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What are peoples thoughts on Always INcluded?


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My spouse and I don't drink alcohol, so "always included" means we're paying for others' drinks. This is why we've shied away from all-inclusive luxury lines. Different subject, but I also resent having to pay more now to have a refundable deposit. I like Celebrity Silhouette and Millennium class ships, but I no longer have any loyalty to the brand. I am happy to go on HAL's Pinnacle class ships (Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the forthcoming Rotterdam) if the price/itinerary is better. I don't like the HAL ships quite as much as Celebrity's (except for the HAL buffet, which is superior to Celebrity's, and the Crow's Nest lounge/cafe, which is great). I'm also looking at less-expensive mainstream brands (namely, Carnival; I like some of their new casual restaurant offerings) as well as Viking and Cunard in the premium category.  

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2 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

My spouse and I don't drink alcohol, so "always included" means we're paying for others' drinks. This is why we've shied away from all-inclusive luxury lines. Different subject, but I also resent having to pay more now to have a refundable deposit. I like Celebrity Silhouette and Millennium class ships, but I no longer have any loyalty to the brand. I am happy to go on HAL's Pinnacle class ships (Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the forthcoming Rotterdam) if the price/itinerary is better. I don't like the HAL ships quite as much as Celebrity's (except for the HAL buffet, which is superior to Celebrity's, and the Crow's Nest lounge/cafe, which is great). I'm also looking at less-expensive mainstream brands (namely, Carnival; I like some of their new casual restaurant offerings) as well as Viking and Cunard in the premium category.  

Bon Voyage...🥂

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35 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

My spouse and I don't drink alcohol, so "always included" means we're paying for others' drinks. This is why we've shied away from all-inclusive luxury lines. Different subject, but I also resent having to pay more now to have a refundable deposit. I like Celebrity Silhouette and Millennium class ships, but I no longer have any loyalty to the brand. I am happy to go on HAL's Pinnacle class ships (Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the forthcoming Rotterdam) if the price/itinerary is better. I don't like the HAL ships quite as much as Celebrity's (except for the HAL buffet, which is superior to Celebrity's, and the Crow's Nest lounge/cafe, which is great). I'm also looking at less-expensive mainstream brands (namely, Carnival; I like some of their new casual restaurant offerings) as well as Viking and Cunard in the premium category.  

"always included" means we're paying for others'  Actually you are not, we are all paying for the AI package, so you are not paying for my drinks, I am.

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I feel it is the cost of cruising.  It is not a right or obligation to cruise.   It is a privilege.

 

It is like anything else you purchase.   It may come with or without the things you want, would like, or need.   Take it or leave it, and look for what suits you.  
 

When the price gets too expensive for my budget or perceived value I will stop cruising and at the current trend it may sooner than later.

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

 

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39 minutes ago, miched said:

It is like anything else you purchase.   It may come with or without the things you want, would like, or need.   Take it or leave it, and look for what suits you.  

Not really. When I buy a car, I'm able to choose options. When I buy a new house, I'm able to choose options. When I book a cruise, I'm able to choose options. But not on Celebrity anymore. Too bad.

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1 hour ago, Fouremco said:

Not really. When I buy a car, I'm able to choose options. When I buy a new house, I'm able to choose options. When I book a cruise, I'm able to choose options. But not on Celebrity anymore. Too bad.

and now we are buying the crui$e $hip

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The problem I see with the All Included pricing is that unless they increase STAFFING at the bars and at Cafe el Bacchio, there will be horrendous service waits.  Internet could bog down also during the middle parts of sea days.  It will be VERY interesting to see how this new strategy works out.

We love Celebrity and have cruised often on various ships but the infinite verandahs and smaller walking deck on the Edge class are just not appealing.

Edited by OBX-Cruisers
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bars that make drinks that require time (martinis, specialty coffee) need more staff.  Beers, G&Ts will be ok

 

Ships have an unbelievable bandwidth so slow speeds shouldn't be a problem

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4 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Not really. When I buy a car, I'm able to choose options. When I buy a new house, I'm able to choose options. When I book a cruise, I'm able to choose options. But not on Celebrity anymore. Too bad.

At one time you bought a car with no radio, no heating, no A/C etc. You could have them added as extras. These are now AI whether you use them or not.

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46 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

At one time you bought a car with no radio, no heating, no A/C etc. You could have them added as extras. These are now AI whether you use them or not.

Each of these became standard over time when the vast majority of cars were ordered with them. This thread and posts in many other threads clearly show that a high percentage of passengers did not order the three perks now included under AI.

 

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18 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Each of these became standard over time when the vast majority of cars were ordered with them. This thread and posts in many other threads clearly show that a high percentage of passengers did not order the three perks now included under AI.

 

Then like radios, AC and other options becoming standard in cars, for the foreseeable future so will AI, if one does not like it, don't book it.  Much like when car or house shopping

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7 hours ago, LGW59 said:

"always included" means we're paying for others'  Actually you are not, we are all paying for the AI package, so you are not paying for my drinks, I am.

 

But the point was that you are paying for people who drink a lot and get more use of the drink package than what they were paying (or whatever portion of the price increase was attributable to the now included package).  It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet. The make money on some people who don't eat much, but lose on a few heavy eaters.

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by this logic I am paying for the buffet which I never ever use.  I do go there, to just watch and the sight of people piling their plates and tray is really awful, food they will not eat, but it is "free".  The uneaten food MANY leave behind that I see the staff hauling to the trash is disgusting.  No one will ever say they saw me leave a full drink on my table.  It all evens out at the end, if one does not like AI, stop complaining, find a line that works for you.  It is not difficult.

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3 hours ago, lyndarra said:

At one time you bought a car with no radio, no heating, no A/C etc. You could have them added as extras. These are now AI whether you use them or not.

There's a huge difference between buying a car and taking a cruise. In most cases a car is needed, a cruise is nonessential activity. You buy a car  and every time you use it the adds  on you bought are available to use. On a cruise you pay for the AIs every time you take a cruise.

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9 hours ago, lyndarra said:

At one time you bought a car with no radio, no heating, no A/C etc. You could have them added as extras. These are now AI whether you use them or not.

 

I'm not sure I remember seeing any cars without heaters.  Perhaps they weren't included before the passenger cabin was completely enclosed.  However I think having a defroster is now a legal requirement for cars.  Perhaps mandatory tipping, a wage issue, and free internet, a public utility, should also be required by law.

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7 hours ago, LGW59 said:

by this logic I am paying for the buffet which I never ever use.  I do go there, to just watch and the sight of people piling their plates and tray is really awful, food they will not eat, but it is "free".  The uneaten food MANY leave behind that I see the staff hauling to the trash is disgusting.  No one will ever say they saw me leave a full drink on my table.  It all evens out at the end, if one does not like AI, stop complaining, find a line that works for you.  It is not difficult.

Excellent point!!

I totally agree

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8 hours ago, LGW59 said:

by this logic I am paying for the buffet which I never ever use.  I do go there, to just watch and the sight of people piling their plates and tray is really awful, food they will not eat, but it is "free".  The uneaten food MANY leave behind that I see the staff hauling to the trash is disgusting.  No one will ever say they saw me leave a full drink on my table.  It all evens out at the end, if one does not like AI, stop complaining, find a line that works for you.  It is not difficult.

I agree about the waste, but you are paying for food service, whether that comes in Oceanview, Luminae or somewhere in between.  You are not paying for 2 meals, one in the restaurant in which you dine and one elsewhere.  

 

When someone is paying (alot) for drinks or WIFI in which they have no interest, that money is wasted.  And I think that those who are in that situation have a valid gripe.  And perhaps some of those people have found a line they like (=X=) prior to this change and don't want to go elsewhere.  

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8 hours ago, LGW59 said:

  It all evens out at the end, if one does not like AI, stop complaining, find a line that works for you.  It is not difficult.

 

That sounds equivalent to the Ernest Tubs song using a paraphrase, "It's Celebrity, love it or leave it"

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/love-it-or-leave-it-has-a-racist-history-a-lot-of-americas-language-does/

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10 hours ago, Fouremco said:

This thread and posts in many other threads clearly show that a high percentage of passengers did not order the three perks now included under AI.

 

I know there are many comments re 'not buying AI'... I wonder if any stats are available?  X must have studied this and the final analysis will be how many book cruises now with AI compared with months past without AI.  We have always purchased 3 perks...never 4.  Also don't have high bar bills so it's not that we take advantage of our drinking privileges...just more convenient.  Pay grats anyway (with a little more at the end of the cruise to some deserving souls who make our vaca great).  WiFi was provided via Capt. Club so always could use the OBC instead).  AI works for us.  Some other cruise lines do the same at a higher cost than we're paying X - for less ship comfort and entertainment.  If it creeps that way, we'll look elsewhere for better $$ options.

Edited by Oceangoer2
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10 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Each of these became standard over time when the vast majority of cars were ordered with them. This thread and posts in many other threads clearly show that a high percentage of passengers did not order the three perks now included under AI.

 

Understand that I am not saying there isn't a legitimate complaint about AI being the only option if one sails Celebrity. I do, however, challenge the "high percentage of passengers" comment. If we have a few thousand people on Cruise Critic (which I assume is an overestimate) that fall in this category, that is still a minimal percentage of the total number of passengers per year on Celebrity ships.

 

Obviously, many of the loyal Celebrity customers are upset by AI, which is understandable from the perspectives that I have been reading on this thread. I am not sure, though, that even if everyone on Cruise Critic objected that it would be a large enough percentage of passengers to alter a business decision that they just as obviously knew (or should have) would be seen as a diminution of benefits for their high-tier loyalty members.

 

I tend to believe that this is the trend mentioned above where - assuming cruises remain an option for the future - the basic model is changing. Just as cars now all come with AM/FM radios (my wife's car has a cassette player, but it is a 2001), cruise lines are going to gradually change the inclusions as the market changes.

 

Just noted that Oceangoer2 posted a similar comment while I was typing. Guess I need to type faster.

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Over the past several years, XX from time to time, would offer perks as an incentive to book during the promotion period.  By forcing the AI purchase of those perks, they've eliminated the incentive promotions.  The prime example was their Black Friday promotion of nothing.

 

Another difference with the gratuities, even though you'll probably pay them (unless you're like some from the UK who don't believe in tipping),  is that you're paying them 90-120 days before the cruise instead of billing at the end of it.

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9 hours ago, LGW59 said:

I do go there, to just watch and the sight of people piling their plates and tray is really awful

******

I couldn't willingly go to an area which I find 'disgusting'...just to watch and judge.  The MDR has a nice lunch and beverage offering, with sit down and privacy.  You wouldn't have to 'watch' anyone   fill their plate with unwanted food and be disgusted by it and enjoy your 'full glass' in comfort.

 

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along the way X looked at other destination resort venues and what people spend and what they need when there.  If you go to any resort (Las Vegas, almost any island) everyone is drinking and using the internet - both constantly.  Internet (at least some basic type) is included at almost every hotel these days.  Gratuities aren't even on the bill at the end .  To have those on a cruise invoice leaves first time pax wondering what this is.  Build it all in.  

 

Those are the people that X wants to get on a ship.  Keeping a group of non-drinking, no internet, low profit pax happy is not a business model especially when building billion dollar ships.  This also applies to Elites.  In the Marriott world they are know as "Cheap Elites" by gaining status with nights.  Marriott and others changed that model to dollars and nights to cut out the Fairfield Inn crowd clogging the aisles

 

They want people who are used to vacationing at resorts to get on a ship. To do that they have to provide an experience that they would get at a land based resorts.  Those people have no idea what it was like 5, 10 or 15 years ago, they just know what they want and why isn't it here in the same way

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1 minute ago, Oceangoer2 said:

I couldn't willingly go to an area which I find 'disgusting'...just to watch and judge.  The MDR has a nice lunch and beverage offering, with sit down and privacy.  You wouldn't have to 'watch' anyone   fill their plate with unwanted food and be disgusted by it and enjoy your 'full glass' in comfort.

 

Ah the privileged class looking down on the masses.

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