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Big suites on mass-market ships

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  • Malcolm, Essex
    started a topic Big suites on mass-market ships

    Big suites on mass-market ships

    I’m often surprised that some passengers will pay a lot of money for a big suite (Penthouse, owners, loft, garden villa etc.) on what is essentially a mass-market ship carrying maybe 3,500-6,000 passenger. I’m thinking of P&O, RCI and NCL, for example.

    Personally I ‘imagine’ that you would get a higher quality experience on a smaller ‘premium’ or ‘luxury ship’, even in a more modest accommodation. (I said ‘imagine’ because I do not purchase the top accommodation).

    However, I do realise that the likes of NCL and MSC, are building ‘private’ areas: pool and dining for the top suites – a ship within a ship. There are sometimes reserved areas in the Theatre too. I wonder if this does actually elevate the experience beyond mass-market?


    Loft Suite, on RCI's newer ships
    Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 26th April 2013, 12:54 PM.

  • hat776, malta
    replied
    Richard could it also be that people have different priorities ? I have two friends who are brothers and VERY close but have decided never to go abroad again together. One of them insists in staying at a 5* hotel but then chooses a moderate priced restaurant and a lower price range of wine. The other prefers a 3* hotel and going to the best restaurant around and choosing an expensive wine.

    Leave a comment:


  • Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent
    replied
    Originally posted by Fossil1, London View Post
    Yes it does Garfield, but in fairness not with the same degree of comfort.
    Same as in life Fossil.

    Comfort is surely paramount, especially in homes, motor vehicles and shore side holiday accommodation.

    But I suppose at the end of the day it's down to one's budget and lifestyle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Long cruiser, Dollar
    replied
    Originally posted by Taffy, Wales View Post
    Never gave it much thought Malcolm.
    Like you I am in the Imagine group but I would think that they pay for that bit of exclusivity that a suite brings but enjoy all the other facilities including the entertainment that the big ship have to offer .
    I would think that the Grills class on Cunard is a very nice way to cruise but so would be one of the smaller 6star lines but they may lack in entertainment.One day it may be me....Taffy
    On one cruise we met a lady who was 'occasionally' on our table in MDR who was in the 'Owners Suite'. Her husband and her were doing 3 back to back cruises and they spent the whole time in their suite they even had room service for all their meals. She had decided to try the MDR to see if the meals were different and what the general passengers were like. The meals were exactly the same and she moaned that each cruise's meals were repeated every week. So much for useing excess money, if one has it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Garfield, Waterlooville
    replied
    Originally posted by Fossil1, London View Post
    Yes it does Garfield, but in fairness not with the same degree of comfort.
    Hi Fossil1
    That point is not in doubt, but as I hardly spend any time in my cabin it would be a waste of money.
    Somewhere to store my clothes, sleep and shower...that's all I need.
    Although saying that we did once have an inside on Oceana...never again and an outside would be my minimum cabin choice now so maybe I am a bit of a snob after all...
    Regards
    Garfield
    Last edited by Garfield, Waterlooville; 30th April 2013, 11:39 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • mstarkie, Horsham
    replied
    You're right about the bigger rooms on mass-market ships, but the smaller ships do get into some smaller, more out-of-the way harbours and anchorages, making for a more varied itinerary than the big boys.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fossil1, London
    replied
    Originally posted by Garfield, Waterlooville View Post
    And it goes to the same places as those of us in steerage..
    Regards
    Garfield
    Yes it does Garfield, but in fairness not with the same degree of comfort.

    Leave a comment:


  • mstarkie, Horsham
    replied
    I have only ever cruised with two lines - Royal Caribbean and Seabourn, and have some experience of the similarities and differences that choice of staterooms can bring.

    We have sailed with RCI numerous times, never on any ship larger than the Explorer, and most often on the Brilliance, a very nice mid-sized ship. We have experienced different cabins from balcony, junior suite and grand suite categories, and there are (or used to be...) several benefits to the larger rooms. Unfortunately the status of junior suite doesn't seem to be what it was, with a reduction in small but welcome things such as in-room gifts (some very useful), services and amenities. The grand suite and above however is a different animal entirely; a much larger space with very comfortable furniture, bigger and better bathroom, numerous extra amenities, and best of all - access to the lounges dedicated to suite passengers (sometimes combined with Diamond Club now I believe). This gives access to free drinks and snacks for several hours a day, a concierge service that will help with any arrangements, including suite parties with food and drink provided, continental breakfast each morning and so on. The Gold card that comes with grand suite and above also carries privileged/priority access to various areas on the ship - private sundecks, ticketed shows etc.

    Depending on how you spend your time on board, we consider the upgrade to be very worthwhile.

    Seabourn is a different animal altogether again. We have only ever taken a Verandah stateroom, which size-wise lies somewhere around junior suite on RCI, and is basically the standard cabin on the three larger Seabourn ships (ha - large means 450 passengers!). Facilities and amenities are all first-class, with one's choice of alcohol provided along with a mini-bar of soft drinks, beers etc replenished daily. In fact, we hardly touched the in-room booze since it is freely available all over the ship all day long. Champagne and canapes are provided on embarkation, as is a choice of luxury soaps. Nothing is too much trouble on a Seabourn cruise - our stewardess even had a bathrobe specially adjusted by the tailor for me!

    All alcohol is provided free (except for a very top-shelf selection that can be paid extra for), and that includes premium brands, Champagne, cocktails etc etc etc, and if you want caviar every day just order it, no problem.

    Overall I prefer the Seabourn experience; the up-front cost may seem higher, but factor in what is included, and it really isn't much more, if at all, than upgrading to a grand suite on RCI. They are different experiences, both of them good, but there is something much more relaxing about the smaller ships and more personal service (how DO they know my name on the first morning at breakfast when we haven't met before...?!).

    Pay your money, take your choice....!

    Leave a comment:


  • Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent
    replied
    Originally posted by Mrs M View Post
    Well Taffy, if that's a just a sales pitch...they lost a sale with us as the cabins we wanted had gone!!!

    Somehow I don't think the future voyage sales team would last long in their job if that's how they 'sold' their goods!
    Good call Mrs M.

    Meet Dragana, Queen Mary 2's Future Sales and Loyalty Manager...



    Get to know the people who count.

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  • Mrs M
    replied
    Originally posted by Taffy, Wales View Post
    Hi Mrs M
    Of course they will tell you its selling fast thats a sales pitch ?
    P&O do it with there Loyalty member pre release as do Celebrity and others but we still see lots of offers coming up as the cruise gets nearer departure.
    I think that the cruise market as a whole is not selling up like it use to hence all the deals we see,I spoke with our agent who confirmed that sales are not as good as last year.
    I would not think that it would effect some people but for lots of people a holiday on a ship is an expense to far...Taffy
    Well Taffy, if that's a just a sales pitch...they lost a sale with us as the cabins we wanted had gone!!!

    Somehow I don't think the future voyage sales team would last long in their job if that's how they 'sold' their goods!

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs M
    replied
    Originally posted by JOHN B SLOOP, Newcastle-upon-Tyne View Post
    Hi As I wrote in my original blog I prefer to book a small cabin on a luxury ship rather than a suite on a standard line. I do enjoy luxury that is why at least once I go on a six star line usually Silversea but for a change I've booked a Crystal cruise. The cabins are not "puny" but not spacious and the service on offer is significantly better than on most cruise lines. As I also said it's your money and you can do with it what you like but in my case I prefer attentive service and good food rather than a large suite which I am rarely in except to sleep, wash and change.
    ...and some of us like the large area to relax in AND have the super food [GREAT hot dogs ] and attentive but unobtrusive service. Plus of course, the advantages, if required, of a larger ship.

    What a good job it is there are ships out there which give us that opportunity.

    Leave a comment:


  • Taffy, Wales
    replied
    Originally posted by Mrs M View Post
    I don't know about a marketing ploy, I'd call it a cutting your throat ploy. If the cabin's not there on the internet, many will go elsewhere these days.
    There are definitely cruises where the top end sells out very quickly, and then there are cruises where real bargains are to be had near the sail date/Getaway fares.

    We enquired about a sector of Victoria's world cruise next year while we were onboard and the grades we looked at have been selling quickly.

    The cruise and sectors of, have proven very popular within the US market apparently. Mind you, to a certain extent, for those who can hang on, that isn't such a dire situation as the US passengers can and do cancel prior to full payment with no loss of deposit.

    Who said 'bigger ships' were suffering!
    Hi Mrs M
    Of course they will tell you its selling fast thats a sales pitch ?
    P&O do it with there Loyalty member pre release as do Celebrity and others but we still see lots of offers coming up as the cruise gets nearer departure.
    I think that the cruise market as a whole is not selling up like it use to hence all the deals we see,I spoke with our agent who confirmed that sales are not as good as last year.
    I would not think that it would effect some people but for lots of people a holiday on a ship is an expense to far...Taffy

    Leave a comment:


  • JOHN B SLOOP, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    replied
    Originally posted by Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent View Post
    Well said Fairy Fluff.

    I could hardly have put it better myself.

    We are all fully entitled to spend our money on life's luxuries in a manner that suits each of us individually and without fear of snide remarks from those who appear envious.

    cruising.
    Hi As I wrote in my original blog I prefer to book a small cabin on a luxury ship rather than a suite on a standard line. I do enjoy luxury that is why at least once I go on a six star line usually Silversea but for a change I've booked a Crystal cruise. The cabins are not "puny" but not spacious and the service on offer is significantly better than on most cruise lines. As I also said it's your money and you can do with it what you like but in my case I prefer attentive service and good food rather than a large suite which I am rarely in except to sleep, wash and change.
    Last edited by JOHN B SLOOP, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; 30th April 2013, 07:47 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs M
    replied
    Originally posted by Taffy, Wales View Post
    Hi Sue
    I sometimes wonder if this sold out or Not Available is a marketing ploy ,you see it quite a lot for family rooms but the agent phones up and they have one available could it be the same with suites trying to maintain the exclusiveness image .
    Lots of cruises now have a suite as the prize in a bingo game so some are not selling.
    When we first started cruising I was talking to the agent about suites and I said they seem to sell well ,He said yes we have clients that phone with a time slot and the name of the ship and say book us a suite on that please and never ask the price he added they have no need to ,a nice position to be in....Taffy
    I don't know about a marketing ploy, I'd call it a cutting your throat ploy. If the cabin's not there on the internet, many will go elsewhere these days.
    There are definitely cruises where the top end sells out very quickly, and then there are cruises where real bargains are to be had near the sail date/Getaway fares.

    We enquired about a sector of Victoria's world cruise next year while we were onboard and the grades we looked at have been selling quickly.

    The cruise and sectors of, have proven very popular within the US market apparently. Mind you, to a certain extent, for those who can hang on, that isn't such a dire situation as the US passengers can and do cancel prior to full payment with no loss of deposit.

    Who said 'bigger ships' were suffering!

    Leave a comment:


  • Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent
    replied
    Originally posted by Fairy-fluff, Fraserburgh View Post
    I don't altogether agree with the "lord it" over the masses angle. We always book a suite yes we are very lucky to be able todo that having two 6' teenagers mean we need the extra space but in my experience we have been afraid to say to anyone what accommodation we are in as people get very upset. I don't see why all the other facilities onboard the ships are the same for everyone. My kids love the big ships for friends to make in clubs etc. just coz we like a bit of extra space dosent mean were stuck up or better than anyone else just means I spend too much on my hols as its the only break we get a year we make the most of it.
    Well said Fairy Fluff.

    I could hardly have put it better myself.

    We are all fully entitled to spend our money on life's luxuries in a manner that suits each of us individually and without fear of snide remarks from those who appear envious.

    Most of us earned our money and didn't benefit from inheritances, or what have you, to do our cruising.

    Leave a comment:


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