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Ken the cruiser

Who charters a whole ship?

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I was on another X thread when a discussion about chartered cruises came up. One of the annoying aspects of these is X will sometimes cancel a cruise they have already made available to the public, like the one we had booked in October 2017, and then POOF! it's cancelled. Now, grant you, we do book early so we can get the cabin we want and be in a position to refare the cruise multiple times if it makes economic sense to do so. But I was just curious, who books an entire cruise ship causing the rest of us to find another one to cruise on? I realize it comes down to $$$, but that's a lot of $$$.

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In the past Celebrity ships have been chartered by banks, businesses, and private interest groups. I know of one case where an individual chartered the Century and shared the ship with friends.

The person or company, or group that charters controls the ship. Celebrity rules usually don't apply. They sign a contract indicating what they get and the price. The VP whose department control charters told me that they won't charter if more than 25% of the ship is booked. The company that charters usually pays any compensation to bumped passengers.

Edited by Orator

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Corporate clients and special interest travel agencies who then resale the cabins. Celebrity and Royal both have an FAQ on their website that explains the process. My former employer has chartered HAL ships in the past. According to what I heard, it's actually an easy process since everything is self-contained within the ship and you aren't working with multiple subcontractors, etc.

 

http://www.royalcaribbeanincentives.com/full-ship-charter-faqs/

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It is certainly not just Celebrity that responds very positively to a “whole ship” charter enquiry. That is a huge amount of money that is ringfenced in that they are guaranteed to receive it irrespective of whether or not the charterer sells all of the cabins.  Some lines do seem to work more closely with the charter market, Celebrity, HAL, NCL, Princess are near the top of the list.

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Music groups (70’s, Jazz, boy bands, etc),  special interest (sci fi, Star Wars, Star Trek, lgbt, etc.)

 

it is unfortunate when when you get bumped for a charter.  Only option is to join the charter (and charter pricing tends to be much more than typical cruise pricing) or pick a different cruise sadly.

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Don't bank on the entertainment being the same an a normal cruise. Shows are curtailed and the CD/activity staff get no say in the daily programmes. 

Some charters even arrange their own formalised entertainment.

A welcome break for many dancers and the activities team.

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58 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

Fans of certain types of music, etc...70's cruise...EDM....

The Ultimate Disco Cruise!   

 

Heavily advertised on cable channels.  And then there's the nekkid cruises (really) and other special interests.  There was a pro wrestling one not long ago.

 

Big businesses.

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1 hour ago, Orator said:

In the past Celebrity ships have been chartered by banks, businesses, and private interest groups. I know of one case where an individual chartered the Century and shared the ship with friends.

The person or company, or group that charters controls the ship. Celebrity rules usually don't apply. They sign a contract indicating what they get and the price. The VP whose department control charters told me that they won't charter if more than 25% of the ship is booked. The company that charters usually pays any compensation to bumped passengers.

 

Going back about 20 year ago the NJ Policemen’s Benefit Association chartered the Century for their annual Convention.

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Right before our Panama Canal cruise a few years back the Infinity was charted as a hotel for a big convention in San Francisco prior to our boarding.  The ship sat in port for a few days with conventioneers.

 

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In 2015 & 2016 the Constellation was chartered by Bare Necessities for 10 day Clothing Optional cruises. 

 

As others have said, there are many organizations that charter ships, and it is easy money for the cruise line.  One fee to the charter organization and their profit for that period of time is assured with zero marketing costs, zero interaction with Celebrity sales and customer service pre-cruise as the charter company sells the cabins.

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We have been on both sides of charters, having been kicked off a cruise for a charter and having attended 3 Flower Power Cruises (60's music) on The Connie, Summit and Infinity, with a 4th coming up on the Infinity. Star Vista has several cruises each year (Rock and Romance (70's), Soul, Country, Malt Shop (50's), Disco), some on X and some on HAL. The company does an amazing job with the FPC - it sold out for next year within a couple days of this year's cruise. It works for us to have the familiarity and great product of X and the amazing music, lectures, parties, etc. of Star Vista. Being a part of this, I can see why they are successful, and X must make a tidy sum from this company.

 

I have realized that being chartered is a risk when booking a cruise and keep my fingers crossed (have also had a cruise canceled due to redeployment and one due to X's change of plans). It is painful and inconvenient, but I just try to do my best to replace it when confronted with a cancellation and move on.

Edited by vtcruising

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The Jazz Cruise, the Smooth Jazz Cruise (x2), and the Blue Note at Sea Cruise -- that's four sold-out bookings of Infinity this year, just by one company.

 

I also have been on both sides of this equation, and I can tell you that I'd MUCH rather be kicked off a cruise for a full-charter, than have my cruise ruined by a large partial charter -- with folks who take over public areas, and demand priority everywhere, for their particular group.

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2 hours ago, archerniak said:

Right before our Panama Canal cruise a few years back the Infinity was charted as a hotel for a big convention in San Francisco prior to our boarding.  The ship sat in port for a few days with conventioneers.

 

We were on that sailing with you.

 

That was Salesforce.com's "Dreamforce" convention.  Understand charter didn't work out well.  Conventioneers paid $1500 for five nights and all they got were staterooms and 3 meals/day in mdr and buffet.  That was it.  No entertainment and shops , casino and bars were closed.  No one without seapass card was allowed aboard, so no guests and little partying.  Crew not too happy either.  Not much to do for 5 days but only those with US passports were allowed off ship (not even Canadians).  HR officer told me X did throw a couple of crew parties and gave them all a few internet minutes.

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The was an Inspiration (religious) full ship charter (HAL) to Alaska from Seattle this season and the casino was closed and no alcohol was served.  The Inspiration group also had smaller group charters going to Alaska (also on HAL) that had less of an impact on the ship.

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I do whenever I book a cruise.   I have the Captain and staff, and everything else that I need to sail across the deep blue sea to the destinations that I want to go to, without owning the ship. 🤗

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

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Luckily for us, our chartered Flower Power cruises, Blu is for AQ, Luminae and Michael's for suites and the bars, casino, Cafe al Bacio, OVC, MDR, internet and beverage packages all stay about the same. There are no free perks (except gratuities are included), no CD (they have their own hosts), no Captain's Club events or benefits (no free gelato or laundry, etc.), though I call prior to the cruise and CC sells me the beverage package and internet with my CC discount. Most importantly, the  staff is the same and they seem to love the music and all the easy going hippies. 😉

Edited by vtcruising

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We had a Celebrity cruise cancelled once for a nudist group of some kind.  I kid you not.  Would not have wanted to be sitting on those chairs and cushions the next cruise!

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I know that Olivia cruises charters various cruise ships.  I don't know if its an entire ship, I would expect so since Olivia is a gay/lesbian cruise company.  

 

Personally, my wife and I( same sex couple) have NO desire to sail with a bunch of drunk woman.  I've heard those charters are very party atmosphere.  We know some guys who have taken some GAY cruises and some of the stories they told us would make your hair curl. 

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I'm sure each charter has it's own culture. The best charter story I've heard was from a bartender on the Oasis. He had been on a chartered motorcycle group cruise (on another Royal ship) and they had ordered way more beer than normal for the cruise. They ran out in two days and had to stock up at the next port unexpectedly. He remembers one guy who came up to the bar and ordered 8 cans of beer and proceeded to drink each can without stopping for air and then crushed the can on his head before reaching for the next. The bartender said he couldn't believe it as he watched him drink all 8 within a few minutes. He did say that they brought their own entertainment onboard and the shows were very interesting...

 

They all brought their bikes onboard, which were stored below. Each day in port they would all get their bikes and take off to tour the islands. He said it was quite a sight to see the line of bikes take off in the morning.

Edited by vtcruising

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29 minutes ago, calicakes said:

I know that Olivia cruises charters various cruise ships.  I don't know if its an entire ship, I would expect so since Olivia is a gay/lesbian cruise company.  

 

Personally, my wife and I( same sex couple) have NO desire to sail with a bunch of drunk woman.  I've heard those charters are very party atmosphere.  We know some guys who have taken some GAY cruises and some of the stories they told us would make your hair curl. 

There was an Olivia 7 night charter on HAL's Amsterdam this summer.  Generally speaking the ladies fit the typical HAL demographic, a bit older and well heeled.  As a group they were lovely to work with.  Maybe the difference was the destination, Alaska v the Caribbean, so maybe less partying.

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7 minutes ago, Ferry_Watcher said:

There was an Olivia 7 night charter on HAL's Amsterdam this summer.  Generally speaking the ladies fit the typical HAL demographic, a bit older and well heeled.  As a group they were lovely to work with.  Maybe the difference was the destination, Alaska v the Caribbean, so maybe less partying.

Maybe.  I recall reading about those cruises years and years ago, when they would advertise in the local( to Los Angeles) Lesbian magazine.   I always pictured them being held on Carnival ships. 

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