I am amazed by how well the marketing Dept is at Disney. They realized the over saturation in the Europe market and pulled it's ship out for 2012. Then placed them at the 4 corners of the US (New York, Florida, Galveston and Los Angeles) thus enabling people to cruise year round without flying. When you look at what Rccl is getting on there Tuesday sales for a 16 night cruise out of Dubai (399 on the Brilliance) It makes you wonder why they don't just put it year round in Texas or California because with todays airfare prices they will only sell these ships out with these fire sales or subsidising the air. What ever happened to Hawaii rt out of San Diego or Alaska rt for San Franciso? Am i just just a fustrated cruiser from the west coast or what?
Half of RCI's fleet will be cruising in Europe by next year. I don't understand the attraction of boarding a cruise in Dubai, or really in any middle east or African country (notable exceptions being Israel and South Africa). The airfare could be a killer for a family cruise.
I was looking at the Jewel out of Dubai as a potential cruise because I have enough air miles to get free tickets on American Airlines. I was thinking about the language barrier and thought I would have a problem. I don't think there would be many English speaking people aboard. With that thought in mind my wife and I decided to pass on that cruise.
No matter which port a ship sails out of we have to fly. If we had a port we could drive our car to I'd be doing more cruising. It's too bad that the West Coast people can't take advantage of Royal Caribbean ships sailing out of their ports any more. I'd be frustrated if they took there ships away from me too.
Having spent significant time in the persian gulf (not by my choice...but by Uncle Sam's), I can tell you that in today's political climate, to me it is just not worth the risk to travel there. I know that Dubai is a really nice tourist destination, but if there is any political unrest in the middle east, you are opening yourself up to a nightmare.
I guess I've seen one too many movies about folks being taken hostage and I can tell you that Americans are not exactly beloved in the area.
Sonny...why don't you move down to the Gulf coast. I am within a reasonable driving distance to numerous departure ports. My problem is that I just can't get enough time off to cruise more than 3 or 4 times per year.
I thought one of the reasons that Mariner left the West coast was a lack of interest, generally speaking, by the people there to cruise? If the money isn't there to make by the lines, I'd assume that a good business choice would be to leave the area. I'm sure that there are some great places to see and cruise to in Europe; but since Americans are generally so well liked there (not), I'm not going any time soon, forget the prices to fly there being so crazy. I'll stick with the Caribbean once a year; this I can afford, and we're usually liked where we go down there.
I think Jim speaks for most people I know and that was the point I was trying to make. They pulled out of alot of US markets in search of higher returns and I understand that,but when you have to sell a 16 night cruise for 399 how can that be a higher return. Once you see the results make a change but no,they are sending the same amount of ships back in 2012. Even the Mariner doing 12 night sailings out of Rome are selling balcony cabins for under 1000 in June and July. We recieved a questionair from Royal last week reguarding Mexico so maybe changes are on the way.
We are doing the Liberty transatlantic in Oct and the most prohibitive part is the air,but with Royal supplementing it through Choice air we were able to get air from SF to Barcelona for under 600 and that is on British Airways. I have not priced what they are charging to get to the Mariner since we are not sailing on her but I am fairly sure it is some rediculousy low price because there having a heck of a time filling it up.The europeans are in worse shape than us. Mexico does't seem so bad when you see the alternitive.
I have to think that things such as running up bar tabs are not high on the list of expenditures for cruises leaving Dubai. So I wonder how the ship can operate when the cruise fare is only $25 per person/per day for that 16 night cruise?
I don't know what the Tuesday special was, but today the lowest cabin on the 16day Brilliance isn't $399, it's much higher. A large portion of the cost being port fees and government taxes. That sailing has nine sea days. That's a lot of days for people to be spending money on casino, spa and beauty treatments, alcohol, internet, wine tastings, speciality restaurants, etc.
I wouldn't hesitate for one moment to sail out of Dubai. Vickie Freed, the VP of Sales for Royal Caribbean just sailed on the cruise herself. The sailing may very well have some non-speaking English passengers. But I wouldn't expect it to have any more than a sailing out of Barcelona, Spain; or Venice, Italy. The non-speaking will be minimal in comparison to those that can speak English. Arabic is the official language of Dubai, but English is widely spoken. Their economy may have been built on the oil industry, but it's current business model is similar to Western countries. It's main revenues are now driven by tourism. Dubai is the 8th most visited city in the world. It's the shopping capital of the Middle East with over 70 malls, one being the 7th largest in the world.
Americans need to stop listening to the media. Get educated and start traveling. This fallacy that Americans are so hated all over the world is a bunch of bunk. They might not like some of our Government's policies, but we don't like some of theirs either. It's the Governments policies, not the people they don't like. I have traveled all over the world and never once have felt threatened or unwanted. This includes France. (Such a ridiculous stereotype). When traveling you should respect and embrace the culture you're visiting. You should treat them with respect, just as you would want to be treated in return. Don't be an "Ugly American" expecting everything to be as it is in America. I've never had any problem communicating in a different country. Some can speak English better than others. I do make it a habit to try to learn basic words Hello, Thank You, Please.
There's no reason to feel it's unsafe to travel abroad. The tour operators have even started returning to Egypt. As for personal safety, it's been repeated over and over, that you should always use common sense no matter where you are.