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Holiday 2020 Cruise Fares - Crystal vs. Regent

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1 minute ago, Observer said:

Is my assumption correct?  Including the variable port fees for every itinerary would be very challenging, I would think.


I believe they don’t include the port charges - and the way Crystal choose to express them would make it hard to include them in Dribs tool. It’s definitely a trap for young players 

 

Interestingly here in Australia Crystal have moved to showing the fare inclusive of Port charges - so we get a total price in A$ shown on the .com.au site - so it’s possible for Crystal to move to show a true all up price - should they choose to do so 

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3 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

Interestingly here in Australia Crystal have moved to showing the fare inclusive of Port charges - so we get a total price in A$ shown on the .com.au site - so it’s possible for Crystal to move to show a true all up price - should they choose to do so 

 

Of course it would be possible.  Silversea and Regent and probably many others do so.  Wonder why Crystal doesn't?  🙂 

 

I wonder if the Australia practice is government mandated.  In US, airlines used to advertise prices not including mandatory fees.  Such fees must now be included when an airline advertises New York/Boston flights from $55.

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1 minute ago, Observer said:

 

Of course it would be possible.  Silversea and Regent and probably many others do so.  Wonder why Crystal doesn't?  🙂 

 

I wonder if the Australia practice is government mandated.  In US, airlines used to advertise prices not including mandatory fees.  Such fees must now be included when an airline advertises New York/Boston flights from $55.

 

Oceania includes taxes as well.

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I may have caused some confusion in my post above about the increase in price on Crystal once the new ships come out. I meant that the cost of the cruises on the new ships would increase. However I have a feeling that once the new ship comes (whenever that may be) then Symphony will not be around for too long and then it's only a matter of time before Serenity is also taken out to pasture but this is all a long ways off.

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4 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

However I have a feeling that once the new ship comes (whenever that may be) then Symphony will not be around for too long and then it's only a matter of time before Serenity is also taken out to pasture but this is all a long ways off.


I agree - it’s a long long way off

 

I just can’t see a renewed fleet (ie multiple ships) happening anytime soon as Dream and other Genting lines are getting priority at the shipyards. While at the same time all the other luxury cruise lines are or have built new ships 

 

Yes I know Endeavor is coming - but that’s an Expedition ship that is a much higher price per cruise than a larger ocean going ship 

 

As some like to say - choice is good - but that may not be the case for Crystal if some of the previously faithful start to experiment and explore the other lines 

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1 hour ago, Observer said:

Thanks so much for the figures, drib.

 

You're welcome.

 

1 hour ago, Observer said:

I assume that the Crystal figures do not include port fees/taxes (which I believe are included on published Regent fares).  

 

That's right, but I'll look into adding that, as a checkbox option, similar to the air credit, except that I would add it back in. (Or I could include it and subtract it out, but that would be a site change and you know how much people like change.)

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17 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

As some like to say - choice is good - but that may not be the case for Crystal if some of the previously faithful start to experiment and explore the other lines 

 

Which circles right back to my original post, it is already happening...

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1 hour ago, Observer said:

I assume that the Crystal figures do not include port fees/taxes (which I believe are included on published Regent fares).  These fees are significant can increase the cost of a cruise by ~ 10% for the lowest price cabin on Crystal.  Of course the taxes are not yoked to the cost of the cabin, and the percentage is higher for the lower cost cabins than the Penthouse suites. 

 

Yes, it seems that the port fees & taxes usually amount to about 10% for the OV cabins on Crystal.  I consider this a wash since I usually do a b2b, for a 5% discount, in addition to the Crystal Society discount of 2.5% and the onboard booking discount of 2.5%. 

 

You get the onboard booking discount as long as you have another Crystal voyage booked before you sail on the new one.  They add it as soon as you sail on the first one, but you should have your TA check and make sure it happened.  All of this plus another 2.5% of the discounted price if you pay early. 

 

I know not everyone can manage to get all of those discounts, but if you do they generally add up to enough to cover the port fees & taxes.  AFAIK, whatever similar discounts that Regent may offer are much less predictable and, when offered, generally much smaller.  If anyone knows Regent's formula for b2b discounts, I would be very interested to hear it.  I assume that the b2b discount would include the air credits for at least all the turnover days when you stay on the ship, but is there any additional b2b discount in addition to that?

--Karen

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26 minutes ago, SusieQft said:

Yes, it seems that the port fees & taxes usually amount to about 10% for the OV cabins on Crystal.  I consider this a wash since I usually do a b2b, for a 5% discount, in addition to the Crystal Society discount of 2.5% and the onboard booking discount of 2.5%

 

True however don't the other cruise lines offer similar discounts for B2B's. Returning guests and Early Booking credits and also early payment (although it some cases they don't require payment so far in advance)

 

I'm not familiar with all the nuances but I suspect it will be pretty similar between lines

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4 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

True however don't the other cruise lines offer similar discounts for B2B's. Returning guests and Early Booking credits and also early payment (although it some cases they don't require payment so far in advance)

 

I'm not familiar with all the nuances but I suspect it will be pretty similar between lines

 

I'm pretty sure there is no B2B discount on Oceania, and none of Celebrity. 

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2 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

I'm pretty sure there is no B2B discount on Oceania, and none of Celebrity. 


They’re not luxury lines - and not ones I would consider as an alternative to Crystal - I’m more interested in Regent, Seabourn and Silversea 

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On what I believe are clearly the majority (but not all) Silversea cruises there is a 10% discount for paying the fare in full at the time of booking or shortly thereafter.  Refunds of those early paid fares are made according to the published cancellation policy.

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Circling Back.

 

Choice is good.

 

Trying other lines is good.

 

For some who like Crystal but wonder what it will be like they might find  a line they like better, they might find a line they like about the same and some might just find out for them nothing compares to Crystal and while another line looks greener to them once they try it they find out they are wrong.  

 

A  company cannot make everyone happy all of the time and yes sometimes they will make changes and lose some guests.  But those changes can  be  key to attract new business or to ensure the company makes money.

 

And while undoubtedly Crystal is not for everyone (no company is) and some change will cause some to go elsewhere there is no question that over the last few years many people have tried Crystal for the very first time and some of them  post here and others we have met on board whose go to line is now Crystal.

 

Losing people over the years is not new  to any cruise line including  Crystal and if you could go to all of the post on CC since it started rest assured that some people left Crystal because they didn't like the changes ever since we sailed them in 2002 and the same is true for every other cruise line.

 

So it goes.

 

Keith

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11 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:


They’re not luxury lines - and not ones I would consider as an alternative to Crystal - I’m more interested in Regent, Seabourn and Silversea 

 

I don't know what is your definition of luxury and what makes Oceania less luxury than the other lines. Berlitz ranks Oceania newer ships almost as high as Crystal, and higher than some of Regent, Seabourn and Silversea ships. It is true that unlike the "big 4", Oceania is not all inclusive, but it doesn't make it less luxury. Just my opinion (to which Berlitz  happens to agree).

 

btw, Viking is also not considered a luxury line by many - and yet Berlitz ranks Sun, Sky, Star and Sea above ALL Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea ships.

 

Of course Celebrity is a different story. 

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15 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

I don't know what is your definition of luxury and what makes Oceania less luxury than the other lines. Berlitz ranks Oceania newer ships almost as high as Crystal, and higher than some of Regent, Seabourn and Silversea ships. It is true that unlike the "big 4", Oceania is not all inclusive, but it doesn't make it less luxury. Just my opinion (to which Berlitz  happens to agree).

 

btw, Viking is also not considered a luxury line by many - and yet Berlitz ranks Sun, Sky, Star and Sea above ALL Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea ships.

 

Of course Celebrity is a different story. 

 

Within the industry Regent, Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn are considered the "Luxury" segment, with Oceania, Viking Ocean and some would include Azamara, considered "Premium/Super Premium" and the rest "Mass Market". And there are also the "niche" lines like Seadream and Ponant who don't exactly fit the mold. One could argue these are not accurate descriptors given how the industry is evolving, and there is no definition of the terms written down anywhere, but they are a convenient and accepted "shorthand" for these types of discussions. Has nothing to do with how the individual ships are rated.

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20 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

I don't know what is your definition of luxury

 

According to Webster's dictionary, the definition of luxury is the following. Based on the dictionary definition, a Carnival or Costa cruise could be considered luxurious by some. 😉🙂

 

Definition of luxury

1: a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort
2a: something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary
2b: an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease
 

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15 hours ago, teamflames said:

How much is an air credit worth? What happens if you take it out?

 

It varies from cruise to cruise, and if you take it out, the pricing goes up for Regent. It gives the "lie" to Regent's "Free Air"  promotion because if you don't use their "free" air they give you a credit toward the price of the cruise. How can something that is "free" have a value? For many cruises the credit is somewhere in the the $400.00/person neighbourhood, but it is also sometimes much higher. It is rarely, in my experience, never, as much as what you would pay to book the flights separately.

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2 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

It gives the "lie" to Regent's "Free Air"  promotion because if you don't use their "free" air they give you a credit toward the price of the cruise. How can something that is "free" have a value? 

 

A wise mentor explained to me a long time ago that there is really nothing "free". It is either "included" or "not included". Many entities misuse the word "free", because this word/concept/action often excites a positive emotion in our human brain. 😄

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, ryndam said:

 

A wise mentor explained to me a long time ago that there is really nothing "free". It is either "included" or "not included". Many entities misuse the word "free", because this word/concept/action often excites a positive emotion in our human brain. 😄

 

This has been a "pet peeve" of mine since Oceania came to market with "Two-For-One Pricing and Free Air", with Regent adding "Free Excursions" later. Change the "Free" to included and I would have no problem with it. I felt the same way about Crystal when they went briefly down this road under the previous "regime".

Edited by Roland4

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28 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

Within the industry Regent, Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn are considered the "Luxury" segment, with Oceania, Viking Ocean and some would include Azamara, considered "Premium/Super Premium" and the rest "Mass Market". And there are also the "niche" lines like Seadream and Ponant who don't exactly fit the mold. One could argue these are not accurate descriptors given how the industry is evolving, and there is no definition of the terms written down anywhere, but they are a convenient and accepted "shorthand" for these types of discussions. Has nothing to do with how the individual ships are rated.

 

Yes, I'm fully aware of the "industry" consensus. And yet Berlitz ranks most Viking "Premium/Super Premium" ships above ALL Regent, Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn ships. Are they wrong?

 

Going back to the subject of this topic, most cruisers don't "leave" Crystal or any other line for the reasons mentioned by some members. Most cruisers would not leave a line because of its cancellation policy - tomorrow the other line will likely implement a similar cancellation policy, and eventually you will run out of lines. Most people won't try another line because Crystal has Pellegrino and they like Perrier.. or because Crystal was late to switch to open dining.. or because Crystal has Lobster only once a week and Oceania has it almost every day..

 

So why you ask? 90% of cruisers are not loyal to any line. They are not "Crystal regulars" or Oceania regulars". They book a cruise based on 2 factors: destination and price. For me personally, I wouldn't go back to a line like RCI because of the crowds, but I would gladly book either Crystal, Oceania, Azamara etc. given the right itinerary and price. I would not hesitate going back to Celebrity, Princess or Holland - again, for the right itinerary and price (I just would not expect the same experience on Celebrity as on Crystal or Oceania). We currently have 7 future cruises booked on Crystal, Oceania and Celebrity, and I'm 100% positive we will enjoy ALL of them.

 

I know this is not the consensus on CC, but we spoke to dozens of people on various cruise lines, and this is my impression. You might disagree of course.

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33 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

Yes, I'm fully aware of the "industry" consensus. And yet Berlitz ranks most Viking "Premium/Super Premium" ships above ALL Regent, Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn ships. Are they wrong?

 

 

As I said in my post, these are just accepted definitions that arose over time and go back to before I entered the industry 15 years ago. How they came to be grouped this way is anyone's guess, but they are a convenient way of differentiating the segments in a discussion, whether it be on CC or with a client. As to Berlitz, or any of the other ratings, no they may not be wrong, but that has nothing to do with how the terminology has evolved.

 

To your specific question about Viking Ocean, I have a few clients who have sailed with them, and they split pretty evenly between those who like them and those who don't. The most frequent concerns from both sides is the lack of a casino, poor entertainment options, and a ship with almost nothing going on after 10:30 each evening. Based purely on those subjective observations, and never having sailed Ocean myself, I would have to say Berlitz is incorrect in their ratings, but like the Berlitz ratings, that is my opinion, based on an admittedly small sample size. As someone else on this board has been know to observe, YMMV.

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16 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

I believe they don’t include the port charges - and the way Crystal choose to express them would make it hard to include them in Dribs tool.

 

Webster - Webster Long, that little dude from the 1980s TV show - defines "tool" as a guy who has nothing better to do then to post pointlessly on message boards.

 

That said, port fees are now available for the ocean ships, and I'm still working on Endeavor, but should have that within an hour. I'm not going to add a method to add them into the fares, though, until I know that there are no bugs in the port fees. As, always, I depend on the kindness of CC members to report bugs.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, drib said:

That said, port fees are now available for the ocean ships, and I'm still working on Endeavor, but should have that within an hour. I'm not going to add a method to add them into the fares, though, until I know that there are no bugs in the port fees. As, always, I depend on the kindness of CC members to report bugs.


Thanks - very responsive, I’m impressed 

 

So eventually we’ll be able to get a total price displayed? - until then I’ll keep my calculator handy...

 

What does jcalc do again?

 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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5 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

What does jcalc do again?

 

If there are three or more fares, and the jcalc box is checked, it will compare the most recent fare to the prior fare. When unchecked, the default, it compares the most recent fare to the original fare. Because all the percentages have to be recalculated, the page will refresh. All the other headings don't cause a refresh - they're just filters for the existing display. (Whenever I post the the averages to the board, what I do is create a filter that yields no detail.)

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6 hours ago, Roland4 said:

For many cruises the credit is somewhere in the the $400.00/person neighbourhood, but it is also sometimes much higher.

 

When Regent air fare credits are in the $300 to $400 range, those are for US domestic, coach class, transport - certainly less than half of all Regent itineraries. My next trip on Regent embarks from my home city - that's often the case for Californians, Floridians,  New Yorkers, and others - in which case, I'm going to make out like a bandit with the air credit.

 

Credits for European flights are in the $2,500 to $3,000 range, and those are for business class. (Those business class fares are  technically only for over water travel, but I've never not gotten business class also on a domestic connection.) Credits for Asian flights, including Australia, are in the $5,000 to $7,500 range, also for business class.

 
Whether or not it's better to take the flight or the credit depends on a lot of things. I think that if my budget was such that I could only afford one of those great Auckland to Sydney cruises by taking the 7.5 grand, I'd go ahead and buy a coach ticket on my own, and then also a bottle of lunesta.
 
There sure are a lot of choices to make when choosing and booking a cruise! And that's just too bad, because we all know that choice is the number one cause of industrial-strength agita.

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