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ren0312

Why is there no intermediate mid-market cruise line?

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Posted (edited)

Why is there no mid-market intermediate cruise line that I am aware of? Basically a cruise line that slots between Carnival/Royal Carribean/Norweigian and Crystal/Regent Seven Seas/Seabourne? Basically a cruise line that will deliver a higher standard of service and food compared to the mass market cruise lines, while being below the luxury cruise lines. Basically a Buick or Acura or the cruise industry, in that Buick or Acura are near luxury brands that slot between Cadillac and Chevrolet. Is there a market for a mid-market cruise line, with prices between say, Crystal/Regent Seven Seas and Carnival? Basically there seems to be a large gap in terms of the market between Regent and Norweigian that you can slot another brand. Maybe you can say that Holland America and Cunard used to fill this gap but it seems that they have also really moved downmarket.

Edited by ren0312

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Azamara?

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7 minutes ago, ren0312 said:

Why is there no mid-market intermediate cruise line that I am aware of? Basically a cruise line that slots between Carnival/Royal Carribean/Norweigian and Crystal/Regent Seven Seas/Seabourne? Basically a cruise line that will deliver a higher standard of service and food compared to the mass market cruise lines, while being below the luxury cruise lines. Basically a Buick or Acura or the cruise industry, in that Buick or Acura are near luxury brands that slot between Cadillac and Chevrolet. Is there a market for a mid-market cruise line, with prices between say, Crystal/Regent Seven Seas and Carnival? Basically there seems to be a large gap in terms of the market between Regent and Norweigian that you can slot another brand. Maybe you can say that Holland America and Cunard used to fill this gap but it seems that they have also really moved downmarket.

Oceania, Azamara and Viking Ocean fit the niche you're describing.

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Celebrity, HAL & Cunard are probably the better of the mass market lines, but as per the previous post you have the Premium Lines - Viking, Oceania and Azamara.

 

We now sail with Viking and they are definitely a step up.

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HAL and Celebrity are good options, though one needs to remember the age group on HAL. Also, there is much to be said for the smaller ships on RCCL and NCL cruises. We have had some great times on these ships, as have many others in this online community. I've received good reviews from friends on Azamara, though we have not yet sailed on those ships.

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OP: you're looking for what is called the Premium segment of the cruise industry.

Most folks will agree that Oceania and Azamara own the niche.

Viking Ocean is a relative newcomer that aspires to be in the Premium class but, IMO, it has not yet stood the test of time.

 

FWIW: If, instead of just cabin cost, you compare the true "net daily rate" for a line like Oceania (with included air or air credit plus a choice of perks from among booze/tours/SBC as well as free internet and no charge for beverages/specialty restaurants) to the upper end of the mass market (e.g., Celebrity) where all of those items are extra cost), you may be very surprised/pleased at the bottom line cost of Oceania.

And, not only will you get far better food and service, better space and crew ratios on much smaller ships, you'll NOT get bothersome nickel/diming, art shows, photogs, chair hogs, thundering herds of humanity (I.e., THOUSANDS of passengers) or floating amusement parks.

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1 hour ago, ren0312 said:

Why is there no mid-market intermediate cruise line that I am aware of? Basically a cruise line that slots between Carnival/Royal Carribean/Norweigian and Crystal/Regent Seven Seas/Seabourne? Basically a cruise line that will deliver a higher standard of service and food compared to the mass market cruise lines, while being below the luxury cruise lines. Basically a Buick or Acura or the cruise industry, in that Buick or Acura are near luxury brands that slot between Cadillac and Chevrolet. Is there a market for a mid-market cruise line, with prices between say, Crystal/Regent Seven Seas and Carnival? Basically there seems to be a large gap in terms of the market between Regent and Norweigian that you can slot another brand. Maybe you can say that Holland America and Cunard used to fill this gap but it seems that they have also really moved downmarket.

I think MSC yacht club hits that service is great , loads of space , plenty of room in lounge with live entertainment. Pool and hot tub area also plenty of room chairs are not on top of each other. I thought this was a real bargain hoping to sail again in November. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

Oceania, Azamara and Viking Ocean fit the niche you're describing.

They do fit OP’s described niche.  He seems to be lamenting the downgrading of the previously somewhat superior of the mass market lines: HAL from Carnival and Celebrity from RCI.

 

Then there still remains Crystal and Seaborne.   How many tiers does OP want?

Edited by navybankerteacher

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I agree that the previously listed lines that advertise themselves as "Premium" lines already fall well within what the OP somewhat awkwardly tried to describe as "mid market". I also think that "mass market" lines tend to fall along a continuum, rather than as an identical group. I would definitely place Carnival and Celebrity (along possibly with Disney and HAL) at opposite ends of that continuum.

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The interesting thing is the mass market cruise line do out and back cruises which we like,

 

where are the mid and high tier lines seam to do almost all point to point cruises... so you must fly.....

 

It is interesting how the itinerary changes so much.....  it is the people on these lines do not like the same things and always want some thing different ???? 

 

If they offered out and back cruises, i would be very interested in trying them......

 

As the better half does not fly and I am not happy about it, particularly now...

 

Cheers Don

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21 minutes ago, getting older slowly said:

The interesting thing is the mass market cruise line do out and back cruises which we like,

 

where are the mid and high tier lines seam to do almost all point to point cruises... so you must fly.....

 

It is interesting how the itinerary changes so much.....  it is the people on these lines do not like the same things and always want some thing different ???? 

 

If they offered out and back cruises, i would be very interested in trying them......

 

As the better half does not fly and I am not happy about it, particularly now...

 

Cheers Don

Oceania has quite a few Miami round-trip based short cruises of 7-10 days - usually on their "larger" (1200 passenger) Riviera.

BTW, it's not that Oceania's regulars don't like the "same thing" occasionally. But, in all honesty, most of the Caribbean is "one and done" for seasoned/adventurous travelers.

That said, Oceania's reputation, beyond the "Finest Cuisine at Sea,"™ is for longer/exotic itineraries. We do 3+\ Oceania cruises per year averaging 4+\- weeks. Seldom would we ever stop and end in the same port. And we like taking Oceania's air credit for DIY flights.

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11 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Oceania has quite a few Miami round-trip based short cruises of 7-10 days - usually on their "larger" (1200 passenger) Riviera.

 

I notice that he lives in Australia and doesn't like to fly so that is pretty limiting.

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21 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Oceania has quite a few Miami round-trip based short cruises of 7-10 days - usually on their "larger" (1200 passenger) Riviera.

BTW, it's not that Oceania's regulars don't like the "same thing" occasionally. But, in all honesty, most of the Caribbean is "one and done" for seasoned/adventurous travelers.

That said, Oceania's reputation, beyond the "Finest Cuisine at Sea,"™ is for longer/exotic itineraries. We do 3+\ Oceania cruises per year averaging 4+\- weeks. Seldom would we ever stop and end in the same port. And we like taking Oceania's air credit for DIY flights.

Also, you can do Extended Journeys (or "custom" cruises) that combine multiple segments. For example, this coming January, one could do 14 days Sydney-Auckland immediately followed by 14 days Auckland-Sydney. Four weeks of bliss.

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1 minute ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Also, you can do Extended Journeys (or "custom" cruises) that combine multiple segments. For example, this coming January, one could do 14 days Sydney-Auckland immediately followed by 14 days Auckland-Sydney. Four weeks of bliss.

Thanks will have to look into that   .... not sure it will be "'on"'  in January...... the powers to be Here are very anti cruise ships.......

 

Cheers Don 

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2 minutes ago, getting older slowly said:

Thanks will have to look into that   .... not sure it will be "'on"'  in January...... the powers to be Here are very anti cruise ships.......

 

Cheers Don 

There's cruise lines and then there's cruise lines.

Some of the mass market lines have certainly made their poor image (among parts of the non-cruising public) even poorer because of their Covid-19 problems and missteps. 

Premium/Luxury lines are a world apart from them in every way. 

When authorities "down under" are ready to restart tourism (my money's on later this year), it is a line like Oceania (and it's <700 passenger Regatta) that will be the first ships allowed back in port. 

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The definitions for all of the cruise lines' advertising is going to be needed to be revised when we get on the other side of this virus.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Daytona_MAc said:

HAL and Celebrity are good options, though one needs to remember the age group on HAL.

HAL is doing a pretty decent job with their new build ships (Koningsdam, Niew Statendam) to attract a younger clientele. Family staterooms, expanded Club HAL (children) facilities, more modern decor, contemporary high tech stage entertainment, Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard music venues, etc.

 

We are a family with young children (8 and 10 year old) and we sailed aboard Niew Statendam 3 months ago. I was very apprehensive about taking that cruise after reading so much about HAL ships being like nursing homes. Long story short, we had an absolutely fantastic vacation. Easily one of the best cruises that we’ve taken as a family. The kids had an absolutely fantastic time. We learned that we don’t care for many of the offerings normally associated with more family friendly cruise lines.  
 

I do consider HAL to be mass market, but more of a premium mass market product. It offers enough of an upgrade to be a step above lines like Royal, Carnival, NCL, etc. The experience does feel a bit more upscale but it doesn’t quite fall in the luxury line category. 

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I’ve cruised Viking Ocean a couple times and they are excellent. Same category as Oceania and Azamara, but better. 
 

However, there’s no disputing those lines cost considerably more. 
 

Truth is, Celebrity and Holland America are excellent go-betweens. Not party lines, but not sky high priced luxury lines. 

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We have not done premium lines yet, instead we now cruise in suites on the major lines rccl, Hal, celebrity and msc yacht club, suites give us a much larger cabin , most have suite longes and restaurants, reserved seats for shows , some now have private pool and hot tub area. Last celebrity we splurged on huge suite with outdoor hot tub on huge balcony , also on many lines you get butler , drink package sometimes free specialty restaurants. 

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9 minutes ago, clo said:

Might want to check one out. We were sure impressed with Oceania but we've done fewer than ten cruises in almost twenty years 🙂

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/ships/regatta/suites-staterooms/concierge-level-veranda-stateroom/

Not impressed with a 216 sq ft suite , most of the suites we stay in are double the space with better perks

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3 minutes ago, George C said:

Not impressed with a 216 sq ft suite , most of the suites we stay in are double the space with better perks

Sorry. That wasn't a suite, just a verdana stateroom.

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1 hour ago, George C said:

We have not done premium lines yet, instead we now cruise in suites on the major lines rccl, Hal, celebrity and msc yacht club, suites give us a much larger cabin , most have suite longes and restaurants, reserved seats for shows , some now have private pool and hot tub area. Last celebrity we splurged on huge suite with outdoor hot tub on huge balcony , also on many lines you get butler , drink package sometimes free specialty restaurants. 

I'm sorry but, like any other yacht sailor, I have to chuckle when folks cite cabin size as a major factor in making a cruise decision. 

It's ship cabin. IMO, all that should matter in a cabin is the quality of the bedding, AV tech sophistication, storage and quality of service.

 

If you're doing a short cruise of under two weeks, perhaps mediocre mass market food would be doable. But, if your doing a cruise of 10 days plus, food quality (and your sleep experience) takes on a whole new importance, which is why some of those mass market lines have introduced "ship within a ship" as an attempt to provide a quasi-quality experience.

 

Think about it: for about the same "bottom line" money as a mass market "high end" experience, you could have the real thing.

 

I particularly like your last line: "sometimes free specialty restaurants." Why not "all the time" as well as included air, beverages, internet, etc. 

Don't knock premium/luxury lines until you've tried them. One caveat though: If you're a regular Celebrity cruiser, and you try Oceania, you may find yours yet another of the Celebrity cruisers jumping ship for Oceania and never looking back.

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36 minutes ago, George C said:

Not impressed with a 216 sq ft suite , most of the suites we stay in are double the space with better perks


Agreed. I’ve cruised Oceania a few times and I found them lacking. For the money, I found Viking much better. And frankly, I also think Celebrity is better. 

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