Are ships not sailing at full capacity?

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#1
Pacific Northwest
1,708 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers.

We are going to be on the Pacific Princess one month from today (Alaska). This ship is not full! And this is a small ship!

There are cabins available in every category except suite. There are several cabins available in mini-suites. We have an OV cabin and are listed as “will accept an upgrade.”

Our last cruise, also Alaska, was in Aug. 2008 on HAL and the ship was filled.

I am curious to hear from those of you that are recent cruisers (or going to cruise in the near future), is this typical for ships in these times to not fill up? It has been many years since we have been on a ship that wasn’t full to capacity with a waiting list.

Very interesting……

Judith
#2
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,460 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
No, not typical. Cruises to Alaska haven't been selling well due to the law passed in Alaska a couple of years ago which added a per-person head tax of $50 and additional charges to the cruiseline for each sailing, all of which increase the cost of cruising to Alaska. This is the reason why RCCL, Princess, HAL and other cruiselines have reduced the number of ships or sailings in Alaska for 2010. By decreasing capacity, it's easier for them to fill the ships. Of course, this means millions of $$ less for Alaska tourism but hey, the law was voted in by the people so they can't whine or complain after the fact.
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#3
COLORADO
56,588 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Princess typicaly sails full ships every week, and they are very good at it.
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#4
Val Verde, CA, USA
8,408 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
As the sailing date approaches, Princess will begin to send out flash promotions to travel agents, past passengers etc. to entice folks to book the sailing. You'll probably get a nice upgrade and they'll be able to sell your cabin for less than you paid. Keep your fingers crossed!
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I am a Princess employee and my views do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
#5
COLORADO
56,588 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Another issue is this ia a 14 day Alaska cruise.
Apparently not very popular.
I think people have difficulty justifying $2000 PP for a cruise when they can get a bargain on the 7 dayers.
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#6
Greenville, SC, USA
51,201 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We took the 14 day Alaskan cruise on the Tahitian last July & the ship was full.

We were also on the Pacific Princess to the Amazon and it was full.
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Paul
#8
2,967 Posts
Joined May 2005
Alaska is an expensive market. The cruise is more. The shore excursions are very pricey. If folks are watching their dollars, they are probably opting for a less expensive cruise.

I have been watching that Pacific Princess cruise drop in price for a while now. If we didn't have two cruises already booked, I would love to do that one.

Cheers, Denise
#9
Jackson TN
1,674 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We are booked on the May 9th Golden sailing.
It has been sold completely out for quite a while.
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#10
Long Island NY
1,276 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
sailing on CB May 3rd and know that ours is sold out and so is the week before and after ours is sold out. but could be cause she will be out of commission for 2 wks this mo. being used in Trinidad for a political summit.
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#11
616 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
We sail in 9 days on the 14 day Panama to LA. It is not full but a lot of wait-listed. This cruise is also a 18 day and a 4 day. Our BA has been wait-listed for sometime and now BB and BC are waitlisted. The 18 day has BA,BB.BC and BD wait-listed. There are still some minis open. Just today Princess transfer 4 18 day balcony cabins to the 14 day list. And put it back on a discount TA list. This is a interesting cruise (3 in one) to watch. Princess keeps moving cabins between the 18 and 14 day.
#12
246 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Quick question about this. I've "cruised" around the Princess website and can't figure out where to see if my cruise is sold out or not so I could report. How does one check that?

Thanks!
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#13
Derbyshire, UK
552 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
The star is currently repositioning from south America to San fransisco and our friends that are still on it say it is only half full and feels like a ghost town.
#14
616 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Just go the find cruise and log on just like you are going to book the cruise.

The cruise will come up and you can click all of the kinds of cabins and see what is available or waitlisted
#15
North Carolina
1,477 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
We leave on the Star for Alaska on May 17th and there are cabins left in all categories (suite, mini, balcony, ocean view - obstructed and non, and insides. In fact only a handful of the individual levels are waitlisted. We have a cat BA balcony and would love it if Princess decided that they wanted to move us up to a Mini or better, but I am not holding my breath. So far prices have only gone up and up since we booked and we have not seen a decrease at all.
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#17
246 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by catlady2
Just go the find cruise and log on just like you are going to book the cruise.

The cruise will come up and you can click all of the kinds of cabins and see what is available or waitlisted

Thanks. Just looking quickly, there are no balconies, mini-suites or suites available. I didn't dig anymore so I guess we're not full yet.
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Pacific Princess (One of the last original "Love Boat" cruises) - 2001 - Bermuda
Grand Princess C752 baby!!!
- 2010 - Med. Medley
Grande Mariner 2013 Hudson River/Erie Canal/St. Lawrence Seaway.
#18
2,967 Posts
Joined May 2005
On the Star this Friday out of San Francisco to the Mexican Riviera. The ship is full except for a couple of inside cabins.

Cheers, Denise
#19
LA
65 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I have friends and neighbors that work for Princess, and I live in the city of the HQ. Santa Clarita, Ca. They all have said the same thing. The President had a meeting a couple of months ago to say there would be no layoffs, but they were cutting hours and days for their staff. They are almost giving rooms away to family and friends to get capacity up. The boats that are still traveling pretty full are the ones to Mexico Riviera, they get many locals and prices are low. The discresinary spending is way down. People will take the cruise, but spend less on tours, photos, etc. Some Alaska cruises are traveling pretty full, from SF and Seattle. Otherwise, yes they are suffering.

It is the economy, of course this would be one industry hit really hard.
#20
New York
5,434 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
The cost of air fare and having to stay in a hotel pre cruise all add to the expense. Also, you cannot go to Alaska and not take tours! Alaska is one of the most expensive states on par with Hawaii.

Many people are lucky to be cruising at all and will tend to book the cheaper sailings closer to home that don't involve air fare or hotel stays. Caribbean sailings tend to be cheaper and there is much you can do ashore without taking shore excursions.

Unfortunately, the lack of money to go on vacations will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future for many people.


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