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Everything posted by iancal

  1. We do not pay any attention to the taxes and fees. We compare ships/cruise lines/itineraries by the bottom line inclusive of fare, taxes, etc, gratuities, and net of TA OBC’s. We only care care about the bottom line.
  2. I This is an easy one. if you do not feel that there is a benefit, financial or otherwise, to book through a TA then simply book direct. Really, why would anyone care how someone else books a cruise. I certainly do not. Book direct and stop all the fuss.
  3. Voting with your feet and with your wallet is, IMHO,the most effective way to send a message to management. If folks moan and complain constantly about HAL’s change in direction and cuts but continue to sail on their ships what do you think management will do? How has it worked so far? I thought so.
  4. HAL’s IT could use a lot more of the Grace Hopper and a lot less of the Dilbert!
  5. From our perspective it is all about moving forward. We are in our late sixties and have cruised on numerous lines. We do not have enough good years in front of us to spend them pining away about the past, wishing for things that will never be again or things over which we have zero control. When we were younger we decided not to be like some of those older people when we reached that age. This has served us well in our business lives and in our personal lives. Besides, all businesses have the right to change their model or offerings. Just as customer have the right to buy elsewhere.
  6. Since retiring we do far less cruising and considerably more land travel. Two months in the winter, two months in the fall. Occasionally we will add a last minute cruise to our land trip.
  7. There were four, possibly five ships in port when we passed by yesterday morning after disembarking the ferry from Igoumenitsa. No black Merck’s in sight. The town was a zoo...we left in the mid afternoon. If if there are lots of ships in port I suspect that you need to get out early. Besides...it gets hot quite early. Today was 32C.
  8. I believe that there are some people on the forum who believe that if one does not have a place in their heart for HAL ( or any other cruise line for that matter) by definition is a So called HAL hater. Ditto for some who believe that anyone who criticizes their precious HAL is a hater. Just not so. Perhaps they view a cruise line like any other travel vendor and expect to get what they paid for including the expectations set by the cruise line without the silly excuses or accusations that they have an axe to grind. No more, no less.
  9. Why have a dog and then do the barking yourself? We keep our cabin tidy, but no we do not rush about wiping down every surface. I mean really, if one does not propose to wipe down every surface on the ship that they come in contact with what is the point. Besides, we do not have room in our carry on fo that stuff. We leave it to HAL or whatever line we happen to be on.
  10. Bottom line for us and many other cruiser we have met in our travels is that we only see and have only experienced minor differences between Princess, HAL, and Celebrity. They are all working towards the lowest common denominator. We do not feel that any one is outstanding when compared to the other two. It comes down to ship, itinerary, and crew.
  11. We like some HAL ships. Would we pay more for a Eurodam verandah cabin than we would for an X Solstice or Princess balcony. Probably not because although we see differences in all three they have more in common with each other from our perspective. We have no emotional tie to any of them hence we do not assign a price based premium.
  12. I did not say that HAL does not analyze customer data. I said that to do so they would need much better IT skills than those displayed on designing, building, and operating their customer facing applications.
  13. You are correct. We are not interested in anything less than a balcony cabin. I do not think that this is unusual. Simply look at the percentage of cabins on new builds that are balcony or better. Then compare that ratio, and associated pricing, with some of the older ships. It tells the story in spades about how cruise lines are responding to customer demands. Balcony trumps small ships for us.
  14. It is basic data mining. The can pull, cut, and relate customer data in many ways. Many on this forum seem to know what demographic spends what and how much they contribute to profit. In my experience across many businesses a guess is not good enough, nor is supposed intuition. The numbers will tell the story. They will help chart future direction. Besides, their bankers will be doing the same independently and comparing them with Carnival subsidiary and consolidated actuals. Hard numbers do not lie. I very much doubt whether any ‘experts’ on this forum know what the numbers are...before or after taxes, depreciation, etc.
  15. My guess is that Carnival Corp can co relate each revenue/profit center on each ship to the demographic of the cruiser as well as to total spending by demographic. They no doubt know (looking backwards) which demographic provides has the highest on board spending, how they spend, and the profit margin from each revenue center on the ship. HAL may be the exception given their poor IT systems.
  16. I suspect that a fair number will remain and continue to complain and wax poetic about the glory days of ‘seafaring’. We will select the itinerary and the ship that best meets our preferences at that point in time. We are not looking to marry a cruise line...just looking for a date as it were. The offerings are changing with market demands so we will attempt to maximize our personal return from an enjoyment and a financial perspective. There are many good ships and cruise lines to choose from. We do not really care about cruise line financials. We are not shareholders or bond holders.
  17. I really have no idea. We have, on several occasions, booked hotels, air, and tours in other countries at significant discounts to what we would have otherwise paid had we booked in Canada or the US.
  18. We did the same when we lived in Vancouver. The other big bonus was that we were able to see the weather forecast for the next two weeks just prior to booking three days ahead.
  19. Same here. But for us this is no longer the reality for mass market cruise lines such as HAL. So we see little point in complaining about it. Plus, we very much prefer the casual atmosphere to formal. If we wanted the latter and a cruise more along the lines of the the past we would select Cunard or some other more formal cruise line. Or Perhaps Seabourn.
  20. We were told by the RCI agent that our seniors discount was $300 AUD per person Plus prepaid gratuities. I do not know if the $200 obc was part of the seniors rate. He mentioned after bringing up our profile on his screen. It was mentioned after he applied the $200 cabin credit for a balcony cabin. I did not ask. Just happy to get it and happy to realize such a large saving over what we would have paid had we booked with our US Ta. Don’t know if there were any contractual differences since we booked and paid in full two or three weeks prior to blast off. Our focus was on the net bottom line inclusive of OBC’s. The senior discount, inclusive of gratuities was certainly more that five percent of the discounted late booking price. No idea what the percentage was of list.....if a list legitimate list price really exists. We were down to just over $85 AUD pp per diem for this 21 day balcony cabin cruise. A person on the Oz page of C.C. gave us the heads up on this offer otherwise we would have booked it with our usual on line US TA. So we decided to call RCI Sydney direct. So glad we did. They got some of it back though. We had just been on a Princess cruise where the on board currency was AUD. The RCI on board currency was USD and prices were higher. Adjusted for currency, bar prices were about 50 percent higher for beer, wine, and specialty coffees on RCI.
  21. Why on earth would anyone care what a Carnival Corp ships are being used. No doubt they used the closest and the ones that made sense. Carnival, Princess, Costa, HAL.....does it matter what logo is on the funnel as long as the ships get there. This is about Carnival Corp.
  22. Exactly. The past is past. It is the present and future that matter to us. We do no long for the old days of cruising any more than we long for those ‘they don’t build them like the used to’ death trap automobiles.
  23. Today you can fly return to Europe from some gateways for as little as $400 or less. You can snag a seven day Alaska or Caribbean cruise for $399, sometimes less. That is roughly equivalent to $200 in 1990 dollars assuming average inflation of 2.4 percent.
  24. We require air for most cruises. There have been times when we stopped shopping for last minute cruises because of air prices. Other times we have been on extended land trips and fairly close to a port. Popular vacation times can be a challenge for air. Having said that we are flying to Athens this week. We booked air in early July. We checked the prices two days ago. If we purchased the exact same flights the price would have only been be $33 more than we paid in July. In between the prices did go up, and then came down again. It happens.
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