– 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)
Sometimes it is just better to say nothing. It is a hard lesson to learn. Before writing this post I thought about not saying anything. But then I thought, “I am not going to say anything I haven’t said before. All I am doing is confirming its accuracy by an irrefutable source.”
As you know I have long complained that Regent Seven Seas Cruises charges the highest prices in the industry and does not provide the true luxury experience that justifies them. I also looked cautiously at the new “inclusive tour” policy, noting that having 4 buses of passengers going to what used to be visited by 1 or 2 buses, changes the tour experience from a luxury one to a mass-market one…assuming the passengers aren’t put off by paying for group tours when they prefer the luxury of private tours and the tours are not otherwise compromised in quality.
Mark Conroy, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises just gave an interview to Travel Weekly which was posted today on the internet. In it he states that Frank Del Rio, head of Prestige Cruise Holdings stated, quoting Mr. Conroy, “Our prices look higher than everybody else’s because everything is included. If it is not explained, people will get sticker shock.”
Let’s review: Regent provides nothing more than Silversea, SeaDream or Seabourn (other than the tours) and it has 700+ people versus one fifth or one half the number of people. It has admitted and is now working on its service and cuisine issues which are not at the levels they should be.
So, I ask the question: If Regent’s prices “look higher than everybody else’s” and it is not providing anything of significant value more, what is the motivation for me – as a responsible travel agent trying to assure my clients that they will, in fact, be provided with the highest quality cruise experience their dollars will allow – to sell Regent over Seabourn? Could it be anything other than a selfish motive of earning a higher commissions? I am befuddled!
But, alas, there is more that Mr. Conroy had to say. He claims that discounting “does not go well with the luxury product.” Until the past few months I would have strongly supported that comment if the word used was “Sale”. In fact, I do believe that when the economy rebounds the luxury market will be the first to reduce the use of the word, “Sale”. BUT (don’t I always have one?!) I must ask you, “Have you have ever paid Brochure Rate for a cruise?” Let me answer: NEVER. The reason: No one does…ever. Why? Because everyone…even luxury market clients…likes a discount.
Mr. Conroy goes further, stating: “Discounting is basically a marketing plan that went wrong.” Huh???? The last time I looked every single Regent cruise shows a discount. Every one!
So, rather than turn Regent Seven Seas into a premium line that prices itself as a very expensive “package”, I would suggest maybe, just maybe, you start asking the questions: How much extra would you pay per day for drinks and gratuities? A suite vs. a cabin? A few tours?
This is where I have learned it is better to say nothing. You already know the answer!