When the economic downturn was in full swing in 2008, Regent Seven Seas Cruises was looking for a way to stay competitive and profitable. The temporary changes they made worked so well, the changes are now permanent, and are credited for making last year the best in company history.
Instead of taking the conventional route of slashing prices to fill ships, Regent decided to offer free tours and excursions valued at up to $200. As a luxury line, Regent already has many items included in its fare, including your alcohol on board.
Acording to Mark Conroy, Regent’s president, the change “was so successful that we decided to adopt it permanently.”
The cruise line also changed the pricing structure, so that the very best deals were available all the time – not just at the last minute.
These small changes added to customer convenience, satisfaction, and ultimately lead to Regent Seven Seas Cruises to have the best year on company record.
While luxury-line perks like all-you-can-drink packages are starting to make their way onto the more budget-friendly (relatively speaking, anyway) ships, we don’t foresee this making it too far down the chain. Value-oriented cruise lines like Carnival tend to favor low-fare advertisements, with the hope that they’ll make it up in drink and excursion purchases along the way. If anything, you may see an optional package from these lines that would include an excursion or two – but people’s taste vary so wildly that it would be hard to offer something like that wasn’t ala-carte.