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Oldworldtraveller

Is The Bubble About To Burst

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Is the cruise bubble about to burst.

Two things have become most noticeable recently. The first is the amount of new ships on order and the second is the huge increase in the cost of cruises. Not a good combination you may think.

We already know that the cruise industry in the USA has plateaued and the rate of growth in Europe is slowing. On average the cost of cruising is at least double the cost of a holiday in the sun at a 4/5 star resort where there are no add ons whilst cruising hits the wallet at every opportunity with what many consider extortionate charges. More and more ships are being sent to the Far East and Australia where cruising has taken off. So what of the UK and Europe, has the bubble burst and the cost of cruising become unaffordable. 🤔🤔

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it is definateley increasingly unaffordable for a product that is becoming less and less special. many cruiselines rcl esp are becoming far too gimmacky for my taste. so much is now extra that was once included. speciality restaurants,bars and entertainment with a surcharge.

i personally prefer a cruise thats relaxing ideally no surcharges etc i prefer to budget myself pay for the drinks i have and trips i take. ideally tips included in the price of the cruise. not a fan of drinks packages etc. p&o and fred olsen were about right but p&o seem to be cutting back everywhere on the basics and adding more and more chargable stuff. i appreciate you can take it or leave it and dont have to have the extras but many of the now extras were the norm.

i will still cruise health allowing but i will be choosing far more carefully and going less often.

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The World Bubble has not yet burst, but will eventually? The Industry is looking at an overall growth of around 6% per annum.

I have not found any evidence that the bookings are down for the UK market as yet? From a personal point of view prices are rising to fast ,and I have noticed that Celebrity are one way or another bringing their prices down ,all be only by small amounts, some cruise lines offering low deposits suggest they may be struggling to fill cabins.?

It is true that land based holidays can now be better value for money, but then again 14 nights in the same spot has not got a great appeal to me, nice to see different place .

My Daughter who has just started cruising thinks it's good value for money? new cruisers may find the prices OK us older cruisers think they are getting to dear....Davybe

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My Grandson who was working at a Travel agents bought me a selection of travel brochures I like them more than a ladies magazine I could not believe the prices it made the cruises we have booked seem very good value.

My Grandson starts his training with an airline this week, so who knows what deals we MAY get.

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Cruise prices were stable for quite a number of years, although this was done by reducing inclusions and cutting corners.  I suspect that if prices had increased by smaller increments over several years, todays prices would not seem so out of line.  This doesn't make me feel any more inclined to pay for a cruise at the moment.  I just hope the prices become more realistic while we are still in good enough health to benefit.

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Difficult to know how 'strong & stable' (😁) the bubble is at the moment and I guess its future depends on a number of things.  I would imagine that oil prices will be a major factor and it is pretty impossible to know where they will go.  LNG powered ships will become more common and I presume that they will be more economical for the cruise lines to run.

I do expect cruising to be more expensive for me because I prefer to sail on the smaller ships by today's standards.  I am happy to only have the choice of a mdr, buffet and maybe one alternative for-fee venue and won't be looking at, for instance, P&O's new Iona, which to me looks like a floating shopping centre/retail park with a large food-court!  New cruisers today generally seem to find that the product they buy is good quality and good value.  It is difficult to compare it with an all-inclusive land-based resort as they only have local operating costs to contend with.  Their energy costs will undoubtedly be cheaper and they don't have to pay a succession of port fees.

Its also worth remembering that cruising is still an awful lot cheaper now than when I started cruising in 1997, when a 14-night Mediterranean cruise cost us £1300 each in an outside cabin.

When the new cruise ship order books start to slow down, we will know the bubble is getting a little fragile.

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As I have commented in the past the  new cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger we could end up with just days at sea. The business is a already having to look for new places to visit. We can no longer go with ease to Egypt, The Black Sea, Liberia, Tunisia. Plus a few ports are also having problems with too many ship and visitors. I think the bubble will burst, not just with increased prices but the cruising we know will disappear. 

I personally think that the cruise companies are being very short sighted. When we have gone to the cruise ship in the skies, the next generation will be looking for the holidays that we enjoy relaxing interesting times. Not a floating theme park.

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We have just booked a cruise for the end of March, and talking with there agent ,I asked how were bookings going , her reply was " steady not as good as this time last year"

We did have a look at "Ledger Coach Holidays" they make Cruising seem a very reasonable priced alternative....Davybe

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12 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

We can no longer go with ease to Egypt, The Black Sea,

I have been visiting the Egyptian mainland and Black Sea area several times a year for the last 15 years and have never experienced any problems.  The strange thing is there are more killings in the USA each year than almost anywhere else and tourists have ben killed in the Caribbean yet the cruise ships still flock there with thousands of passengers.

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Having just come back from the hairdresser, we talked about cruising. He asked me what I had paid for a holiday I have booked on Ventura February 2020 for 35 nights. He nearly fell over. But then I asked what he had paid for 2 weeks last February to an inclusive holiday to Antigua he then realised that perhaps my cruise what not so expensive after all.   

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I feel the bubble has burst for me. Very few places left that I want to cruise to now, preferring to visit most places as land tours The problem for me is not cost but the sheer numbers getting off the huge ships that completely change the nature of the places visited. I`ll happily do another fjord cruise going further north on a small ship but scratching my head for another I`d fancy.

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2 hours ago, jinky said:

I feel the bubble has burst for me. Very few places left that I want to cruise to now, preferring to visit most places as land tours The problem for me is not cost but the sheer numbers getting off the huge ships that completely change the nature of the places visited. I`ll happily do another fjord cruise going further north on a small ship but scratching my head for another I`d fancy.

I agree with Jinky the ports visited are getting fewer, you may get one new port on a med cruise but the best it gets if you want the Southampton to Southampton, if your flying you might just as well do a land base, having said that we are doing Dubai to Malta next year for the reason new ports, we have not visited, my other half was in Aden so will be sailing past.

will have to see after that 

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I feel that I have exhausted the Caribbean and Mediterranean ports and cruises further afield are getting expensive when air fare is included.  We blew all our airline points on our up coming Asia adventure, which made that cruise affordable, but I don't know where we or how we will travel after that.  The benefit of being able to travel at the last minute is often outweighed by air fares.  Guided tours have no appeal so road trips may be an option.

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As has been said before, it is 'horses for courses'.  When I travel solo, I really feel a cruise is the best option.  In general, cruise ships (and especially the smaller ones I choose to sail on) are very friendly places and I never feel the odd-one-out, as I sometimes do in a hotel when no-one seems to want to speak to you (and I am outgoing - not a shrinking violet :-)).

I have been lucky enough to have done 20+ cruises to many different destinations, some of which have been fly-cruise.  Next year on Aurora, I am visiting four new-to-me Mediterranean ports (Valencia, Calvi, La Spezia & Olbia) and also Ibiza, which I have only been to once many years ago.

The larger ships are doing very repetitive itineraries but smaller ones are more interesting.  Aurora in 2020 has some interesting ones and Fred Olsen's small ships have a very varied itinerary.

Of course, if you are prepared to fly and try different cruise lines, there will always be some new destinations to find.

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I have just read that up to and including 2027 there are 124 cruise ships on order that will equate to 268,736 berths. Assuming an average cruise length of 12 days that translates into finding another 8 million plus passengers!!! 🤔Personally I can't see it happening but it makes you think.

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6 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

I have just read that up to and including 2027 there are 124 cruise ships on order that will equate to 268,736 berths. Assuming an average cruise length of 12 days that translates into finding another 8 million plus passengers!!! 🤔Personally I can't see it happening but it makes you think.

How many old ships will be scrapped I wonder, so perhaps not so many new berths after all.

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2 minutes ago, Countrygirl said:

How many old ships will be scrapped I wonder, so perhaps not so many new berths after all.

You make a good point Countrygirl but having a look at existing tonnage there are very few ships left that are ready for scrapping and the majority of orders are going to companies with modern fleets who just want to increase in size.

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14 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

How many old ships will be scrapped I wonder, so perhaps not so many new berths after all.

The older ships get recycled ,they seem to go down to the next cruise company often owned by the same group,Carnival ,RCI have many brands under their control.

Then Companies high TUI buy up the older ships ,like Celebrities Century.?

The More options and choices we have then we may get some better value for money cruises....Davybe

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It seems that the bubble for UK cruise passengers hasn't burst yet as we see further announcements for new ships for Oceania, Regent & Virgin Voyages who will start bookings soon.

Although I'm not sure our little island will be able to cope to supply the demand the cruise lines expect

 

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We all need our holidays, I am sure the cruise will not burst, yes cruises have in some instance has gone up, but so have land base holidays, for two people, and are comparable 

we have been spoiled having more than one holiday a year, now maybe won’t have so many, just my opinion of cause.

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On 1/17/2019 at 1:24 PM, cruise chef said:

It seems that the bubble for UK cruise passengers hasn't burst yet as we see further announcements for new ships for Oceania, Regent & Virgin Voyages who will start bookings soon.

Although I'm not sure our little island will be able to cope to supply the demand the cruise lines expect

 

I might be being a bit dense here but I'm not sure where these three companies fit in terms of a British market?  They market world-wide and have only small numbers of port calls in the UK 🤔

Andrew 

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On 1/16/2019 at 8:52 AM, Davybe said:

The older ships get recycled ,they seem to go down to the next cruise company often owned by the same group,Carnival ,RCI have many brands under their control.

Then Companies high TUI buy up the older ships ,like Celebrities Century.?

The More options and choices we have then we may get some better value for money cruises....Davybe

And of course, Royal Caribbean (who own Celebrity), also own 50% of TUI Cruises... and Marella (who are 'collecting' ex Royal Caribbean & Celebrity ships) are part of TUI 🙄

Andrew

Edited by afcandrew

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