Oceania Upgrades and Increased Gratuities

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#1
London, UK
209 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Oceania Cruises has announced a multi-million dollar spend to upgrade its fleet of three 684-passenger ships. Nautica has already been overhauled, emerging just last week with new bedding, fresh menus and unusual shore excursions on the menu; Insignia is next, in November, and Regatta will get the treatment in January 2011.

But along with these upmarket upgrades, the cruise line has slipped in a gratuity increase -- a brave move considering competitor Azamara recently rolled tips into the base fare.

Check out our full story here: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3935

Would you rather pay less to cruise on Oceania than, say, Silversea, even if it's a larger spend once onboard?
#3
Philadelphia
4,907 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Since most of us have our gratuities paid either by the TA or Oceania it will not make any difference to us.
Also because the increase is a relatively small one $1/day or $2/day in suites, I don't think it will keep anyone from choosing Oceania over another line.
#4
Brookfield, Wisconsin
302 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Makes no difference to me. It does make a difference that the new ship Marina carries twice the number of passengers. We are already pushing the limit of our preference with the 684 passenger ships.
#5
984 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
A premise of the CC article is that Oceania and Azamara are similar cruise lines. Other than having some of their fleet with the same size ships as Azamara, I find Oceania to be many steps ahead. With these new ship upgrades of their smaller liners, there will be an even more pronounced quality gap between Oceania and Azamara.

Factor in the newbuilds Marina and Riviera and Oceania is in another league.

Oceania's ship improvements are more tangible and meaningful to cruisers than Azamara's inclusion of gratuities after raising fares 30%.
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#6
Philadelphia
4,907 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by oysterdam
A premise of the CC article is that Oceania and Azamara are similar cruise lines. Other than having some of their fleet with the same size ships as Azamara, I find Oceania to be many steps ahead. With these new ship upgrades of their smaller liners, there will be an even more pronounced quality gap between Oceania and Azamara.

Factor in the newbuilds Marina and Riviera and Oceania is in another league.

Oceania's ship improvements are more tangible and meaningful to cruisers than Azamara's inclusion of gratuities after raising fares 30%.

Well said!
#7
Okeechobee, Florida
5,760 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
First Azamara throws in a glass of house wine with lunch and dinner, but raised prices significantly. Their previous policy of much lower fares than Oceania didn't work. Now, apparently, they are desperately trying free gratuities to see if they can break through. Unless they plan to pay their staff a lot more, like Regent, this ploy will only result in worse service.

The CC article makes it sound like the gratuities on Oceania are being raised as a result of the Pillars of Distinction upgrades. I sincerely doubt there is any connection.

As for Oceania being "brave" in the face of free gratuities from Azamara, I feel comfortable is saying that Oceania has always been the trendsetter, and poor Azamara is still trying to catch that wave. The question should not be how brave is Oceania, but how desperate is Azamara?

Kelly, go back and re-write that article without the Celebrity bias...
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#8
Valley of the Sun (Phoenix area)
404 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by kelly@cruisecriticUK
Oceania Cruises has announced a multi-million dollar spend to upgrade its fleet of three 684-passenger ships. Nautica has already been overhauled, emerging just last week with new bedding, fresh menus and unusual shore excursions on the menu; Insignia is next, in November, and Regatta will get the treatment in January 2011.

But along with these upmarket upgrades, the cruise line has slipped in a gratuity increase -- a brave move considering competitor Azamara recently rolled tips into the base fare.

Check out our full story here: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3935

Would you rather pay less to cruise on Oceania than, say, Silversea, even if it's a larger spend once onboard?
Hmmm. So, an entire dollar more per day. For two of us on a 14-day cruise, an entire $28 more? Would we reconsider because of this added expense? Ha ha ha. Hardly.

Get a grip here. All cruise lines raise their gratuity rates periodically.
#9
1,185 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by winegirl
Makes no difference to me. It does make a difference that the new ship Marina carries twice the number of passengers. We are already pushing the limit of our preference with the 684 passenger ships.
WELL SAID winegirl.
#10
136 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
With the wonderful alternative dining options Oceania offer on their R-class, Toscana (the best Italian restaurant afloat) and Polo Grill, and with the excellent service already provided, need I say more. With a moderate increase in overall fares, Oceania would blow Silversea, Seabourne etc out of the water. The dining options are already far more varied, and itineraries are more innovative. WHY WON'T OCEANIA GO ALL INCLUSIVE??????
#11
Wellington, New Zealand
445 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by orchestrapal
Since most of us have our gratuities paid either by the TA or Oceania it will not make any difference to us.
.

Lucky you!! Some of us aren't so lucky
#12
Staten Island NY
2,002 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
all inclusive????
Part of the joys of my cruise is the planning of the shore excursions I want.

The costs attendant to AI would preclude my O travels.

Just look at the threads about over sold cruises and wonder why change such a successful operation.

Also with a huge number of returning passengers, change at huge risk.
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#13
2,251 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by umtali
WHY WON'T OCEANIA GO ALL INCLUSIVE??????
Probably because the majority of their customer base do not want them to.

I'd rather not pay for alcohol that my wife and I are not going to consume.

We also like to arrange our own independent excursions so paying up front for "included" bus tours that we have no intention of participating in is a real negative for us.

As far as rolling in gratuities up front or at cruise end, who really cares?
#14
Connecticut and Sarasota, FL
2,429 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
A "brave" move? I can think of things that I would truly consider brave, but increasing the gratuity by $1 a day is hardly one of them.
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Upcoming:
Oceania Sirena June 21, 2017 Transatlantic
Oceania Sirena July 10, 2017 Rome-to-Barcelona

Sailed:
Oceania - 13 cruises on Riviera (4), Insignia (4), Regatta (3), Nautica (2)
Holland America - 19 cruises on Zuiderdam, Veendam, Prinsendam, Ryndam (4), Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam (2), Volendam, Maasdam (3), Westerdam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Statendam (2)
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#15
Connecticut and Sarasota, FL
2,429 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
By the way, maybe I'm imagining things (which would not be the first time) but isn't there already a specialty olive oil menu in Toscana? I could have sworn that each time we've dined there a waiter has rolled an olive oil cart to our table, like a cheese tray but at the beginning of the meal rathen than at the end. I vaguely remember asking if there was anything printed that would help me choose and being given an olive oil menu to peruse.
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Upcoming:
Oceania Sirena June 21, 2017 Transatlantic
Oceania Sirena July 10, 2017 Rome-to-Barcelona

Sailed:
Oceania - 13 cruises on Riviera (4), Insignia (4), Regatta (3), Nautica (2)
Holland America - 19 cruises on Zuiderdam, Veendam, Prinsendam, Ryndam (4), Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam (2), Volendam, Maasdam (3), Westerdam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Statendam (2)
Princess -
7 cruises on Golden, Crown, Diamond, Island, Sapphire (2), Ocean

Regent - Mariner . Celebrity - Summit . NCL - Crown
#16
2,251 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Aruba
By the way, maybe I'm imagining things (which would not be the first time) but isn't there already a specialty olive oil menu in Toscana? ....
Yes, there is.
#17
GTA, Ontario, Canada
32,564 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by umtali
WHY WON'T OCEANIA GO ALL INCLUSIVE??????
Why would they?
If I want all inclusive I will sail Regent

I like the system they have & it seems to work for most people
If it is not broken don't fix it

Lyn
#18
GTA, Ontario, Canada
32,564 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Aruba
By the way, maybe I'm imagining things (which would not be the first time) but isn't there already a specialty olive oil menu in Toscana.
Yes someone posted it on here
I did save it so I can see which ones to choose next trip

Lyn
#19
2,008 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
As a Brit I take exception to the point made by the contributing Editor that we are not used to the tipping culture......hells bells....We invented It.

As there are already say 20% Brits and Aussies on board why would an extra $1 a day make any difference to us.....quite a bizarre comment in my revered opinion. Am I going to cancel my next two O cruises because of it ? Nope.

Brian
#20
Okeechobee, Florida
5,760 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by umtali
...WHY WON'T OCEANIA GO ALL INCLUSIVE??????
Probably because the same parent company also owns Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which is all inclusive -- more so than any other cruise line, period (gratuities, airfare, all wines and spirits except the stuff from the dusty bins above the top shelf, laundry room, all excursions except the really expensive ones (which are discounted), plus the same great service and food that we expect on Oceania, all included. If Oceania went all inclusive, the fares would be up there with Regent.
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