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Fly Fast Cruise Slow

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Everything posted by Fly Fast Cruise Slow

  1. Agreed, however, I am still somewhat obsessed/baffled about the price differential between Crystal and Regent - given the innovation happening with Regent. In any case, as you say, only time will tell *. *TWT
  2. As you can see I am trying to build my profile. Watch this space!
  3. I am actually sitting across from Shirin right now, but I’ll respond in writing! Based on my documented analysis of our shore excursions over our past cruises we spend on average $100 per cruise day per person on shore excursions. So to make things comparable, the $722 would become $622 vs. $593, conversely and more appropriately, the $593 would become $693 vs. $722 - so a 4% premium on Regent.
  4. ... and the rest...Drib’s analysis has it at almost $1,200 pp pd with some itineraries starting at $1,500 pp pd and thats before Drib’s tool (?) indicated the port fees!
  5. As your cruise starts in Sydney and then heads up to Queensland - Sunshine Coast, Hamilton Island, Cairns then Darwin, the only potential impact would be in Sydney if excursions are going to the Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley and the fires are not contained by March in those areas. I am sure Crystal will be monitoring this and adding some alternative excursions in and around the metro area. We are all praying for rain here.
  6. Which circles right back to my original post, it is already happening...
  7. What would be good is if there were a few more oceans.
  8. Very well said and it couldn’t be more true. We recently took our first land based holiday recently as we have been exclusively cruising since we discovered it back in 2016. We stayed at a resort in Hawaii for 10 days, which we have been to many times before. As we were quite tired from a busy year, my routine was basically a lot of lazing around the pool. I tried daily to interact with the pool attendant, but there was not a lot of interest (I did tip!). Finally on the 9th day he said, “you’ve been here a while haven’t you?” And engaged in further conversation. It was too late. I immediately thought of the boys on the Lido Deck who either remember you from the last cruise or learn your name and preferences in your first interaction. We do love the “all in this together” feeling of cruising and the camaraderie that come with it on longer cruises. Agree that this is somewhat diminished, not entirely though, on shorter ones. Glen
  9. Just a quick add-on to Shirin’s post...this 7 day LA to LA cruise that we took last year in January was the cruise just before the World Cruise. As she mentions, we very much enjoyed that cruise and the vibe. We met a lot of regular Crystal cruisers from the West Coast who were on just for the 7 days + many who were on for either the World Cruise or the first portions of it. I think it is important to note that the per diem on that cruise was priced higher than the per diem that I am seeing on the recent 7 day Caribbean itineraries. It would appear that when there is a lower per diem, the vibe might change somewhat as you probably have people who would normally not spend more on a 7 day cruise taking advantage of the lower fares to try out Crystal for the first time. Glen
  10. Exactly. I agree. The research is so valuable for companies to gain insights and understand why people behave the way in which they do and develop their future strategy around it. As a frequent flyer, I currently sit on the Qantas Advisory Panel which is a market research group formed by Qantas to gain insights into the various experiences that they provide. I can see firsthand my contributions are valued and tested in some instances. I think the performance of Qantas speaks for itself. In addition, I personally have ingrained this consumer research culture into my organisation and the insights play a key role in our strategic plans with impressive measurable results over the years. As they say, without data you are just a person with an opinion.
  11. Again, I think my point is being missed, however, just for the record - nowhere have I said that I am unhappy with Crystal, we like Crystal very much and are some of their biggest fans, although newer ones. However, their strategic choices with the hard product have pushed us to try another line for reasons indicated in my original post, and as I don’t have access to their senior management team like others here do, I felt that this was a way to let them know - I realise we are just two people out of thousands - so what they do with it is up to them. Feedback is a gift, so I give it often.
  12. Again, I think my point is being missed, however, just for the record - nowhere have I said that I am unhappy with Crystal, we like Crystal very much and are some of their biggest fans, although newer ones. However, their strategic choices with the hard product have pushed us to try another line for reasons indicated in my original post, and as I don’t have access to their senior management team like others here do, I felt that this was a way to let them know - I realise we are just two people out of thousands - so what they do with it is up to them. Feedback is a gift, so I give it often.
  13. Whilst this might be your personal view, I highly doubt that the management of Crystal are sitting there thinking that it would be good for their customers to try their competitors. I can only imagine what would happen if I told my loyal customers to try out X and see how they treat you and you might appreciate us more. We would most likely never see them again, and in this highly competitive and fast paced world, no one can afford to take that risk. Hence, you may have missed the point, but my original post was a call to see if anyone else is thinking the same as we are and also a shout out to Crystal (we all know they read these boards) to say “hey guys, this is what is happening out there and how people are thinking about you and your competition”. I don’t know how much market research they do or who their focus groups consist of (I know I have never been asked anything of them aside from the onboard guest surveys) but whilst we are just a focus group of 1 couple, it is clear that others feel and are thinking the same way. I find it interesting that Observer has totally moved away from Crystal as a result of the cancellation policy, which is a major issue of mine as well. Vince brings up very interesting points about the new generation luxury cruiser who embraces and wants innovation. If Crystal were my company I would be conducting focus groups on not just the loyalists/defenders but more importantly the next generation luxury cruiser who, as we can see from this small focus group within this forum, have a very different set of requirements that are important to them. Simply saying choice is good go and try another cruise line is not the answer. Glen
  14. Keith, thank you very much for your words of wisdom. My original point was more about the fact that Crystal ships are getting older and the pricing is going up substantially on many itineraries. Not sure what the strategy is given it seems that many of the recent Caribbean itineraries were underpriced perhaps to prospect new clients and capture the revenue on the other itineraries. In any case, it has now got to the stage where, in our case, and I suspect this will be the case with others, we now see perceived value in other lines with much newer products, amenities and equally good reviews. As mentioned in my original post, our decision was not based on price and room size alone. The are a variety of factors that drove us to this decision: 1. Reviews from Regent/Explorer (particularly from Boblerm who always has a well-balanced review of both Crystal and Regent and who appears in writing (we have never met) to value the same things we do). 2. The age of the ship being Brand New vs. 18 years old 3. Inclusion of shore shore excursions vs. not included 4. Size of the rooms 5. Itinerary 6. Price - taking points 1-5 into consideration and comparing it to Crystal Of course we are savvy enough to realise that the actual experience on the ship needs to be assessed at the time of the cruise - service, f&b, entertainment, quality of the included excursions etc.etc. Only then can we make an informed decision about what works for us and the value proposition that entails. We will then share with everyone what works or does not work for us so that others may take that into consideration when making cruising decisions that suit them.
  15. Sorry for the flurry of posts, but it is also important to mention that Regent includes most shore excursions in their pricing as well, where as we know, Crystal does not...
  16. Drib - your website is fantastic and we have been using it for some time. I didn’t realize that you can run trend analysis on the category/pricing etc. It is very good, thank you.
  17. Totally agree, all things need to be considered, however as they say, choice is good. We too are going to hold off on the future cruise bookings until we have a better idea of things and try some of the other products out there. We have an open slot to fill in 2021 that we are inclined to fill with another line. To be honest, the combination of Crystal’s rapidly increasing fares (I could understand if they introduced new ships) and their semi-recent cancellation policy changes (very prohibitive for someone who still works and needs some degree of flex should something arise) is pushing me to venture out.
  18. We are looking at some cruises out to late 2020 and into 2021+, and we have noticed that Crystal’s per diem on many of the cruises we are looking at are significantly higher than what have previously been paying. We have been very brand loyal and have only ever cruised Crystal, but these significantly higher fares, coupled with the quality of new ships coming out, have now enticed us to start looking at the other luxury lines. In fact, we recently booked a 2020 holiday cruise on the new Regent Splendor, mostly because we have been reading/hearing many great things about their new ship Explorer and want to try the newest one Splendor. Secondly, the price differential seems absurd between Crystal and Regent, on this particular cruise, and was also a major factor in our decision. For example, for the 2020 holiday cruise in the Caribbean on Serenity vs Splendor - (excluding the airfare on Regent, and including the port taxes on Crystal), an entry level verandah room B3 on Crystal is priced, on a per diem basis, the same as the entry level Deluxe Verandah Suite G2 on Splendor (and it includes excursions and is a larger room, not mention again the fact that Splendor is a brand new ship). Much more extreme is the the Penthouse category on Crystal being priced at 50% more than the F2 category on Splendor and 15% more than their PH C category (which also includes pre-cruise hotel in Miami). We have a few cruises booked on Crystal in 2020, but we are really looking forward to trying Splendor for holiday 2020 as we consider our cruises for 2021 and beyond.
  19. It’s true, for an entire cruise every night there were two red wine glasses set there at the bar with an open bottle of red wine, the couple would come much later in the evening perhaps after the wine breathed a little. I love sitting at the Cove bar, I guess you will know where to find me in February!
  20. There is no doubt that the longer you cruise with the same line and on the same ships the deeper the relationships become with the officers and crew. Naturally, with that comes an elevated level of service that is provided - for example, I have seen people who get reserved seats at the Crystal Cove bar, couples seated at the same four top table every evening in Waterside etc. We are relatively new to cruising with circa 10 cruises all on Crystal and we have gotten to know many of the crew who we really look forward to seeing again, hence the service and experience just keeps getting better and better with each passing cruise. Its a wonderful cycle.
  21. Failing every opportunity to grab a bottle of water on the ship, the other alternative is to purchase a bottle on land and contribute to the local economy.
  22. Just a note on the lunch buffet, a few times each cruise they are themed (Asian, Mediterranean etc.), it will be noted in the restaurant hours section of Reflections. I suspect you may have been there during the Asian theme. Be sure to check back there again.
  23. Looking forward to following along Adrian and I love the innovation on the Cobb Salad... Re the American Airlines Flagship lounge, I have noticed these in several cities recently - Dallas, San Francisco. I too was shocked at the size and offering within them, seems like they are finally upping the ante, great to see the investment being made.
  24. Was “lucky” enough to be on this one last night from SFO to SYD, why they put it on such a popular long haul route is beyond me, given they fly the 787 or A380 to LAX. Once one of my favorite planes, they have certainly had their day, I think there are just two left in the Qantas fleet, just my luck. This particular one is being decommissioned next month. The “flat” beds have an ever so slight angle to them - thank goodness for anti inflammatories...
  25. That’s great - love the story line and photos. If we ever find ourselves on the same cruise, I am going to special order the Creme de Violette so we can have them properly! Cheers!
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