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Old 02-18-2005, 12:26 AM
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The word on 2006 world cruises is the big increase in value
added aspects, some notable price increases (leading to some
surprising differentials in rates), and unusually strong early
bookings--all signs that the industry's cruise with the highest
price tag is buoyant once again.

"Our world cruise bookings are running 60% ahead of last year,"
reports Crystal Senior VP Bill Smith.

"We already have 317 full world cruisers currently booked for
2006," reports Radisson Seven Seas Chairman Mark Conroy.

One trend is that the average age of the world cruisers is
dropping. "We have 50 full cruisers on the 2005 world sailing
under 60, and the segment demographics pretty much match our
regular cruise guests--ages ranging from 45 to 70," says Conroy.

Both Smith and Conroy emphasize this market is not limited to
repeats. "The only other cruise experience for 10 of our full
cruise guests in 2005 was a seven-night cruise with us, so
agents should never underestimate who is a prospect for a world
cruise," Conroy notes.

As for prices, they're higher for next year. "Our rates have gone
up an average of about 10% for 2006 to cover cost increases
and improve our margins," reports Conroy. "Currently we still
have space in Cat. F and higher, which runs around $56K per
person plus port charges before any Seven Seas Society or
other discounts."

That's slightly more than double the lowest price available per
cabin for Holland America's world cruise as of presstime: a Cat.
E for 2006 was running approximately $27,500 per person on
Prinsendam.

Agents perceive the price increase at Crystal as being smaller
this year than at RSSC, prompting Crystal Senior VP marketing
Bill Smith to quip, "From what I hear from agents, Radisson got
caught last year when they went out with really cheap segments
that were below the whole world cruise price and ended up
selling out those segments, blocking out full world cruise
people."

But he concedes that Crystal, too, is pricing differently for 2006.
"What we don't want to do is raise prices for 2006 and then go
back and discount," says Smith. "After we did our 2005 pricing,
we came back and lowered rates because they were too high.
Our increase this year over last year is more realistic in terms of
what we thought the market would bear."

Smith identifies positive consumer reaction to incentives as key
to early sales. Here are a few examples:

Crystal Serenity: Two shoreside events plus a comp shore
excursion per segment; $1,000 per person CruiseBank
(regardless of category); chauffeured private car transfers
between home, airport, and ship (before and after cruise).

Overnight luxury hotel stay and bon voyage party in L.A. before
embarkations. Once onboard, dining room and stateroom
gratuities are included (even the suggested butler tips for those
in PH or above).

Among discounts, the biggie is round trip air--first class for cats
PH and above, or business class--plus roundtrip air arrangement
for three plus segments (particularly important given the London
end point).

Seven Seas Voyager: Free first class air or $1,500 credit;
complimentary liquor; per suite shipboard credit of $2,000
(Master suite to Penthouse B) $1,000 (categories C to H); 5%
past passenger savings; luggage delivery service; comp shore
events for full cruise guests; and a comp shore event for all
guests (one each segment). There's also a free pre-cruise
overnight and party at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in L.A.

Prinsendam: Past passengers of the World's Leading Cruise
Lines members (CCL, Princess, etc.) all qualify for discounts.
Phase I of early booking discounts expires Feb. 20 changing
some of the value adds. For instance, the shipboard credit for
balcony cabins will drop from $1,000 to $500 per person. Phase
II of the EBD runs through 5/9/05.

Incentives include pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery for
up to 200 pounds, two exclusive shore events (one in Spain and
one in Rio), and substantial early booking discounts for Mariner
members.

On the common sense side, there's free laundry and dry
cleaning, complimentary in-suite bottled water and soft drinks,
and a daily newspaper (Cat PS-SY). On the priceless side,
Holland VP Rose Abello reports, "Our guests will also
experience a complete solar eclipse in the Aegean Sea on
March 29, 2006."

QE2: On-board credits will be offered to pax who book full world
cruise by April 30 (credits do not apply to segments). Grill and
Caronia pax will receive $250 per person; Mauretania pax will
receive $150.

Grill passengers receive first class air on full world cruise;
Caronia guests receive business class air; and everyone gets
free economy on short segments. Full world cruise guests
receive a unique comp shore event.

Perhaps most importantly, past pax will be eligible for an EBD of
a whopping 50% on the full world cruise if booked by April 30.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2005, 12:26 AM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default
The word on 2006 world cruises is the big increase in value
added aspects, some notable price increases (leading to some
surprising differentials in rates), and unusually strong early
bookings--all signs that the industry's cruise with the highest
price tag is buoyant once again.

"Our world cruise bookings are running 60% ahead of last year,"
reports Crystal Senior VP Bill Smith.

"We already have 317 full world cruisers currently booked for
2006," reports Radisson Seven Seas Chairman Mark Conroy.

One trend is that the average age of the world cruisers is
dropping. "We have 50 full cruisers on the 2005 world sailing
under 60, and the segment demographics pretty much match our
regular cruise guests--ages ranging from 45 to 70," says Conroy.

Both Smith and Conroy emphasize this market is not limited to
repeats. "The only other cruise experience for 10 of our full
cruise guests in 2005 was a seven-night cruise with us, so
agents should never underestimate who is a prospect for a world
cruise," Conroy notes.

As for prices, they're higher for next year. "Our rates have gone
up an average of about 10% for 2006 to cover cost increases
and improve our margins," reports Conroy. "Currently we still
have space in Cat. F and higher, which runs around $56K per
person plus port charges before any Seven Seas Society or
other discounts."

That's slightly more than double the lowest price available per
cabin for Holland America's world cruise as of presstime: a Cat.
E for 2006 was running approximately $27,500 per person on
Prinsendam.

Agents perceive the price increase at Crystal as being smaller
this year than at RSSC, prompting Crystal Senior VP marketing
Bill Smith to quip, "From what I hear from agents, Radisson got
caught last year when they went out with really cheap segments
that were below the whole world cruise price and ended up
selling out those segments, blocking out full world cruise
people."

But he concedes that Crystal, too, is pricing differently for 2006.
"What we don't want to do is raise prices for 2006 and then go
back and discount," says Smith. "After we did our 2005 pricing,
we came back and lowered rates because they were too high.
Our increase this year over last year is more realistic in terms of
what we thought the market would bear."

Smith identifies positive consumer reaction to incentives as key
to early sales. Here are a few examples:

Crystal Serenity: Two shoreside events plus a comp shore
excursion per segment; $1,000 per person CruiseBank
(regardless of category); chauffeured private car transfers
between home, airport, and ship (before and after cruise).

Overnight luxury hotel stay and bon voyage party in L.A. before
embarkations. Once onboard, dining room and stateroom
gratuities are included (even the suggested butler tips for those
in PH or above).

Among discounts, the biggie is round trip air--first class for cats
PH and above, or business class--plus roundtrip air arrangement
for three plus segments (particularly important given the London
end point).

Seven Seas Voyager: Free first class air or $1,500 credit;
complimentary liquor; per suite shipboard credit of $2,000
(Master suite to Penthouse B) $1,000 (categories C to H); 5%
past passenger savings; luggage delivery service; comp shore
events for full cruise guests; and a comp shore event for all
guests (one each segment). There's also a free pre-cruise
overnight and party at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in L.A.

Prinsendam: Past passengers of the World's Leading Cruise
Lines members (CCL, Princess, etc.) all qualify for discounts.
Phase I of early booking discounts expires Feb. 20 changing
some of the value adds. For instance, the shipboard credit for
balcony cabins will drop from $1,000 to $500 per person. Phase
II of the EBD runs through 5/9/05.

Incentives include pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery for
up to 200 pounds, two exclusive shore events (one in Spain and
one in Rio), and substantial early booking discounts for Mariner
members.

On the common sense side, there's free laundry and dry
cleaning, complimentary in-suite bottled water and soft drinks,
and a daily newspaper (Cat PS-SY). On the priceless side,
Holland VP Rose Abello reports, "Our guests will also
experience a complete solar eclipse in the Aegean Sea on
March 29, 2006."

QE2: On-board credits will be offered to pax who book full world
cruise by April 30 (credits do not apply to segments). Grill and
Caronia pax will receive $250 per person; Mauretania pax will
receive $150.

Grill passengers receive first class air on full world cruise;
Caronia guests receive business class air; and everyone gets
free economy on short segments. Full world cruise guests
receive a unique comp shore event.

Perhaps most importantly, past pax will be eligible for an EBD of
a whopping 50% on the full world cruise if booked by April 30.
 
Closed Thread

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