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maxbranning87

What do Cruise Lines call 'All Inclusive?'

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So, myself and my wife are extremely excited to be boarding our first luxury cruise with Regent Seven Sea Cruises on Mariner of the Seas at the end of March 2017. We're doing a 10-night roundtrip Miami cruise. After much reading recently what cruise lines call 'all inclusive', our cruise seems to be an extremely good deal.

Just for example, I see Royal Caribbean advertise their cruises as all-inclusive when they have a drinks package included. However, this being the basic drinks package and you can upgrade to a Premium drinks package at an extra cost!  I think a few cruise lines do this also.

To us, an all-inclusive cruise would be 'everything included?' such as, Excursions, tips, even Mini-bar refreshments. Comparing the prices of a luxury cruise line to other cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises etc. The 6* ships do have fantastic prices.

After not being a regular cruiser, it's nice to know that we seem to have chosen the right cruise line. You do have to ask yourself, and compare the things you'll do  whilst on your holiday to what you feel is
'All Inclusive'.

 I find this an interesting topic, and look forward to other people's feedback and comments.

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I hope you have a lovely cruise Max. You've certainly chosen what appears to be a wonderful cruise line. Sadly I have not had the pleasure of cruising with Regent myself but I'm sure there are a few people on here that can offer you some words of advice or suggest experiences to try during your time on board.

I do agree with the point you raise about "all-inclusive". It has gone from being a tag line primarily used by luxury brands to one that is now applied to many mainstream cruise lines. Royal Caribbean are a prime example of this. They seem to use "all-inclusive" all the time when in reality it isn't as you quite rightly say. To a degree, it can be but there are so many more things you'll need to pay for on top. Excursions are the obvious example here. Cruise line excursions are not cheap and if you want to do one in most ports of call, you can find yourself racking up a tidy sum to land in your lap at the end of the cruise or pre-payable if you book them before you travel. There's also gratuities to pay, extra fees for drinks that are not included in your "free" drinks package, which you also state. The reality of the tag "all-inclusive" when used by such lines as Royal Caribbean is that it is in fact false and should not really be allowed. Technically it is a lie and misleads passengers who do not know any better. I believe this marketing concept was put in place to really appeal to new to cruise passengers, ideally ones that have often preferred all-inclusive land based holidays such as with First Choice for example. Regular cruisers will see through this in seconds so without intending to be patronising, you were quite right to take your time and choose a cruise line that adheres to everything you were looking for and that does actually follow through on their "all-inclusive" promise.

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Hi   The definition used by cruise  lines of "all inclusive" is not what I would call inclusive of everything on board.   Regent is one of the more "inclusive" cruise lines afloat since they include tips, drinks and excursions in the boarding fare.  Other 6 star lines do not include excursions in the boarding fare and some even charge a supplement to use the speciality dining venues.  Understandably none include on board shopping or the spa facilities in their boarding fares.  As a general rule the higher the boarding fare the more is included in the package.    As with all cruise lines do not believe the advertising blurb, just read what is included in the boarding fare and do not be fooled into thinking that the cruise you have booked is fully inclusive.   However, most river cruises are much more inclusive than the typical ocean cruise and as such the boarding fare appears at first sight to be much  more expensive but the "final" cost of the holiday is not dissimilar.

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That was the point I was getting at Land Ahoy but you have summed it up much better than myself. The overall price tag of a 'luxury cruise line' itinerary often shocks most people, including myself, when first seen but when it's broken down and actually compared in full to a cruise line such as Royal Caribbean or NCL, it does in fact come out quite favourably. 

You also raise a good point about speciality dining. Most lines that offer the supposed "all-inclusive" do not include speciality dining in it. We all like to treat ourselves to these places sometimes and if you go a few times it can be expensive. Dining options are high on my on board priority list when looking to book a cruise so I take this into consideration when booking most of my cruises. I always know that I'll need to budget for the extra costs of speciality restaurants and I'm happy to do that but if you're new to cruising and unaware of this, perhaps without the guidance of a decent agent like Bolsover (as currently being discussed in another thread on here) you could find yourself spending way over what you had planned. All because you fell for the "all-inclusive" spiel but why shouldn't you? Why should anyone have any reason to doubt the reality behind that term when it is being used so regularly. Yes the passengers themselves could be blamed for not doing their proper due diligence but really the blame should lie with the cruise lines and the fact that by using that tag line they are not being truthful and therefore should not be allowed to proceed with it. 

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Share your thoughts on your return. It would be good to hear what you thought of Regent. I've never done what I'd consider to be a luxury cruise so I'd like to hear how you got on. I've never really thought of looking too much at these type of cruise lines because I've always been put off by the price tag that usually comes with them. I suppose I have never considered what you get included with those lines though but in truth I haven't properly looked as I just presumed it would be more than I could afford. Thanks for the post, I may well look into it properly next time around.

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I'd be interested to know how you get on too, Max. Having spent a fair few hundred pounds on excursions on our Caribbean cruise in November, plus a large chunk more on dining and drinks, the thought of getting everything included is quite appealing, as is knowing everything is 'bought and paid for' before you get on board. I can't be the only one who waits with baited breath for those sheets of white paper to slide beneath the cabin door on disembarkation day! It must be a nice feeling, if the 'most inclusive' is all it's cracked up to be, to know that you could effectively cruise with barely any spending money.

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I have never travelled on Regent but always wanted to. One day my bank balance will allow me to! I believe they are the only cruise line which are truly all inclusive, free drinks or free grats is not all inclusive. You can sail on Regent and not spend a penny onboard. I hope you have a great cruise!

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I chose Regent over the other luxury cruise lines as quite a few of my wife's friends had experienced them before. However, we did re-search the other cruise lines before we committed and this was the main reason. Seabourn did appeal to us both also.

Yes, I'll certainly let you know about our experience. I would defiantly say that the word 'Luxury' would put a lot of people off straight away before even considering what you get included in a 6* ship. as I do believe they are far better value than the likes of the other cruise lines that call themselves 'All Inclusive'.

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Haha I too have waited anxiously for that little or rather big piece of paper to be slipped under the door MikeLowry. Thankfully the cruise lines caught up to the modern world and most have now introduced the interactive tv's in cabins. So instead of waiting for the piece of paper, I know check the screen from time to time to realise just how unhappy my bank manager will be with me :P

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I suppose everyone has their own opinion/view on what an all inclusive cruise is. To me personally it would include the drinks as all meals are included anyway. With someone like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, because they include excursions/tips/speciality dining etc then that would be a more ultra all inclusive cruise experience.

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I can see why you were attracted to those two cruise lines Max. Regent always look lovely and I'd love to do Seabourn too. There's something about both those cruise lines that just make them stand out as being a cut above. You could argue the same for Crystal and Silversea too I'm sure but I like the look of the two you considered. It's what makes me so interested to hear how you got on. 

Personally I don't think these cruise lines do enough with their marketing budgets. I understand that they want to maintain an elegant stance in the industry and can't be seen to get down in the trenches with their marketing messages like some other lines do but I do think they could be doing more to emphasise the points we've discussed in this thread. They're clearly luxury brands but they seem to focus all their attention on that instead of every now and again allowing themselves to shine a light on their overall value for money. I sound like I'm convincing myself to give them a go now and maybe I am but I just don't understand why they do it. Advertising the luxuries of their ships will only get them so far. First impressions are crucial and when people see their prices they often run a mile so never actually read on to see what it includes. Whoever is in charge of that should start slipping a few different messages into the mix to show how they compare to mainstream lines. Value has never been more important to people when it comes to holidays and spending their hard earned money. Showing the value they offer clearer would go a long way in my opinion.

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I think all inclusive is a fair way for royal caribbean etc to advertise their drinks package and not false advertising at all, as, if you think about it, you can compare an all inclusive first choice etc holiday to a royal caribbean etc holiday with drinks. On both you would get drinks, food, entertainment, accommodation and travel included. And on both you would have to pay for day trips, tipping, spa and shops. Very similar inclusions and exclusions to a traditional 'all inclsuive' holiday.

They are not all inclsuive when compared to Regents version of all inclusive, so maybe its regent that need another name for it, i think they do advertise as 'the MOST inclusive' anyway.

Edited by Furby

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I once saw a Regent Agent demonstrating a price comparison against "Regent" and a "4-5 star" cruise line and by the time you take into consideration drinks, grats, excursions, speciality dining there was suprisingly not much difference

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I have never been lucky enough or had the bank balance to travel on board Regent but when looking at 'all inclusive' they seem to be the company to go for as others have said you could go and not spend anything once on there where other operators might include a drinks package or something as an extra but still not fully all inclusive.

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It seems to vary so much but the ultra all inclusive 6* lines everything is pretty much included from drinks, cabin/dining gratuities and speciality dining., with some even including massages on deck or shore excursions so the bill is either minimal or none existent. For some of the larger lines the All inclusive banner seems to be a stretch at best, with alternative dining being at a surcharge, internet not covered, excursions to be paid so as someone has mentioned the dreaded bill under the door can still be a considerable expense. I personally like the idea of Seabourn or Regent where most things are included so no nasty surprises await at the end of the voyage  and the flexible friend remains intact

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5 minutes ago, Furby said:

I think all inclusive is a fair way for royal caribbean etc to advertise their drinks package and not false advertising at all, as, if you think about it, you can compare an all inclusive first choice etc holiday to a royal caribbean etc holiday with drinks. On both you would get drinks, food, entertainment, accommodation and travel included. And on both you would have to pay for day trips, tipping, spa and shops. Very similar inclusions and exclusions to a traditional 'all inclsuive' holiday.

They are not all inclsuive when compared to Regents version of all inclusive, so maybe its regent that need another name for it, i think they do advertise as 'the MOST inclusive' anyway.

I take your point Furby and you're right, I suppose you could compare RCI to that of First Choice for those reasons but I still think it all comes down to what we each interpret "All-Inclusive" to mean. Personally when I see the word "All" I would expect everything to be in and not find surprises along the way. For that reason I think RCI and other lines use of that term, even Fred Olsen for example is being used incorrectly and unfairly for passengers, especially those who have never cruised before and I think that's exactly why they use it, to leverage those passengers. 

"Most inclusive" is a fair way to describe it but not "All".

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I would be interested to see what you think to Regent - I too have not had the pleasure but I have been with Azamara Cruises - fabulous and again all inclusive - except for shore excursions - all drinks and grats and nothing to pay for speciality restaurants however you are restricted to how many times you can eat in them.  My husband and I loved the product and the service was the best we have ever had lots of nice touches like a cold flannel given out round the pool along with a sorbet to cool down - excellent service and no formal nights. I read the feature in the Bolsover magazine and I must say Regent is on the list of must haves!!

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7 minutes ago, Honey73 said:

I once saw a Regent Agent demonstrating a price comparison against "Regent" and a "4-5 star" cruise line and by the time you take into consideration drinks, grats, excursions, speciality dining there was suprisingly not much difference

I think I saw that too

 

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I'd really like to see a broken down itemised comparison of a cruise cost on Regent, Seabourn or whoever, compared to someone like P&O, Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. If they did that it might make people consider luxury lines more.

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1 minute ago, louise said:

Regent does look very good and especially after reading the recent review in Bolsover's Into the Blue magazine it looks even more appealing.

Was this the feature on the new ship or have I missed a general Regent overview in another edition?

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44 minutes ago, CJW said:

I'd really like to see a broken down itemised comparison of a cruise cost on Regent, Seabourn or whoever, compared to someone like P&O, Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. If they did that it might make people consider luxury lines more.

Hi  Any comparison is difficult, you would have to consider that a cheaper cabin on Silversea (they have a double sink, full size bath and separate shower, walk in wardrobe etc) and they would be classed as a suite on P&O.   The food is far superior and is certainly a higher standard than that presented in the supplementary speciality dining on all main stream cruise lines.  The service is exceptional and can't be compared to that offered on cheaper brands.  This also applies to Crystal (the main drawback is that the cabins are relatively small) but the food offered is even better.  Seabourn also provide an excellent product but I haven't tried Regent (the reason is that I have limited mobility and they offer few excursions for myself and so I would be paying for a service I couldn't utilise fully.

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You have chosen an excellent cruise line Max. Personally I would call them a 5* cruise line but in my book 5* is the tops. As you are probably aware they are owned by Norwegian Cruise Line as are Oceania Cruises their sister brand. They have an excellent reputation and a high percentage of repeat travellers. They also go to some of the more interesting parts of the world. I look forward to hearing your opinion when you return.

I often think that if wasn't  multi-million dollar companies offering all inclusive, which aren't, they would probably get sued under the Trade Descriptions Act. Never has the expression Caveat Emptor been more appropriate, Buyer Beware.

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