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Why does “all-inclusive” = “luxury”?

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“All-inclusive” doesn’t really mean “luxury,” in our experience.  We’ve been on all-inclusive cruises that we’re at best faux luxury; and conversely the most luxurious cruise we’ve taken charged for things like wine (excellent) and excursions.

 

So how did these terms become almost interchangeable?  Thought people on this board might have a good perspective.

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Tell us what cruise lines you've done to come to this conclusion. Without that information it is impossible to answer your question.

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depends on your definition of luxury

luxurious  can mean different things to different people

 

All inclusive  cruises do not appeal to us  as we  like to do our own shore trips & do not drink much  so why pay the higher cost  for a Luxury line

Yes  some lines may be comparable to other lines that do not include  alcohol in price 

I guess it comes down to personal taste/preferences

 

Maybe all inclusive  means luxury  to some  as you are  not

 paying extra  for things  onboard  & that is luxury  🙂

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Depends on your definition of luxury

luxurious  can mean different things to different people

 

Absolutely.  Does it mean glitz and glamour or quiet refinement?  Full on, personal service or being left to enjoy the peace and quiet, undisturbed?  'All you can eat' or a single, beautifully cooked dish of your choosing? 

 

There is no 'one size fits all' .

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Maybe all inclusive  means luxury  to some  as you are  not

 paying extra  for things  onboard  & that is luxury  🙂

But, before boarding, one would have paid for those items in the quoted fare.

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8 minutes ago, English Voyager said:

But, before boarding, one would have paid for those items in the quoted fare.

Right, and in fact the cruise line will have carefully calibrated the least costly way to satisfy the greatest number of people that they are getting a luxurious cruise for that fare.

 

Anyway, for reference, one dictionary defines luxury as a “state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.”

 

i agree that luxury = comfort + elegance + $$.  All- inclusive may fit into that definition for some because it adds to the comfort factor.  I don’t like to be reminded of costs while on vacation, either.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, alc13 said:

“All-inclusive” doesn’t really mean “luxury,” in our experience.  We’ve been on all-inclusive cruises that we’re at best faux luxury; and conversely the most luxurious cruise we’ve taken charged for things like wine (excellent) and excursions.

 

So how did these terms become almost interchangeable?  Thought people on this board might have a good perspective.

Personally, I think 'all inclusive' was/ is a marketing ploy.

 

Were Cruise Lines such as Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas not luxury before becoming all inclusive?

Are they more luxurious for having done so?

Have there been cutbacks in areas such as the quality of food, and wines subsequent to the change?

 

Some contributors to this board have criticised Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for not being all inclusive yet it's rationale for not including alcoholic drinks is that by not doing so it can offer a much wider choice.

Edited by English Voyager

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1 hour ago, English Voyager said:

But, before boarding, one would have paid for those items in the quoted fare.

I agree  but some people  find it hard to drag out their cruise card & sign their name   so for them it is luxury line if all inclusive

I do not have that problem 😉

 

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4 hours ago, English Voyager said:

But, before boarding, one would have paid for those items in the quoted fare.

 

Right, and that's the way I like it.  I know it's not free, but it does give me freedom from transactions for the duration of the cruise, and that's valuable to me......that's in and of itself, regardless of whether or not I drink a lot or attend the "included" activities. 

 

Back to the original question....."all inclusive" doesn't mean "luxury", but I believe it is a vital component of luxury.  That freedom from any type of financial transaction - or even a financial consideration - is luxurious, but that alone won't make an experience luxurious. 

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4 hours ago, English Voyager said:

Were Cruise Lines such as Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas not luxury before becoming all inclusive?

Did they exist before they were all-inclusive?

I don't think so.

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3 minutes ago, calliopecruiser said:

Did they exist before they were all-inclusive?

I don't think so.

 

Crystal was certainly luxury before it went all inclusive in 2012.

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15 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

Crystal was certainly luxury before it went all inclusive in 2012.

Yes, that's what I hear from some, but I wasn't there so can't comment personally.

Edited by calliopecruiser

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2 hours ago, calliopecruiser said:

Did they exist before they were all-inclusive?

I don't think so.

Regent  did also

they were  Radisson before 

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Anybody that equates “all inclusive” to “luxury” should stay at an all inclusive, budget-minded resort in Mexico or the Caribbean. Their thoughts will quickly change. It’s a free for all of mediocre drinks, food, service and entertainment, far from luxurious. 

Edited by Tapi

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5 hours ago, LHT28 said:

I agree  but some people  find it hard to drag out their cruise card & sign their name   so for them it is luxury line if all inclusive

I do not have that problem 😉

 

 

For the record, on luxury HL pax in MDR and casual indoor/outdoor venue do not “ drag out their cruise card and sign their name”.  If they order wine, they verbally give their suite number if the waiter does not already know it ( they are small ships) and that is it, no dragging out. In bars, I verbally gave my suite number early on, then the bartender remembered me.

 

Even in the small restaurants where the waiters did present a bill for wine to sign, no card is dragged out, it is more to give an opportunity for extra optional tip or for your accounting records.  I never presented my card, anywhere. I could track my excursion, laundry and wine charges on the TV each day.

 

I did find it annoying to drag out a card for overpriced drinks with mandatory “tip” ( basically just part of the charge) for sullen wait staff on my one Oceania cruise, an upper premium line, e.g., I would be standing on deck with hands full of drink and appetizer and then they wanted my card to give me some spiked punch at sail away, awkward.

 

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3 hours ago, LHT28 said:

Regent  did also

they were  Radisson before 

I still have fond memories of the Radisson Diamond catamaran.

 

I still have photos of Mark Conroy performing the on board change of name from Radisson to Regent.

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9 hours ago, calliopecruiser said:

Did they exist before they were all-inclusive?

I don't think so.

i never was on Regent , however Seabourn was always all inclusive  until 31 st December 1999

but the real and "French" champagne was NOT  -  6 dollar for a glass

after a short period Carnival Corp did realise it was impossible to charge for drinks ; and Seabourn became very fastly all inclusive again with a French Champagne as well.  

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9 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

 

Crystal was certainly luxury before it went all inclusive in 2012.

Many thanks for agreeing with me , i started to sing that in a six voices bravado aria after my first cruise with all inclusive ( i cannot sing and a human voice cannot do six voices :classic_rolleyes:)

despite Crystal -especially the service - is still very good i cannot qualify it as luxury ( maybe for the penthouse guests it is a difference able to order quite some more items as in a normal cabin )

too many changes in the F and B operations  -  however i do agree in full you cannot offer daily free caviar anymore in view of the prices of the product

also Crystal obviously does not understand if non-complimetary wines must compete with all inclusive more friendly prices should be appropriate

Keith was so friendly to copy the wine list : example a Dom Pérignon  was 240$ however on one of the menus of his blog the champagne already costs 300$  -  on the 2 Europa sisters the champagne is at 145 €

i will try Crystal once again in September this year ( without Dom P :classic_biggrin:

 

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7 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

 

For the record, on luxury HL pax in MDR and casual indoor/outdoor venue do not “ drag out their cruise card and sign their name”.  If they order wine, they verbally give their suite number if the waiter does not already know it ( they are small ships) and that is it, no dragging out. In bars, I verbally gave my suite number early on, then the bartender remembered me.

 

Even in the small restaurants where the waiters did present a bill for wine to sign, no card is dragged out, it is more to give an opportunity for extra optional tip or for your accounting records.  I never presented my card, anywhere. I could track my excursion, laundry and wine charges on the TV each day.

 

I did find it annoying to drag out a card for overpriced drinks with mandatory “tip” ( basically just part of the charge) for sullen wait staff on my one Oceania cruise, an upper premium line, e.g., I would be standing on deck with hands full of drink and appetizer and then they wanted my card to give me some spiked punch at sail away, awkward.

 

I agree with you in full !!

It is not for everybody ( and it are not just for the more expensive fares )  but the 2 Europa sisters are different.

For a lot of people "free drinks" is obviously the ultimate in luxury  -  i am a continental breakfast eater - i like some nice  cold cuts and some better cheeses  - not the same young Gouda style "bread" on a daily base  

 and freshly squeezed juices  - i think the only other company still offering fresh juice is Crystal - not on SB and Silversea

i do not like to pay extra for speciality  restaurants  - i do not mind to do it on Mein Schiff but the fare is some 30 % of the fare for a Hapag Lloyd

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18 minutes ago, vistaman said:

Many thanks for agreeing with me , i started to sing that in a six voices bravado aria after my first cruise with all inclusive ( i cannot sing and a human voice cannot do six voices :classic_rolleyes:)

despite Crystal -especially the service - is still very good i cannot qualify it as luxury ( maybe for the penthouse guests it is a difference able to order quite some more items as in a normal cabin )

too many changes in the F and B operations  -  however i do agree in full you cannot offer daily free caviar anymore in view of the prices of the product

also Crystal obviously does not understand if non-complimetary wines must compete with all inclusive more friendly prices should be appropriate

Keith was so friendly to copy the wine list : example a Dom Pérignon  was 240$ however on one of the menus of his blog the champagne already costs 300$  -  on the 2 Europa sisters the champagne is at 145 €

i will try Crystal once again in September this year ( without Dom P :classic_biggrin:

 

 

Sorry, Vistaman, I never agree with you about Crystal. I find it every bit as luxury now as I did before all inclusive. However, I do give you credit for your not changing your position on Crystal. I think you might stick with the German line you find so appealing.

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27 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

 

Sorry, Vistaman, I never agree with you about Crystal. I find it every bit as luxury now as I did before all inclusive. However, I do give you credit for your not changing your position on Crystal. I think you might stick with the German line you find so appealing.

you said  : Crystal WAS luxury before all inclusive in 2012

and i do agree in full on that :    no problems to admit it !

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18 hours ago, alc13 said:

“All-inclusive” doesn’t really mean “luxury,” in our experience.  We’ve been on all-inclusive cruises that we’re at best faux luxury; and conversely the most luxurious cruise we’ve taken charged for things like wine (excellent) and excursions.

 

So how did these terms become almost interchangeable?  Thought people on this board might have a good perspective.

Sometimes going "all inclusive" can cause and have a contrary effect as well :

there are 2 examples : until 1994 the former Royal Viking Sun was the ultimate in luxury ( in the Berlitz of those days constantly rated as the best ship before the old Europa ) , there was a downfal after the purchase by Cunard;  then Carnival Corp did purchase  Cuanrd from Kvaerner - Royal Viking Sun was renamed Seabourn Sun with inclusive soft drinks and wines ( and alcohol in the Penthouses )

it was not a success and a lot of people working on the ship ( sommeliers not liking to just filling the glasses) actually moved to Crystal. rather quickly the Sun becamer Prinsendam.

The second is Crystal  : but i think Crystal was forced  to do it because prior to all in the ships were sailing sometimes half full.

In my home country Crystal before all in was nearly impossible to sell due to rather agressive offers by Seabourn in those days.

I am aware that i do make a lot people angry but there is a difference Crystal before and after all inclusive; it is still extremely good but before all in it was excellent. And obviously the Berlitz does follow me Crystal does have 4 stars plus and the Esprit 4.

And i think even the most loyal pax must admit the changes after all inclusive.

 And i am also very aware faithfull Crystal pax would not be so happy on the Europa 2 where you have to pay for mineral water despite the on board credit ranging from 100 to 200 € . And yes the martini cocktails are better on Crystal.:classic_biggrin:

 

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31 minutes ago, vistaman said:

Sometimes going "all inclusive" can cause and have a contrary effect as well :

there are 2 examples : until 1994 the former Royal Viking Sun was the ultimate in luxury ( in the Berlitz of those days constantly rated as the best ship before the old Europa ) , there was a downfal after the purchase by Cunard;  then Carnival Corp did purchase  Cuanrd from Kvaerner - Royal Viking Sun was renamed Seabourn Sun with inclusive soft drinks and wines ( and alcohol in the Penthouses )

it was not a success and a lot of people working on the ship ( sommeliers not liking to just filling the glasses) actually moved to Crystal. rather quickly the Sun becamer Prinsendam.

The second is Crystal  : but i think Crystal was forced  to do it because prior to all in the ships were sailing sometimes half full.

In my home country Crystal before all in was nearly impossible to sell due to rather agressive offers by Seabourn in those days.

I am aware that i do make a lot people angry but there is a difference Crystal before and after all inclusive; it is still extremely good but before all in it was excellent. And obviously the Berlitz does follow me Crystal does have 4 stars plus and the Esprit 4.

And i think even the most loyal pax must admit the changes after all inclusive.

 And i am also very aware faithfull Crystal pax would not be so happy on the Europa 2 where you have to pay for mineral water despite the on board credit ranging from 100 to 200 € . And yes the martini cocktails are better on Crystal.:classic_biggrin:

 

 

I am a loyal Crystal passenger and don't agree with you that Crystal was better before all inclusive. I. of course, am coming from an American perspective and not from your European point of view. Let's just say that we obviously see things differently. I will say that I have met many Europeans on Crystal and you seem to be a little more "rigid" about your likes and dislikes than I have found them to be.

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Ah, Vistaman...

 

I decidedly did not want to go into the weeds of specific lines since that would provoke denials from loyalists.  But you hit on exactly the 2 lines I had in mind - Crystal and Hapag Lloyd, specifically Europa 2.  Suffice it to say that Crystal missed the mark numerous times for us.  Usually that meant less-than refined service, but cost cutting in the included wines was particularly evident.  Europa 2 was sublime in nearly all respects.  The wine list was a delight, not only for the selections but the very fair prices.  And the service was exemplary.

 

For luxury (= comfort + elegance + $$, per the dictionary) we would rank our experiences thus:  Europa 2, followed by Viking / Crystal / Cunard Queen's Grill (tie).   Strengths and weaknesses in all the 2nd place finishers.  

 

If we ranked them for most enjoyable on board experience, it would be Europa 2, Viking, Cunard, Crystal.  Again, not much separating the last 3.

 

No disrespect intended towards anyone and their favorite lines.  That was our take, however.  

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