Thursday, September 4, 2008

Seabourn is Discontinuing Complimentary Seabourn Experiences

I have some news from Seabourn that may affect your present bookings with me or your planning of a future booking with Seabourn, so I wanted to get this out to you quickly.

Effective December 2008 Seabourn will no longer offer its exclusive complimentary Seabourn Experiences except for:

- “Caviar in the Surf” beach party events that Seabourn does on warm-water itineraries;
- Brazilian Boi Bumba festival at Parintins;
- Jungle dinner party in the Amazon’s Anavilhanas Archipelago
- Evening in Ephesus at Kusadasi in Turkey.

This does not affect the 2010 World Cruise events.

While this may seem like a reduction in what makes Seabourn…well Seabourn…it is not.

While there will be a cost savings to Seabourn, the actual motivation is the lack of guest attendance at the events. Seabourn regularly would guarantee say 100 people would attend an event, but when it came to the day of the event only 40 would show. That not only caused a huge waste of money…which ultimately is passed on to all of Seabourn’s guests…it got Seabourn thinking about two things: (1) Why?; and, (2) Why increase our costs providing something our guests don’t really want?

As to “Why?”, as Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a changin’.” The fact is that more and more of Seabourn’s guests are foregoing group tours, or anything seeming like a group tour; preferring instead to use Seabourn’s Signature Desk or to otherwise book private excursions. So what ten years ago was a very fashionable and upscale “experience” is now generally seen as a more run-of-the-mill event. So as Seabourn raises the bar with its new ships, it doesn’t want to provide what are seen by many guests as lower quality offerings.

As to “Why increase Seabourn’s costs for something the guests don’t really want?”, the answer is now obvious. If you are not convinced, think about this, I want to you consider that Seabourn could have eliminated caviar, change the toiletries, etc., but not only would that be honestly perceived as “cost cutting” measures…they would be. (I also bet more than 40 people per cruise would be upset about those items being reduced or eliminated!)

The net result is that Seabourn is not wasting money on underutilized events, is raising the bar in many areas (some I cannot let you in on just yet!), and unlike some other lines, is keeping its cruise fares down. Just compare Seabourn’s fares to some other lines and you will see what I mean!

However, for my clients who have already booked a cruise with Seabourn that has had the complimentary Seabourn Experience eliminated I, personally, am offering you a US$50.00 per person credit for any one shore excursion you take on a Seabourn cruise. (It doesn’t matter if it is a Seabourn excursion or if it is in the same port where the Seabourn Experience was going to be held, either!) All you have to do is send me a copy of your invoice for the replacement tour after your cruise and I will send you a check.

Why am I doing this? Obviously because I want you to be comfortable with the value I have represented you would receive. More importantly, I want you to know that I always work hard for you to make sure you are satisfied with your cruise experience…even if “shamefully” I don’t afford you the opportunity to complaint first!

Please call or email me with any questions or concerns.