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Why not an "all inclusive option?"


steviek49

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I've been reading the boards here and on other cruiseline boards concerning the trend toward extra charges on RCI and other cruiselines.

The cruiselines call these extra charges "options" and many passengers agree.

If you don't want it, such as the new $14.95 MDR steak, don't order it. It's just an option.

But many passengers are very put off by these extra charges. They feel that they are being nickeled and dimed. Others say it cheapens the overall cruise or vacation experience. Still some are saying they are considering going on land or ALL Inclusive vacations.

With RCI charging $14.95 steaks in the MDR, $4.95 for Burgers at JRs, surcharges for late night room service and other cruiselines like NCL charging xtra for virtually all of their specialty restaurants, admission to health clubs, and maybe some nightclub shows on their new ship "Epic", maybe cruiselines ought to consider an All Inclusive Option for the passenger.

 

For a set prepaid surcharge (ie $50pp per day- just made up amount) each passenger can choose to eat in any restaurant or dining room each night of the cruise, unlimited non alcohloic beverages including wine at dinner, no surcharges for specialty coffees, late room service, health clubs, night clubs or anything else they will think of later.

This can exclude shore excursions, gratuities, and alcoholic beverages. (I know most land all inclusives include alcoholic beverages but I can imagine what unlimited alcohol might do to the overall cruise experience on a 3000 px ship with many children aboard.. They can probably rule that all passengers in each cabin must participate in the all inclusive option. Children can be charged less if necessary. Those passengers may be given an all inclusive card (+ invisible hand stamp) to identify their participation to bartenders and maitre D's and other cruise staff.

 

This also will only be an "option". But maybe it might interest those passengers who like the almost all inclusive days of cruising of yesteryear or those who feel like they are being nickeled and dimed or those who want to know what their vacation will cost before they leave home or those who are considering going back to a land vacation.

 

And if you are perfectly happy with today's cruising continue to enjoy yourself. It's only another option.

 

Please note- I just made up the per person dollar amount- you may replace the example of $50pp per day with whatever amount it would/could/should be.

And it's just an idea.......

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This won't work on mass market lines because they would loose too much business. They are making money off of how cheap they can make the cruise experience.

DH and I have solved this problem for ourselves, after our sailing on the Serenade in a few weeks, we are switching to SilverSea and/or Crystal.

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Ironic--cruises used to be all inclusive except for the drinks & T shirts! That's what made them such a good value over land based travel.

 

I personally don't like the idea put forward--even more drunk people on board if drinks were included!

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A nice option in theory, but it will never happen. If people want more of an all-inclusive cruise, they already have the option of paying more to get that type of experience on one of the more upscale lines. But as the mass market lines cater more and more to the average family, they will continue to keep the base fare as low as possible and make up for it by charging for as many things as possible onboard. I do agree that all of the nickel-and-diming is getting pretty annoying, but I think it's only going to get worse.

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49,

 

It sounds good but people will abuse the system just like the pop cards.

 

The hand stamp could work, but you would have to get it stamped every day for it to last and the bar tenders won't take the time to scan it especially if it is invisable.

 

JIM

 

I was just making all of this up as I went along with the idea....but I'm sure the cruiselines can come up with an idea of how to certify that someone is an all inclusive participant.

 

Land All Inclusives sometimes make you wear a bracelet(I don't particularly like wearing one).

In schools and colleges and resorts like Disney World in Orlando- they have your picture/meal plan ect inbedded (spelling)? in your ID card.

But you are right. People will look to abuse the system if they can.

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I like the idea but would suggest a bracelet (like the one children have to wear) instead of a stamp. If the charge was reasonable to me I'd likely choose it simply because I like the idea of not having to think about spending all the time.

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I like the idea but would suggest a bracelet (like the one children have to wear) instead of a stamp. If the charge was reasonable to me I'd likely choose it simply because I like the idea of not having to think about spending all the time.

 

 

Wouldn't need a stamp or bracelet. You buy your package prior to the cruise and your SeaPass would indicate what you're entitled to on board. Actually, I see this in the future. You can start out with a basic cruise package and add on from there with the things that you want.

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I agree that it could be designated on the Seapass. In fact they are already doing this with their suite guests' privileges- using the gold Seapass.

 

I think it would work, there are people who like all of the extras and don't mind paying for them. I don't see how it would affect the "mass market." The cruise fares would not change. There are 5-start lines out there that are all-inclusive, but there are people who don't want to be on a 300-800 passenger ship. There are many features on RCI, especially Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class ships, that no other line offers.

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Wouldn't need a stamp or bracelet. You buy your package prior to the cruise and your SeaPass would indicate what you're entitled to on board. Actually, I see this in the future. You can start out with a basic cruise package and add on from there with the things that you want.

 

Yes, Fire, that's sorta what I am talking about.

Disney has this down pat.

They now have a disney meal plan and the resort key (RCI-Seapass) tells all employees/workers (restuarants, shops, hotel personnel) what plan you purchased. You pay for the meal plan upfront.

It seems to me that the cruiselines could try it out and see if it generates more revenue or less.

In my example, if they charged $50pp for 7 days (they probably would make it mandatory that you purchase for entire cruise and each person in your cabin must participate) the cruise line would collect an extra $700 per cabin (double occ). This would be the same price whether you purchased an inside/outside/balcony or suite. Each cruiseline can decide about children prices.

Passengers who are satisfied with paying the low basic cruise price and eat in MDR can still enjoy their cruise as always.

 

Other Passengers who want more options can still choose to pay the extra surcharges a la carte and not purchase all inclusive

Or you can pay for the All Inclusive Plan.

I, for one, like All inclusive resorts. I like knowing what my vacation will cost before i leave.

I also love cruising. But to move up to Crystal/Regents Seven Seas is a real big jump price wise. Unfortunately, I'm not ready for that level just yet.

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I, for one, like All inclusive resorts. I like knowing what my vacation will cost before i leave.

I also love cruising. But to move up to Crystal/Regents Seven Seas is a real big jump price wise. Unfortunately, I'm not ready for that level just yet.

 

Hence, despite all of the BMW here at CC you realize what a tremendous value RCI, and its mainstream competitors are in the market place.:D

 

I just wish everyone else would think about this before they threaten to never cruise again with all of this nickel and dime activities on the part of the cruiseline. Of course, that won't happen as thinking would be required.:D

 

jc

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I agree that it could be designated on the Seapass. In fact they are already doing this with their suite guests' privileges- using the gold Seapass.

 

I think it would work, there are people who like all of the extras and don't mind paying for them. I don't see how it would affect the "mass market." The cruise fares would not change. There are 5-start lines out there that are all-inclusive, but there are people who don't want to be on a 300-800 passenger ship. There are many features on RCI, especially Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class ships, that no other line offers.

 

Also paying an extra $700 per couple or even $1000 per couple for the all inclusive option is much less than the step up to a Crystal type vacation will probably cost.

Yes- I do realize that Crystal includes unlimited alcohol.

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We have sailed on Regent which is all-inclusive. Nice to have an onboard bill at the end of the cruise which was less than $100!

 

BUT, the cruise fare was triple what the mainstream lines charge. You pay for it all one way or another.

 

So your idea of a per diem charge for all-inclusive is not a bad one, but I suspect that charge would be MUCH higher than you think. Far from $50/day. So again you pay for it one way or another.

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I don't know if Royal offers this, but NCL does offer a "drink package" to large groups. For $300 extra all the drinks including alcohol are included. The reason I know this is because they are offering it to college kids for spring breaks and my dd's friend is going. But for a couple, it would be $300 x 2.

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We have sailed on Regent which is all-inclusive. Nice to have an onboard bill at the end of the cruise which was less than $100!

 

BUT, the cruise fare was triple what the mainstream lines charge. You pay for it all one way or another.

 

So your idea of a per diem charge for all-inclusive is not a bad one, but I suspect that charge would be MUCH higher than you think. Far from $50/day. So again you pay for it one way or another.

 

I'm not so sure about that!

I just checked RCI Voyagers lowest suite price for a West. Med 7 night cruise out of Barcelona and compared her prices to a lowest suite on the Seabourn legend. Voyager cruises on 8/23-30th, Seabourn from 8/22-29. Guess How much more Seabourn is????

 

Answer; Seabourn Legend is actually $200 LESS than Voyager for 2 passengers in lowest suite. Including Open Bar/gratuities/impeccable service.

You may check yourself- I checked w/ crxxxx.com.

I checked this date because that's when I am going and it's making me think aboutSeabourn except I have two teenage daughters with my wife and I.

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I'm not so sure about that!

I just checked RCI Voyagers lowest suite price for a West. Med 7 night cruise out of Barcelona and compared her prices to a lowest suite on the Seabourn legend. Voyager cruises on 8/23-30th, Seabourn from 8/22-29. Guess How much more Seabourn is????

 

Answer; Seabourn Legend is actually $200 LESS than Voyager for 2 passengers in lowest suite. Including Open Bar/gratuities/impeccable service.

You may check yourself- I checked w/ crxxxx.com.

I checked this date because that's when I am going and it's making me think aboutSeabourn except I have two teenage daughters with my wife and I.

 

Make sure you are comparing apples and oranges. Seaborn lowest suite is about the same size as JS on Voyager.

 

Just checked prices for a 7 day Med in July for 2 pax. Without taxes, Seaborn $6600 for 2, Voyager $4600 for 2. I can buy alot of steaks, drinks whatever with 2K. Unless of course I want six star cruising, then there is no comparison.

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When I took my first cruise, waaaay back in the day, the thrill of the cruise was the "all inclusive" nature of the vacation. Truly, you could step on the cruise and not pay another dime until you exited. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, entertainment--it was all in there. Spa? Extra charge. Casino? Extra charge. Shopping? Certainly extra. But that all-inclusive element was part of the lure. Even if I booked an interior cabin of the lowest stratum I received essentially the same cruise experience as those in the suite.

 

The last time I cruised a couple months ago (my 17th cruise!), I looked around at all the things you're asked to pony up for today: soft drinks, steak in the main dining room, Johnny Rockets, ice cream, alternative restaurants, rock climbing walls, coffee, etc. I was a little disgusted. Granted, I don't have to partake of anything of those things but have you tried the coffee in the regular buffet lines lately? It's sludge. :eek: Now we are looking at reserving pool chairs for suite passengers. Next will they be charging the "steerage" passengers for a charge for a poolside seat...?

 

So steviek49, when you ask "Why not an all-inclusive option?" I want to respond, "That's what we used to get!" I'm saddened that I feel this way. Will I stop cruising? No. But I will take the loyalty that I've had all these years for RCCL to another line, or a higher class of cruise line. Or else I can take those additional dollars and pay for all those little extras that I used to get free of charge on RCCL. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Ah, memories...

 

Go ahead now and flame me, if you must. :)

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Wouldn't need a stamp or bracelet. You buy your package prior to the cruise and your SeaPass would indicate what you're entitled to on board. Actually, I see this in the future. You can start out with a basic cruise package and add on from there with the things that you want.

 

Agreed. Reason I suggested the bracelet is that then one would not have to flash a SeaPass card, just make sure the server saw the bracelet.

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Make sure you are comparing apples and oranges. Seaborn lowest suite is about the same size as JS on Voyager.

 

Just checked prices for a 7 day Med in July for 2 pax. Without taxes, Seaborn $6600 for 2, Voyager $4600 for 2. I can buy alot of steaks, drinks whatever with 2K. Unless of course I want six star cruising, then there is no comparison.

 

yes -you are correct. If you take just size of cabin into account, Seabourn Legend's lowest suite measures the same as Voyager's Junior Suite and is smaller than Voyager's lowest suite.

But you don't get the Suite perks in a Junior Suite catagory and on the luxury cruiselines like Seabourn virtually EVERYTHING is included.....Meals (I'm sure including a filet w/o the $14.95 surcharge), open bar, gratuities, impeccable service, private attendant ect.

 

Anyway I was just a bit surprised that the lowest price Suite on Voyager was similar to the lowest priced Suite on Seabourn Legent for an Aug. Western med cruise even if the lowest priced suite on Seabourn legend is only 277 sq feet.

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The last time I cruised a couple months ago (my 17th cruise!), I looked around at all the things you're asked to pony up for today: soft drinks, steak in the main dining room, Johnny Rockets, ice cream, alternative restaurants, rock climbing walls, coffee, etc. I was a little disgusted. Granted, I don't have to partake of anything of those things but have you tried the coffee in the regular buffet lines lately? It's sludge

 

 

Wow, when did that change? The rest of it, well, it's not what I'm there for so who cares? I like the fact that I control what I spend. I'm not much of a drinker, so all-inclusive alchol isn't a huge perk for me (my personal bar bill has never exceeded $150 for a 7 night cruise). I feel that the lines have made a good choice - ala carte is good for your pocket. I have been on cruises where I've spent hundreds on pictures etc. and on cruises where I've spent nothing - my choice;) JMHO

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I paid $563 (solo) for an inside cabin 14-day TA cruise. For that I get all meals they offer "free", have a place to sleep, have entertainment and have the "option" to eat at the specialty restaurants if I desire to do so. I think it is a bargain! The ship also stops at some incredible ports. Alcoholic drinks are about the same price if I ate at a nice restaurant.

 

My one way air ticket was only $557. We used to vacation at all inclusives but my husband and I are "hooked" on cruising. The cruiseline still makes money of us because of the extra's you do, drinks, specialty restaurants, pictures etc. etc. It is up to you how much "extra" you want to buy or upgrade. We would like to choose these options. So we would not like an all inclusive simply it would be too expensive for us when I compare the prices of the all inclusive ships that are out there.

 

Three cruises coming up..March/April and May..just can't wait!

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yes -you are correct. If you take just size of cabin into account, Seabourn Legend's lowest suite measures the same as Voyager's Junior Suite and is smaller than Voyager's lowest suite.

But you don't get the Suite perks in a Junior Suite catagory and on the luxury cruiselines like Seabourn virtually EVERYTHING is included.....Meals (I'm sure including a filet w/o the $14.95 surcharge), open bar, gratuities, impeccable service, private attendant ect.

 

Anyway I was just a bit surprised that the lowest price Suite on Voyager was similar to the lowest priced Suite on Seabourn Legent for an Aug. Western med cruise even if the lowest priced suite on Seabourn legend is only 277 sq feet.

 

Unlike RC, Seaborn is offering some significant discounts, which is good for you!

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When I took my first cruise, waaaay back in the day, the thrill of the cruise was the "all inclusive" nature of the vacation. Truly, you could step on the cruise and not pay another dime until you exited. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, entertainment--it was all in there. Spa? Extra charge. Casino? Extra charge. Shopping? Certainly extra. But that all-inclusive element was part of the lure. Even if I booked an interior cabin of the lowest stratum I received essentially the same cruise experience as those in the suite.

 

The last time I cruised a couple months ago (my 17th cruise!), I looked around at all the things you're asked to pony up for today: soft drinks, steak in the main dining room, Johnny Rockets, ice cream, alternative restaurants, rock climbing walls, coffee, etc. I was a little disgusted. Granted, I don't have to partake of anything of those things but have you tried the coffee in the regular buffet lines lately? It's sludge. :eek: Now we are looking at reserving pool chairs for suite passengers. Next will they be charging the "steerage" passengers for a charge for a poolside seat...?

 

So steviek49, when you ask "Why not an all-inclusive option?" I want to respond, "That's what we used to get!" I'm saddened that I feel this way. Will I stop cruising? No. But I will take the loyalty that I've had all these years for RCCL to another line, or a higher class of cruise line. Or else I can take those additional dollars and pay for all those little extras that I used to get free of charge on RCCL. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Ah, memories...

 

Go ahead now and flame me, if you must. :)

 

No flame from me.

You story is a common one and your feelings are real.

But as the world changes everything else changes with it.

I was just trying to come up with a creative idea that would address some passenger's feelings.

I still love vacations and I still love cruising.

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