Friday, July 3, 2015

Celebrity Cruises Gets It Right Again! - "Go Big. Go Better. Go Best!"

I have long said that Celebrity Cruises provides the best value in the cruise industry; especially if you sail on one of its Solstice-class ships.  Celebrity's latest move, a truly exceptional pricing structure, puts it yet another notch above the rest.



Recently Celebrity has run a number of "1,2,3 Go!" promotions which, depending on which cruise you take and in what category you would receive your choice of a Classic (Alcoholic) Beverage Package, Pre-Paid Gratuities and/or an Onboard Credit of up to $300.  Essentially the higher the category and longer or more expensive the cruise you could receive 1, 2 or all 3 of these amenities.

Celebrity Silhouette
Well, now with its "Go Big. Go Better.  Go Best!" pricing structure (no, it is not a promotion, but a new way of structuring your cruise fare!)  Celebrity has taken the concept to a wonderful new place where you pay for what you want..in advance.  No games.  No deceptive marketing.  No claims of "Free.  Free.  Free" when nothing is actually free (ala Regent Seven Seas).

It is, for the consumer, very simple.  There are four (4) amenities:
  • Classic (Alcoholic) Beverage Package - All standard bar drinks and specific beers and wines are included in your cruise fare
  • Prepaid Gratuities
  • Unlimited Internet
  • Onboard Credit (which varies by sailing, with longer and more expensive sailings having higher OBCs)
If you book an Oceanview stateroom or higher you will have three cruise fare rates to choose from:
  1. Go Big - You choose one of the amenities
  2. Go Better - You choose two of the amenities
  3. Go Best - You get all four amenities...and the Classic Beverage Package is upgrade to a Premium Beverage Package
Note:  If there is a third and/or fourth guest in a stateroom they each will receive a Classic (Non-Alcoholic) Beverage Package plus 40 minutes of Internet.

(There are just a few exceptions:  If you book an Inside stateroom you will not receive any of the amenities.  It does not apply to any repositioning or transoceanic, South American repositioning or Xpedition sailings.)

This pricing structure (remember it is not a promotion to be asked for, but a number of fares to choose from) allows you to pay for what you want in advance and not pay for things you won't really use.
  • Need to stay connected, but don't drink - Gottcha!
  • Want to party and disconnect from the world? - Gottcha!
  • Don't want to keep pulling out your card, but you don't really drink much? - Gottcha too!
  • Looking for a more luxury-like inclusive experience - Gottcha as well!
While not part of this pricing structure, on Regent Seven Seas - which inaccurately markets itself as having less expensive suite experiences than Celebrity - you fare includes things like "free" tours that you are actually paying for and probably do not want and either don't take or upgrade from at high prices...so I am glad Celebrity hasn't packed its fare structures with things that really aren't of great value.

On the other hand, I do need to mention that on Cruise Critic (where else?) the spin by some has been that this new pricing structure is a bad thing because you cannot book a stateroom without an amenity.  Huh? Unless you plan on stiffing the staff of their gratuities (and they most certainly earn them!), take the prepaid gratuities and be done with it.  Want to compare pricing before the new fare structure and after?  I can pretty much assure you that the prices will be a bit higher because you are paying for the amenities and, of course, if you booked your cruise six months ago you pricing would probably be lower anyway.

Speaking of Luxury Cruising, if you add Celebrity's new pricing structure to its wonderful suites (I, personally, love the Solstice-Class S1 Suites overlooking the ship's wash with their large balconies, tons of light and exceptional amount of space).  And when you book any suite you have exclusive access to a Suite-Only Restaurant (rather than the main dining room).  Combine that with some truly innovative specialty dining venues and, of course, Murano - one of my favorite luxury restaurants at sea.

Celebrity Cruises Murano Restaurant
Not so sure Celebrity can provide a luxury experience?  I have had many luxury cruising clients...even a number of Seabourn clients...sail on Celebrity and almost without exception they loved it. (Full disclosure:  The only luxury guest that didn't get wow'd chose not to follow my advice on some nuances that matter!)

Celebrity Cruises got it right...again!

Interested in a Celebrity Cruise?  Call me:

United States:        (877) 2GO-LUXURY 
United Kingdom:    020 8133 3450
Australia:               (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:   +1 732 578 8585

Or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com