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  • #16
    I would assume they wouldn't go for the bottom end, as you say - but I reckon the only ones that have to be worried are the mass market lines (P&O, Princess, MSC, Royal Caribbean, the rest of the Carnival Group and to an extent companies like Thomson), in other words the ones that cater to the youngish / family markets.

    Virgin has an image as a "trendy" brand, can't really see them going for the high end (Crystal, Regent, Azamara, et al), aside from their very loyal customer base, their product doesn't really work well on large vessels!

    I guess having their own airline could help them out - being able to package fly cruises or even cruise & stay holidays without using 3rd parties would put them in direct competition with the likes of Thomson where they can control the entire experience - while common in the UK market, not really something that any of the american lines do, so that might appeal to the american market.

    At end of the day, there is probably a large enough market for them (Branson I'm sure has it all worked out) - yes the big two Carnival / Royal pretty much own the Caribbean having pretty much built the ports - but there's a massive emerging Asian market out there, not to mention the fairly recent invasion of Europe by the american lines.

    You also have to wonder if the big two have screwed themselves by trying to price each other out of the market - if you look at some of the fares they have, clearly they're not managing to fill their vessels and I'd wonder how much of a profit they're actually making on some itineraries... When you consider that some lines are selling out older ships costing substantially more in some cases more than a year in advance.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #17
      I think that the big companies make a fairly healthy sized profit, although this is done by paying the vast majority of their crew an absolute pittance.
      I actually do wonder how paying people a couple of hundred bucks a month will sit with Richard Branson, given his approach to his other businesses.
      I was fortunate to have him sail on a ship I worked on a few years ago while we were doing a big climate change thing - he is a thoroughly decent guy, totally down to earth and full of enthusiasm - I really do hope he sticks it to the big companies.
      Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by HolyNougat View Post
        I think that the big companies make a fairly healthy sized profit, although this is done by paying the vast majority of their crew an absolute pittance.
        With all your respect - I take a little bit of an issue when people say that (I am aware you probably have far more experience of working with them); salaries are relative - they might only be getting a few hundred per month, but you'll find all of them are earning several times more than they would earn back in their own country and they were all quite happy to accept the terms of their contract when they signed it before leaving their home country.

        It's not like the cruise lines are lying to them after all, or keeping them prisoner they can always resign. At end of the day the companies will pay a salary that is sufficient to make it worthwhile for the crew members to want the job. Lets face it if companies are going to employ certain nationalities they need to pay a salary that makes it worth while.

        I actually do wonder how paying people a couple of hundred bucks a month will sit with Richard Branson, given his approach to his other businesses.
        At end of the day, it will affect the cost of the ticket and in a market dominated by the big two; I would say you are going to have to offer something special to justify your prices and why would someone pay ?300 for a 7 night cruise on say RCCL vs. a potentially more expensive cost for similar on your ship.
        ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

        ? Mark Twain
        myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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        • #19
          I did initially write a fairly eloquent response to the comments above, but as my identity is not exactly hard to determine, I have decided that "discretion is the better part of valor" in this case - suffice it to say, I do not agree with you, and suggest that really, you do not mean what you are saying - unless you are an apologist for the type of disgraceful behavior large cruise ship companies routinely show to your friends and colleagues:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-26896483

          http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2012/07...se-ship-wages/
          Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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          • #20
            Pay on cruiseships is a complicated one. However as alistair stated many of them our getting paid super wages for their countries, usually asian. Others, like eastern european cleaners, or south american staff, are just getting paid a small wage, for a low wage job though, as living costs are considerably higher in their countries. However as long as the people are getting paid the wage advertised to them, when they take the job, one would presume it must be a good step up from at home, otherwise why would they take a job that gets them stuck at sea.

            The news report of slavery conditions on a cruiseship the BBC had, from Brazil sounds massively exagerated, compared to the korean and other asian jigger squiding vessels I have boarded, which are so bad, they jump overboard to try and swim ashore in freezing waters to escape, often stuck on board for years, with only noodles, squid and the occasional dog meat to eat. Pay near none exsistant. No exageration. And more often then not dying when trying to escape.

            BBC - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26896483

            Jigger-
            ....

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            • #21
              Conditions in the maritime industry have a long way to go overall. It would be reasonable to expect that cruise ships would operate with employment and occupational standards at the level of the countries they primarily service (for instance the USA etc), essentially the passengers are taking advantage of low fares whilst circumventing their own countries employment law in a way.
              Certain countries force ships which primarily operate in their waters (including EEZ) to meet a standard equal or higher then that on the mainland, such as the USA and Australia. If the EU were to follow suit, perhaps we'd see a massive increase in standards and employment conditions. I personally would be happier seeing less cruise ships, but better standards.
              The maritime and cruise industry is quite far behind the standards ashore in the western world.

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              • #22
                It is hardly reasonable to say that just because conditions Asian squid fishing boats are terrible, it somehow excuses a multinational cruise ship company, making billions in profit from treating their crew with anything other than than contempt.
                While I am by no means isolating the Cunard sub-brand, why do you think they 'flagged out' to Bermuda? - to do weddings as per the press release? - nope, they did not want to even risk being remotely tied down by the new EU Equality Act.

                http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2011/10...sh-labor-laws/
                Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                • #23
                  I'm not saying by any means conditions are worse some where else, so it makes conditions 'here' acceptable. I was more jisting, maybe we should help the people who are actually not coming up to geneva convention standard first, before worrying about pay equality for those living in different expense countries. Rather then everyone worrying about cruise ships because thats what the public see, opposed to fishing vessels that most people do not see, yet most people, and all cruiseships (guessing there is no vegan cruiseships yet) use the catch. And I am sure the top dogs of these squiding companies are very rich also, similar those running cruise ships.

                  So in short, was just trying to make people aware of a situation which is crazy in the modern world.
                  ....

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