Category Archive News

ByRick Deutsch

High Tech bursts into the cruise ship industry; wifi and beyond

With an expected 25 million cruise ship passengers in 2018, the lines need to keep up to date with societal trends. As a older passengers get older, they need to be replaced by the next generation.

Like never before, millennials are beginning to enjoy the open seas. While many still are buried in college loan debt, we are seeing CEOs and “senior” VPs in their 30’s.  They get huge salaries and stock options and are out there spending. This means they are discovering the fun of seeing the world. To attract them and feed their addiction to “devices,” many lines are upgrading their technology services.

Princess Cruises is rolling out a program dubbed Ocean Medallion. Guests are issued what the company has dubbed a token. With this wearable gizmo, suite doors can be unlocked by being in close proximity. It also stores a memory of what drinks they prefer to make serving faster.

Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess boasts FAST wifi

A technology called “geotracking” provides for GPS mapping of where you are on the ship. The idea is that not only can your friends find you, but when you are near the art auction, it might suggest a few works that you might like to see. One of the handiest features I saw on a ship was on a voyage down to Chile.  Princess was the brand. On every floor near the elevator was a decent sized monitor with several choices of buttons to push. You could point to restaurants. Then page down to your favorite to find out where it is. But then it will plot you a path from there to the place. Another bonus: it was an easy way to find a toilet! Passengers also can watch videos about the ports of call and play games once they board.

Ships are now incorporating passenger’s smart phonies into the mix. With apps to provide all kinds of help. Make reservations, find out where bingo is, and even what time the Enrichment  Speaker is on.

Caribbean is Most Popular Cruise Destination Despite Hurricanes

My biggest disappointment is wifi access being a profit center for the ships.  True,  some control is needed to prevent bandwidth hogging. But I think it needs to be moved to being treated as a  commodity. Rates of 75c a minute are truly absurd. I dampen the pain a bit by using Google Gmail Off-Line. This allows you to cache outgoing emails…i.e. write emails to anyone, then the next time you are connected it sends them….while also downloading any that have come into your account and are just sitting there waiting for you.  That way you are only on for a few minutes to do the upload/download.

Send us a note and your comments on our program. We hope you become one of the many folks who take our speaker HOW TO seminar and are get free cruises for two.

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ByRick Deutsch

 Dining on a Celebrity Cruise Ship – High ratings in my book!

cruise ship

The 2,000 passenger Celebrity Constellation

Recently, I was on a dream trip – from Abu Dhabi all the way to Singapore.  It was a 15-day voyage. The Celebrity Constellation was a real nice ship.  The food was great – even in the “cafeteria.” OK, it’s called the OceanView….but every ship has a cafeteria set up. I even complimented the food & beverage head.

They have a few specialty restaurants. 2 are “normal” and one is called Qsine…like cuisine. It was a bit much for us. Some restaurant designer sold them a complete new theme package. Dinnerware, glasses and plates were all in a fantasy theme. I had trouble holding the wedged forks and used my tiny dessert one.

To me, the whole idea was something I’d expect on the 54th floor of a NYC tower. When you walk into the fancy – and neat – dining area…you are given an iPad to use.   On the tablet are 25 different color screens that you swipe. Each screen has a description of a menu item.  There are no appetizer, first, second course and dessert listings.  No, they come “family” style and in tapas portions. Randomly served.

Each is served in a cutesy serving tray.  One had “test tubes” with sauces in it. Then the next selection comes. You’re supposed to share with your dinner mates. The “wait-persons” all had uniforms with Qsine scribed on them. This place was on the package of three that you could buy. Honestly, the OceanView was excellent IMHO – but I could have a hot dog and be happy. Not so, my wife.

There were a couple other nice “culinary” touches on the ship. A very nice ice-cream station. With real ice-cream scooped out by hand into cones or bowls. They also had soft serve.

The pool-side grill made only burgers, dogs and fries.  DE-Lish.  Really.

Read about Crystal Cruises River ships to compete with Viking.

A nearby pizza station was so-so. Seems everyone thinks we all like thin crust.  That’s all I ever see on ships. Not that tasty unless you like a ball of dough in your stomach.

Well there you have it. I’d go back on a Celebrity ship again. I try to eat a salad anyway. Trying to break even on the scale!

Subscribe if you like these reports. Count on a new entry every Monday.  Want to get a free cruise on Celebrity? Send us a note below.

 

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ByRick Deutsch

Santorini is the next domino to fall in the battle against hordes of cruise passengers invading

Santorini is the latest mega tourist destination to acknowledge that their fine town is in jeopardy of being run over by thousands of tourists. Dubrovnik, Venice and Barcelona are all taking steps to reduce the load on their infrastructure. With world population reaching towards 8 billion, the impact on landmark sites is taking its toll.

The cruise industry is drawing about 25 million passengers a year. They tend to go to prime destinations. This is understandable.

The Greek island hosted over 12,000 in 2017.  During the popular times of year, multiple ships roll in. The extinct crater that forms the area, is beautiful. The town that sits on the top of the crater is all in white and even looks like snow from a distance. It’s believed by many that this is the site of the mythical Atlantis. Recent digs at Akrotiri have surfaced an ancient civilization.

Greek island of Santorini

Santorini – That’s not snow on the top. It’s the white homes.

To combat the crowds, the town leaders have begun an outreach to the cruise lines to schedule stops at various times. There is no dock there, so ships have to tender passengers in. Proposals to stagger arrival days as well as disembarkation times are being formulated. A target is to have an hour buffer, with am and pm arrivals.

Read about the issues in Venice and Dubrovnik

How many want to ships plan to go there?  439. Ships have to be scheduled just like aircraft. 451 are already registered for next year.

Yes, YOU can get a free cruise there.  I’ve been three times. The place is great and I’d go back. We can show you how you can get a free trip for two. How?  By giving Enrichment or Destination talks. Fill out the comment section below and we’ll reply quick-like a bunny with the process.

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