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Joe01

Why are Royal reducing the number of sea days on Oasis Class sailings?

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I've noticed that with the addition of several new ports to the Oasis Class itineraries that they are often reducing the sea days from 3 to 2. Back in the day, OA and AL would traditionally rotate the 7 night Western and 7 night Eastern, both itineraries had 3 ports and 3 sea days. When the Med itineraries started back in 2015, they started offering 5 port days and 1 sea day (I'll mention this more later). 

I was on Harmony recently for a B2B and the 2nd week was 4 ports, 2 sea days (CocoCay, Costa Maya, Roatan, Cozumel). A minor gripe was that I felt that with only 2 at sea days was that the activities program including shows and hosted activities had to be crammed in to those 2 days, and therefore, there wasn't as much time to go to as many of the events. This isn't a criticism of the CD or team as they can only work with the itinerary that they are given, but with so many events going on onboard the Oasis Class, 2 sea days isn't enough. I often stay onboard and enjoy the amenities, but the issue is that it affects the activities program which is usually minimal on port days.

Another issue is with the Oasis Class Med itinerary. Why on earth does that have only 1 at sea day? Nowhere near enough time to enjoy the Oasis Class offerings in any way and they still keep the same ports each year despite rotating the ships that they send to Barcelona. Marseilles is a total waste of a day and that ought to be an at sea day. Palma is nice but you have to pay to use their transport at the port and it is a fairly early departure, so that is another port that should be canned from Oasis Class itineraries. I do get why the 3 Italy ports are offered though - they offer plenty in terms of excursions and even plenty to do near the port in La Spezia & Naples.

All that I'm saying are just observations, and personally, I think that the Oasis Class would work much better on the older 3 ports, 3 sea days approach. What are your thoughts?

BTW - was about to post this as a CC thread and realised that it could be inflammatory so I'll post it here in much friendlier territory. What would I do without the blog?

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6 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

I've noticed that with the addition of several new ports to the Oasis Class itineraries that they are often reducing the sea days from 3 to 2. Back in the day, OA and AL would traditionally rotate the 7 night Western and 7 night Eastern, both itineraries had 3 ports and 3 sea days. When the Med itineraries started back in 2015, they started offering 5 port days and 1 sea day (I'll mention this more later). 

I was on Harmony recently for a B2B and the 2nd week was 4 ports, 2 sea days (CocoCay, Costa Maya, Roatan, Cozumel). A minor gripe was that I felt that with only 2 at sea days was that the activities program including shows and hosted activities had to be crammed in to those 2 days, and therefore, there wasn't as much time to go to as many of the events. This isn't a criticism of the CD or team as they can only work with the itinerary that they are given, but with so many events going on onboard the Oasis Class, 2 sea days isn't enough. I often stay onboard and enjoy the amenities, but the issue is that it affects the activities program which is usually minimal on port days.

Another issue is with the Oasis Class Med itinerary. Why on earth does that have only 1 at sea day? Nowhere near enough time to enjoy the Oasis Class offerings in any way and they still keep the same ports each year despite rotating the ships that they send to Barcelona. Marseilles is a total waste of a day and that ought to be an at sea day. Palma is nice but you have to pay to use their transport at the port and it is a fairly early departure, so that is another port that should be canned from Oasis Class itineraries. I do get why the 3 Italy ports are offered though - they offer plenty in terms of excursions and even plenty to do near the port in La Spezia & Naples.

All that I'm saying are just observations, and personally, I think that the Oasis Class would work much better on the older 3 ports, 3 sea days approach. What are your thoughts?

BTW - was about to post this as a CC thread and realised that it could be inflammatory so I'll post it here in much friendlier territory. What would I do without the blog?

The first thing that comes to mind is that if people are off the ship as in port, they can't consume as much alcohol, for those on a drink package. I'm not sure what the % of cruise passengers are actually on a drink package per cruise, but I'm sure that would add up. The less they pour, the more profit they make. I may be way off track. Just a thought, although this would apply to all classes of ships.

 

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Port Days:

1)You the customer pays the port fees. 

2) You are off the ship not using your drink packages (unless its their destination)

3) You are not eating as much of their food when you are off the ship

4) They can give their crew more time off

 

Sea Days: 

1) THey can make more money in the casino

2) They have to feed us all 9 times a day (Oh maybe 9 is just me)

3) They serve drinks all day

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1 minute ago, marti314 said:

Port Days:

1)You the customer pays the port fees. 

2) You are off the ship not using your drink packages (unless its their destination)

3) You are not eating as much of their food when you are off the ship

4) They can give their crew more time off

 

Sea Days: 

1) THey can make more money in the casino

2) They have to feed us all 9 times a day (Oh maybe 9 is just me)

3) They serve drinks all day

I guess as you mentioned that it applies to food as well as liquor. Any "leftover" food can just be kept for the next cruise and in turn, less has to be purchased.

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Oh and a big one i didnt mention, When the ship is moving it is using a LOT more electricity to power the azipods than when it is in port.  Yes they are still running their engines to generate electricity but they do not have to use extra for propulsion.  

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The Med is always port intensive largely due to the ability to reach so many wonderful destinations in a 7 night duration.  This is why many people don't mind Greek cruises on smaller and older ships.  The port intensive itinerary - they are there for the ports of call.  If Royal removed ports just for Oasis class in the Med, people would call them out for that.

The addition of CocoCay as an Oasis capable port has impacted Oasis class in a similar manner compared to the Med.  Another port is now within reach where it wasn't Oasis capable in the past.  The proximity of CocoCay to Florida allows them to include it often.

Some people think cruise lines are trying to keep guests captive on their ships, it's refreshing to see that you feel the opposite is true - they are providing more opportunities to visit destinations off the ship.

Even in the past a 7 night cruise wasn't enough time to experience Oasis class and all it has to offer.  Another cruise has always been required to experience more.  That truth remains valid today.  

13 minutes ago, FManke said:

I'm not sure what the % of cruise passengers are actually on a drink package per cruise

It's actually lower than most people realize.  Also people factor in port intensity into the DX equation.  The first advise often offered - don't buy DX on port intensive cruises.   If anything adding more ports to an itinerary reduces DX sales.  Few people buy the DX on Med cruises for this exact reason - drink in port and enjoy wonderful local beverages.

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16 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

Back in the day, OA and AL would traditionally rotate the 7 night Western and 7 night Eastern, both itineraries had 3 ports and 3 sea days.

That was a product of a time when few ports could handle Oasis class ships. Today, far more ports can do so.

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Just now, twangster said:

It's actually lower than most people realize.  Also people factor in port intensity into the DX equation.  The first advise often offered - don't buy DX on port intensive cruises.   If anything adding more ports to an itinerary reduces DX sales.  Few people buy the DX on Med cruises for this exact reason - drink in port and enjoy wonderful local beverages.

This makes absolute sense when I think about it. A lot of people here have mentioned that they do take into account the number of port days when considering a drink package.

Has anybody noticed a correlation between drink package prices and the number of sea days per cruise? Or is it simple based on supply and demand?

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14 minutes ago, twangster said:

The Med is always port intensive largely due to the ability to reach so many wonderful destinations in a 7 night duration.  This is why many people don't mind Greek cruises on smaller and older ships.  The port intensive itinerary - they are there for the ports of call.  If Royal removed ports just for Oasis class in the Med, people would call them out for that.

People don't usually do Europe on Oasis Class for the ports as the bulk of the guests are European and can fly to many of those cities for fairly cheap (less than £350 to fly from where I live to spend a weekend in any of the cities on this itinerary). They are usually there for the ship. As you say, people don't mind small ships for the ports. If you are an American trying to do Europe, there are so many better itineraries than this 7 nighter.

I would also disagree with your assessment that the ports are wonderful. Whilst the Italy ports offer plenty, I really can't see why they would keep Marseilles on the itinerary when the city offers very little (nearby Cannes and Villefranche are far better, obviously can't be reached due to tendering not being feasible for OA class). There isn't anything in the port area in either Palma and Marseilles, so you pretty much have to take their transfer bus which isn't free. I was displeased with this on Allure in 2015, and it was still the same on Symphony in 2018.

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5 minutes ago, Matt said:

That was a product of a time when few ports could handle Oasis class ships. Today, far more ports can do so.

That is true, and I'm glad that the likes of CocoCay have found their way to the Oasis Class. That said, do they really need Cozumel, Roatan and Costa Maya all on one itinerary? The latter two are fairly similar in terms of nearby port offerings and whilst the ship will have some first-timers, the majority of C&A members will have visited Coz.

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Just now, FManke said:

Has anybody noticed a correlation between drink package prices and the number of sea days per cruise? Or is it simple based on supply and demand?

Mostly supply and demand.  Not so much the number of ports days but cruise length is the most common factor that influences DX price in my observation.  A 4 night cruise is usually less than a 3 night cruise.  A 7 night less than a 4 night.  For the Symphony TA last year they dropped the rate to $39 at one point.  At 12 nights few people wanted to commit over $1,400 for a couple to buy DX so they cut the price (low demand). A 3 night cruise over the weekend?  High demand, higher prices.  

Certain ships often have lower DX rates.  Grandeur for example.  I suspect this is largely due to the nature of Grandeur cruisers that lowers demand.

In the end it all comes back to supply and demand. 

In general Royal has a lot of data to mull over.  They know from historical data how itinerary, ship and time of year will influence DX sales.  

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11 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

People don't usually do Europe on Oasis Class for the ports as the bulk of the guests are European and can fly to many of those cities for fairly cheap (less than £350 to fly from where I live to spend a weekend in any of the cities on this itinerary). They are usually there for the ship. As you say, people don't mind small ships for the ports. If you are an American trying to do Europe, there are so many better itineraries than this 7 nighter.

I would also disagree with your assessment that the ports are wonderful. Whilst the Italy ports offer plenty, I really can't see why they would keep Marseilles on the itinerary when the city offers very little (nearby Cannes and Villefranche are far better, obviously can't be reached due to tendering not being feasible for OA class). There isn't anything in the port area in either Palma and Marseilles, so you pretty much have to take their transfer bus which isn't free. I was displeased with this on Allure in 2015, and it was still the same on Symphony in 2018.

I respect that you have a counter opinion to my own but no one is forcing people off the ship on any itinerary.  If people want to sail for the ship as the destination all the better in the Med.  5,000 of your fellow passengers have disembarked leaving you with an empty ship to enjoy.  That's better than a sea day.  

The geography does present some challenges in some Med. ports.  The areas of interest are not always in close proximity to the port.    Perfect opportunity to stay on the ship.  Yet many people do book these cruises and many guests do disembark at these ports.  Many guests still have a wonderful experience despite the bus ride.  

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4 minutes ago, twangster said:

Mostly supply and demand.  Not so much the number of ports days but cruise length is the most common factor that influences DX price in my observation.  A 4 night cruise is usually less than a 3 night cruise.  A 7 night less than a 4 night.  For the Symphony TA last year they dropped the rate to $39 at one point.  At 12 nights few people wanted to commit over $1,400 for a couple to buy DX so they cut the price (low demand). A 3 night cruise over the weekend?  High demand, higher prices.  

Certain ships often have lower DX rates.  Grandeur for example.  I suspect this is largely due to the nature of Grandeur cruisers that lowers demand.

In the end it all comes back to supply and demand. 

In general Royal has a lot of data to mull over.  They know from historical data how itinerary, ship and time of year will influence DX sales.  

This makes sense as that is a lot of money to commit for just drinks. You could never drink enough over time to get close to break even as most people try to do.  I would think the novelty of unlimited drinks would start to wear on you the longer the cruise. I don't drink anymore, but I still would have had a tough time back in the day. I'll stick to my refreshment package and I'll definitely be getting my moneys worth!

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

I respect that you have a counter opinion to my own but no one is forcing people off the ship on any itinerary.  If people want to sail for the ship as the destination all the better in the Med.  5,000 of your fellow passengers have disembarked leaving you with an empty ship to enjoy.  That's better than a sea day.  

The geography does present some challenges in some Med. ports.  The areas of interest are not always in close proximity to the port.    Perfect opportunity to stay on the ship.  Yet many people do book these cruises and many guests do disembark at these ports.  Many guests still have a wonderful experience despite the bus ride.  

One of the most memorable cruises in my life so far was the Mediterranean on Harmony when she came out in 2016, loved the ship and loved all the ports.

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3 minutes ago, twangster said:

I respect that you have a counter opinion to my own but no one is forcing people off the ship on any itinerary.  If people want to sail for the ship as the destination all the better in the Med.  5,000 of your fellow passengers have disembarked leaving you with an empty ship to enjoy.  That's better than a sea day.  

The geography does present some challenges in some Med. ports.  The areas of interest are not always in close proximity to the port.    Perfect opportunity to stay on the ship.  Yet many people do book these cruises and many guests do disembark at these ports.  Many guests still have a wonderful experience despite the bus ride.  

You've missed the point - port days limit the activities which are available. Activities such as Belly Flop, World's Sexiest Man, Quest, Love and Marriage, Captain's Corner, Trivia, and the shows such as the Ice show, Aqua show, Broadway show...I could go on...are all crammed into one day on this itinerary. Even the sports activities are reduced.

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4 hours ago, FManke said:

This makes sense as that is a lot of money to commit for just drinks. You could never drink enough over time to get close to break even as most people try to do.  I would think the novelty of unlimited drinks would start to wear on you the longer the cruise. I don't drink anymore, but I still would have had a tough time back in the day. I'll stick to my refreshment package and I'll definitely be getting my moneys worth!

Drink fatigue is real and usually kicks in on day 5 or 6 for me.

Granted not everyone is the same and some people will continue to consume beyond the daily DX rate right to the end. 

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2 minutes ago, twangster said:

  The areas of interest are not always in close proximity to the port.     Yet many people do book these cruises and many guests do disembark at these ports.  Many guests still have a wonderful experience despite the bus ride.  

The ships can only dock where they can dock as we will experience this next year on our Greek Isle cruise. If we want to see Athens, we will have to take a bus or taxi. Not much to do at port where we dock. The other ports seem to be more friendly as far as being able to get off the ship and explore by foot. 

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We'll be doing Harmony on March with the Coco Cay, Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya itinerary.  I was looking at an Oasis class ship and it was between Oasis and Harmony.  The ports appealed to us more than the newly AMPD and at the time cheaper Oasis even though we've been on Harmony.  My husband and kids love the ports and they are very excited to have 4 ports. We've been to 3 of the 4 ports but its been a few years for Roatan and Cozumel so excited to go back.  

I agree that many typical ship board activities are reduced but we only watch a few of them so it really isn't a big deal to us.  

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30 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

You've missed the point - port days limit the activities which are available. 

Why is that?  Because most people aren't there for the ship as the destination.  Most guests disembark.

If large numbers stayed on the ship the CD's would adapt, offer more entertainment and open more activities.  

You've actually proven my point quite nicely.  Most people do not book a cruise for the ship, they book primarily for the ports of call while considering the ship and factoring it into the bigger picture.

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3 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

You've missed the point - port days limit the activities which are available. Activities such as Belly Flop, World's Sexiest Man, Quest, Love and Marriage, Captain's Corner, Trivia, and the shows such as the Ice show, Aqua show, Broadway show...I could go on...are all crammed into one day on this itinerary. Even the sports activities are reduced.

This is a prime example of the difference between cruisers who use the ship as a means of transportation and the ones that use it as a all-inclusive resort. Still others pick and choose parts of both. Isn't that the best part of cruising? Choices?

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7 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

You've missed the point - port days limit the activities which are available. Activities such as Belly Flop, World's Sexiest Man, Quest, Love and Marriage, Captain's Corner, Trivia, and the shows such as the Ice show, Aqua show, Broadway show...I could go on...are all crammed into one day on this itinerary. Even the sports activities are reduced.

In 2016 on Harmony, I saw every show at the Aqua Theater, the theater and the Ice that was available, we had a show pretty much every evening.

The other activities you mentioned Belly flop etc., I don't even know if they had them, truthfully because I didn't look, but I also don't look when I'm one a Caribbean cruise either because they don't interest me.

I went to my first quest show last week on the Anthem GC, first time in 18 cruises, it was fun, the AD did a great job, but I don't think I will change my cruise activities around just to accommodate another one. 

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7 minutes ago, tiny260 said:

In 2016 on Harmony, I saw every show at the Aqua Theater, the theater and the Ice that was available, we had a show pretty much every evening.

The other activities you mentioned Belly flop etc., I don't even know if they had them, truthfully because I didn't look, but I also don't look when I'm one a Caribbean cruise either because they don't interest me.

I went to my first quest show last week on the Anthem GC, first time in 18 cruises, it was fun, the AD did a great job, but I don't think I will change my cruise activities around just to accommodate another one. 

I've passed by many of these activities that were packed and many that were sparsely attended. They do have to fill up the day with varied activities to accommodate all. Different strokes for different folks.

Once again.

The best part about cruising is that you get to make choices. You be you and I'll be me and let's do it together on an RC cruise!

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16 minutes ago, FManke said:

This is a prime example of the difference between cruisers who use the ship as a means of transportation and the ones that use it as a all-inclusive resort. Still others pick and choose parts of both. Isn't that the best part of cruising? Choices?

I think that this statement sums everything up perfectly.  It just depends on what type of cruiser you are.  Know what you are.  Book accordingly.  There's a ship/itinerary out there for everyone.

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I just want to add a little about the Oasis class ship and Europe. I just took a Med Cruise and it was lovely. However, I went with other cruise line which significant lower cost for Med cruise and I happy with my decision. For US cruiser, Med Cruise is a port intensive and we really want to go everywhere and do as much we can because we have to pay so much to be there. For me if I visit Europe (med cruise) the ports is my destination so I was careless about the ship. It was my floating hotel. So I will not book Oasis class ship which I have to pay more. In another hand, I will book Oasis class ship for Caribbean cruise where I always cruise every year. Most ports in Caribbean I already visited so I will enjoy the ship more. So Caribbean cruise, the ship is my destination. I have 2 Oasis class cruise book and will be on Symphony in October 2019 and Oasis in August 2020. 

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2 hours ago, Joe01 said:

I've noticed that with the addition of several new ports to the Oasis Class itineraries that they are often reducing the sea days from 3 to 2. Back in the day, OA and AL would traditionally rotate the 7 night Western and 7 night Eastern, both itineraries had 3 ports and 3 sea days. When the Med itineraries started back in 2015, they started offering 5 port days and 1 sea day (I'll mention this more later). 

 

I'll take the other side of the question.  I prefer more port days, fewer sea days.  For me, cruises offer the opportunity to see different cultures and try to practice foreign languages.  I'm not very good, but I try.  I do agree that the Med cruise we took was challenging, but we mostly enjoyed the ports.  It's no different than camping trips, which tend to test your endurance. 

My son enjoys sea days, so I appreciate both perspectives.  On a 7-night cruise, I prefer 4 ports to 3, but I'll accept 3 if I am going someplace special/novel.

 

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