– 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)
Last evening I attended a charity event that raised almost $750,000 for a wonderful organization. Silversea Cruises really came through with a huge assist and some nice money for the charity was raised. The issue, to my mind, was that not enough was raised.
Why? Obviously it was not because there wasn’t anyone bidding at the live auction. It was because the auctioneer did a less than optimal job in selling the cruise package and, thus, there was less interest and less enthusiasm.
So how would you raise the interest, and charity dollars (or, shall we say, “sales”), for a luxury cruise? Let’s get back to that charity auction!
Offered was an oceanview suite on a 7 night Silversea Alaska cruise with a corner suite at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, the domed train to Seward, economy airfare and $500 in spending money…along with some Silversea items and Goldring Travel luggage, jackets and hats.
I was supposed to give a one minute promo for the cruise before the auction. It never happened. I am not sure why, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was clear that the auctioneer – a very nice guy – didn’t have a clue what he was selling and really had no ability to communicate the salient points.
I was going to say like, “This is a cruise for two on one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world. Butler service, flowing champagne and beverages of choice, fine cuisine, no gratuities and only 380 fellow guests. But before you board you fly to one of the nicest suites in Anchorage and then take a domed train to see wildlife in luxury. Once you board the Silver Shadow, the itinerary is as impressive, with incredible glaciers and mountains, in depth discovery of Native American cultures and, of course, whales, bears and bald eagles…and salmon. Added to that is the luggage, jackets and a Silversea Bobby Jones shirt and more. You are pretty much all set for a dream vacation of a lifetime.” But as I said, that didn’t happen.
What was pitched was essentially, “A seven day Alaska cruise with everything included. Airfare, hotel, train, 500 bucks, all your booze and tips. It is a great deal.” Now do you have visions of a typical cruise without much value or what? I mean if you had never been on a cruise would that seem interesting and exciting to you? Didn’t think so.
Now, charity event aside, what I keep hearing from luxury travel clients is, “If I see another email for $2,199 I am going to scream! I mean who is going to be on my cruise? And, by the way, is that all that the cruise is about? Price?”
So, I don’t care if it is Silversea or Seabourn, putting the focus on price transforms the luxury cruise experience into, well, just another vacation. And that degrades the luxury cruise market. And with the luxury market no longer being special – the very reason to go on a luxury cruise – less people will be motivated to jump into the luxury cruise market…and the market share of those taking a cruise drop.
So what does that do? For those with a mass market mentality: Drop the prices further! Thus repeating the cycle and further undercutting their very own product.
But for those that actually understand the luxury market it does something different. It creates opportunity to differentiate its product. Explain why your luxury cruise is special, give the reasons it is different, exclusive and enriching…and the demand will increase (not decrease) and prices and sales will rise.
Want an example? At the same charity event there was a hunting lodge weekend for 8 including meals, wine and cigars. The auctioneer pitched it differently. He knew what it was and spent the time to make it sound exclusive. The winning bid was not only higher than the cruise, the demand was so high that two of those weekends were sold!
The money and motivation was there. It is a matter of selling it properly. And, if done properly, everyone…and it is everyone in the actual luxury market…is happy.
Now it seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it?
Goldring Travel LLC
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