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What Are Latest Changes/Trends at Celebrity

Discussion in 'Celebrity Cruises' started by ABoatNerd, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. ABoatNerd

    ABoatNerd Guest

    A good afternoon Cruise Addicts:

    I am considering a Celebrity cruise, my last cruise on Millie Nov 2004 was less than expected due to obvious cost cutting. I have cruised Celebrity since 1992 on Zenith in the "good old days".

    Two Questions:

    1) What has happened with pricing given their "edict" to keep prices up?
    2) What is the state of their product (food, service) - are they returning to their former "premium" status

    Your thoughts would be appreciated

    ABoatNerd
     
  2. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Nerd,

    Celebrity's new pricing policies have caused some faithful Celebrity cruisers to change lines, but there are no other visible effects. One interesting outcome has been how the TA's have reacted, since they cannot compete on price any longer. Since they all charge the same rates now, it is becoming more and more common that they engage in giving away "sweetners". If you look around a little, you will find deals that give away free travel insurance, free excursions, free hotel add-ons, and ship-board credits. So, even though there are no "discounts" from TA's, they are already finding ways to compensate.

    There are as many opinions of whether they are returning to their "former premium status" as there are people. Conde Nast rates their M-Class ships as the best afloat in their class, which excludes Seabourn, Crystal, etc. And, their introduction of a concierge class stateroom with many extra perks has largely been a success. Finally, their re-branding initiatives -- boarding champagne, sorbets poolside, cool towells dockside when reboarding, etc -- have been visible efforts to restore distinctiveness. Many of the old stand-bys still remain, like very few PA announcements, high ratio of service personnel to passengers, etc.

    The subject of Michael Roux's cuisine generates lots of discussion. It remains more European than
    most other lines, and that doesn't appeal to many folks but is a Celebrity strength to others. The food remains good, in my opinion, but I do not think there is any other area of the experience where budget pressure has been more obvious. I personally believe that the cuisine remains better than any other mass market line, but the gap between it and its competitors has gotten slimmer.

    On the other hand, it is absolutely true that Celebrity has followed the industry herd in trying to nickle and dime you to death by trying to selling you bottled water at dinner, trying to push its specialty restaurant which now even has an upgrade $$ option in addition to the cover charge), and making the normal spa treatment and beauty product pitches if you walk anywhere near the place. So, they have not been perfect by any means.

    For my wife and I, Celebrity remains our cruise line of choice, but the gap between them and other good lines isn't what it used to be. And, the price premium is growing. So, I think the jury is still out on them. As an RCI stock holder, I want / need them to be successful. We do, however, cruise other lines more
    now than we used to.

    Ted
     
  3. ABoatNerd

    ABoatNerd Guest

    What are latest changes at Celebrity - Response From Original Poster ABoatNerd

    Dear Ted D, I thank you very much your your assessment. It was specific to Celebrity, yet strategic as well.

    Food and service are key for me, so your comment about the narrowing variance between Celebrity and the other lines does concern me.

    I am a bit hindered by my past experiences on the Celebrity of old which was really premium. With the no negotiation price policy, I am quite turned off. In the end, I do not purchase products/services from companies which will not negotiate. Competition is the bedrock foundation of our capitalist system.

    My last Celebrity cruise was so disappointing that my husband and I are considering Crystal.

    You are most gracious in providing this information.

    Kindest Regards

    ABoatNerd
     
  4. Hey ABoatNerd!

    I have only sailed Summit and Century both in '03 and I am again on the Summit in Dec. I love Celebrity and in my opion, is the best cruisline for mainstream cruisers. I will sail them every chance!

    But if you can even consider paying for a Crystal cruise that is what I would do. I have never had the pleasure to sail Crystal but as a TA for 4 years, who booked several Crystal cruises, I do think the level of services you would receive on Crystal will be nowhere to be found on today's Celebrity.

    Maybe someday....Crystal for me! :)

    CruisinD
     

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