Kennicott
Contributor Level: Captain

Anatomy of costing out a cruise

As I've posted before we have only used three cruise lines, HAL, Princess and Regent. HAL has a bad smoking issue so we have relegated ourselves to looking only at the other two.

 

Wife usually selects the basic itinerary, then I crunch the numbers.  Recently I thought we might have cruised our last since we have "been there done that" on so many voyages it is hard to find itineraries that interest us anymore. Then she found one, a TA with lots of sea days which we both like and quite a few ports in the Adriatic and western Mediterranean that we haven't visited before or if so, done only once.

 

Princess and Regent offer very close itineraries, both on small ships almost the same size, Regent a B to B for 30 days and Princess 29 days. We have sailed on Regent's Seven Seas Navigator twice before for over 6 weeks. Never been on the Pacific Princess. The mini-suites we want are very close, with identical sized balconies, Regents is 356 sq. feet and Princess is 322.

 

I try to compare as best I can. Regent is an all inclusive which means most stuff is included, like booze, shore excursions and specialty dining. While Princess is a nickel and dimer. However, we have been on Regent for 120 days and on Princess 246 days so it is pretty easy for me to factor in all our extra expenses on Princess. We know both lines pretty well.

 

Regent is also billed as a so called "luxury line" but based on our experiences, when we pay extra on Princess in order to make it commensurate with Regent, often times the "luxury" part of Princess is better. For instance specialty restaurants, Princess has much better service and cuisine than Regent does in that regard and it is very difficult to get into Regent's two specialty restaurants more than one time per cruise since everybody goes there as they feel they have "paid for it" so don't want to lose out, as a consequence they are crowded and you get only one reservation at a time. However, Regent's MDR is far superior to Princess so we eat dinner 90% of the time in the Princess extra charge venues.

 

Also, I have to factor in "air" since Regent offers free coach. That is easy to do since we travel overseas business class and Regent charges extra for that. I also factor in insurance. 

 

So, taking all that into consideration and without going into more boring detail, our total expense for the Princess voyage is going to be in the neighborhood of $16,000. Our total for Regent is going to be $49,000. Which would you choose?

 

As I've mentioned, we have 120 days sailing on Regent, last one was 17 months ago, but heretofore I have been able to argue that Regent costs us pretty close to what we had been paying on HAL and Princess. Since our last Regent cruise I've noticed quite an escalation in their charges, but nothing on the scale of this disparity.        

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9 Answers

BDRebel
Contributor Level: Captain

If you have added the cost to make everything equal (airfare, specialty restaurants, drinks, etc) and those are the prices, then I would suggest three of the Princess itineraries for $48K as opposed to one of the Regent's at $49KBig Smile

Kennicott
Contributor Level: Captain

That is exactly what my wife is saying B D Rebel.-----I doubt if I missed something, if anything my estimate could be weighted a little more in favor of Regent.

 

I did forget to mention one thing. For anybody who has seen one of Regent's fancy brochures they "always" list their cruise pricing like this: 1. Brochure fare per person. 2. 2-for-1 fare per person including early booking savings. 

 

I would be much surprised to learn that there was one single person on the face of the earth that has paid Regent's brochure price. LOL.

 

So, in this case, if we should pay the brochure price, the total for both of us will be about $97,292, instead of the 2 for 1 price of $49,000. What a deal, hey?

 

Now I realize one might think I'm embellishing here or trying to play with their mind. So really, check it out.   

BDRebel
Contributor Level: Captain

I keep checking their "great" sales, knowing that I will never be able to afford them, even at "buy one, get three free"Big Smile

Kennicott
Contributor Level: Captain
We normally receive quite a few cruise line brochures in the mail, hardly three days go by where we don't get at least one. The The majority of which are from Princess and Regent. As I've mentioned, Regent has some real fancy quality brochures.

But we just received one the other day from Regent that was strange. No prices. Never saw a cruise brouchure like that before.

It was titled "Sale into Spring" July-November 2016 for 23 different cruises. They want you to call or visit their website for prices.

I wonder if they have adopted J.P. Morgan's old cliche, "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it".    
BDRebel
Contributor Level: Captain

I decided long ago that if a company is afraid to post their prices, then I do not want to use that company. I especially hate those that simply say "call for prices". Those sites have lost my business immediately.

Years ago my father walked into a Cadillac dealership looking for a new car. He asked the sales rep how much a certain model was. The sales rep stated that "if you have to ask how much it is, then you can't afford it", My dad then walked out of the Caddy dealer and walked across the street to the Mercedes dealer. Two hours later he drove his new Mercedes to the Cadillac dealership and thanked that sales rep for his outstanding customer service.Big Smile

 

I get Regent all the time and have never cruised with them. I look at the brochure and throw it away. I cant even pass it on to anyone. The prices are too high. I guess I should contact them and have myself removed from the mailing list. 

 

I don't think that Regent is afraid to list their prices. It may be that any of their current and potential customers aren't penny pinching just to cruise. I mean, not to highlight on those who choose to spend 50,000---but I feel that its a waist of money. They probably fly first class on all of their flights. However, if you are living at a higher level then why would your vacations be at a lower level? Good for them.

BDRebel
Contributor Level: Captain

I agree, but I am sure that many of them did not become wealthy by carelessly spending money. For me, I could afford a 50,000 dollar cruise, but why pay that much when I can get roughly the same product for 2,000? (meaning a product that is equally fulfilling to me -- I realize that Carnival and Regent cannot be realistically compared!)

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I receive the brochures as well, one day we hope to do the Regent or the Oceania cruises. Until then , we will go with Princess for longer cruises and NCL for 5 to 7 day trips. I have my TA looking at a Panama cruise for 2018 with specific instructions to see if I can get a series of perks. If I get  them I can save quite a bit of money, If I don't get them, I don't go on that particular cruise.

That's the way I have to look at the cruise schedule until I retire. If a cruise line can give a two-for one fare, They can give me a dining package and other perks. Don't tell me the offer is good for only a few hours or days. The spin doctors out there love to lead you on.

I sell for a living and a good customer is a smart  customer, you can't lie to them and expect to get away with it.

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