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About ABoatNerd

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  1. Thank you Kirk for your time and effort to alert consumers to the declining value of the HAL product and Maas in particular. This is evidence of corporate arrogance - which is being aided by consumers who keep booking cruises while the cruise product is cheapened over and over. This is on all cruise lines. I find the cruise lines the most anti-consumer segment in the travel sector. Fortunately there are other travel options to see the world. HAL could not care less about any of us.
  2. Thank you eroller for your excellent thread. There is no business format better than capitalism - but the benefits to shareholders are usually at odds with the customer - in every industry. * I concur that his public statements about raising revenue, to the exclusion of the customer, is not savvy in today's digital world. Arrogance is easy to spot - he must laugh at NCL customers multiple times a day * It is not only NCL - Celebrity is likely the cruise line making the most deteriorating on board experience right now - with the significant harassment of guests to purchase packages together with significant price increases * NCL is working on not only NCL, the experience on NCL's Oceania is deteriorating as well - since their new menus Aug 2018, the food and service are visibly inferior to the past. Our friends just got off Insignia Sunday. Much deterioration with frozen tea sandwiches as an example. They have done 3 Oceania in a year, and they will not book again. We did 2 cruises with O and the deterioration was quite noticeable. We have no cruises booked for the first time since 1989. The value of cruising is sinking fast with the rising prices and reduced product - to be expected in good economic times. But, it was not always this way - from 1989 to 2015, the cruise lines I patronized provided a consistent product - albeit with a slight price increase each year. When you booked, you had confidence that you would get what you paid for and the same consistent product you had enjoyed in the past. During this time, the cruise lines were able to make a profit as well as construct multiple generations of new ships. Not now, the product cutting is ongoing, so we have 0 confidence in any cruise line that we will get what we paid for. So no bookings. Moved our travel $ to privately escorted and customized land vacations where the value is tremendous and the vacation experience so much more rewarding than any cruise we have taken. In marketing there is an important saying - "The Obedient Consumer" - cruise consumers are very obedient these days and hence they can expect to continue to get treated with contempt.
  3. Thanks MrRandal! That is excellent news, I am focused on the B category, 8 levels. Plan to book soon!
  4. The cruise industry can raise prices and cut the experience because of the "obedient consumer" who continually books cruises, during this buoyant economic period. We had a plaque in our conference room with "obedient consumer" on it - we saluted it each meeting as we determined the best way to increase shareholder value but degrade what our customer received. It is all about profit, of course. Do consumers not realize this? If you were in marketing, you would have picked up on this already. After many years of cruising when the experience was consistent year after year - we hit 2015 - that was the year the value to the consumer sunk across all the mass cruise lines. In 2018, the premium lines like Oceania and Azamara received refugees from the mass lines and decided, great, lots of new customers who know nothing, so lets degrade and still get our $. August 2018 was when Oceania degraded their menus, it worked. This is basic, basic stuff.
  5. An excellent analysis, this thread. My impression is that HAL, Celebrity in particular, are both seeking a younger passenger based on their new physical ship changes. I am waiting to see what Cunard does with their new vessel, will they follow the same path? Nothing wrong with chasing a younger customer, rather necessary - it is how you do it. I do not believe that HAL can compete with Celebrity in catching the 30-50 crowd - Celebrity's ships are more glitzy and Celebrities shorter itineraries appeal to the working crowd on time allotments. Both HAL, Celebrity are busy downgrading the on board product in favour of shiny toys. Celebrity is farther along in abandoning the being on a ship lifestyle (views) and replacing same with being in a shiny hotel; example with incense in the lounge no forward view for the peons, on Edge, no thank you. What HAL has always had is - itinerary. Emphasize the link to the sea and up the quality a bit - place HAL around the Cunard price point but below Oceania and Azamara. There is a window here - both O and A are receiving more negative reviews for food and service than in the past and you add the premium price over HAL - poorer value. After numerous O, no more, not worth the price point. The advertising for HAL could emphasize 1) Romance of sea travel, relaxation, rejuvenation and 2) Itinerary with truly immersive on board experience with food links. I tried out this idea with my 33 year old niece whose last cruise was on OASIS, which she loved. She is a geographer. She liked the idea of a real ship experience truly tied to the geography. One thing she said is she wants a vacation to get away from the stress of work - this is also a criteria that HAL could emphasize. I read nothing on CC which makes me wish to book HAL, or Celebrity or Princess for that matter. Have done O and A and they are over rated. Not interested in the luxury levels. But I did like my QM2 in June and the Cunard legacy and tradition and the educational lectures which were first class. Sometimes it is not wise to chase others. I remember when Celebrity was created, it was deliberately situated above the mass line competitors but just below the higher end. Celebrity product justified that position - this position was abandoned around 2015 with the RCL cheapening impact - now Celebrity is just another overpriced mass market line. HAL could become the former Celebrity.
  6. Thank you. Did your friend advise on what O said were the reasons for changing several of their first ports?
  7. snowglobe, well said. All cruise lines are deficient in delivering the advertised experience these days - it was not always this way. The dumbing down of cruising is continuing and will continue until customers remove their bookings. When you get to the premium lines like A and O, it is reasonable to expect some effort to have the on board experience have some linkage/compliment the more interesting itineraries. Glad you are a critical consumer focused on your best value. Keep analyzing and criticizing!
  8. njhorseman - thank you so much for your information. The customer is usually not a beneficiary, unless they hold stock.
  9. My, oh my. Is Celebrity not full of themselves.
  10. Greetings everyone: Working on booking my first PG! I am very sensitive to noise due to health and medication. I have viewed all the PG reviews for the past long while and have a general idea to keep cabins above and below - but since the PG is a small vessel, that can be a bit limiting. Thinking about 2 categories of cabins: Cat B - Veranda - Range 813, 811,809 - My concern is the sun deck above - Does this transmit noise? There was a review of cabin 805 that said the room was "exceedingly quiet". I am concerned about the sun deck above. Cat C - Balcony - Range 705 to 703 and 706 to 706 - Just wondering what the blank space is in the middle? There appears to be a narrow corridor with doors opposite 706 and 707, is that a service room? Cat C seems to have cabins above and below in this specific area. Your knowledge would be very gratefully appreciated. Thank you kindly
  11. Hi ORV. Heavens no, many of us received an apology for the poor behavior of the on board management. But not cruising lately, got myself a Porsche, so seeing North America - eating, drinking, sight seeing and golfing our way around the continent! Doing Porsche team racing too. Got tires instead of a propeller! Happy sailing.
  12. That is very good information! It seems there is general consensus that Aug/Sept would be a good weather window. I am also thinking of a first PG cruise!
  13. LHT28, good point about the off gassing impact, that is a no go for me. Seems the amount of work going on exceeded the normal amount of final clean up that happens after a typical dry dock. Not appropriate at all - Oceania would have been positioned to know the % completion rate a week or more before and been able to offer guests more suitable restitution.
  14. I take it that you have to ask for cream, the default is fake creamer. Pathetic - that is Celebrity's example of "modern luxury". Yes, it has been a very long drop in quality from the Celebrity of the 1990's.
  15. I concur with Hlitner's assessment. The decline of the fundamentals of Celebrity's former quality commenced in 2015. It was the edible oil coffee creamer (not cream) delivered to my room in February 2015 which was the beginning of the decline for our household. It really can be the little things that end a relationship.
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