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.