– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
I just returned from four days in Amsterdam attending the Global Superyacht Forum sponsored by The Yacht Report Group and held in conjunction with METS, the world’s largest marine hardware show. It was a very interesting, if not terribly upbeat, few days.
Without boring you too much, the focus on the non-technical areas of the superyacht industry was basically the industry has changed significantly and will not be returning to the glory days of the bubble. Owners are having concerns about shipyards being able to complete work properly, if at all, and shipyards are faced with owners who are defaulting on contracts, canceling contracts or delaying work (both new-build and refit).
Also, the three to five year backlog of work bragged about just two years ago has all but disappeared. New build shipyards are looking at completing most of their work by the end of 2010 or early 2011 and there really is not much in the way of new contracts forthcoming…and with some of the cancelled contracts having recently occurred, 2011 is looking sort of like tomorrow.
This problematic situtation is due, in large part, to the lack of bank financing (a concept we all understand….too well) which has not only affected the new-build, but the resale market that is now all but non-existent. News of a significant superyacht being resold is, well, news. During the forum discussions I raised the issue of why banks – during the bubble – looked at a silly ROI (return on investment) analysis and ignoring the common sense concept that yachts – like cars – are really depreciating assets, both of which assisted not only in hyper-inflating the prices, but which allowed people who could not afford a yacht to buy one…and now drive the prices down as they need to unload them. (Sounds like the housing bubble doesn’t it? Now just add some zeros!)
One point raised by three superyacht owners (I understand two remain billionaires) is their upset with lack of service. The concept of a new yacht having a 12 month warranty, while the television on the yacht having a 5 year warranty, seemed both illogical and greedy. The failure to even offer a 10% discount on a servicing…and they are very expensive…was mentioned as a significant sore point.
And then it struck me: The greediness of the past years caused the yachting industry to stop doing what, for example, The Yachts of Seabourn, has as its cornerstone: Never saying “No”. It is, in real terms, the concept of making things as easy as reasonably possible for your client (yacht owner or yacht guest) and finding a way to make things happen. As I then urged during a Q&A session, the luxury yacht business needs to follow the luxury cruise business which thrives on referrals. Glossy ads may get some clients, but the real long-term clients are ones that were referred or refer others.
The moderator then turned to the three superyacht owners and posed a question, “How may of you have made a referral to the yard that built your yacht and, if you have, how many?” The answer was what I expected, but was shocking to most: A total of one referral had been made and that referred person lost interest within a year. No referrals in hard times has meant no business.
So I now pose this to you: How many of you actually refer clients to a particular cruise line? Why or why not?
And I also ask, “How many of you refer people to your travel agent?” If you do not, is it because to you it is all about price (see above if you think that is a good answer!)?
Join the discussion at The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum!
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