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Old 05-25-2008, 11:12 AM
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I just got a call from someone doing a 14 day Asia/Far East itin with RCCL. I understand they're experimenting with a new concept for these itins and some South America itins. They will serve foods in all the dining venues based on the diets of the locals. Also, they'll gear entertainment toward the locals an their native languages instead of english. This was news to me so I called RCCL and they confirmed that they do indeed have immersion cruises for these and some other itins. The young lady I spoke with had to put me on hold several times to verify the information and get back to me with dates and details. She said she didn't even have of total list of these unique sailings.

Is anyone out there familliar with this program? I couldn't get a lot of info but she speculated it was a way of trying to get more bookings from the population in regions where the ships will be sailing. I'd sure like to know more.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:18 AM
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I just recently saw the term "immersion cruise" pop up on other websites. I wonder how much of it has to do with the weak dollar and Americans traveling less to points outside the U.S.? The cruise lines would want to cater more to the locals in hopes of garnering bookings?
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:25 AM
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That's all well and fine if they disclose if that is what they're doing. To practice such a policy without letting North American passengers or their agents or even the cruiselines agents know it happening, is in my opinion, a mistake.

Setting proper expectaions is often preached here and elsewhere, I'm one of those spreading that sermon. Hard to do if you don't know what expectations to set for a cruise.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:43 AM
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To practice such a policy without letting North American passengers or their agents or even the cruiselines agents know it happening, is in my opinion, a mistake.
Oh, absolutely! I for one would be really angry if I paid big bucks for a South American cruise, only to find out I should have learned Portuguese before I boarded, and feijoada will be featured every night as a dinner choice. I happen to like much of the Brazilian diet but I wouldn't want to be surprised by it.

Actually I would be interested in some of the immersion cruises as long as I knew what I was getting into.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:50 AM
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It might be interesting and I too would want to know in advance. Can you imagine Bubba and Mrs. Bubba from Alabama or Texas booking such a cruise and finding out onboard. Not picking on Bubba, I'm a southern boy too and have three friends who actually go by Bubba. It would be a real shocker for them if I put any of the three on such a cruise. Might make for an interesting cruise review.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:10 PM
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Can you imagine Bubba and Mrs. Bubba from Alabama or Texas booking such a cruise and finding out onboard.
Well, at least they'd recognize some of the menu. Pork and collard greens are popular ingredients in Brazil!

But it would be funny, seeing Bubba in his Dallas Cowboys ball cap standing there saying "Dang, what did that feller just say? And where's the Coors?"
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:58 PM
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I just had webinar training with Vicki Freed a week ago. When discussing new itineraries not once did she use the word "Immersion". When the Independence of the Seas starts sailing out of England they do expect a large number of British people onboard. Adjustments will be made onboard to cater to both European and Americans. MSC Cruises does the same thing when sailing in Europe they are different then when sailing in the Caribbean. It stands to reason when sailing out of any foreign destination that you will have a certain percentage of the locals onboard. RCI will adjust to accommodate both cultures American and the local. It won't be one sided. Announcements are already in severals languages even in the Caribbean. So that's nothing new.

Some exciting intineraries to look forward to are four cruises only, in 2009 doing 10 & 11nt Holy land. Australia & Barrier Reef doing 11nt, and Australia/New Zealand 14nt. Also in 2009 they will be placing a Radiance class ship in San Diego doing 4 & 5 nt cruises.
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:13 PM
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Certainly, anyone cruising from the UK, Italy, Spain, PR, etc., should expect some differences. But the term "immersion cruise" has recently come to light and it seems to be much more than simply a cruise from the UK offering bangers and mash on the menu.

I am just going on what I've read lately in some other forums and websites. Isn't it odd that the term suddenly becomes popular?
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:16 PM
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I just had webinar training with Vicki Freed a week ago. When discussing new itineraries not once did she use the word "Immersion".
She didn't use the word and they are not publicizing this to the best of my knowledge. What I'm referring to is not just the typical accommodation of many cultures and languages. We've all come to expect and experience that. AOS will have some of the scheduled entertainment and shows in Spanish. That is understandable. Call RCCL and ask about an immersion cruise itinerary and they will know exactly what you're talking about and use that exact term for certain sailings to Asia/Far East, South America and even some in Europe. This is not the typical cultural diversity being recognized. It's replacing the food and entertainment entirely with an experience that will be what the clients in the region expect at home. I was told they once did these only on chartered sailings but now have "Immersion Cruise Itineraries" that are seperate from the experience that will be provided on other dates and ships they have in the region. They are marketing them in the region to the population as come onboard and experience your language, culture and cuisine onboard _________of the Seas. Again, that's fine and probably very good marketing to open their product to new markets. I only brought it up because they are not providing this information without being asked for North American bookings. The reason is obvious, they don't want to lose the english speaking market and possible bookings while they try and grow these new markets. They will share the information if asked.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:47 AM
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Well, again it appears they do read these chat site posts. I just got email notifications on all the bookings I have that are now considered "Immersion Cruises" from RCI. They are now sending these notifications to be passed on to all clients booked on these ships and dates. That's a very good thing!

Open and up-front is a much better policy than finding out when you get to the ship that things are different.

Cheers, Neil
 
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