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I Thought Celebrity's Changes Were Driven By Changing Demographics - Not True

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1 hour ago, ghstudio said:


🙂

  I'm not optimistic...especially given that they haven't made anything public that might impact bookings...and if it were a great upgrade, you can bet we'd be seeing all kinds of advertising.  Actually, it's really weird that they haven't made the plans public for the "modernization".....almost as if they are afraid to tell us what they are doing to the ships.

 

Not a lot of detailed information, but this is public. Other stuff has apparently been sent to travel agents: https://www.celebritycruises.com/revolution/accommodations/

 

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4 hours ago, RDC1 said:

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was going to provide a list of the ratio's of various cruise lines   based upon % industry revenue/ % passenger market share.  I am attaching a list of the resulted sorted lowest to highest.  I would not that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and NCL tend to carry higher percentages of families than do the other cruise lines.  The number of children in 3-4 passengers per cabin would tend to result in lower ratio's than in cruise lines that are more adult, 2 per cabin focused.

The first number is % Passenger market share, the second is % industry revenue, the last is the ratio.

Note that over half of the passengers are on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney. Lines with large numbers of families.

 

Cruise line revenue to passenger ratio.pdf

Carnival 22.0% 8.9% 0.40

Royal Caribbean 19.2% 14.0% 0.73

Costa 6.0% 4.8% 0.80

P&O 2.4% 2.2% 0.92

MSC 7.2% 6.8% 0.94

Disney 2.3% 2.2% 0.96

NCL 8.7% 8.4% 0.97

 

Princess 6.4% 9.1% 1.42

Celebrity 3.5% 5.3% 1.51

HAL 3.2% 5.6% 1.75

 

Viking 0.6% 1.3% 2.17

Cunard 0.7% 1.8% 2.57

Azamara 0.3% 0.9% 3.00

Oceania 0.5% 2.3% 4.60

 

Silversea 0.3% 1.5% 5.00

Seabourn 0.2% 1.2% 6.00

Regent 0.3% 1.9% 6.33

Crystal 0.2% 1.6% 8.00

 

If you look at the list you see some natural breaks.  

0-1 mass market

1-2 premium mass market

2-5 Premium

Above 5 Luxury Brands

 

Disney, due to the number of children is ranked a little lower and should be in the 1-2 ranged if adjusted for the number of children, NCL possibly as well.

 

This fits exactly with my four-tier ranking of the cruise industry (with, as you suggest, moving Disney up a notch—although we would never sail them because of the pervasive Disneyness). I wouldn’t move NCL off the bottom, except maybe for the Haven—but CC reviews put it below MSC’s Yacht Club and I suspect Celebrity’s new Suite class.

 

There are clearly at least four tiers of cruise lines — and since many of those who avoid the two lower tiers are looking for small ships, I don’t think the new ship-within-a-ship concepts will change that.

 

The bottom tier keeps setting records for ever-larger ships. The next tier (and I mean Celebrity, HAL and Princess) seem a bit lost at the moment. The third tier is doing very well. But the top tier is expanding and increasing the luxury level with every new ship (Ponant, Scenic, Hapag-Lloyd, Ritz-Carlton — and soon MSC’s super-luxury class). 

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4 hours ago, RDC1 said:

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was going to provide a list of the ratio's of various cruise lines   based upon % industry revenue/ % passenger market share.  I am attaching a list of the resulted sorted lowest to highest.  I would not that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and NCL tend to carry higher percentages of families than do the other cruise lines.  The number of children in 3-4 passengers per cabin would tend to result in lower ratio's than in cruise lines that are more adult, 2 per cabin focused.

The first number is % Passenger market share, the second is % industry revenue, the last is the ratio.

Note that over half of the passengers are on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney. Lines with large numbers of families.

 

Cruise line revenue to passenger ratio.pdf

Carnival 22.0% 8.9% 0.40

Royal Caribbean 19.2% 14.0% 0.73

Costa 6.0% 4.8% 0.80

P&O 2.4% 2.2% 0.92

MSC 7.2% 6.8% 0.94

Disney 2.3% 2.2% 0.96

NCL 8.7% 8.4% 0.97

 

Princess 6.4% 9.1% 1.42

Celebrity 3.5% 5.3% 1.51

HAL 3.2% 5.6% 1.75

 

Viking 0.6% 1.3% 2.17

Cunard 0.7% 1.8% 2.57

Azamara 0.3% 0.9% 3.00

Oceania 0.5% 2.3% 4.60

 

Silversea 0.3% 1.5% 5.00

Seabourn 0.2% 1.2% 6.00

Regent 0.3% 1.9% 6.33

Crystal 0.2% 1.6% 8.00

 

If you look at the list you see some natural breaks.  

0-1 mass market

1-2 premium mass market

2-5 Premium

Above 5 Luxury Brands

 

Disney, due to the number of children is ranked a little lower and should be in the 1-2 ranged if adjusted for the number of children, NCL possibly as well.

 

This fits exactly with my four-tier ranking of the cruise industry (with, as you suggest, moving Disney up a notch—although we would never sail them because of the pervasive Disneyness). I wouldn’t move NCL off the bottom, except maybe for the Haven—but CC reviews put it below MSC’s Yacht Club and I suspect Celebrity’s new Suite class.

 

There are clearly at least four tiers of cruise lines — and since many of those who avoid the two lower tiers are looking for small ships, I don’t think the new ship-within-a-ship concepts will change that.

 

The bottom tier keeps setting records for ever-larger ships. The next tier (and I mean Celebrity, HAL and Princess) seem a bit lost at the moment. The third tier is doing very well. But the top tier is expanding and increasing the luxury level with every new ship (Ponant, Scenic, Hapag-Lloyd, Ritz-Carlton — and soon MSC’s super-luxury class). 

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I wonder how well received the changes will be on the M Class ships.  We like them for their size and itineraries.  I don't see how they would appeal to the "edge" fans. The M Class seems to be most impacted and that is hard to understand.  It's not the modernization of the cabins, dining rooms, or bars.  It's the push to cram down and crowd Aqua Class and dedicate more of the ship to suite passengers.

 

I was interested in quotes on a reposition cruise Boston to Caribbean to Fort Lauderdale.  It's 12 days late October 2020.  One TA told me, great news, you can get a suite for only 54% more than Aqua.  Maybe some want that.  I can spend that money and get a nice cabin on a better cruse line.  I got what I was hoping for $5150 with two perks for this 12-day cruise, but I don't like where Celebrity is headed.  If not for them originating cruises out of Boston now, I might not even have booked this one.  In any case, we'll see how much the extra aqua cabins impact how good of a time we have.  

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To provide a brief break from the endless negativity, my wife and I remain monumentally excited about our upcoming February cruise on the Edge. The IV, for us, provides more cover from the sun as well as adds a huge dose of fresh air to the entire cabin.

 

For most of the day, Eden will be an amazing lounge and maybe a great place to read a book. The evening dining experience sounds fun, and certainly unique. And am assuming it’s possible to have a drink and catch the performers as well. So in that respect it becomes a one of a kind themed bar. I’d sooner watch the performers than listen to yet another singer covering the same songs.

 

The rooftop garden looks like a great place to hang out...better than the lawn on the solstice class. The spa looks stunning. Not sure if anyone has yet found a reason to complain about that.

 

We’ve sailed on both the Connie and the Millie, and love them both. But, c’mon, they’re getting old and can use some TLC. And, frankly, I have enough faith in Celebrity to think that a group of 20 year old ships might actually benefit by 400 million dollars worth of improvements!

 

 

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6 hours ago, BarbarianPaul said:

To provide a brief break from the endless negativity, my wife and I remain monumentally excited about our upcoming February cruise on the Edge. The IV, for us, provides more cover from the sun as well as adds a huge dose of fresh air to the entire cabin.

 

For most of the day, Eden will be an amazing lounge and maybe a great place to read a book. The evening dining experience sounds fun, and certainly unique. And am assuming it’s possible to have a drink and catch the performers as well. So in that respect it becomes a one of a kind themed bar. I’d sooner watch the performers than listen to yet another singer covering the same songs.

 

The rooftop garden looks like a great place to hang out...better than the lawn on the solstice class. The spa looks stunning. Not sure if anyone has yet found a reason to complain about that.

 

We’ve sailed on both the Connie and the Millie, and love them both. But, c’mon, they’re getting old and can use some TLC. And, frankly, I have enough faith in Celebrity to think that a group of 20 year old ships might actually benefit by 400 million dollars worth of improvements!

 

 

Updating and refreshing the M Class ships is one thing.  Taking away public space and allocating much more public space to suite passengers is another.  Also, adding more Aqua cabins will crowd Blu for those people already paying a premium.  I had a choice between Aqua at 2500 pp or Suite at 4000 pp and still took Aqua, but if the experience isn't what we expect, we're not going to book suites in the future.  I can book a veranda on Azamara, Oceania, or Viking and have a better experience.  

 

They are expecting more people to book suites.  Time will tell.  It's one thing to do Edge/Revolution on one ship.  It's another to force feed it on a whole fleet.  From my standpoint, I hope it will fail spectacularly.

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14 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

We have sailed with  X and Royal for 25 years.  Both used to provide a premium experience but in recent years they've engaged in a race to the bottom.   We recently did our first Viking sailing which was truly premium for not much more than an X cruise.  Next we're going to try Oceania and maybe Virgin.  There are a number of good alternatives to X.

I shop around before I book a cruise.   I try to book with the three lines that we have loyalty benefits (Celebrity, Royal C.,and NCL) but usually check out Princess, HAL and Viking.

 

Princess is usually in the same ball park for fares as Celebrity.  Lately Royal seems to have the best prices.  Viking is always double what we usually book with one of our three favorites.

 

Having done 19 ocean cruises and four river cruises, that include all the continents except for Antarctica,  we are running out of cruises.  We don't do the Caribbean (only one done) nor do we book cruises that are repeats of what we have already done.

 

It appears that we will be doing a lot of transatlantic cruises in the future, since they are cheap, don't price bundle and we save on airfare.  We can do a nice land trip in Europe and take a cruise home to the USA.

 

We didn't start cruising until 2010 and haven't found Celebrity's service or food to have declined.  Yes, they did away with the end of cruise brunch, but we still prefer Celebrity. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 2:25 PM, mnocket said:

What do you think?  Is Celebrity (and much of the cruise industry) making a big mistake or is there some other driver for these changes?

 

As of two years ago only 3 to 5% of all Americans have taken a cruise.  I've been developing a new digital television series around cruising so I've done research on how many people actually cruise.  All cruise lines are adapting ships in an attempt to appeal to those who say they will never take a cruise.  That's the driver for these changes.   

 

Fortunately there are so many cruise lines and so many ships, there is something for everyone in every price range.  Having sailed 6 different cruise lines now, we're not loyal to any one line and simply select our cruises based on the particular itinerary and ship.  We have been leery about the Edge and having seen it in person, it's a beautiful ship from the outside, but there's nothing much about it that says we have to go sail on it so we won't.  We're going back on Equinox in September, but in 2020 we'll be sailing the Virgin Scarlet Lady.  That looks like a really fun ship and the restaurant selection is so far looking outstanding.

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16 hours ago, RDC1 said:

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was going to provide a list of the ratio's of various cruise lines   based upon % industry revenue/ % passenger market share.  I am attaching a list of the resulted sorted lowest to highest.  I would not that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and NCL tend to carry higher percentages of families than do the other cruise lines.  The number of children in 3-4 passengers per cabin would tend to result in lower ratio's than in cruise lines that are more adult, 2 per cabin focused.

The first number is % Passenger market share, the second is % industry revenue, the last is the ratio.

Note that over half of the passengers are on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney. Lines with large numbers of families.

 

Cruise line revenue to passenger ratio.pdf

Carnival 22.0% 8.9% 0.40

Royal Caribbean 19.2% 14.0% 0.73

Costa 6.0% 4.8% 0.80

P&O 2.4% 2.2% 0.92

MSC 7.2% 6.8% 0.94

Disney 2.3% 2.2% 0.96

NCL 8.7% 8.4% 0.97

 

Princess 6.4% 9.1% 1.42

Celebrity 3.5% 5.3% 1.51

HAL 3.2% 5.6% 1.75

 

Viking 0.6% 1.3% 2.17

Cunard 0.7% 1.8% 2.57

Azamara 0.3% 0.9% 3.00

Oceania 0.5% 2.3% 4.60

 

Silversea 0.3% 1.5% 5.00

Seabourn 0.2% 1.2% 6.00

Regent 0.3% 1.9% 6.33

Crystal 0.2% 1.6% 8.00

 

If you look at the list you see some natural breaks.  

0-1 mass market

1-2 premium mass market

2-5 Premium

Above 5 Luxury Brands

 

Disney, due to the number of children is ranked a little lower and should be in the 1-2 ranged if adjusted for the number of children, NCL possibly as well.

 

Thanks for the data.  Nice way to look at it.  But your 4 tiers are subjective which is your opinion since it is your data. For example the third tier could just as easily be 2-3 as Oceania is higher and might be grouped in the last tier.

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RDC1, as Jazzbeau and others have already written, these data driven categories map directly onto experienced observations.

The caveat regarding Disney makes sense, because it is widely regarding a premium mass market product.

My wife, an MBA working in a tech company, looked at your table and within 45 seconds declared, "With this data, we know which cruise lines the 1-2% are using, which makes sense".   I suppose it's the .1% and fewer who own and operate yachts.

 

I can see TeeRick's point, however, I think Oceania and cruise passengers perceive it as premium and not luxury, therefore it does make sense to leave it in that group.  That said, if one sticks with the data as presented, Oceania moves up to Luxury, and Crystal, which has a ratio gap over it's closest competitor greater than appears within the range of either of the two lowest tiers, might  require it's own tier.

 

Overall, for us, this is a good thread with a thoughtful and informative discussion. 

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In today's hyperbolic PR climate, let's not stop there, TeeRick.  Let's have SUPER PREMIUM LUXURY!!

Quick, I've got a camera, let's take a selfie and inform everyone that we are Premium Luxury, with aspirations of MORE!

 

 

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1 hour ago, TeeRick said:

 

Thanks for the data.  Nice way to look at it.  But your 4 tiers are subjective which is your opinion since it is your data. For example the third tier could just as easily be 2-3 as Oceania is higher and might be grouped in the last tier.

yes it could, however what found most interesting is that while the data was revenue driven, the grouping were fairly consistent with competitive offerings. I would consider Oceania's offerings to be more in line with Azamara, Viking,  than Silversea and Seabourn. but others might feel differently. I

 

there are some interesting anomalies in the data. I expected Viking to have a higher ratio, and Oceanio lower based on their usual per day fares. just as a high number of 3/4 cabin bookings would lower a lines ratio, a higher number of singles would raise it. Maybe Oceania is the choice for premium solo cruisers or maybe more book their fares including air, than on the other lines.

Edited by RDC1

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25 minutes ago, cruisefam38 said:

In today's hyperbolic PR climate, let's not stop there, TeeRick.  Let's have SUPER PREMIUM LUXURY!!

Quick, I've got a camera, let's take a selfie and inform everyone that we are Premium Luxury, with aspirations of MORE!

 

Actually Crystal under its previous CEO adopted the moniker "All Exclusive."  I haven't noticed them using it lately, since she walked the plank...

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On 1/1/2019 at 2:25 PM, mnocket said:

I have chalked up many of the changes Celebrity is making to their desire to appeal to changes in age demographics.   Essentially a belief that the older demographic (baby boomers) were dying off and the average age of the US population was shifting lower.  Thus there was a clear business driver for Celebrity to shift their focus from retirees and above to the younger, working, demographic. 

 

That was my belief until I looked at the data (link below because we are not supposed to cut-and-paste copyrighted images)

Age Distribution of US Population, 2000 to 2050

 

If this data is correct, my premise of age distribution shifting lower in the future was plain wrong. So the question remains..... Why is Celebrity making changes that seem to indicate that we oldsters are no longer their prime target?  The only answer I can think of is that it is not a matter of age, but culture.  Certainly the millennials et.al. have differing desires, behaviors. etc (which I lump into "culture") than us oldsters.  I guess Celebrity's expectation is that as these people age, their desires will not age to be more like current retirees - instead Celebrity's expectation is that the desires of the younger demographic will remain pretty much the same as they grow older.  I don't know that I agree with this.  I know that what I desired when I was younger was much different than what I desire now.   What do you think?  Is Celebrity (and much of the cruise industry) making a big mistake or is there some other driver for these changes?

Interesting thread...Looking at the original post . It has certainly generated  much discussion and thought....always good!

 

I think X realized it needs to make  changes to compete in a very crowded field. Whether EDGE and its progeny are the answer.,.too early to tell.

 

But as I posted  on another thread,,

" I dont think they care about losing long time loyal  cruisers.  We cost them more in perks, expect a higher level of service, and have purchased all the tanzanite, chains of gold  roman glass, amber,  watches, charm bracelets, handbags and shawls/ scarves to last us a long time . Although  we still do, I read that  many trad X cruisers do not spend that much anymore  on spa,  specialty dining,  excursions, extra alcohol....etc  Newbies may  want to do it all!     With the high end stores and prices on EDGE they will need new cruisers and their money to buy there!   Seems to be working perhaps as many posts say "this is our first time on X...."    And many coming over from other lines are still quite pleased with the X experience...

 

Business success is measured in revenue..time will tell!

 

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5 hours ago, creativegenius said:

 

As of two years ago only 3 to 5% of all Americans have taken a cruise.  I've been developing a new digital television series around cruising so I've done research on how many people actually cruise.  All cruise lines are adapting ships in an attempt to appeal to those who say they will never take a cruise.  That's the driver for these changes.   

 

Fortunately there are so many cruise lines and so many ships, there is something for everyone in every price range.  Having sailed 6 different cruise lines now, we're not loyal to any one line and simply select our cruises based on the particular itinerary and ship.  We have been leery about the Edge and having seen it in person, it's a beautiful ship from the outside, but there's nothing much about it that says we have to go sail on it so we won't.  We're going back on Equinox in September, but in 2020 we'll be sailing the Virgin Scarlet Lady.  That looks like a really fun ship and the restaurant selection is so far looking outstanding.

I believe 5% is roughly the percentage of Americans that cruise in a given year.  As for the number of Americans that have ever taken a cruise, it's about one out of every three (33%)  source

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7 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

Updating and refreshing the M Class ships is one thing.  Taking away public space and allocating much more public space to suite passengers is another.  Also, adding more Aqua cabins will crowd Blu for those people already paying a premium.  I had a choice between Aqua at 2500 pp or Suite at 4000 pp and still took Aqua, but if the experience isn't what we expect, we're not going to book suites in the future.  I can book a veranda on Azamara, Oceania, or Viking and have a better experience.  

 

They are expecting more people to book suites.  Time will tell.  It's one thing to do Edge/Revolution on one ship.  It's another to force feed it on a whole fleet.  From my standpoint, I hope it will fail spectacularly.

 

Every cruise line out there is adding more suites to generate revenue, and dedicating more space to the suite passengers. I don’t like it either, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. At least the newer ships are larger, so it’s less noticeable. We love Aqua, and certainly won’t like it if there are longer waits for BLU. So we’ll have to wait and see about that. I’m not an expert, but Celebrity is, so my guess is that they’ve anticipated the issue and might have thought of some measures to mitigate the wait times. I doubt they want to screw up a 400 million dollar investment by alienating long time customers.

 

Not sure if you can have a better experience on the lines you mentioned. We’ve sailed Viking and the food isn’t as good as BLU, and we didn’t have as much fun. The entertainment was pretty bad, and we missed the liveliness of Celebrity. And it cost us more.  Azamara and Oceania are no doubt good, and we plan on sailing both sooner or later...but the price point will be considerably higher as well. 

 

So here’s my question. Since you’ve already booked Aqua, why not go in hoping to have a good time rather than expecting the worst? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, mnocket said:

I believe 5% is roughly the percentage of Americans that cruise in a given year.  As for the number of Americans that have ever taken a cruise, it's about one out of every three (33%)  source

Number of embarkations from US ports in 2016 was 11.6 million according to Statistica. US pop was 323.4 million. So, 3.6%. Assuming all embarkations are US citizens, which they are not. And a number of people cruise more than once a year. So, probably closer to 2.5% to 3%. 

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I find this to be a very interesting thread. 

 

For those that are not following the thread below, the 2nd post has some diagrams of the M class deck plan changes after the revolution.

 

 

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To me it appears that Celebrity is trying to fix something that isn't necessarily broken. I haven't sailed on the Edge but the reviews are such that I have no desire to and like others will continue to gravitate to the S and M  Class ships instead. However I am deeply concerned about Celebrity's plan to Edgify them over the next couple of years.

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4 hours ago, BarbarianPaul said:

 

 

Not sure if you can have a better experience on the lines you mentioned. We’ve sailed Viking and the food isn’t as good as BLU, and we didn’t have as much fun. The entertainment was pretty bad, and we missed the liveliness of Celebrity. And it cost us more.  Azamara and Oceania are no doubt good, and we plan on sailing both sooner or later...but the price point will be considerably higher as well. 

 

Have to dispute your comments on VO.  No comparison in food quality.  Steaks are better cuts and always perfectly cooked to order.  On entertainment you can't expect broadway style shows on sub-one thousand passenger ships.   Maybe you just don't like classical music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BarbarianPaul said:

 

Every cruise line out there is adding more suites to generate revenue, and dedicating more space to the suite passengers. I don’t like it either, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. At least the newer ships are larger, so it’s less noticeable. We love Aqua, and certainly won’t like it if there are longer waits for BLU. So we’ll have to wait and see about that. I’m not an expert, but Celebrity is, so my guess is that they’ve anticipated the issue and might have thought of some measures to mitigate the wait times. I doubt they want to screw up a 400 million dollar investment by alienating long time customers.

 

Not sure if you can have a better experience on the lines you mentioned. We’ve sailed Viking and the food isn’t as good as BLU, and we didn’t have as much fun. The entertainment was pretty bad, and we missed the liveliness of Celebrity. And it cost us more.  Azamara and Oceania are no doubt good, and we plan on sailing both sooner or later...but the price point will be considerably higher as well. 

 

So here’s my question. Since you’ve already booked Aqua, why not go in hoping to have a good time rather than expecting the worst? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not expecting the worst, but I will pay attention to the Millennium reviews of the Blu experience.

 

We have our first Azamara cruise in October.  The pricing isn't all that much different once you figure in no tipping, drinks included, and all of the OBC you can get.  My biggest concern with Azamara are the limited things to do on a 670 passenger ship on days at sea.  For the most part, we'll do mass market lines, but that one is special.  We really like the M Class ships and their itineraries (especially now that we have one in Boston), and I'm hoping for the best.

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We're one of those that have recently come back to X to enjoy the fun of cruising again, especially on their transoceanic cruises. We're in our mid 60s and enjoy great production evening shows, comedians, magicians and interactive game shows.

 

We enjoy cruising with Oceania for the food, but their entertainment is pretty weak and their ships are getting a little to small for us after cruising 90+ days with them over the past year. However, for the price of an Oceania A category balcony we can book a Sky Suite and enjoy quality dining in the Illuminae plus all of the other perks that go with a suite. We're also excited about booking Princess club mini-suites and in some cases vistas suites for roughly the same price as an Oceania A category balcony. But, we'll hold off booking an Edge-class cruise until the suite prices come down a bit. 

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1 hour ago, hubofhockey said:

 

I'm not expecting the worst, but I will pay attention to the Millennium reviews of the Blu experience.

 

We have our first Azamara cruise in October.  The pricing isn't all that much different once you figure in no tipping, drinks included, and all of the OBC you can get.  My biggest concern with Azamara are the limited things to do on a 670 passenger ship on days at sea.  For the most part, we'll do mass market lines, but that one is special.  We really like the M Class ships and their itineraries (especially now that we have one in Boston), and I'm hoping for the best.

One good thing about the smaller Azamara ships, though, are the ports it can visit and places it can dock where the larger ships can’t. In St. Petersburg a few years ago, there was an Azamara ship docked almost within walking distance of the Hermitage, whereas our Viking ship was situated miles and miles away!

 

Will be paying attention to those BLU experience reviews as well.

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