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Author Topic: Virgin Cruises?
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-23-2005 07:05 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:
You disagree with Seabourn (95.6) and Crystal (95.4) being at the top of Conde Nast's 2005 Gold List of proper cruise lines?

(Clipper got a perfect score of 100, but it's a yacht)



I disagree with Crystal getting rated above Seadream Yacht, and also some of the overall scores. For instance, on the "Gold List Reserve" of "the best places to stay", Disney Cruise line is rated above Holland America, Princess, and even Oceania. I guess a lot of Conde Nast readers take Disney cruises?

I'm just saying I don't put a lot of faith in magazine polls. Thankfully I have been able to experience a lot of cruise lines, hotel chains, and airlines myself so I don't need a poll to tell me how good or bad they are. I also don't consider any of these magazine polls to be the bible on how superb or lacking a product truly is. They don't sway me one way or another from picking my next cruise, hotel, or airline. I would rather take my own sampling of people's actual experiences (by way of their reviews) and make my own determinations from there.

Ernie


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-23-2005 07:09 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eroller:


I disagree with Crystal getting rated above Seadream Yacht, and also some of the overall scores. For instance, on the "Gold List Reserve" of "the best places to stay", Disney Cruise line is rated above Holland America, Princess, and even Oceania. I guess a lot of Conde Nast readers take Disney cruises?

I'm just saying I don't put a lot of faith in magazine polls. Thankfully I have been able to experience a lot of cruise lines, hotel chains, and airlines myself so I don't need a poll to tell me how good or bad they are. I also don't consider any of these magazine polls to be the bible on how superb or lacking a product truly is. They don't sway me one way or another from picking my next cruise, hotel, or airline. I would rather take my own sampling of people's actual experiences (by way of their reviews) and make my own determinations from there.

Ernie



The Gold List is not a readers poll. It is ratings/rankings done by Conde Nast Travelers editors.

Edit: Excuse me, it appears to be a mix of both.

Edit: Nope, I was wrong, it's a readers survey.

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-23-2005 07:16 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:


The Gold List is not a readers poll. It is ratings/rankings done by Conde Nast Travelers editors.

Edit: Excuse me, it appears to be a mix of both.

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]


If you would like to forward me a copy of the "2005 readers poll" I would be happy to analyze it and give you my opinion. I don't have it since as I stated earlier, it's pretty much meaningless to me.

I do greatly enjoy Conde Nast Traveler as a magazine ... I just don't pay much attention to the polls as I usually disagree with many of the results (not just Conde Nast, but others too). Many times they also don't give me enough information about how they were conducted, which leads me to believe the results can be skewed.

Ernie


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-23-2005 07:57 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eroller:

If you would like to forward me a copy of the "2005 readers poll" I would be happy to analyze it and give you my opinion. I don't have it since as I stated earlier, it's pretty much meaningless to me.

I do greatly enjoy Conde Nast Traveler as a magazine ... I just don't pay much attention to the polls as I usually disagree with many of the results (not just Conde Nast, but others too). Many times they also don't give me enough information about how they were conducted, which leads me to believe the results can be skewed.

Ernie


2004 Readers Poll

All Lists

Methodology


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-23-2005 08:12 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:

2004 Readers Poll

All Lists

Methodology



The only poll that has any remote interest (to me) is the 2005 Cruise Ship poll. I already disagree with the results. I mean YORKTOWN CLIPPER beating out SEABOURN PRIDE? I don't so.

In the medium ship range I would probably place REGATTA over the HAL ships, although to be honest I haven't sailed Oceania yet.

They have INFINITY has the best large ship. I can't really argue with that although so much of it is subjective and based on one's personal taste. How do I know if I have the same taste as other Conde Nast readers?

These polls are mildly entertaining at best, but at the end of the day they really don't tell me anything.

Ernie

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: eroller ]


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Commodore
First Class Passenger
Member # 1575

posted 10-23-2005 09:26 PM      Profile for Commodore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hate to say this, but this thread's gone off topic already. We went from the prospects of a Richard Branson cruise industry startup to which airline is best and most innovative to the accuracy of Conde Nast's rating system. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's far from the original topic...
Posts: 1106 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged
Meldrew of the Seas
First Class Passenger
Member # 5298

posted 10-24-2005 06:33 AM      Profile for Meldrew of the Seas   Email Meldrew of the Seas   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And we got there by discussing the merits of various airlines.............
Posts: 71 | From: Southport, UK | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Matts
First Class Passenger
Member # 4120

posted 10-24-2005 04:16 PM      Profile for Matts     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Probably my fault for saying that Virgin were alot of hype. In any case like others I wouldn't put too much store by any readers poll since these things are not only a self selected group of readers, but further self selected by those who can bother to enter. Unless you tried more than one how can you do a comparative rating?
In the UK we recently saw the Guardian travel awards on a similar basis. Best ferry company (maybe 2nd) was Swansea Cork ferries - a line with a pretty poor reputation for almost everything one can have a reputation for. They've had ships detained, poor voyage reports the lot. Oh and they sail an obscure niche route from southern wales to southern ireland. Similarly Hull Trains - a very small rail company which offers nothing like the facilities of GNER or Virgin won best rail company.

Getting back to Virgin though, of the lines out there RCI certainly makes most sense for a tie up. Their perpetual range of innovation and activities fits very well the virgin image. I wonder if they will get to add their airplane tag lines (painted on the rear of the aircraft) to ships. These include
Mine is bigger than yours
Size matters
Both of those on A340-600, the longest aircraft currently in service. Also they have
More experience than our name suggests
Virgin seeks travelling companion

Perhaps RCI will pain 'mine is bigger than yours' where Voyager used to display 'Like no vacation on earth'


Posts: 829 | From: London, United Kingdom | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
mec1
First Class Passenger
Member # 4287

posted 10-24-2005 05:39 PM      Profile for mec1   Author's Homepage   Email mec1   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It seems that people don't remember how Virgin Atlantic started out. It was not then and is not now a "cheap" airline. Branson has always said that he wanted to deliver a better product for a fairer price - and in both Economy and Upper Class that is what Virgin does. They are not a low cost carrier and I don't think their cruise operation will be either. I think it will be more like NCL than anything in the current market.
Posts: 1675 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
bulbousbow
First Class Passenger
Member # 4440

posted 10-24-2005 10:16 PM      Profile for bulbousbow   Author's Homepage   Email bulbousbow   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
mec1 wrote:
They are not a low cost carrier and I don't think their cruise operation will be either. I think it will be more like NCL than anything in the current market.

Well, this is what Lloyd’s List reported:

quote:
One influential source suggested Sir Richard's foray would focus on the "mid to upper" end of the cruise spectrum, thereby averting the cheaper space recently commandeered by fellow British maverick Stelios Haji-Ioannou's budget venture easyCruise.

"He [Branson] has been advised that money is to be made only in the upper to luxury brackets," the executive suggested.


That’s where the money is.

******

Cheers


Posts: 6866 | From: Adelaide, Australia | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-24-2005 11:41 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would like to see Branson start a Transatlantic service.

Sail Virgin one way, Fly Virgin the other.

Or just sail Virgin round trip.

[ 10-24-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Globaliser
First Class Passenger
Member # 4153

posted 10-25-2005 05:46 AM      Profile for Globaliser     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mec1:
It seems that people don't remember how Virgin Atlantic started out. It was not then and is not now a "cheap" airline. Branson has always said that he wanted to deliver a better product for a fairer price - and in both Economy and Upper Class that is what Virgin does. They are not a low cost carrier and I don't think their cruise operation will be either.
Virgin is currently running risking considerable risks of brand confusion in its airline operations.

Virgin Atlantic (the UK-based long-haul airline) is not a low-cost or low-fare operation. It has always put service quality at the forefront of its proposition, particularly in the premium cabins. "Upper Class" is commercially sold as business class but its actual hardware and software is comparable with the international first class offerings of many airlines and better than most airlines' true business class offerings. However, despite the positioning of economy class, that end of the aircraft has survived largely through deeply-discounted sales to tour operators, giving economy a near-charter feel in ambience - and recent cost-cutting has been keenly felt there.

Virgin Blue (the Australia-based short-haul airline) is, in contrast, a low-fare airline on fairly conventional low-fare lines. It's more "fun" than some and it has a slightly better service level than most (allocated seating, for example, IIRC). But many unwitting long-haul Virgin Atlantic customers get on to Virgin Blue after arriving in Australia and are disappointed by the deep contrast between the two companies and their offerings. The originally experimental nature of this company is illustrated by the fact that it only has rights to use the Virgin brand within Australia. It has branched out into international routes, but must fly these under the Pacific Blue brand name. This preserves the Virgin group's freedom to put the Virgin brand only on higher service levels on all international routes to Australia and in the South Pacific region.

"Virgin America" (the US-based paper airline) is a bit of an unknown entity at the moment. The Virgin group would like to launch this in the middle of 2006, but the date has been put back so many times, and the US airline industry is in such a parlous state (with too many mortally sick operators who should already be dead but aren't) that nothing is certain. The market positioning of this airline is not clear, but if it's another low-fare operation then further brand confusion may well result.

So where will Virgin Cruises pitch itself? And if Virgin America is going to be tied in to Virgin Cruises to provide the air transport element of packages, will any brand confusion cause marketing difficulties?


Posts: 1869 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Matts
First Class Passenger
Member # 4120

posted 10-25-2005 05:54 PM      Profile for Matts     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mec1:
It seems that people don't remember how Virgin Atlantic started out. It was not then and is not now a "cheap" airline.

It is not a low cost carrier but when it started it absolutely was. The original concept according Bransons autobiography and Simon Calders book on low cost airlines, was basically a rerun of Laker airways. Initially passengers even brought their own food for transatlantic flights. Needless to say they soon discovered that the seats at the front are most profitable and adapted to pampering those passengers to unprecedented levels. They were the first airline I ever remember with seatback TVs in every class (something which Lufthansa and many others STILL don't have). With Stelios and easy there is one brand philosophy - basic product, basic price. With Virgin there is only the 'hip' ehtos. Even the different Virgin airlines are very different. Virgina atlantic full service, Virgin Express and Virgin blue low cost.
Anyhow all this doesn't give much clue as to what their cruise venture means except that its with RCI - who fit the hip image about as well as any out there.

Posts: 829 | From: London, United Kingdom | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-25-2005 06:39 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Matts:

It is not a low cost carrier but when it started it absolutely was. The original concept according Bransons autobiography and Simon Calders book on low cost airlines, was basically a rerun of Laker airways. Initially passengers even brought their own food for transatlantic flights. Needless to say they soon discovered that the seats at the front are most profitable and adapted to pampering those passengers to unprecedented levels. They were the first airline I ever remember with seatback TVs in every class (something which Lufthansa and many others STILL don't have). With Stelios and easy there is one brand philosophy - basic product, basic price. With Virgin there is only the 'hip' ehtos. Even the different Virgin airlines are very different. Virgina atlantic full service, Virgin Express and Virgin blue low cost.
Anyhow all this doesn't give much clue as to what their cruise venture means except that its with RCI - who fit the hip image about as well as any out there.

Where has it been said other than by people in this thread that their cruise venture is in partnership with RCI?


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
lasuvidaboy
First Class Passenger
Member # 4527

posted 10-25-2005 07:19 PM      Profile for lasuvidaboy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Globaliser:
Virgin is currently running risking considerable risks of brand confusion in its airline operations.

"Virgin America" (the US-based paper airline) is a bit of an unknown entity at the moment. The Virgin group would like to launch this in the middle of 2006, but the date has been put back so many times, and the US airline industry is in such a parlous state (with too many mortally sick operators who should already be dead but aren't) that nothing is certain. The market positioning of this airline is not clear, but if it's another low-fare operation then further brand confusion may well result.



I would guess a 'Virgin America' could be similar to JetBlue here in the States. That airlines offers lower fares and premium onboard features such as Direct TV, all economy leather seating and non-stop service to many popular business and tourist destinations. Their crews are paid well below the 'legacy' carriers and are not expected to make a lifetime career out of their employment. A Virgin Cruise line in contrast could be a hip, fun mid-range line similar to RCI but w/ships decorated in a slick modern style.


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Fairsky
First Class Passenger
Member # 781

posted 10-25-2005 10:55 PM      Profile for Fairsky   Email Fairsky   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can we get some artist among us to develop a possible look for a virgin cruise ship. Maybe even taking an existing design and giving it a Virgin livery. Given what they put on some of their planes, it could make for some very eye catching hull art.
Posts: 1685 | From: Chicago, Illinois | Registered: Jul 99  |  IP: Logged
bulbousbow
First Class Passenger
Member # 4440

posted 11-05-2005 09:12 AM      Profile for bulbousbow   Author's Homepage   Email bulbousbow   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Branson’s cruise plans go back several years
November 4, 2005

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has been looking seriously at the cruise industry for more than two years, Seatrade Insider has learned.

The man behind proven ventures like Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airlines and new concepts like Virgin Vines (wine) and Virgin Galactic (civilian space flights) is believed to have been drawn to the cruise sector by industry veterans Rick Sasso and Ares Michaelides.

Sources said Sasso and Michaelides approached Branson as early as 2003 with a cruise concept for Virgin. The two parties worked into 2004 to develop and refine the brand and even looked at ships together.

Contacted by Seatrade Insider, Sasso, now the president and ceo of MSC Cruises USA, would not confirm or deny the information. ‘I really can’t comment,’ he said.

Branson’s team is understood to have been holding lengthy discussions with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. over the past several months.

Two weeks ago, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider that chief executive Richard Fain and Branson know each other and met when the Virgin Group founder was in Miami in October. ‘But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. We’re talking to people all the time,’ she said.

Seatrade Insider


******

Cheers


Posts: 6866 | From: Adelaide, Australia | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 11-05-2005 10:24 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bulbousbow:
Two weeks ago...chief executive Richard Fain and Branson...met when the Virgin Group founder was in Miami in October. ‘But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. We’re talking to people all the time,’ she said.

Yes right, Richard Branson meets with the CEO's of major cruise lines all the time!


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