– 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)
It is interesting how the media is transfixed on taking any kind of news and putting a negative spin on it. Well, actually it is not interesting, it is exhausting and unrealistic.
While it is true that the maiden voyage of the Seabourn Odyssey sold out (actually there was a waitlist to get on the waitlist) and then reported that 10% of the suites were unsold, it now appears that there are only seven (7) suites that remains available. And this bad news because why?
First, and I hate to say this, with so many new-builds coming out in such a short period of time, there is some loss of the cache for being on an inaugural cruise. Exacerbating that condition is the fact that the shipyards are getting better (with all their recent practice) in delivering the ships early, so many of the inaugurals really aren’t inaugurals…which does dilute the product further. However, the Seabourn Odyssey is not just another megaship, but rather the highest quality luxury cruise ship in the world.
Second, the 800 pound gorilla is the economy. But, and please remember this: Not everyone is in foreclosure and not everyone has savings that have been depleted to the point that going on vacation is not an option. In fact, if you eliminate the Madoff victims (and, to be sure, quite a few were booked on Seabourn – though I do not know about the Maiden Voyage), a very significant number of past guests are still cruising on Seabourn based upon the cruise they desire; not because a particular cruise has a significant discount.
Third, there is a dilution of what the luxury product is in the cruise marketplace. Regent has claimed to have raised the bar while lowering its quality in numerous areas and Silversea is throwing everything it can at the marketplace just to get people to book their ships, while it has cut back on crew quality and cuisine and while now charging for more of its specialty restaurants. And if big players in this luxury sector of the cruise industry are doing such things, it hurts the entire sector….even those who insist on doing it “right”, like Seabourn.
There are, of course, more factors, but these are certainly at the fore.
Now, let me put a positive light on the Seabourn Odyssey’s Maiden Voyage: With all of the foregoing on around her, this new luxury ship (the best in the industry) will sail full…and it will do it without giving away the suites just to get to that status. Today, I think that is a very positive, and truthful, statement.
So with over 97% of the suites sold, maybe it is time to consider grabbing one of the last 3% of suites available on the Odyssey’s Maiden Voyage.