Cruise, Inc. - CNBC Special

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MouseTraveler's picture
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Cruise, Inc. - CNBC Special

I taped a show about a week ago on CNBC called "Cruise, Inc: Big Money On the High Seas", and just got around to watching it.

It has nothing to do with Disney, but if you are interested in a future cruise (on Disney or any other line), you might want to take a look. They give a lot of background information about the industry, and how the ships work in general. AND how they make money off the passengers!

They're replaying it this Friday, April 10 at Noon, Eastern time.

The show is based on Norwegian, as the correspondent spent a week on their 'Pearl'. I found it very informative, and much of the information will apply to other cruise lines as well.

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MouseTraveler wrote:
I taped a show about a week ago on CNBC called "Cruise, Inc: Big Money On the High Seas", and just got around to watching it.

It has nothing to do with Disney, but if you are interested in a future cruise (on Disney or any other line), you might want to take a look. They give a lot of background information about the industry, and how the ships work in general. AND how they make money off the passengers!

They're replaying it this Friday, April 10 at Noon, Eastern time.

The show is based on Norwegian, as the correspondent spent a week on their 'Pearl'. I found it very informative, and much of the information will apply to other cruise lines as well.

Is it fluff, or do they present an opinion? (I.e. cruises are ripping you off, cruises are a great deal, etc.)

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cdub wrote:

Is it fluff, or do they present an opinion? (I.e. cruises are ripping you off, cruises are a great deal, etc.)

It is not fluff. They actually tell you HOW the cruise lines make money, whether it be through sales of alcohol and shore excursions, or their partnerships with businesses at the ports they stock in, etc.

One interesting point they brought up is that in order to break even, they have to sell every customer about $7 in drinks every day at sea. (Liquor OR other drinks)

They also summarize the end of the cruise by each department. Ie.. how much below budget they were in shore excursions on this trip, etc.

The show doesn't give an exact opinion, but I came away thinking what I've known all along. That is, you can go on a cruise as cheaply as the cost of your per person stateroom, or you can add drinks and shore excursions and special meals and souvenirs and quickly run the tab up! If you know that going into it, you'll be just fine.

One thing about the Norwegian Pearl that I didn't know was their restaurant policy. They have seven "specialty restaurants" on board that require you to pay over and above the cost of your cruise. Disney has a fee for eating at Palo, but it pretty much just covers the tip. ($10 for Disney, versus $25 average on the Norwegian every time you go to a different restaurant)

Disney sometimes gets a bad rap because of the cost differential of their cruises versus others, but when you look at the quality of the Disney dining rooms as a part of the cost of the cruise and compare it to having to pay additional for every specialty restaurant, things start to even out quickly.

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MouseTraveler: could you please advise how long this show is, so I can set my DVR to record it. I am seriously interested in a cruise and this will answer some of my questions. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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Vettelover wrote:
MouseTraveler: could you please advise how long this show is, so I can set my DVR to record it. I am seriously interested in a cruise and this will answer some of my questions. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Sure
Friday at Noon, Eastern
CNBC
Program is one hour

If you're thinking of a cruise feel free to pose questions on here. We've got several people involved in the travel industry in one form or another, as well as having board members who've been on a lot of cruises.

Interesting thing about this program - they talked to people getting off the ship who had spent a LOT of money, and people who'd spent NONE (over and above the basic cruise cost, that is).

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MouseTraveler wrote:

The show doesn't give an exact opinion, but I came away thinking what I've known all along. That is, you can go on a cruise as cheaply as the cost of your per person stateroom, or you can add drinks and shore excursions and special meals and souvenirs and quickly run the tab up! If you know that going into it, you'll be just fine.

Disney sometimes gets a bad rap because of the cost differential of their cruises versus others, but when you look at the quality of the Disney dining rooms as a part of the cost of the cruise and compare it to having to pay additional for every specialty restaurant, things start to even out quickly.



I think that's largely how Disney makes money, too. The theme park ticket itself is marginal--it's the food, hotels, and souvenirs that make them their money. It really is shocking how cheaply you can do what most consider to be expensive vacations, but you have to have some serious willpower.

That said, is it even worth it to go on a cruise and NOT get all the extras? (I ask seriously, as I've never been.)

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SpaceAce wrote:

That said, is it even worth it to go on a cruise and NOT get all the extras? (I ask seriously, as I've never been.)

Depends on the individual. If its the first cruse you've been on, or if you don't plan on going on another for a long time then you'd really want to do a lot. (and that would include spending a lot of money)

I can only speak for my wife and I. We've been on several cruises, so we probably do things differently than others. We don't drink a lot, and we don't gamble so they aren't getting us there. We also limit our shore excursions, primarily spending much of our "in port" time to going to various shops and places before going back on board the ship. We also don't go overboard on souvenirs.

So for us it IS worth it not to get all the extras because we've "been there, done that". Others might think differently.

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Dumb question, but I have to ask: what kind of souvenirs do people buy on a cruise? Just things from port?

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bali wrote:
Dumb question, but I have to ask: what kind of souvenirs do people buy on a cruise? Just things from port?

You can buy dozens of items that are affiliated with the cruise line. Could be T shirts, polos, robes, key chains, backpacks, and a lot more. That's just the stuff available on the ship itself.

The general consensus is that you get a great deal on upper end items (clothing, jewelry, etc.) when in these ports. I honestly don't know if you get a good deal or not on this stuff, but I've seen a lot of cruisers in those shops buying expensive stuff. This special reminds you that the cruise lines get a cut of these purchases too.

Not being much of a souvenir family, we've bought the occasional shirt and a few prints. We also bought some DCL watches after a good day at the Bingo parlor a few years back. We've never bought any of the big stuff.

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MouseTraveler wrote:
bali wrote:
Dumb question, but I have to ask: what kind of souvenirs do people buy on a cruise? Just things from port?

You can buy dozens of items that are affiliated with the cruise line. Could be T shirts, polos, robes, key chains, backpacks, and a lot more. That's just the stuff available on the ship itself.

The general consensus is that you get a great deal on upper end items (clothing, jewelry, etc.) when in these ports. I honestly don't know if you get a good deal or not on this stuff, but I've seen a lot of cruisers in those shops buying expensive stuff. This special reminds you that the cruise lines get a cut of these purchases too.

Not being much of a souvenir family, we've bought the occasional shirt and a few prints. We also bought some DCL watches after a good day at the Bingo parlor a few years back. We've never bought any of the big stuff.

Ooh they have Bingo?!? Is that considered part of the "Gambling?" Is it expensive?

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Brad wrote:

Ooh they have Bingo?!? Is that considered part of the "Gambling?" Is it expensive?

On Disney it costs $30 to play and thats for five or six games. I don't know how they classify it, but you are n international waters so they pay you in cash with no deductions.

We've played twice. Made $30 the second time. $5200 the first. clapping clapping

As they say in the weight loss ads on TV... "Results not typical".

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MouseTraveler wrote:
SpaceAce wrote:

That said, is it even worth it to go on a cruise and NOT get all the extras? (I ask seriously, as I've never been.)

Depends on the individual. If its the first cruse you've been on, or if you don't plan on going on another for a long time then you'd really want to do a lot. (and that would include spending a lot of money)

I can only speak for my wife and I. We've been on several cruises, so we probably do things differently than others. We don't drink a lot, and we don't gamble so they aren't getting us there. We also limit our shore excursions, primarily spending much of our "in port" time to going to various shops and places before going back on board the ship. We also don't go overboard on souvenirs.

So for us it IS worth it not to get all the extras because we've "been there, done that". Others might think differently.



Aren't a really high number of cruisers "repeat" guests? I wonder if a lot of those folks think like you and your wife. If cruise ships make most of their money from "extras," it sounds like they should severely limit their marketing to repeat audiences...

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SpaceAce wrote:

Aren't a really high number of cruisers "repeat" guests? I wonder if a lot of those folks think like you and your wife. If cruise ships make most of their money from "extras," it sounds like they should severely limit their marketing to repeat audiences...

The number of repeat cruisers is pretty high. I really think that Lady Di and I are the exceptions to the rule. I'm sure that a lot of others who cruise repeatedly drink and gamble and spend a lot more than we do.

On Disney, they always have a cocktail party for "Castaway Club" members (those who have cruised DCL before) and it is always packed! They do an informal survey of how many times individuals have been on the cruise line and you'd be amazed at the number who've been five or more times, and the last time we went there was a couple who'd been over 25 times!

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MouseTraveler wrote:
I'm sure that a lot of others who cruise repeatedly drink and gamble and spend a lot more than we do.



I fear that I would develop severely bad habits as a chronic cruiser eek laugh

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I watched some of this with my husband. He has no interest in cruising.

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Kelly wrote:
I watched some of this with my husband. He has no interest in cruising.


Why's that? (We're considering a cruise in a few years and would love to hear thoughts/inputs)

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Kelly wrote:
I watched some of this with my husband. He has no interest in cruising.


And...?

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