Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Mark Conroy is Out as President and

As you, my readers, well know it is no surprise to me that Mark Conroy was just been ousted as President of Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line.
Regardless of my disdain for his marketing practices (shouting "free", "free", "free" when you are actually paying a premium and his dishonest and misleading comparison of  rates to Holland America), the fact is that Regent Seven Seas Cruises has been living with two facts that simple could not support his existence as president any further.

First, over the past years I have seen a continued Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.  My most recent article, Oceania Cruises New, Creative, All-Inclusive Approach (The Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line - Another Chapter) explains and documents how Frank Del Rio, the Chairman of Prestige Cruise Holdings has very consistently placed Oceania systems and personnel into the Regent operations and how the products have continued to meld closer and closer together.  Mark Conroy was the last significant vestige of the "old" Regent and even the older Radisson Seven Seas Cruises connection.

Second, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has been boasting about its essentially full ships, but it is also bleeding money.  The all-inclusive packaging and premiums just haven't worked financially.  This was made oh so ever clear in its recent financial reportings.  I have discussed them in some detail in my most recent articles, Regent Seven Seas: Ships Fuller, But Very, Very Slim Profits - Part II and  Regent Seven Seas Cracks Are Showing: Beware and Be Careful of the "Dirty Little Secret".

When you add those two things together, toss in Mark Conroy's continual unfulfilled claims of a new ship coming on line and a few other things, and his departure is just as I have predicted.

To be totally fair, however, Mark Conroy had been at the fore of the development of the luxury cruise market and has survived over two decades in an industry that eats up people fairly quickly.  His efforts have most certainly helped push the luxury cruise market to try new things and to make a wonderful cruising product a bit better.

But now is the time to look forward to Regent Seven Seas Cruises righting it ship, hopefully returning to a more honest and forthright approach to its marketing and, hopefully, returning to be a product that I can enthusiastically endorse.