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loz6

The end of the traditional cruise?

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Royal Caribbean are spending £150m on a private island escape in the Bahamas for their passengers that is set to feature the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, the tallest waterslide in North America and a hot air balloon offering aerial tours of the Bahamas.

From the photos it looks like they’ll be some relaxation areas too but isn’t it all a bit much? They’ve already turned most of their latest ships into entertainment hubs and now their investing all this money into this. How long before the traditional cruise is dead?

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My question would be: what is a traditional cruise these days? So many cruise lines view cruising differently now that it's hard to tell. Does traditional refer to the style of itinerary or the on board experience? It's all open to interpretation. I would agree with David H though that Royal Caribbean were probably the first to make the move away from anything associated with the word traditional in cruising terms but what it has done, and I agree again, is create a much more diverse market for people to choose the right option for them.

Personally, the idea of cruising to just one destination or no destination at all does not interest me, no matter how good the on board facilities are. I'd still want to look forward to visiting different places along the way.

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I've actually just been reading about Royal Caribbean's private island expansion and I can't believe the price of things. Not only are you paying for the cruise itself but when you get to CocoCay you then have to fork out what seems a lot of money to be able to full enjoy the attractions there. It looks as though it could cost as much as $99 per person for a full day at the waterpark there and upto $869 for six people to hire a waterpark cabana for the day. It's even a minimum of $79 to do the zipline they promote so heavily in their recent adverts!

I actually think a lot of what Royal Caribbean do is brilliantly innovative but the pricing for this, on the surface at least, appears well over the top. I know some will point to the fact that it's just like the prices of excursions in any other port of call but this is Royal Caribbean's private island and charging people so much for entertainment looks a bit of a rip-off when they've already spent a decent sum on the cruise itself. Just my opinion though.

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8 hours ago, DavidH said:

Hi loz6,

I think traditional cruising has been dead to Royal Caribbean customers for a long time.  But that's the beauty of cruising, there are still plenty of lines who offer a product which appeals to those of a more traditional bent.

DavidH

Have you sailed on RC David? 

If so you should have noted that they still have 3 formal nights on a 14 day cruise, the rest of the dinners are at least equal in standard and service to P&O, as is the entertainment, in fact some is better.  Most of their fleet have almost wrap around prom decks, with shuffleboard for those that want it, and their evening bar and lounge entertainment is as good as any I have enjoyed on other main stream lines.

They do have water slides, flow riders and rock climbing walls, as well as other more adventurous features on their newer ships, but they are easily avoided if you don't want to make use of them.  So you could enjoy both traditional and modern on their ships if you wanted.

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10 hours ago, towny44 said:

Have you sailed on RC David? 

If so you should have noted that they still have 3 formal nights on a 14 day cruise, the rest of the dinners are at least equal in standard and service to P&O, as is the entertainment, in fact some is better.  Most of their fleet have almost wrap around prom decks, with shuffleboard for those that want it, and their evening bar and lounge entertainment is as good as any I have enjoyed on other main stream lines.

They do have water slides, flow riders and rock climbing walls, as well as other more adventurous features on their newer ships, but they are easily avoided if you don't want to make use of them.  So you could enjoy both traditional and modern on their ships if you wanted.

I would think they do most things better than P&O (At a Price) The ships certainly have a wow factor, and we found the service and overall standards very good.

As you rightly say you can avoid the things you do not like ,just as you can on any ship.......Davybe

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10 hours ago, towny44 said:

Have you sailed on RC David? 

If so you should have noted that they still have 3 formal nights on a 14 day cruise, the rest of the dinners are at least equal in standard and service to P&O, as is the entertainment, in fact some is better.  Most of their fleet have almost wrap around prom decks, with shuffleboard for those that want it, and their evening bar and lounge entertainment is as good as any I have enjoyed on other main stream lines.

They do have water slides, flow riders and rock climbing walls, as well as other more adventurous features on their newer ships, but they are easily avoided if you don't want to make use of them.  So you could enjoy both traditional and modern on their ships if you wanted.

Hi towny44,

I have to confess, the answer to your question is "No" and, whilst I appreciate the insight you have given on Royal Caribbean, I am unlikely to cruise with them.  From what I have read and seen of their ships, they are just not to my taste.

As for P&O, our last cruise with them was in 2016 and, until I pick up on signs of their significant improvement, it is likely to have been our last.

DavidH

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On 13/06/2018 at 4:24 PM, sammy sun said:

They are, which leads me to the question; with the facilities so good on board and the high costs of the attractions on the island, won't most people opt to stay on board where it's free?

Well, if they stay on board why don't they also stay at home and visit a Theme Park?

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57 minutes ago, goodwinmacc said:

Well, if they stay on board why don't they also stay at home and visit a Theme Park?

One day visit to a private island on a cruise and staying onboard wouldnt bother me. We often, after many cruises, stay onboard when ships are in port especially if the weather isnt very good and we have been many times.

Edited by sinbad10

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It is also worth remembering that many Americans need entertaining for about 90% of their waking hours.  An American-style cruise is, generally, less traditional than the UK-based lines.  As with everything RCI do, they are commercially very savvy.  Most pax enjoy a 'private island' day and RCI are now making sure it is as commercially successful as possible.  As the op has said, there are still areas in which pax can just relax and not spend a fortune if they so choose.

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I understand what you're saying re chill out areas where you don't have to spend but imagine a family arriving into that island on their cruise and the kids seeing the water park. It would be a heavy expense for a family of four to go in but also a heavy feeling of guilt to make the kids just look at it without being able to go in.

I completely get the commercial side of it and yes they'd be idiots not to but within reason is all I'm saying. Obviously it's simple supply and demand. If the demand is there, they can charge such fares and people will keep paying it. As long as they are then who can fault RCI I guess but on the surface of it, in my opinion, many of the entertainment features of this private island are extremely expensive when you've already paid for the holiday itself. You could argue that it's only like paying for excursions in other ports but it's just my opinion.

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Private islands are not my favourite stops, but they are popular with many people.  Most lines charge very high prices for cabanas, or bungalows  on their islands and these seem to be sought after. The prices charged by Royal Caribbean are well publicized (along with excursion costs) so parents can decide if it is within their budget.  It might be an ideal time to enjoy the on board attractions while they are less crowded, although I don’t know if the flow rider etc would be in use, or to take children to a quiet part of the island for a traditional beach experience.

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On 7/3/2018 at 12:08 PM, sammy sun said:

Because their home isn't in the Caribbean with warm climates and regular sunshine :)

Plus, I doubt they get table service at home :P

A fair point made, but I would still question the need for a 'theme park' on board when you are visiting such natural beauty ----  isn't this enough? Also, the size of today's ships means some small islands are being totally swamped by tourists. I've witnessed 5 ships and 12000+ passengers arriving in Antigua, and it wasn't pleasant.

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On 7/29/2018 at 12:33 PM, goodwinmacc said:

A fair point made, but I would still question the need for a 'theme park' on board when you are visiting such natural beauty ----  isn't this enough? Also, the size of today's ships means some small islands are being totally swamped by tourists. I've witnessed 5 ships and 12000+ passengers arriving in Antigua, and it wasn't pleasant.

I agree with the point you make but demands are changing. In order to keep up with modern day demands, cruise lines need to adapt. Hence the changes you see taking place.

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