– 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)
In these times of economic hardship; especially in Europe, cruise lines are struggling to maintain profitability and product quality while at the same time providing new innovations. It doesn’t matter if it is Royal Caribbean or Seabourn, the fact is that growth in this industry has slowed to a somewhat distressing two (2%) percent.
While Goldring Travel is fortunate in having another year of record growth and a widening of its diversity (No, Seabourn is not nearly all I sell or recommend.), the travel industry overall is having its challenges.
So what also drives me nuts are the old folks that count their days on Seabourn as if that earns them the right to be arrogant, irrational and, to a good extent, just plain mean. Presently there is a new fan page on Facebook where some of these nasty people are settling in to provide their pontifications that Seabourn better shape up or they are going to take their business elsewhere.
I, personally, believe that if you are going to complain generically in a public forum whatever it is that is allegedly broken cannot possibly be fixed or even recognized if it is secreted. And for those that have their concerns raised (because if it is written on the internet it must be true…right?), it is just unfair.
Of course, I am curious what the problems are that they are so concerned about because I have not seen cost-cutting. I have seen changes. I have seen elimination of things that were not being utilized. But I have also seen additions.
From my perspective, whether it is new Spa Penthouses, new Antarctic cruises, new Nathan’s hot dogs, environmentally responsible caviar (which is still unlimited…just not wasted), new sophisticated and varied menus (with more deference to vegetarians), 40+ new ports, the investment of millions of dollars is anything but cutting corners.
It is with that perspective I read a Seabourn passenger claiming to have 498 days onboard wrote, “Sad to see the [P]ride go down hill we are 6 days into an 18 day cruise and told tonight no more lamb, no different butters each night and the canvas Bags are now not given unless you ask !” I observe the following: While lamb remains on the new, expanded menu, that does not repeat for over a month at a time, if the issues are Seabourn not throwing out pounds of wasted butter each evening and needing to ask for a $2.00 bag, it is wrong to claim the Seabourn Pride is going down hill. Talk to me about service, functionality, cuisine quality, etc. Seriously.
The response by another curmudgeon was to attack me…not because my comments were wrong, but because I am a travel agent. Huh? I make money selling all cruise lines…and will be sailing on Silversea next month, so what’s it to me?
But she continues…again without any specificity: “I’m on board the Sojourn currently; its lovely but cost cutting is still in evidence and between 6 of us around a table with 1000 + days between us we have agreed that unless they upscale, for which we are prepared to pay, we will start looking elsewhere. Travel agents should perhaps start bearing this in mind.” I ask again: “What is the cost cutting you so adamantly complain about?”
While I am not getting into the obvious, “So what cruise line are you going to move your angry self to?” I am going to get into the why the non-specific complaints.
Seabourn is changing and it is investing in things that it believes the majority of its guests find beneficial.
Anyone want to guess how many of those $2.00 canvas bags are left behind or never used? You can start counting with mine.
Oh, and I prefer a much healthier and tastier olive oil to dip my bread, so start counting my butter as wasted too.
Sorry if I was too specific.
Goldring Travel LLC
12177 Business Park Drive, Suite 6
Truckee, California 96161
US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232