope for this one is on life support as well.

 

Edited by Tree_skier
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9 hours ago, Fairsky84 said:

Is anyone else surprised that the Sovereign-class and Fantasy-class ships (about 30 years old) are being scrapped but the original Royal Viking ships (now almost 50 years old) are still sailing? That’s pretty amazing.

 

The Royal Viking ships were very fortunate to land with Fred Olsen Line and Phoenix Reisen, 2 lines with management and clientele that appreciate  these classic ships and classic cruising and do not demand the new shiny revenue generators. These companies are both known to maintain and operate their ships with the utmost standard. 

 

I am a bit concerned for the RVL Star and RVL Sky from 1972 that are with Fred Olsen now that they have been able to grab 2 ships from Holland American Line and might be ready to drop the historic vessels. 

 

I have sailed on all four RVL ships both as a child and then into my 20's and certainly remember just how well constructed they all were. I think the fact that they started their life with Norwegian registry might also play a role in their longevity. 

 

The modern cruise industry would not exist without the innovation of these classic ships. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PatMunits said:


Here's a theory. Only committed cruisers book new cruises at this time. Same people know that they will be able to adjust their booking prices lower when sales are announced, so they are not worried at this time that prices are high. A higher price at this time brings slightly higher deposit amounts to Royal coffers. Any extra cash helps. 

What I'm surprised about though is that Royal is not running any specials on high-margin extras. For example, there are no sales on WiFi packages, or behind-the-scenes tours, digital images, non-alcoholic beverages, etc. Prices are same as always, and I think they are missing a real opportunity here to raise some easy extra cash.

I actually bought the Key for 2 of my upcoming cruises for $12.99. Both sailings are on the Enchantment. We always get internet so its worth it.

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4 hours ago, Beachammo said:

Empress has been for sale for awhile now.....but Royal just reduced the price.

 

Not sure how much it's worth in Scrap

Screenshot_2020-07-31-09-14-38.png

 

At that price, it could show up on My Lottery Dream Home.🏠 

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3 hours ago, Tree_skier said:

We have Empress booked for February 2021. I'm pretty sure that my Dec 2020 on Allure is going toe cancelled so this would be be our the first one for us after cruising resumes.  I booked Empress because of this review...

 

 

 

I always smile when my photo shows up on this link. Technically it's Laura's 

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2 hours ago, jean87510 said:

I actually bought the Key for 2 of my upcoming cruises for $12.99. Both sailings are on the Enchantment. We always get internet so its worth it.

 

Empress internet is pretty bad, Enchantment was pretty good.

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15 hours ago, BeachDiva101 said:

Well, RC gave a statement to CruiseCritic that Empress was not leaving the fleet. Time will tell if that is true.

 

Most of us here understand what is RCI's half time when it comes to unambiguous statements.

Empress in Malta means stripping of all valuables, after that a short hop to the beaching. Perhaps RCI's half time statement was necessary in order to collect more bookings and keep customer's cruise fare as long as possible. But I am sure everybody gets their monies back at day 120 or so - after the AIS signal has been shut off permanently

Edited by Kbonner
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Don't know if things in the USA have changed but here in the UK deposits on cruises are nearly always,if not always,non refundable,obviously meaning that once booked getting your money back is difficult to say the least.

This becomes IMO really annoying when the cruise line decide to mess around with the details of the cruise,we did our first Royal Caribbean cruise last October,booked nearly 2 years before,soon after booking one of the cruise stops was withdrawn,soon after booking that cruise we booked a second cruise with RCI,soon after booking we were informed that once again one cruise stop had been cancelled,this time it was the one stop that we really booked the cruise for leaving us with a cruise of no interest to us,faced with losing the deposit we paid the fee to change to a short cruise in March 2021,all sorted,not on your life,just before Covid reared it's ugly head we were told that our short cruise had been changed to a 2 week cruise,with our experience with RCI it saddens me but doesn't at all surprise me if they are taking bookings for cruises that have no chance of going ahead,annoyingly it seems quite normal for RCI!😎

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4 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

I always smile when my photo shows up on this link. Technically it's Laura's 

 

Believe it or not that huge sofa was still there this past December when I was on Empress.  It's a huge space with a huge sofa -- nice place to sleep when you get kicked out of your cabin.   😇

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So if they sell the ship what happens to existing cruise on that ship? Will they move the cruise to another ship?  We have a New England & Canada next July.  Sorry if this is a stupid question 

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3 hours ago, livingonthebeach said:

 

Believe it or not that huge sofa was still there this past December when I was on Empress.  It's a huge space with a huge sofa -- nice place to sleep when you get kicked out of your cabin.   😇

 

Our cabin was right next to it. Empress has a lot of spaces like that 

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1 hour ago, K922 said:

So if they sell the ship what happens to existing cruise on that ship? Will they move the cruise to another ship?  We have a New England & Canada next July.  Sorry if this is a stupid question 

 

No idea, some of those routes require a small ship

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