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INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS AND ROUNDTRIP AIR: SILVERSEA CRUISES BECOMES MORE ALL-INCLUSIVE THAN EVER


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11 hours ago, jpalbny said:

Oh yeah. We're not happy with included excursions either, though I guess in some ports it might be OK. We almost always DIY in Europe - this might be handy in other places where that's more difficult but we'll have to see. If this were just a temporary thing to provide reassurance for 2021, while presumably, the rules will be that you can't leave the ship unless with a ship's tour, that's one thing. If it's a permanent shift to this model...ugh.

 

Considering that this change is for 2022/2023, it is hardly impressive.  It is just a marketing ploy with a shiny brochure which obscures the fact that prices are increasing to cover those "included" benefits and provide increased profits on top of the actual costs of those benefits.

 

In the meantime, those who book a cruise are still bound by the Silversea cruise contract which HAS NOT been modified since the COVID cruise recommendations.  As a result, those who are denied boarding or disembarked assume the full risk of loss as the cruise contract provides that no refund, credit or compensation will be provided in such instance.  Additionally, those who sail will be required to take Silversea sponsored excursions at their own cost if they wish to leave the ship at any point during the sailing.  No more independent exploration of the various cruise destinations.  I agree that this idea of "included" or "mandatory" excursions, particularly in destinations such as the Caribbean and Europe does not inspire excitement about cruising anytime soon...

 

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20 hours ago, Silver Spectre said:

I have to agree with you. IMHO this is a bad move.

A no go for loyal Silversea cruisers .Just another detrimental feature introduced by Mass Market cruise line RC.Everthing that has happened since the takeover has been in the direction of reducing the quality cruising we have enjoyed for 22 years with SS.Sorry to reach such a sad conclusion after so much enjoyment.At least RC can only take away our future SS cruises but we shall retain the happy memories of what SS cruises were meant to be.

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1 hour ago, brimary said:

A no go for loyal Silversea cruisers . Just another detrimental feature. At least RC can only take away our future SS cruises but we shall retain the happy memories of what SS cruises were meant to be.

 

YES!!  Super agree with above by brimary about how we will ALWAYS have the great memories from our past Silversea cruises.  This includes my link below for our first Silversea experience ten years ago going up and down the scenic Norway coast on the Silver Cloud.  Wonderful experience is so many different ways.  Loved the sights, service, staff, etc.

 

Excellent point by Fletcher about how in certain areas (such as West Africa) as to where the private tour options might not be as available and/or trusted.  There, a ship tour could work out as the best possible.  Why "roll the dice" there with too many risks and questions?

 

Correct by J.P. that there is a difference as with certain of the expedition cruises.  For the Galapagos Islands, as an example, doing the ship excursion is the only realistic way it can be done and arranged.  

 

BUT, overall, I view this Silversea move as just "MARKETING 101" during a unique period of huge uncertainty and financial challenge.  Normally for us, we would prefer a lower "base" price and offering us the flexibility to decide what works best for our needs and interests.  There are pro/con factors with ship tours.  Many of them, however, fall too closely to the "average" category.  In unique and special areas, such in South Africa and along the Amazon River, we are so glad that we had arranged our own private adventures.  

  

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 240,865 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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In todays Webinar Barbara Muckermann suggested that they were looking at ‘cruise only’ fares. This was in reply to a question about the inclusion of trips but I fear that any cruise only fare will also exclude the air element.

 

The only reason for including the trips is to raise more revenue, anyone who wants to go and look at a church and taste wine at 8.30 would be able to pay if they considered the cost reasonable.

 

It would be good if they did offer an excluding trips fare and given the feedback on here this would appear to something they should look at.

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12 minutes ago, eastwoodboy said:

In todays Webinar Barbara Muckermann suggested that they were looking at ‘cruise only’ fares. ......

 

It would be good if they did offer an excluding trips fare and given the feedback on here this would appear to something they should look at.

 

I strongly agree and hope that they move in this direction.  

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10 minutes ago, eastwoodboy said:

In todays Webinar Barbara Muckermann suggested that they were looking at ‘cruise only’ fares. This was in reply to a question about the inclusion of trips but I fear that any cruise only fare will also exclude the air element.

 

Great info!!  Would love to learn much more as to what the Silversea marketing chief (and wife of their top operating officer) had to say and share.  How optimistic and/or realistic was she as to how long it will take for any type of re-start and moving some form of "normal".  Does she "get it" that many long-term customers are concerned, caution, careful, etc.??  Not everyone is ready to sail without reasonable safety and a chance to enjoy an excellent experience on the ship and for visiting ports.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 231,463 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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5 hours ago, Observer said:

 

I strongly agree and hope that they move in this direction.  


So they’re including tours in the base fare and then offering “cruise only” fares?  So much for “included in the fare”. The whole thing just makes me want to cancel my 2022 itin. 

Edited by milepig
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1 hour ago, milepig said:


So they’re including tours in the base fare and then offering “cruise only” fares?  So much for “included in the fare”. The whole thing just makes me want to cancel my 2022 itin. 

 

But this would not be so different from the current arrangement when flights are included in the base fare but guests can opt out of the flights and receive a credit.  In those cases the Silversea receipt says "cruise only" on the line for "Gateway" (which would have been the originating airport for flights.)

 

BTW: I do not think that these inclusions of tours/flights cover already booked itineraries.  I think they become effective spring 2022. 

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1 hour ago, Observer said:

 

But this would not be so different from the current arrangement when flights are included in the base fare but guests can opt out of the flights and receive a credit.  In those cases the Silversea receipt says "cruise only" on the line for "Gateway" (which would have been the originating airport for flights.)

 

BTW: I do not think that these inclusions of tours/flights cover already booked itineraries.  I think they become effective spring 2022. 

My itin is late summer 2022, so after the effective date. 

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We are absolutely not in favor of included tours.  We do not enjoy bus tours and would not want to feel we had to take them in a post covid world.  If we can opt out of included tours, we would be happy.

 

As an aside, we have earned three weeks of free cruises now and wonder if they would include shore excursions.

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1 hour ago, Emtbsam said:

As an aside, we have earned three weeks of free cruises now and wonder if they would include shore excursions.


My bet would be, yes, but only the free one.

 

BTW... kudos on having 3-weeks of free cruises!  You’ve achieved a level we can only dream of.

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Thanks to everyone for the passionate discussion! The idea of including Shore Excursions actually came out from a very large research we did run with our guests back in 2019. Of course we are always listening to our loyal guests and your points are noted. As I mentioned in the webinar we are studying a cruise only fare to allow our guests to enjoy more options, which is really what luxury is about. 

Barbara 

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2 hours ago, barbaramc73 said:

Thanks to everyone for the passionate discussion! The idea of including Shore Excursions actually came out from a very large research we did run with our guests back in 2019. Of course we are always listening to our loyal guests and your points are noted. As I mentioned in the webinar we are studying a cruise only fare to allow our guests to enjoy more options, which is really what luxury is about. 

Barbara 

 

Welcome to the Silversea board on Cruise Critic.  Thanks for contributing.

 

I might add another downside of free excursions:  possible frustration among some guests. 

 

With "free"/included tours, a guest might as well sign up for one in every port.  There's no penalty for not showing up.  (Or is there going to be some enforcement mechanism?)

 

So, say there's a tour of the market leaving at 8:30 and a cathedral tour leaving at 9:00.  We really wanted the cathedral tour, but it was full during rebooking.   So we prebooked the market tour.  

 

It turns out that 7 of the 40 people who had booked the cathedral tour didn't show up.  It was "free," they had a late night in Panorama, and decided to sleep in. The ticket could be used as a bookmark.

 

A couple of guests who were waiting in hopes of no-shows were added to fill some of the vacancies.  Unfortunately, we were not among them.  We had departed 30 minutes earlier on our tour.  

 

As one might imagine, we were *very* unhappy when we learned at cocktails that evening that there had in fact been room on the excellent cathedral tour, while we had the very mediocre market tour.

 

"Free"/included means no commitment and is likely to lead to no-shows, difficulties in planning, frustration among guests, etc. 

Edited by Observer
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Whatever BarbaraMc says in justifying free excursions for all contravenes all the reasons we have sailed with and enjoyed Silversea luxury for 22 years.It all smells of Mass Market cruising being introduced by the new owners.Sadly not for us as we preferred the old fashioned luxury of doing what you wanted,with whom you wanted at the time you wanted as per the luxury line that used to be Silversea.

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I am sorry to see Silver Seas going in this direction.  My husband and I scuba dive when traveling in the Caribbean.  I prefer booking my own excursions.  We have never been ones to appreciate bus tours.   We would have to pay for the “included” excursions and then pay to book our own preferred activities.  My other concern is that this will also push out the small operators that work in some of these countries or cut their profits.  We will have to look elsewhere.  😪

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2 hours ago, barbaramc73 said:

Thanks to everyone for the passionate discussion! The idea of including Shore Excursions actually came out from a very large research we did run with our guests back in 2019. Of course we are always listening to our loyal guests and your points are noted. As I mentioned in the webinar we are studying a cruise only fare to allow our guests to enjoy more options, which is really what luxury is about. Barbara 

 

Assume that the above post is from Barbara Muckermann, the Silversea Cruises
Chief Marketing Officer during the past four years.  Plus, she is the wife of SS's CEO and was a former official with Cruise Lines International Association and with other cruise/travel-related operations.  Plus, MBA degrees from Columbia University and the London Business School. 

 

Welcome to Barbara!!  Hope you are not shy and do drop in for these boards often and post other helpful information.  We welcome your insights, comments, questions, sharing, etc.

 

Glad that there was mention as to the "research" done earlier for this option of including excursion.  Clearly, Silversea did serious research and did not jump in too quickly to offer this type of marketing/pricing method.  Personally, as noted earlier, we like to have options and CHOICE!!  That gives us flexibility to see which pricing structure works best for our personal needs.  As noted, much depends as to where the cruise might be sailing and the specific ports to be visited.  We do not want to be priced out of being able to sail with Silversea.  It is a savvy and creative group who travel with Silversea.   

 

Keep "LISTENING" to the Silversea customers and offering a reasonable range of options and pricing potentials.  I am not as pessimistic as noted by some.  Even under the Royal Caribbean control, I still hope that the top executives stay flexible and focused on satisfying the needs and budgets for a wide range of world travelers. There are billionaires and millionaires in this world.  Most of us, however, are not up to that category of high wealth.  Even for those rich and close, they got that way by looking for value and spending their money smartly.   

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados on the Silver Cloud. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 67,679 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

 

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4 hours ago, barbaramc73 said:

Thanks to everyone for the passionate discussion!  As I mentioned in the webinar we are studying a cruise only fare to allow our guests to enjoy more options, which is really what luxury is about. 

 

1 hour ago, TLCOhio said:

Welcome to Barbara!! 


I agree with Terry.  A warm welcome to Barbara.

 

Thank you for adding your comments, Barbara.  I do hope we’ll see a “cruise only” fare option soon as many here look forward to the official itinerary extension and pricing release tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, barbaramc73 said:

Thanks Terry and all! Your comments are noted including the potential of people booking a specific shore excursion and not showing up, we will look into this! Looking forward to interesting conversations

Stay safe!

Barbara

Welcome on board.Your views will be welcomed ,appreciated and respected by all regulars on this Board and I am sure the views expressed will assist Silversea in planning the uncertain future in these difficult times.We all look forward to the resumption of cruising and something resembling normal during 2021.Hope that’s not too optimistic for everyone’s sake.Stay safe!

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Good morning Barbara

I have  been looking at the advance itinerary list which I got this morning. I can't see that any of the new  2022/23 voyages are listed as Venetian Society voyages? Is this correct? Are none of these voyages  to have the benefit of the Venetian Society discount which has been offered hitherto?

Many thanks

Rp

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It is so good to have you on these Boards Barbara so that there can be a sensible dialogue between some longstanding Venetians and The Company.

 

Having attended the Webinar, which I found most useful, it is disappointing to see that the much anticipated release of the 2022/23 Itineraries makes no reference to Costings. This makes effective Planning somewhat difficult as I suspect that not all Venetians are so wealthy as to have no need to consider the cost. Furthermore it is not helpful when ones National Office indicates that it has no idea when Pricing is to be released. Please be good enough to see what can be done ahead of 1st December.

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