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Holiday 2020 Cruise Fares - Crystal vs. Regent

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11 minutes ago, drib said:

 

Or, they learn to tune it out.

 

And just look at how it turned out for Lincoln!

 

Okay, then, but please note that "drib" starts with a lowercase.

Got  it  drib.

 

I feel  very good for my answer.

 

My experience is more get it than turn it out.

 

Some even start repeating it.  Time will tell.  Choice is good. And both are very true IMHO.  😀

 

Keith1010

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1 minute ago, Keith1010 said:

It actually turned our  well for the USA and my experience is more get it than turn it out.

 

The first part of that is highly debatable, but not appropriate for Cruise Critic.

 

The second part of that cannot be substantiated.

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9 minutes ago, drib said:

 

The first part of that is highly debatable, but not appropriate for Cruise Critic.

 

The second part of that cannot be substantiated.

The good news is tomorrow I am returning to Crystal Serenity and I can't wait.

 

No comparisons.

 

Just Crystal....Crystal....Crystal...

 

And if it was another line.........It would be x line........x line........x line.........

 

I will just enjoy the moment.

 

And I do stand by what I have said as to how to do the research and the due diligence and will repeat myself if necessary as most people on this board does. 


And with that I say good night even if that means I don't get the last word in.

 

Keith1010

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2 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:


I'm curious - have you actually sailed Regent? If so was it recently and on one of their newer ships? If not then what are you basing your assessment on?

Yes, although it's been a few years. I have sailed on Oceania.  I'm Gold on Regent and Oceania doesn't rate the same.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

even if that means I don't get the last word in


That’s not always necessary of course

 

BTW - isn’t it only 7pm in Miami? - that’s a little early for bed time isn’t it (no need to answer of course - until you’re next online)

Edited by Stickman1990

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1 minute ago, Keith1010 said:

The good news is tomorrow I am returning to Crystal Serenity and I can't wait.

 

I hope you have a wonderful time. And I hope I help you add to your enjoyment of Serenity, by suggesting that you spend more time there, then here.

 

You know, a wise man once said that you want to keep a message simple and repeat it often until people get tired of hearing it. And so, I will say it again, that your opinions would go further if you stated the same ones less often, and in less space. 

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Just now, ChatKat in Ca. said:

Yes, although it's been a few years. I have sailed on Oceania.  I'm Gold on Regent and Oceania doesn't rate the same.


The question about first hand experience was specifically directed to Vince - I know you’ve sailed Regent & Oceania and that’s why I said “particularly when several members have first hand knowledge of both lines and others have stated their plans to try Regent” earlier 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Texas Tillie said:

Good grief, am I the only one who is sick to death of all the bickering going on here??? 🥴😏😎


Reading the thread and participation is entirely optional of course 

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5 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

Good grief, am I the only one who is sick to death of all the bickering going on here??? 🥴😏😎

 

Oh, don't pay any attention to the Stickman!

 

And I completely agree, but we're now in the middle of the Super Bowl of getting the last word, and Keith100 is on the clock!

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Just now, drib said:

 

Oh, don't pay any attention to the Stickman!

 

And I completely agree, but we're now in the middle of the Super Bowl of getting the last word, and Keith100 is on the clock!


Ahhh - another quote from my wife! - that’s two today already

 

For those who like the back and forth type thing there’s plenty of tennis happening down under at the moment - ATP Cup then the Australian Open - they go back and forth all the time and get paid millions!

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3 hours ago, BWIVince said:

They seem to be kind of doing two things at once -- feel out where the upper end of what their market will bear

 

I agree, this was one of my gut instincts as well.

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

For example David I pretty much know from you saying it more than once that sailing Crystal is not in your plans

 

I'm sorry I forgot to comment about this earlier.

 

You don't know that! In fact, I have a booking on Serenity, I'm very interested in Endeavor, and I would definitely look into a Crystal river boat the next time I'm in that market. I follow this board, and I track fares on Crystal because I haven''t given up on them!

 

What I often repeat about Crystal is that the reason they have to discount their itineraries, especially on Symphony, is because they are struggling to keep their older ships full. I also often repeat that Charra-scary-ia was a bad experience for us - and a lot of people on this board have concurred, although not in that language.

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2 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Honestly I don't.

When I  wanted to learn about Seabourn I read what is posted there.  I also read reviews on the Review site. Same for Silversea, Regents, Celebrity etc.

 

I don't need comparisons because that is when we get into lots of subjectives and.....a big and..........I want current....Often the comparisons are not current.

 

Anyway, this is my view. 

 

I have never cared for comparisons because it gets subjective.

 

Just to swing back around to my original post, I was making a comparison to Crystal vs. Regent pricing (which is fact and current) on a 2020 holiday cruise (which are both Miami to Miami of similar duration and itinerary).

 

I was merely comparing the fact based pricing to one another and I believe this is the appropriate forum to do that.

 

Now whilst the pricing isn’t apples to apples , the ensuing discussions were very helpful for me to reconcile the differences and come to somewhat of a conclusion and an apples to apples comparison in my own mind on the hard product offering only. What others do with it is up to them. As mentioned in my previous posts I had some other opinions/theories on the Crystals future pricing which still stand.

 

When it comes to actually cruising and reviewing the hard and soft  product we will do that in the appropriate cruise forum at the time. However, we have three more wonderful Crystal cruises to enjoy before doing so and one after that!

 

In any case, again, I don’t believe this was the wrong forum to raise the topic that I did.

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1 hour ago, drib said:

Charra-scary-ia was a bad experience for us

That would be Churra-scary-ia.  😉  Seriously, your description of your experience with the knife wielding waiters was so vivid that you created a pneumonic that is the ONLY reason that I can now remember how to spell it.  So please don't confuse me now.  😉

 

I did not particularly care for it either (for different reasons), but that in no way diminishes my enjoyment of Crystal.  I am glad that others like it, because it makes the other restaurants less crowded.  Who knows, I may even give it another try myself someday.

 

More importantly, I am definitely glad that you are interested enough in Crystal to include it in your Fare Compare tool.  Thank you!

 

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7 hours ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

 

Just to swing back around to my original post, I was making a comparison to Crystal vs. Regent pricing (which is fact and current) on a 2020 holiday cruise (which are both Miami to Miami of similar duration and itinerary).

 

In any case, again, I don’t believe this was the wrong forum to raise the topic that I did.

You asked a good question.

 

My comments about what one can learn about other sites was not directed at your initial question but more about some of the other discussion.    😀

 

On thing I learned over the years is how hard it is to compare pricing between luxury cruise lines.   I do find it easier to do so with the entry cruise lines that are much similar to one another for standard rooms.  I wish there was a simple answer to your question but I do think the offerings are quite a bit different between the luxury lines in the product they offer, the way they approach pricing is different and even the puts and takes on other pricing related items (past cruise discounts, early  payment discounts and so forth is different) and a bit more complicated because in many (not all but many) the itineraries can vary a great deal.  Conversely  the  mainstream lines running seven day cruises of the Caribbean starting/ending in Fort Lauderdale or Miami to me are much easier  to get a price comparison and a per diem comparison.   I really  don't think there is an easy question to it but hopefully  you'll learn something from others but not sure it will answer all of the questions as pricing is not very straight forward on a range of products IMHO.

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

You asked a good question.

 

My comments about what one can learn about other sites was not directed at your initial question but more about some of the other discussion.    😀

 

On thing I learned over the years is how hard it is to compare pricing between luxury cruise lines.   I do find it easier to do so with the entry cruise lines that are much similar to one another for standard rooms.  I wish there was a simple answer to your question but I do think the offerings are quite a bit different between the luxury lines in the product they offer, the way they approach pricing is different and even the puts and takes on other pricing related items (past cruise discounts, early  payment discounts and so forth is different) and a bit more complicated because in many (not all but many) the itineraries can vary a great deal.  Conversely  the  mainstream lines running seven day cruises of the Caribbean starting/ending in Fort Lauderdale or Miami to me are much easier  to get a price comparison and a per diem comparison.   I really  don't think there is an easy question to it but hopefully  you'll learn something from others but not sure it will answer all of the questions as pricing is not very straight forward on a range of products IMHO.

 

Keith

 

Another consideration for some of us is the single supplement.  In almost all cases, Crystal has the lowest single supplement. Yes, it is capacity controlled, but I was able to get the lowest supplement for my 3 cruises in 2020 when I booked them all at one time, 11, 15 and 18 months before the cruises. I know that in every case Oceania would be more expensive for me and I'd get less. Have seen that Silversea sometimes has lower single supplements, but every one I've seen has been on less than desirable cruises, a trans-Atlantic starting or ending in Barbados, for example.

 

Patty

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On 1/3/2020 at 3:58 PM, gnomie1 said:

1) if docked at terminal J, currently there is no global entry available

 

2) just came through Miami with Crystal - passengers who wanted to disembark with their own luggage were allowed to do so, providing that they were off the ship prior to the dock workers removing the luggage from the ship. Once the dock workers were working and moving heavy bins of luggage, for safety purposes no one is allowed off the ship. I was watching the process from my balcony and when customs agents were leaving the ship, the dock workers were ordered to stop working and no equipment could be in use while the agents walked from the ship to the terminal.

 

3) FLL is about a 40 minute ride from the Port of Miami

 

22 hours ago, drib said:

 

SusieQft, you can be gold at the beginning of your first sailing if you book one of these four cruises:

 

https://dc.bigdogfoto.com/rollcall/rollcall.php?line=regent&fromdays=75

 

======

 

I don't know about the current condition of the Internet on Regent ships, but I do know that I've never had a problem even when everyone one else around me was complaining about it. So I think it has a lot to do with your equipment and how you use it. (No sexual innuendo intended.) I don't own a smartphone, and I always only use a Chromebook (Chrome OS) from which I mostly just use email and my photo site. On average, I take 100 photos and videos per day, and they are uploaded quickly because my site server has a great ftp program.

 

Also note about the one connection issue, that everyone can connect two or more devices, just not at the same time.

 

======

 

And finally, a note about attracting attention to my posts; the moderators asked me not to post photos of my grandchildren anymore. There was an incident the last time I posted photos of two of my grandchildren, both born last year, three days apart. They were too adorable, and the board crashed from people logging in just to see them. You all would be so jelly!

 
Instead, I offer up this image of  PVC Moose and Squirrel posed as American Gothic.
 

00221_000094307_moose_and_squirrel_as_po

 

In December, I changed the Moose's sweatshirt to one with Merry Christmoose on it, and then over Hanukkah, I turned his gorgeous rack into a menorah for eight nights.

I would not post pictures of grandchildren on social media either too many child predators out there.  I would privately send pictures to relatives and friends only.

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14 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Vince,

 

If you're so inclined, could you expand on your "hyperactive yield management" point?  I find these nuts and bolts of the business discussions fascinating, and you're one of the few contributors who can do so with actual cruise biz insight  

 

Absolutely...  As you probably know, as it pertains to travel, yield management is the practice of dynamically adjusting fares to maximize revenue in accordance with what people are willing to pay at a given point in time.

 

Once upon a time, Crystal published its base fares for the year (years in advance) and then had to promote specials as needed in order to move inventory.  This didn't help them maximize revenue on sailings that ended up being more popular than expected, and resulted in stale collateral for sailings where revenue ended up being lower.

 

Therefore they ended up moving to the Book Now Fares years ago, where pricing adjusted dynamically based on demand.  If a sailing is selling faster than projected they can raise fares, and if they need to stimulate sales they can lower them.  It doesn't eliminate the need for other types of promotions, but it gives a flexible baseline of what you are advertising your original fare at.

 

NOW where my observation comes in, is that Crystal seems to be a LOT more aggressive about trying to maximize revenue at different stages in the sales cycle.  Not always together, and not always globally, but on the 1-2 year out window, Crystal seems to be trying out periods where they are trying to measure interest in the higher fares in certain conditions.  This seems to be balanced by more dramatic discounts at the end to back-fill the sales that didn't happen when the fares were overly ambitious.  (And I'm not saying they're losing money on that -- they may actually be selling far more inflated cabins than deeply discounted ones, so overall revenue may well be up, it's just that the disparity between the price points is far greater than before.)  That whiplash between the way higher fares and the sometimes bargain looking backfills is extreme compared with how Crystal used to manage it.

 

It's not quite yield management, but the other thing that's really helpful in maximizing occupancy are the new guarantees.  Crystal has always used guarantees to help fill in the gaps in demand in particular categories, but the traditional stateroom category guarantees require a reverse curve demand to work effectively (where most of the remaining inventory is in the middle categories and the largest volume is at the bottom).  Their new tiered category discounts help fill holes on a much broader scale by incentivizing passengers better for their complete flexibility based on general attributes of the stateroom and not location at all.  This helps fill the ship when the booking pattern is doing something really unusual and the remaining inventory isn't in the lower numbered (higher grade) subcategories like it usually is -- a scenario that Crystal was never able to address in the past without fare reductions (which have refund implications).

 

Hopefully you're not regretting asking the question now.  haha

 

Vince

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3 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

It's not quite yield management, but the other thing that's really helpful in maximizing occupancy are the new guarantees.  Crystal has always used guarantees to help fill in the gaps in demand in particular categories, but the traditional stateroom category guarantees require a reverse curve demand to work effectively (where most of the remaining inventory is in the middle categories and the largest volume is at the bottom).  Their new tiered category discounts help fill holes on a much broader scale by incentivizing passengers better for their complete flexibility based on general attributes of the stateroom and not location at all.  This helps fill the ship when the booking pattern is doing something really unusual and the remaining inventory isn't in the lower numbered (higher grade) subcategories like it usually is -- a scenario that Crystal was never able to address in the past without fare reductions (which have refund implications).

 

Hopefully you're not regretting asking the question now.  haha

 

Vince

 

Vince,

 

Wow, thanks for that. Let me see if my feeble understanding of a little of what Crystal is up to translates into your final paragraph above.

 

I occurs to me that a consequence of the new flex fares is the elimination of refunds across a cabin category to those of us who booked earlier at a higher price.   In other words, no more checking w your TA to see if the price went down, you are on the hook for your transaction price. There's Crystal's elimination of margin erosion.

 

Is that your point above, or am I completely lost at sea?

 

On another note, all this makes me thank the cruise gods even more for drib's fine work.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KenzSailing said:

I occurs to me that a consequence of the new flex fares is the elimination of refunds across a cabin category to those of us who booked earlier at a higher price.   In other words, no more checking w your TA to see if the price went down, you are on the hook for your transaction price.

 

I am not quite sure that this is the case (well by the time I finished my response below, I am now sure that this is the case).

 

Agree that drib’s analysis is very valuable on a number of levels - I’m a numbers guy so it might just be my obsession with slicing and dicing things!

 

It could be that going forward that the future category specific fares remains stable from the onset and the Guarantees are introduced as the value proposition to drive sales in all the categories when fares aren’t selling. For example, not all cruises offer a VG (verandah guarantee) or OG (ocean guarantee) only certain ones. Would be interesting to see if on the cruises that offer a VG/OG, whether or not the original fares i.e. for B3-P1 categories changed or remained as is. 

 

In fact, I am going to answer my own question...using drib’s analysis and looking at our upcoming Papeete to Auckland cruise in February, as an example, the B3-P1 fares remained unchanged from when they were first introduced in May 2018. A B3 was and remains $6,349. However, in September 2019, the VG category was introduced at $4,749, ~25% discount. The OG category was then introduced in December 2019.

 

So one can either book the fare early, at “the best price”, and if the fare increases, you are locked in. Or take the chance that the fare wont increase and wait for a Guarantee to appear, however you can not “Guarantee” that this will happen and if it does you cant select your specific category or room. Interesting. From a business perspective, this is a much better of way of doing it, rather than refunding fares etc If the price goes down.

 

Vince - thanks for your insights & KenzSailing for asking

Edited by Fly Fast Cruise Slow

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15 minutes ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

. In fact, I am going to answer my own question...using drib’s analysis and looking at our upcoming Papeete to Auckland cruise in February, as an example, the B3-P1 fares remained unchanged from when they were first introduced in May 2018. A B3 was and remains $6,349. However, in September 2019, the VG category was introduced at $4,749, ~25% discount. The OG category was then introduced in December 2019.

 

So one can either book the fare early, at “the best price”, and if the fare increases, you are locked in. Or take the chance that the fare wont increase and wait for a Guarantee to appear, however you can not “Guarantee” that this will happen and if it does you cant select your specific category or room. Interesting. From a business perspective, this is a much better of way of doing it, rather than refunding fares etc If the price goes down.


There’s nearly always a way to get around the situation of lower fares being available

 

Whilst technically they won’t refare unless the specific category booked drops in price (which they seem to be trying to avoid doing) if I was faced with a $1500 or so drop as per the example above I’d just cancel the cruise and rebook a few days later (changing ones mind is hardly illegal) - of course that requires one to be flexible on cabin location and to be prepared to accept the very specific restrictions on the Open Guarantee fares as trade offs

 

Yes there’d be the Admin fee to consider but we’re never without a few future cruise bookings that we can apply that to 

 

So the ongoing “game” between Stickman and the bean counters of Crystal continues - and although I’m a tad biased I think I’m well ahead 

 

Thank goodness we have the Drib system/tool/site to make it easy to spot these fare class changes and the introduction of the Open category options on specific cruises 

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28 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

Yes there’d be the Admin fee to consider but we’re never without a few future cruise bookings that we can apply that to 

Crystal has been known to waive the Admin fee, even recently, when the deposit refund was immediately transferred to another booking.  In my case, this happened when I transferred it to another already existing booking, but perhaps they might do the same if you downgraded to the guarantee fare.  You can upgrade or downgrade your cabin prior to final payment, and it seems that this should qualify as that.

 

The catch is that you would not be getting the same product in other ways besides losing the specific room reservation.  And at least some of the OG/VG/PG fares say that the Crystal Society Discount, Onboard Booking Discount, and/or the Early Payment Discount would not apply.  I'm not sure about b2b discounts.  All of that would reduce the percent savings for changing the booking.  And they could potentially also not give you milestone credits for that trip.

 

I do agree that the new guarantee cabin discount scheme is much better for Crystal financially, and I would expect it to continue.

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10 hours ago, Mask-1234 said:

 

I would not post pictures of grandchildren on social media either too many child predators out there.  I would privately send pictures to relatives and friends only.

Confused, what did the 2 quotes you posted have to do with this?

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