– 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)
Seabourn announced it had its single busiest day of sales this past Monday with 830 calls in 11 hours. It also noted bookings have risen by 40% over the prior month and there remains a very high level of first time guests.
Now, keeping it real, while there is no way to turn the information into bad news, I do wonder how much of it is really good news. We know that cruises that were selling for $5,499 per person last year are selling for as low as $2,499 this year. We know that rather than selling 3 208 passenger ships and then adding the 450 passenger Odyssey, the 450 passenger Sojourn is now open for booking, so available berths are up over 125%. In addition the booking window has increased, so bookings are being made into April 2011 (a full two years out).
One has to wonder how many of the bookings are going to stick. Crystal Cruises recently admitted that they had pretty good success in getting bookings, but when final payment time came there were serious issues. Crystal thinks it has adjusted its strategy and is now finding more consistency between deposits and final payments. I am not aware of Seabourn having a similar problem, but I don’t have any data other than my own to say that it should not find itself in a similar situation.
That said, and not being terribly swayed by statistics generally (ex. are less bookings at higher prices of more value than more bookings at lower prices?), I do see something pretty remarkable compared to the other luxury lines.
I repeatedly hear that Silversea’s marketing over the past year has left most people wondering, “What is the product that I am going to receive? Am I going to be paying for alternative dining? A children’s program? French Polynesia? Refurbished Silver Cloud? Any details on the Silver Wind?” Regent’s marketing has left more people thinking, “Huh? Let’s fight over what tours are included, at an added premium, or simply unwanted. Let’s wonder when the food will improve and the service actually be consistently top notch.”
The net effect for these two lines has been reduced bookings and, in the case of Silversea the problem of having increased inventory (with the Silver Spirit coming on line in December) and spreading its already thin passenger base over more ships.
But Seabourn is like a rather elegant bulldog…confidently moving forward unconcerned with its challengers. It says, “This is Seabourn. We do not compromise. We are consistent. You know what the product is you will receive.” And maybe…just maybe…in these uncertain times it is why I so enjoy selling Seabourn cruises and so many people are finding enough confidence to say that now…or in the future…they are willing to rely upon Seabourn to deliver a true luxury cruise vacation.
So it is not the record sales day that means much to me, it is the consistency of the phones ringing and the increased bookings with the increased inventory that tells me Seabourn is doing something right.