– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
Avalon Waterways – Myanmar – Part VI (Kya Hnyat to Kyauk Myaung)
Avalon Waterways – Myanmar – Part IX (The Ship: Avalon Myanmar)
Avalon Waterways – Myanmar (Burma) – Reflections: “Isn’t This Amazing!?”
*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 recently attended a conference where Mark Conroy, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises spoke. He shared information which I found rather disturbing. Disturbing not because it was aggravating (like the “FREE” hotel stay that is not free because it is only available if you pay a higher fare…which more than covers the cost of the hotel stay), but because it shows there is a significant problem with the Regent product.
Truth be told my motivation in writing today was an email blast from Regent wherein Mr. Conroy wrote, “I want to share some exciting news with you regarding the success of our new FREE Luxury Hotel Package. To date, this new program has been a tremendous driver of new bookings with more than 75% of guests choosing this valuable new amenity.” (emphasis original).
What Mr. Conroy does not tell you is that Regent Seven Seas Cruises has an extraordinarily high percentage of people that book and deposit a cruise and then cancel the cruise before final payment. Before all the “free, free, free” marketing it was in the 15-18% range (which is still high), but then rose to an alarming almost 35% rate. Regent then started its “free, free, free” promotions and he bragged that the cancellation rate reduced to slightly over 25%.
Folks, if 25% of my bookings cancelled I would be out of business. So I have to ask a few questions, “Why would I want to endorse a product that only 75% of the people are satisfied enough to actually go on the cruise?” and then “How many of those 75% will still be satisfied after they take that cruise?”
But there is a more important question, “What is it that is causing 25% of the people that book a Regent Seven Seas cruise to cancel it before final payment?” It appears to me that it comes down to the adage, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
I am convinced that empirically, after the excitement of booking that “Six Star Luxury” cruise with all your drinks, gratuities, tours, hotel, etc. included (or “free” if you wish), there is a very significant amount of Buyer’s Remorse because the cost of the cruise is actually very high when compared to other cruise lines. I have done the math previously and shown that it doesn’t matter if you book a Seabourn, Silversea or Celebrity cruise they almost always come out being less expensive…even when you add in the cost of those allegedly “free” items on Regent.
When the high price is married to the inconsistency of service and cuisine (that even the Regent diehards have been complaining of as of late), one has to wonder why Regent is focused on deceptively marketing more is “free” rather than improving the product and claiming, “We are worth it because we are THAT good.”
Does anyone have any other idea as to why Regent has a 25% cancellation rate?
More importantly, I am wondering why Mr. Conroy hasn’t shared the repeater rate progression. Are less people taking their following cruise on Regent? I think if that was perceived as a strong point, it would have provided. But, alas, on this I can only speculate.
Join the discussion on The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum.
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