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fishywood

Bon Voyage Experience no more

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Posted (edited)

I don't wish to be the first to spread any bad news scuttlebut. But since there have been questions about how the BVE works on Medallion ships--with several comments about inconsistent information from Princess on booking future BVE...

 

Just spoke with my PVP. Asked her about booking a BVE from Port Everglades.

She put me on hold to pull up the official memo.

 

Bon Voyage Experience discontinued after June 30, 2019.

 

I checked the pages that I recall seeing the BVE referenced on the Princess website. All mention of BVE gone. 

So guess its true.

Edited by fishywood

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We have done this many times.  Very sorry to hear it will no longer be available. 

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Sad. I imagine it wasn’t paying for itself. I think it might have done better if more people knew about it.

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They offered it in so few ports I guess it’ll only be a select few who miss it.

 

i wonder if TAs will still be able to offer the lunch tours?

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That's disappointing.  I live near San Francisco and could always get a ride to the pier just by offering the BVE to one of my friends.  Such a great little event and we even got to board early.  And, it was always a nice tried and true fun girl's day out in the City.  I guess we should just be glad we got to do it when we did.  

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Probably not very profitable. If it was profitable a way to do it would have been found.

 

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This sucks. I love doing the BVE when I'm in town to see family. My guess is people were using it too much to get onboard early (have one friend come down and get your party on early with them), like Carnival's FTTF. I wouldn't be surprised if Princess rolls out a similar program. Royal Caribbean now has The Key too, which is a sort of the same idea. Paying for early embark/debark and other elite status perks seems to be the new trend. 

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27 minutes ago, Felix331 said:

This sucks. I love doing the BVE when I'm in town to see family. My guess is people were using it too much to get onboard early (have one friend come down and get your party on early with them), like Carnival's FTTF. I wouldn't be surprised if Princess rolls out a similar program. Royal Caribbean now has The Key too, which is a sort of the same idea. Paying for early embark/debark and other elite status perks seems to be the new trend. 

Princess either tested the on board sooner or were going to test it - seems like it was in the onboard reservations for awhile but always showing as 'sold out' ... at least the times we looked at it

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Sad to see it go....our friends really enjoyed having lunch with us in the dining room....and they always brought on 2 extra bottles of wine to leave in our cabin!

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I am devastated to see it go, I loved doing the BVE's. But Fishywood is correct, I e-mailed my vacation planner and here is his response:

 

Just saw this today:

 

Please be advised that the Bon Voyage Experience program will be discontinued after June 30, 2019.

Existing booking through June 30 will be honored. Bookings made for voyages sailing on or after July 1, 2019 will be fully refunded back to the guests along with a matching Future Cruise Credit for any future booking made by April 30, 2020.

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4 hours ago, Felix331 said:

This sucks. I love doing the BVE when I'm in town to see family. My guess is people were using it too much to get onboard early (have one friend come down and get your party on early with them), like Carnival's FTTF. I wouldn't be surprised if Princess rolls out a similar program. Royal Caribbean now has The Key too, which is a sort of the same idea. Paying for early embark/debark and other elite status perks seems to be the new trend. 

No devious plan to get you to purchase early boarding. With medallion spreading across the fleet boarding is now very quick and seemless for everyone. I believe it is just a pure business decision based on cost vs. return.

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Guess I'll add this to the (long) list of things I didn't get around to doing until it was too late.

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One thing that may have played into the decision is that they've shifted boarding times for my last cruise

and next cruise to 1pm -- no more MDR lunch.

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I would be curious how many new people used it verses existing Princess customers.

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40 minutes ago, Haboob said:

One thing that may have played into the decision is that they've shifted boarding times for my last cruise

and next cruise to 1pm -- no more MDR lunch.

The boarding time for my recent Royal cruise showed 1:00 PM but passengers were being processed by 10:00 and I was onboard by 11:15.  Our cabin was ready & we decided to wait until noon when the MDR opened for lunch...hopefully you’ll have the same experience.

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27 minutes ago, Astro Flyer said:

The boarding time for my recent Royal cruise showed 1:00 PM but passengers were being processed by 10:00 and I was onboard by 11:15.  Our cabin was ready & we decided to wait until noon when the MDR opened for lunch...hopefully you’ll have the same experience.

::crosses eyes::   -- "fingers" doesn't work 😉

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When I brought my BVE guest onto Royal Princess in 2017 her boarding pass said to check in by 11:30. We did and were escorted onto the ship moments later with the first group of Elite/Suite (there were at most a few dozen waiting at that point). Don't recall what time the "official" start of boarding was but anyone who ignored it and showed up early certainly were aboard in time for lunch in the MDR.

 

My guess is that the discontinuation is due to a combination of (1) too low a conversion rate of non-past passengers into booking their first Princess cruise in time to use the $39 credit; and (2) how to book and check in BVE guests on the Medallion ships. Would be kinda awkward for a guest to have to go through manual check in forcing the passengers bringing them on to wait. Or do they go to the expense of mailing BVE guests the Medallion so long as a sailing passenger is who signed them up? And what about BVE patrons not accompanying a passenger on the cruise--do they just get an ID sticker? And how would they purchase beverages once the program progresses to the point that printing of cruise cards ceases entirely? Not enough return on investment for Princess to saw through this thicket.

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11 hours ago, Haboob said:

One thing that may have played into the decision is that they've shifted boarding times for my last cruise

and next cruise to 1pm -- no more MDR lunch.

Princess has been publishing these boarding times for years. Actually boarding begins around 11:30 and sometimes even earlier. With medallion ships boarding goes very quickly. I never heard that Princess is eliminating boarding day lunch. From the recent Princess Dining Guide:

https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/food-and-dining/dining-options.pdf 

"Main Dining Rooms" "Lunch is available on turnaround days, sea days and in select ports. (see Princess@Sea or the Princess Patter"

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We did one BVE on the Regal Princess the day we disembarked from a cruise on the Caribbean Princess and were staying over in Fort Lauderdale. It's what convinced me that we would enjoy the larger ship even without a proper outside Promenade Deck. Unfortunately, we didn't book another cruise in time to take advantage of the credit. But it was still worth the experience.

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