Stay with me while I lay the foundation of what Regent Seven Seas Cruises 2011 third quarter results actually show...
As most of you know there are a number of cruise industry tactics that bother me. One is the 30% discounts on cruises that were never, and will never, be sold at the non-discounted price. (In other industries that would be considered to be an unlawful practice; even possibly consumer fraud.) another one is the hallmark of Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Everything is Free. Folks you are paying for every bit of it. Regent promotes on its website:
- FREE Roundtrip Air with FREE Upgrade to Business Class Air in Penthouse Suites and higher on Europe Voyages
- FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions
- FREE Luxury Hotel Package
- FREE Beverages including fine wines and premium spirits
- FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities
- FREE Ground Transfers
- FREE In-suite mini-bar replenished daily
- FREE 24-hour room service and no additional charge for specialty restaurants
With the some of the highest per day rates in the cruise industry, forgetting about issues with quality and consistency, it is just simply false advertising that those things are "FREE". (Obviously you can opt not to take many of the "FREE" things like airfare, hotel, etc. and get a credit..so you refunded money for something that was allegedly "FREE". Not so obviously, is that if you don't want their tours...and many true luxury guests would not want them....you receive nothing back so your "FREE" tours are wasted.)
Now for the 2011 third quarter results:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises passenger count was essentially stagnant with a mere 0.8% reported increase in guests. (Compare, for example, Royal Caribbean reporting an over 3% increase.) At the same time Regent increased its overall prices by approximately 3.0% and cut its maintenance and repair expenditures (which includes the amounts spent on the scheduled extended drydocking of the Voyager).
But possibly of greater interest is that its net income dropped approximately 30% and its adjusted earnings dropped approximately 18%. (Compare Royal Caribbean who reported double digit increases.)
So what does this mean to me and to you, the luxury cruiser? To me it means that the recent talk...again...by Mark Conroy, Regent Seven Seas's president of a new ship is...again...just not credible. A cruise line with very slow or no real growth with a reduction in revenue and profits (even though it is profitable) is just not going to invest in more capacity when it cannot fill its present ships or must do so with shrinking (though still cognizable) profits.
Does it mean that Regent Seven Seas is going to change its product or its marketing? Probably not.
Ultimately it means: DO NOT BUY INTO THE HYPE OF ANY CRUISE LINE. You really need to have a travel agent who provides you with the real information so that you can make truly informed decisions. I have often quoted Sy Syms, "An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer!"
If you are interested in more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises or any other cruise line, please email or call Goldring Travel.