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bigmjh

More Cut-backs?

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There have been numerous posts discussing how the Oceania experience today is just not up to the standards of yesterday. Now, with the COVID-19 virus causing major disruptions and cruise realignments, the parent companies are all forecasting hits to their "bottom line". Obviously stockholders are not and will not be happy with this and will want changes (cuts) made to minimize the impact. So, will the Oceania experience tomorrow fall even lower than what it is today? More changes (reductions) in food quality? Lowered customer service due to crew reductions? Higher prices? Less value per dollar? 

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48 minutes ago, bigmjh said:

There have been numerous posts discussing how the Oceania experience today is just not up to the standards of yesterday. Now, with the COVID-19 virus causing major disruptions and cruise realignments, the parent companies are all forecasting hits to their "bottom line". Obviously stockholders are not and will not be happy with this and will want changes (cuts) made to minimize the impact. So, will the Oceania experience tomorrow fall even lower than what it is today? More changes (reductions) in food quality? Lowered customer service due to crew reductions? Higher prices? Less value per dollar? 

Interesting question  ..... yes they may do some cuts...nothing in life remains constant,. Change is always in play.  How we adapt to that change and how we let it effects us is a matter of personal choice, a decision to like it or not.   

So faced with change as an ongoing part of life how do we deal with it?     One way is to turn to anger and complain  about the good old days. 

 Another way is to ask of your self, how does this change effect the rest of my life.       In either case it is personal to all ,it is a persons reality.    It is entirely your call.

 

In the case of cruises, or anything, you have to ask has the change been so  far reaching that it effects your entire experience ?      

When I read others complaints I have to view them as something that is personal to them. 

 I have to weigh that complaint against my own values and  wants.    Too, some complain because they like to as they see it as a sign that they are of superior taste and breeding.  Then there are those who see everything  black and white and either hate of love everything.   

  Who is correct the "eternal optimist "outlook or the "princess and the pea" person?

 

 Just because person A was upset by something does that correspond to person B's potential experience  or that of mine?    Again, it is a choice not entirely based   on the situation  but equally shared with a persons personal decision to accept or reject the gravity of the situation as it applies to themselves.

 

For me..... things have not  changed to the extent that my over all experience.in in any way impacted.   My litmus test is " how is this going to effect the rest of my life"?...  So far , for me, nothing on O has changed to the extent that it  really upsets me to any extent.  ................ But thats me

How about you ?

Edited by Hawaiidan

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I believe the question is much bigger than cruise cut backs. Will all the cruise lines weather the storm ... that is, continue to be in business. That possibility Is faced by many types of business, learning institutions, health care facilities, hotels, etc. The answer is we don’t know at this stage of events.

 

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5 minutes ago, Noxequifans said:

I believe the question is much bigger than cruise cut backs. Will all the cruise lines weather the storm ... that is, continue to be in business. That possibility Is faced by many types of business, learning institutions, health care facilities, hotels, etc. The answer is we don’t know at this stage of events.

 

To quote the late Douglas Adams, in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,    "DON'T PANIC"

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Thanks, Dan. I believe is a thin line between planning and panic. Maybe I took too many ABC (Atomic, Biological, Chemical) classes in service. 

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1 hour ago, bigmjh said:

So, will the Oceania experience tomorrow fall even lower than what it is today? More changes (reductions) in food quality? Lowered customer service due to crew reductions? Higher prices? Less value per dollar? 

What happened to your crystal ball - is it broken? 😀

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It may be a bit rocky until things settle out, and I have a feeling that there will be more good deals in the short run as the industry tries to fill space.  My guess is that the industry will weather the storm (how about that as a apropos cliche?), but will be doing a lot on the fly as ports may either close or become undesirable.  I suppose they could take some ships out of service temporarily to reduce over capacity until the Covid-19 crisis passes.  Good management will find a way to get through the rough waters (there I go again).

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Hawaiidan has topped himself  with the first comment.  His response is measured and thoughtful.  Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about share prices of cruise line corporations and airlines having severe drops.  Oceania will adjust and NCL, Inc. will also.  Cancelling now all cruises in Asia (or some part thereof) until the  third quarter of 2020 is a bold step. (If I remember right this  involves 16 Norwegian cruises, 10 Oceania cruises and 6 Regent cruises.)

 

As an individual passenger, I have learned not to evaluate a cruise line based upon a single cruise.  Sometimes  on this board, I have read a person who proclaims they have sailed regularly on Oceania.  They  have a poor recent cruise and end the post with "I am done with Oceania", "No more" or "I am switching to brand X, C, V, S, A or other."  

 

Personally, I had booked two Oceania cruises for most of April.  Unfortunately, they involve a lot of Italian stops. I will try to make the best of the situation.  In retrospect, I have generally been treated well by Oceania, its employees and

my fellow passengers. This includes a few times I did not deserve such good treatment.  The sun will continue to rise in the East and set in the West.

 

At the risk of damaging Hawaiidan's reputation, I usually agree with his opinions.

 

 

 

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My first cruise was in September 2008.  We have averaged one cruise a year on Oceania since then, moving to sailing solely on the two “O” ships since Marina debuted in 2011 because my spouse loves them.  
 

I disagree with the OP’s premise that there has been any downgrade of the Oceania experience.  Our experience last May in the Western Mediterranean was excellent - the service and food the best yet - and the entertainment, particularly the main lounge show, as pretty sorry as usual!  The addition of the option of OLife excursions has decimated the roll call opportunities to share private tours but I do not blame Oceania for that.  
 

Just my opinion.  We sail tomorrow on Riviera for two weeks in the Southern Caribbean so I am stoked!
 

Edited by CintiPam

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I think  a lot of things  in the past several years  are hit or miss depending on the cruise/staff/cooks etc..

sometimes you get great service  good food & decent entertainment  & sometime you don't

 

The cruise lines affected by the  Asian virus & the Cuba cuts  last year  are going to have to make up the shortfall somehow

JMO

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I appreciate such a well thought out post, Dan.

And, yes to the above as well.   Something might have to give 

 

My thoughts about this situation, and cruising in general, are this. 

 

I am not so sure that real cutbacks to the product received and perceived by the paying customer base is the way to go.   If the experience is not what the paying customer base appreciates, and is not what they expect for their money,  then that might not be a good thing. 

I would think that the cost of cruising, in relation to inflation and income, etc. has been well below these other factors.   Appealing to higher numbers and “mass market” consumption has kept cruise lines afloat. But at some point I would project that this formula can go too far, and backfire.    

I have been thinking that cruising, especially non-cheap Carnival cruising, will have to see a significant increase in costs. 

 

Just look at at the pricing on the lines that seem to be more upmarket than Oceania!

 

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Any downturn in the cruise industry will benefit the consumer, in the short term.

 

as long as you are in decent health I would not worry about it.

 

 

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Oceania, as my TA says, is strongly priced in the industry. At their price levels, they don’t have the luxury to cut services or cheapen their product. Doing so could get them in trouble quickly. 
 

Likewise, R ships, with their smaller cabins and tiny bathrooms, are increasingly becoming non competitive in the cruise industry according to my TA. This is increasingly demonstrated by the number of dedicated Oceania loyalists that will now only sail O model ships. R ships still have their lovers and fan clubs across several brands, but with time their numbers are shrinking. The arrival of the A Class ships perhaps need to be sooner not later.

 

While I question the moves of FDR and his team’s current moves in some areas, such as non enforcement of dress codes which some ( perhaps many) do feel cheapen their brand , I firmly believe they realize a floor exists that they can’t undercut without undermining their perceived value and thus pricing strategy.

 

Any changes, real or perceived, as Dan stated, will have to be evaluated on a personal level to define how important to them they are.

 

I think, as Lyn pointed out, Oceania’s inconsistency across its brand is currently its greatest challenge. Significant variances in food, service levels, and code enforcements depending upon ship, crew, and ship management doesn’t fare well for brand maintenance.

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6 hours ago, Noxequifans said:

I believe the question is much bigger than cruise cut backs. Will all the cruise lines weather the storm ... that is, continue to be in business. That possibility Is faced by many types of business, learning institutions, health care facilities, hotels, etc. The answer is we don’t know at this stage of events.

 

 

Agreed, this could change the industry for some time.  Airlines are also suffering but with the 737 Max issue lingering at least airlines can retask some of their long-range newer airplanes to domestic routes.  Obviously cruise lines can't do this, if the virus expands dramatically to places like Italy, and Asia is out, where could they possibly re-deploy their ships.  The Diamond Princess shows you how a highly infectious virus can spread throughout a ship.  Maybe the days of the self serve buffet will end.  I see too many male passengers walk past the washroom sinks while i am scrubbing my hands, just gross....sorry this is all off topic.... 

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I will point out that inconsistency is a real problem with most all lines.   When it comes to most all factors. Food quality and taste.  Service. Dress code.  Policy and behavior enforcement (kids, chair hogs, etc.   it goes on and on. 

 

It it is like a common saying on one other cruise line board,  “the only that is consistent is the inconsistency”.

 

To me,  this is a problem. 

 

Especially when it comes to lack of any policy and behavior enforcement.  It shouldn’t be the assumption of some guests that “anything goes” and I can just do as I please,  because there is going to be no oversight, enforcement, security, standards. 

 

Consistancy and standards are are absolutely necessary for delivering a great product. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

I will point out that inconsistency is a real problem with most all lines.   When it comes to most all factors. Food quality and taste.  Service. Dress code.  Policy and behavior enforcement (kids, chair hogs, etc.   it goes on and on. 

 

It it is like a common saying on one other cruise line board,  “the only that is consistent is the inconsistency”.

 

To me,  this is a problem. 

 

Especially when it comes to lack of any policy and behavior enforcement.  It shouldn’t be the assumption of some guests that “anything goes” and I can just do as I please,  because there is going to be no oversight, enforcement, security, standards. 

 

Consistancy and standards are are absolutely necessary for delivering a great product. 

 

 

On the other hand where does this (should this???) dovetail with "Your World, Your Way"?

 

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I would personally never assume that “your world your way” means a lack of consistency and any given policies or standards.  (or enforcement of)   I would never read it that way.  

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1 hour ago, Wishing on a star said:

I will point out that inconsistency is a real problem with most all lines.   When it comes to most all factors. Food quality and taste.  Service. Dress code.  Policy and behavior enforcement (kids, chair hogs, etc.   it goes on and on. 

 

It it is like a common saying on one other cruise line board,  “the only that is consistent is the inconsistency”.

 

To me,  this is a problem. 

 

Especially when it comes to lack of any policy and behavior enforcement.  It shouldn’t be the assumption of some guests that “anything goes” and I can just do as I please,  because there is going to be no oversight, enforcement, security, standards. 

 

Consistancy and standards are are absolutely necessary for delivering a great product. 

 

 

 

That's what drove us away from Celebrity. I hope the same won't occur with Oceania.

 

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Great customer service can only be accomplished via the dedication of management to continually ensure it. It wouldn’t come from platitudes from the corporate office, but by the continual focus of the individual management teams aboard each and every ship. Just as some chefs and their kitchens prepare much better food than others, some ship board management demand higher levels of service from the staff. When the differences become striking, the inconsistency is even more glaring.

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1 hour ago, Wishing on a star said:

I would personally never assume that “your world your way” means a lack of consistency and any given policies or standards.  (or enforcement of)   I would never read it that way.  

Assumptions are EXACTLY what is at issue here-

Passengers who have very different ideas from you about how those rules should be interpreted  may have assumed that their twenty or sixty grand gives them significant leeway, and I'm not sure how many of us could seriously disagree with that.  It is a slippery slope.

 

FWIW, I've talked to otherwise sensible (even jovial) retired heads of industry who now consider it intolerable to have ANY guidance on dress whatsoever,  provided of course that the naughty bits remain covered.

 

It is worth noting that one of Oceania's original claims to fame was their elimination of formality in their Dining venues.

The World is changing faster than most of us would like to admit.

Edited by StanandJim

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True!

I do have to admit that the comments you describe. (Min coverage meets acceptable) surprise me when it comes to a cruise line like Oceania. 

 

We do not have to ‘dress’ here at home. I do think think that the option to enjoy getting fancied up and dressing for the occasion should be a very real opportunity/option.  

 

Opportunities and options, IMHO, would better define “Your World Your Way” than - anything goes.

 

I do think that is possible,  but those who are anything goes feel that they should be able to have their way at all venues at all time. 

 

 

 

 

 

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And.  Sorry to derail this thread further with the ongoing contentious debates.

 

Perhaps this should go back to the topic at hand.  Cutbacks during trying times!

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Well, hopefully we don't have to worry about smaller seat sizes, fewer bathrooms, poorer foods and less food and bad passenger behavior that you can not escape easily.  Edit out the poorer foods comment if you wish.

Edited by UDSpud

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On 2/25/2020 at 11:53 AM, Hawaiidan said:

To quote the late Douglas Adams, in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,    "DON'T PANIC"

Plus 1

Jancruz1

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