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


les37b
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I suspect you are right Stumblefoot - Our Agents are going to be busy trying to get a number of Cruises priced if we are considering various combinations or they are going to be trying to secure Suite Options on Cruises we may not take when we get a Pricing. Not the most efficient way to operate in my opinion but others may differ. The effect of the ' Free Excusions ', Air Package and Business Upgrades makes for an interesting time ?

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On 11/23/2020 at 9:37 AM, brimary said:

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.

Can't you still do this? Seems like(correct me if I am wrong) you can choose the excursion that appeals to you like normal. The operators name the time and amount of people and any other restrictions-no wheelchairs-or whatever.The only difference would be that you don't have to pay for it. 

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8 minutes ago, skleeb said:

Can't you still do this? Seems like(correct me if I am wrong) you can choose the excursion that appeals to you like normal. The operators name the time and amount of people and any other restrictions-no wheelchairs-or whatever.The only difference would be that you don't have to pay for it. 

 

My bolding... Yes you do pay for it ( one way or another).  We don't drink, but we do pay for alcohol consumption.  We've always felt we should be able to "opt-out" or get a credit for not consuming alcohol, just like excursions or air.  In order to not have included liquor we've sailed Oceania some, but often, the ships are too big, or don't have the itinerary we want.  We just have to deal with paying for others scotch, champagne etc...

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41 minutes ago, skleeb said:

Can't you still do this? Seems like(correct me if I am wrong) you can choose the excursion that appeals to you like normal. The operators name the time and amount of people and any other restrictions-no wheelchairs-or whatever.The only difference would be that you don't have to pay for it. 


No, I don’t believe that is how it will work on SS based on what they have announced publicly.  There will be one “free” excursion in each port and several others from which you can choose from for a particular price.

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13 minutes ago, Stumblefoot said:


No, I don’t believe that is how it will work on SS based on what they have announced publicly.  There will be one “free” excursion in each port and several others from which you can choose from for a particular price.

I see. I still don't get all the animosity toward this idea, though. Yes, the cost of our cruise may go up a bit to cover the new 'freebie', but it seems like most of us must be in  pretty good financial standing if we are cruising on Silversea, yes? Sorry to sound condescending, but not sure how this changes things.

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15 minutes ago, skleeb said:

Can't you still do this? Seems like(correct me if I am wrong) you can choose the excursion that appeals to you like normal. The operators name the time and amount of people and any other restrictions-no wheelchairs-or whatever.The only difference would be that you don't have to pay for it. [emphasis added]

 

There are no free excursions, just as there is no free lunch.  One *does* have to pay for the excursions (whether one takes them or not!).  As proposed, the payment is included in the base fare.  Only some excursions will be among those included.  Presumably these will be the half-day, without meals, etc.  The premium excursions will have a charge (as is currently the case with all excursions).  

 

Your reference to wheelchairs is interesting: I know a couple of Silversea guests with well over 500 nights (perhaps closer to 1000).  They are getting up in years (but are quite mobile), and as a matter of principle, they do not take tenders.  Ever.  So the "free"/included excursions in tender ports will be useless to them.  In fact, they are so well traveled that they rarely take excursions anywhere.  They may go ashore for a bit of a walk, a meal, etc.

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1 hour ago, kimanjo said:

 

  We don't drink, but we do pay for alcohol consumption.  We've always felt we should be able to "opt-out" or get a credit for not consuming alcohol, just like excursions or air.  

 

I have thought a bit about this matter, and see the apparent inconsistency about an opt out for excursions but not for alcohol.   In the end, I do not see in practice how SS could offer and enforce a no-alcohol option.  

 

Included drinks have many advantages for the great majority of (imbibing) guests:  not having to produce a card for each drink, not dealing over dinner with new-found friends about who is paying for the wine, etc.  The Shore Concierge desk will deal with all excursion bookings (including for "free" excursions) and the computer can easily show whether one has opted out (and should be charged for an otherwise free excursion).  

 

But how to identify those who opt out of included alcohol?  There are scores of severs of alcohol, and each one would need to know whether the guest had opted out.  Perhaps all guests would be required to wear plastic bracelets (brown for included alcohol, red for those who opted out.)  But that is so tacky.  Perhaps those who opted out could wear tattoos on their wrists, that would disappear at end of cruise.  🙂 

 

I think that the opting out of excursions is much easier for SS to execute than opting out of alcohol.

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59 minutes ago, Stumblefoot said:


No, I don’t believe that is how it will work on SS based on what they have announced publicly.  There will be one “free” excursion in each port and several others from which you can choose from for a particular price.

I suppose we will have to wait and see.. but our Silver Muse Japan cruise in April 2019 was advertised as having one free cruise in every port and, as it turns out, we had a number to choose from in every port. Numbers on a few were limited and allocated on a first come basis. It all worked well, and I think that may be the case under the new system.

The wording may be to indicate that you cannot do two tours each day, should timing permit. (As you can do on Regent).

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Though I generally prefer to explore ports independently, I regularly use tours in Asian ports.  

 

For the typical American guest, the linguistic and cultural challenges traveling in Asia are rather greater than those in the Caribbean, in the British Isles, in Europe, in Australia/New Zealand, etc.  In these areas I often research the ports in advance and hire a taxi (occasionally with another couple from the ship), specifying (based on my research and the agreement of my companions) the places to be visited.  

 

Thus, the included tours may make more sense in some parts of the world for some guests than in other locales.  I think the blanket inclusion of tours for all guests in all ports would be unfortunate.

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Lots of good, valid opinions here.  Included tours vs included alcohol included made me think.

I dislike caviar, tried it anew on Silversea cruises, but still found it not to my taste.  Only now as I read these posts do I find myself asking why should I be subsidizing others' taste for those weird salty fish eggs?  It should be simple enough to say caviar available for a fee...

To really enjoy myself I should consistently choose the most expensive item on the menu...??

No.  Stop self.  We are on this ship of this luxury line because we want to enjoy ourselves without worrying about tabs/bracelets.  We want to be among others who are also enjoying themselves.  We get that caviar helps (some of) them to do so, so fine!

If included cruises help others enjoy their cruise, that's also fine by me.  Our experience with Silversea cruises has been top rate, so I expect we'll try a few of them as well.

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1 hour ago, QueSeraSera said:

Lots of good, valid opinions here.  Included tours vs included alcohol included made me think.

I dislike caviar, tried it anew on Silversea cruises, but still found it not to my taste.  Only now as I read these posts do I find myself asking why should I be subsidizing others' taste for those weird salty fish eggs?  It should be simple enough to say caviar available for a fee...

To really enjoy myself I should consistently choose the most expensive item on the menu...??

No.  Stop self.  We are on this ship of this luxury line because we want to enjoy ourselves without worrying about tabs/bracelets.  We want to be among others who are also enjoying themselves.  We get that caviar helps (some of) them to do so, so fine!

If included cruises help others enjoy their cruise, that's also fine by me.  Our experience with Silversea cruises has been top rate, so I expect we'll try a few of them as well.

 

And that was my point of my alcohol post.  We make the decision to sail despite having to pay for something ( booze) we do not use. There is value to us as a whole product even though we are subsidizing others.  This too, may very well be the way the shore ex work.  You'll just have to pay whether you partake or not.

 

 

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1 hour ago, kimanjo said:

 

And that was my point of my alcohol post.  We make the decision to sail despite having to pay for something ( booze) we do not use.


Personally, I feel like it’s comparing apples to oranges.  From the inception of SS’s founding, food & alcoholic drinks have always been included.  Excursions, have not.  
 

So, in the end, you are right.  We make the decision to sail based on cost and inclusions.  In our case, where we’ve never sailed with another line, other than a river cruise line, we’ll now be tempted to explore other options.  So, in our case, and countless others from what I’ve read here and on Facebook, SS is putting at risk our loyalty. 
 

Now, a cruise only fare that Barbara mentioned would no doubt nip those ideas in the Bud and keep us in the fold.

 

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10 hours ago, Stumblefoot said:


Personally, I feel like it’s comparing apples to oranges.  From the inception of SS’s founding, food & alcoholic drinks have always been included.  Excursions, have not.  
 

So, in the end, you are right.  We make the decision to sail based on cost and inclusions.  In our case, where we’ve never sailed with another line, other than a river cruise line, we’ll now be tempted to explore other options.  So, in our case, and countless others from what I’ve read here and on Facebook, SS is putting at risk our loyalty. 
 

Now, a cruise only fare that Barbara mentioned would no doubt nip those ideas in the Bud and keep us in the fold.

 

Your Silversea history similar to ours and your conclusions identical.Long live LUXURY Silversea!

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Silversea has likely introduced this "enhancement" as part of a raft of measures to manage ( and protect)  their "guests".

It may soon become possible to go for a cruise.. but many many cruise destinations will now look at a cruise ship with some scepticism.

The ships now bring money.. and the prospect of disease…just like in the old days..

Control of and responsibility for… cruise visitors will likely become a large factor in destination planning for Cruise companies.

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On 11/23/2020 at 5:34 AM, barbaramc73 said:

 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 

 

Could we please have an update on this study?  With itineraries/prices now available on cruises into 2023, some of us are doubtless considering bookings.  The knowledge that there was an option to opt out of the included excursions (and have a reduction in sticker price) would be an important consideration.

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1 hour ago, Observer said:

 

Could we please have an update on this study?  With itineraries/prices now available on cruises into 2023, some of us are doubtless considering bookings.  The knowledge that there was an option to opt out of the included excursions (and have a reduction in sticker price) would be an important consideration.

Since the new sailings were released I think the price is very competitive & having a choice of one trip per day has not in my opinion put  on hardly any price hype!!!

Compared to regent with I know  offer countless trips per day silversea has done well 

Can't see the problem with offering a included trip ... It's still to me me all about the cruise experience with fabulous people 🚢

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7 minutes ago, Observer said:

Could we please have an update on this study?  With itineraries/prices now available on cruises into 2023, some of us are doubtless considering bookings.  The knowledge that there was an option to opt out of the included excursions (and have a reduction in sticker price) would be an important consideration.

 

Agree above!!  100%!!  Would be very interested as to any updates and/or added details from Barbara M about any fare options if we would choose to pass on the "opportunity" to enjoy the "FREE" excursions.  

 

There was a Feb. 14, 2022, Singapore to Mumbai, 18-day, Silver Moon, sailing that we have been seriously considering.  BUT, we are not sure for my wife that the level of health conditions in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, etc., inspire her “highest confidence” as to what will be their future levels of vaccine usage/treatment, etc., by that time.  Trying to do this trip at that time in these areas might not very practical, reasonable and safe in her mind.  She's a Registered Nurse and has some immune issues requiring careful attention.

 

For March 8, 2023, Silversea posted yesterday a similar cruise from Singapore to Mumbai.   It would have only be for sixteen days and at the same price as the longer 2022 offering.  On a per day basis for a basic balcony suite, that would work out to costing 12.5% more!!??   So for those ten port days and the ten "FREE" excursions, that would cost us a little over $1000 more.  Worth it?  Maybe?  Maybe not?

 

The 25% advanced deposit, now, for a cruise nearly two and a half years away, is another a serious "POINT OF CONCERN".  Supposedly, most all of such a deposit at around $5K would be fully refundable and covered by our insurance.  BUT?  BUT?  How long and efficiently would OUR refund take to come back from Silversea to our account?  Based on studying the finances of Royal Caribbean, they are in recent shape, now, compared to the other two major firms.  Cash burn can be sustained for many months into the future.  BUT, is all safe and secure going two years in the future?

 

From Christian Sierralta, Silversea's VP National Accounts, he sent out to Travel Agents who were on his Monday  2022/23 preview presentation: "The inclusion of Shore Excursions will translate into a fare increase, which will result in higher overall commission per booking. Based on the average Silversea Classic fleet booking value, we estimate commission could increase by up to 7%."  That might be nice for a TA to gain a bigger share of the overall cruise travel budget.  BUT, who gets to pay it? And, based on the one cruise option that I checked out and compared, the added cost for these "FREE" excursions will work out to   much more than just being a 7% higher cost.   

 

Given the March 2023 sailing timing (that is not as ideal for us personally), plus these other factors, we are not in any immediate "RUSH" to book now.  We will give "it" some time to watch how the vaccine, air flights, countries opening up, etc., etc., factors evolve and progress.  

 

Are we missing anything by not booking right now?
 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Completed last summer Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on the Silver Muse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Many visuals and details from our first in these scenic areas!  Live/blog at: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

From Christian Sierralta, Silversea's VP National Accounts, he sent out to Travel Agents who were on his Monday  2022/23 preview presentation: "The inclusion of Shore Excursions will translate into a fare increase, which will result in higher overall commission per booking

A fare increase because of the "included" shore excursions?  Really?  He must be kidding.  I thought they were free.  🙂 

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5 hours ago, Lvshack said:

Since the new sailings were released I think the price is very competitive & having a choice of one trip per day has not in my opinion put  on hardly any price hype!!!

Compared to regent with I know  offer countless trips per day silversea has done well 

Can't see the problem with offering a included trip ... It's still to me me all about the cruise experience with fabulous people 🚢

In which case having a cruise only fare for those who don't want to sign on to included tours,  as Barbara said only a week or two ago that Silversea was investigating, wouldn't worry you?

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8 minutes ago, turtlemichael said:

In which case having a cruise only fare for those who don't want to sign on to included tours,  as Barbara said only a week or two ago that Silversea was investigating, wouldn't worry you?

I'm still not sure what the problem is with including tours in the package..we sail regent with tours included but you don't have to take them as the same for not taking flights with them , silversea still give a price without flights ..the extra cost for one tour per day is not a game changer for me..

Would still sail with or without them included...they still have tours you can pay for or do your own thing ( covid permitting 😷) but I wouldn't be interested in booking a voyage untill a little  more info on how the cruise experience would be...which ever way it goes let's just hope it won't be long until we can get back at sea🚢

 

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On 11/25/2020 at 12:43 AM, QueSeraSera said:

Lots of good, valid opinions here.  Included tours vs included alcohol included made me think.

I dislike caviar, tried it anew on Silversea cruises, but still found it not to my taste.  Only now as I read these posts do I find myself asking why should I be subsidizing others' taste for those weird salty fish eggs?  It should be simple enough to say caviar available for a fee...

To really enjoy myself I should consistently choose the most expensive item on the menu...??

No.  Stop self.  We are on this ship of this luxury line because we want to enjoy ourselves without worrying about tabs/bracelets.  We want to be among others who are also enjoying themselves.  We get that caviar helps (some of) them to do so, so fine!

If included cruises help others enjoy their cruise, that's also fine by me.  Our experience with Silversea cruises has been top rate, so I expect we'll try a few of them as well.

Just had email to say you had responded to one of my posts but there wasn't anything there!!! Was it an error🙃

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