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Old 03-01-2013, 08:12 AM
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I have never read the report you mention. I can tell you that from it's inception, Celebrity has never been an all-inclusive cruise line. Same for Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, and every other premium or mainstream cruise line. Bar sales have always been a significant source of revenue.

The cruise industry as a whole has undergone a major shift in the past 15 years. Except for the ultra-luxury lines, they all have extra-fee restaurants now which offer premium steaks, seafood, and in some cases Italian. All bottled water, soda, and of course alcohol carries a fee. However, if you look at the prices for a cruise they are essentially the same as they were 15, even 25 years ago. Sell the cruise for a low prices and then make your money with ala carte items is the business plan of today.

Royal Caribbean only recently started the drink package, after Celebrity and Carnival had already done so. Typical prices on all the cruise lines are $5-9 for cocktails, $5-$7 for a beer, $7-10 for a glass of wine, and a liter of bottled water goes for $4-5. Royal Caribbean does have a water package, where they deliver X amount of water to your cabin.

"Free" is relative. You are paying for it whether a little at a time on a mainstream line, or upfront with the higher cost of an ultra-lux cruise.

Dining room food on the mainstream lines has always been banquet grade, with some being quite good but I never considered it haute cuisine. Celebrity had a reputation for high quality main dining room food when it was owned by the founding Chandris family. When Royal Caribbean bought Celebrity some claim the food quality declined. I don't know about that. Maybe a little but not significantly.

By the way, the SS Norway is now history. It was sold and dismantled a few years ago.
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