– 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)
Mark Conroy and I have a history; and not a good one. It has been a few years and things may have changed, so I enter this new era at Silversea Cruises (or is it?) with an open mind and the hope of improvements.
New Head of Silversea’s Miami Office
To be honest, it was much of Mark Conroy’s troublesome tactics at Regent Seven Seas Cruises that inspired me to begin this blog and to call things as I see them rather than to pitch to my clients whatever the cruise lines were marketing. (Rather than rehash it, you can read my article, The Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Mark Conroy is Out as President, for a brief explanation. (There are others you can search for on my blog if you are interested.)
But I do not believe that is wherein this story lies. It lies, rather, with Silversea Cruises itself! You see Silversea Cruises has two intertwined, but conflicting, story lines:
– The revolving door…and reduced titles…Ken Watson, Chief Operating Officer then Ellen Bettridge (2012 President of the Americas), then Kristian Anderson (2014 Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas) and now Mark Conroy (2016 Head of the Miami Office, which has responsibility for the Americas).
– The stability of a monarchy, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Chairman, and his right-hand man, Enzo Visone, Silversea’s CEO.
What interests me the most is Manfredi’s consistent reduction in title in the first group and his ever increasing control through the second. And, regardless of where this has led, and will lead, Silversea – as it relates to its luxury product – the obvious (at least to me) conclusion is that Mark Conroy will be essentially a pitchman with very limited authority.
Mark and I have had our differences, and in the past he has expressly rejected any effort on my part (or on the part of others), to move on. Regardless, and in fairness, I sincerely hope that what happened in his last year or so at Regent Seven Seas is not repeated, to wit: Regent hung Mark out to dry. Mark was told to pitch a new ship was coming…that never was; and, that things were “free” that were really buried in an ever increasing price, while the quality of many aspects of the Regent product suffered (like the “free” tours and culinary quality).
Silversea has a new ship, Silver Muse, which will have its Maiden Voyage in April 2017 while its most popular ship, the Silver Cloud, is being transferred to Silversea Expeditions (my guess is to not further overextend Silversea’s classic fleet inventory). And, to me, both Silversea’s classic and expedition fleets could use some fresh marketing assistance.
Hopefully Mark Conroy will be given the latitude and tools allowing him to do his job…whatever “Head of the Miami Office” is.
And, hopefully, Mark will bring a fresh approach to how he deals with those that disagree with him. Frankness and arrogance are two different things. And, of course, people can disagree without being disagreeable.
Again, hopefully, Mark Conroy’s involvement with Silversea will end some of the marketing stagnation I have witnessed.
And, let’s face it, my wish is purely selfish: If Silversea performs I have more luxury product to confidently sell!