– 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 has just been announced that HAL and Seabourn are merging their United Kingdom (UK) sales offices and teams; mimicking the rather frustrating endeavor in the United States. The reason is not to increase operational efficiencies, but according to the press releases: Carnival wants to group its “luxury” brands.
Unfortunately, what it will not do is provide a better, or more efficient, entree into the luxury cruise market, but rather a more confused and inaccurate message for the British and European cruiser.
Why? Apparently, because according the Carnival UK if it is not a mass market experience is it a luxury one. That is simple not true!
I must contrast this new message to the British/European cruiser against the message given in the United States that Seabourn is, and shall remain, a distinct brand with a distinct office and hierarchy, and most importantly a different clientele.
More specifically, Seabourn’s entire inventory consists of suites in an all-inclusive, high service, high cuisine, atmosphere. Holland America has an inventory of cabins where you pay extra for almost everything…on one side of one ship that equals the entirety of Seabourn’s suites on all of its ships. In fact, on Holland America it doesn’t provide a single complimentary drink (save a welcome bottle of sparking wine) to even its top suite guests. (And the Neptune Lounge is the least robust of almost any cruise line…even Royal Caribbean!)
So the British luxury cruiser is going to wind up getting support from travel agent and back-office philosophy that is focused on calling Holland America a “luxury”product when it is, without any question, an upscale mass market cruise that what really matters to the luxury cruiser is lost.
To make this point even clearer, one need not compare Holland America to Seabourn, but to – let’s say – Celebrity Cruises which offers far more amenities for suite guests (complimentary cocktail hours, for example), has multiple alternative dining venues (including the world class Murano Restaurants), etc. Or how about Oceania Cruises or Azamara Club Cruises, which provide a more inclusive (not all inclusive) experience with finer dining options throughout their ships with a higher level of service and 50% or less passengers on their ships.
For an overall article on this subject please read my articles:
Can someone please explain to me how someone pitching a Holland America cabin to you is going to be better qualified to explain the entirely different experience you will have on a Seabourn cruise…and that person is going to do it telling you, with a serious face, that both are luxury experiences?
So while the newly combined UK offices of Seabourn/Holland America want to represent to you, the traveling public, that they are “luxury” sisters, do not be duped. And do not ever think it is appropriate to combine the Holland America and Seabourn brands for anything other than back office reservations systems, provisioning, etc., is absolutely an appropriate way to increase efficiencies.
If you are in the UK, elsewhere in Europe or even Australia, please give me a call on the telephone numbers below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the accurate information, great service, excellent pricing and, most importantly, the truth.
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
International: +1 732 383 7398
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