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Old 07-24-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
lark
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Opinions why Greece is so much more popular/expensive than Venice?

Looking at the 12-day cruises, I'm sort of wondering why Greece is selling so much better than Venice. Actually, the truth is that it looks like both are selling better than one could reasonably expect given how far out there the prices are. But Greece seems more popular. Opening day prices started a bit higher in many categories for Greece, but fairly close to Venice (although, interestingly, the tax for Greece is significantly lower -- go figure).

Many cabins for the Greece sailings are no longer available, and several that are available are astronomical and priced well above opening day. Venice by comparison still shows pretty good availability in many cabins, and several are still at or very near opening day pricing.

I still think it's possible we're going to see some movement on these cruises. I think there are many who have on board dummy reservations that they used on these when they were announced, who may end up cancelling before final payment given the very significant price differences for cruises with similar itineraries that have since been announced on other lines.

Still, the disparity in the popularity of the two itineraries is interesting to me -- what is about Greece that is being perceived as so much better? Same ship and same length, obviously. With respect to itineraries, there is a lot of similarity. Basically, you trade the overnight in Venice for a sea day on the Greece itinerary. I kind of view an extra sea day as a negative. You can always stay on the ship in any port, and while some sea days are nice, the difference between 3 and 4 doesn't seem material.

Otherwise, both have roughly the same exactly stops in Villefranche, La Spezia, Citiv/Rome, and Malta. And both, of course, start in Barcelona. So the differences are Naples/Venice/Dubrovnik versus Pireus/Athens, Ephesus and Mykonos.

Of the six of these, I'm more interested in Venice and Dubrovnik than any of the others. I guess people don't love Naples, so that's a negative -- although Pompeii is a pretty major attraction and probably holds a bit more interest for me than, say, Ephesus.

Anyway, the bookings seem pretty lopsided. Just curious what people are thinking.

Last edited by lark; 07-26-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
rossjen2
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Hi Lark,
We choose the Greece itinerary over the Venice one basically because my husband and I feel there is so much to see in Italy. We envision doing a land-based trip there someday to really soak in everything. Greece and especially Turkey were locations that we wanted to see but, atleast at this point while travelling with our young son, didn't feel like would we be adventurous enough to plan an extensive land based tour.
I am so excited for this trip of a lifetime ------ that being said, I really hope people are turned off by the high prices and cancel. I would be over the moon to upgrade to an oceanview or veranda for the price we are paying for our interior assuming DCL offered some nice upgrades or such

-jen
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Well, for starters let's dispense with the notion that I'm taking either, since I can't afford them! That said, as interesting as Venice would be and as much as I would LOVE to see Dubrovnik; I'd pick the other itinerary in a heartbeat!!

I've always wanted to go to Greece. Not sure why, I just do. I'm a big history buff but I guess that's not much of a reason since that would make a significant chunk of the world an appealing destination. I want to see the Parthenon before I die (and NOT the one in Nashville, I've seen that one). Just to wander the Acropolis and take it in will cross a big one off my bucket list. The canals of Venice are on the bucket list, they just aren't quite as high.

Mykonos hold appeal only in that it's a Greek island and again, I've always wanted to go to one. I'm picturing white villages against beautiful blue/green water; something straight out of a travel magazine. However, Dubrovnik holds more appeal than this stop.

On to Ephesus. Serious history here, biblical and otherwise. Basilica of St. John, Library of Celsus, Temple of Artemis. The Apostle Paul was said to have written most of his works from Ephesus. He gave a sermon in the Great Theater.

I'm dying to take a Holy Land tour but DH is having NONE of it (safety reasons, amongst others). Maybe I will book this and just tell him the other places this cruise is going and leave Turkey off the list. He won't find out until we get there!
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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I was fortunate enough to live in Florence for school during the summer "semester". We had four-day weeks, leaving three-day weekends for travel. Venice is awesome. Great art and architecture (although I actually still prefer Firenze!) But if you have ever been to Greece, you know that it is just hands down better than Italy for vacationing. We spent two weeks in Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens at the end of our schooling. That was probably the most beautiful and wonderful place I've ever been. And I am born and raised in Hawaii!
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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We booked the Venice itinerary and I have to say cruising into and out of Venice is on my bucket list. I also understand that there is some movement to reduce \ limit \ stop cruise liners docking in Venice itself and relocating to a further position so to me there is a lot more urgency to tick this one off the wish list than the Greek ports which I would also love to visit. Also Santorini is a must for me on a Greek itinerary - it was on the original surveys but not I think on the final itinerary.

I have no idea why the Venice cruises are less popular but long may it continue - who knows, we may see a bit of discounting (yeah unlikely I know but I can dream!)

Mel
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Good thoughts. Thanks all. Kind of making me want to look for cruises on other lines that focus on Greece -- after all, this one is only 2 days in Greece!

I still don't think I understand why it's so heavily skewed -- and it really seems to be -- but obviously there's just more demand for Greece.

It's going to be fascinating to see what happens with these cruises. I still can't understand how Disney is able to command such a staggering premium -- it's up to nearly 3x on the Greece itineraries what you'd see for similar itineraries on other lines and newer ships. But I guess that's why Disney spends so much money protecting its brand.

My suspicion is that there are many (like me) who are holding reservations but also made reservations on other lines and just deciding what to do. I'll never make it to final payment date without deciding, because I have to start thinking about plane reservations, etc. It's going to be interesting to see what opens up as time gets closer, but just looking at the current Greece 12-day prices, I don't see much of a chance that they will be going down signficantly. If you are confident enough to price a single balcony cabin for 4 at over $18k a year before the cruise, it seems unlikely we're going to see "kids sail free" or something radical.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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We booked the Greece itinerary because we asked our 13 year old daughter who will be joining us which one she wanted. She chose Greece! I want to do both Greece and Venice but will wait for a few more years. Can't wait until next summer!
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
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I've cruised the Med. 3 times in the last 5 years and I would totally encourage people to also check out other lines. Me and DD(10) just did the Crown Princess itinerary for the 2nd summer in a row (12 nights for $499) and it started in Rome and ended with an overnight in Venice, and it also included Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Olympia, Corfu and Split, Croatia. We've cruised Disney, Celebrity, Royal and Princess and there really isn't much of a difference(other than the price) especially on such a port intensive cruise.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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This will be our second time to the Med with DCL. My husband and I said that if they ever went back to the Med and added Greece that we would go. When they announced the new itineraries that included Venice I was torn as Venice is on my bucket list! After considering that we will be traveling with our children, I decided that there would probably be more interest for them with Greece instead of Venice at this time.

FYI - We loved Naples when we stopped there on our 2010 cruise!!! We had heard and read awful things as well and did not find them to be true. We grabbed a very helpful taxi right outside the port and went to National Archeological Museum on our own. A lot of items from Pompeii are actually here. We walked a few blocks to enjoy authentic pizza from Naples (I would go back just for the pizza!), and then we grabbed a cab to get back to the Magic for a Port Adventure to Herculaneum. Prior to our cruise I had only heard and read about Pompeii, but we were glad to have chosen Herculaneum.

Either cruise is a winner in my book! I hope to visit Venice and Dubrovnik soon.

Enjoy, Marni
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rella's fan View Post
I've cruised the Med. 3 times in the last 5 years and I would totally encourage people to also check out other lines. Me and DD(10) just did the Crown Princess itinerary for the 2nd summer in a row (12 nights for $499) and it started in Rome and ended with an overnight in Venice, and it also included Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Olympia, Corfu and Split, Croatia. We've cruised Disney, Celebrity, Royal and Princess and there really isn't much of a difference(other than the price) especially on such a port intensive cruise.
I made the mistake of looking at other lines and they are really so much cheaper than Disney. I found a NCL cruise that visits Greece and ends in Venice. I hate to say it but we might have to cancel with Mickey to see both Greece and Venice and save $$$
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ilovetexas View Post
Mykonos hold appeal only in that it's a Greek island and again, I've always wanted to go to one. I'm picturing white villages against beautiful blue/green water; something straight out of a travel magazine.
That's exactly what it's like. Or, at least it was 23 years ago. Stunning. With water that you can see right through to the sea floor a hundred meters down. I'd go there again in a heartbeat. it also had a heck of a nightlife.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #12
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I wonder if you guys in the US have access to all the best cruise deals - when I price up via the UK websites with RCCL, Celebrity etc... the prices come out very similar.

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Old 07-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Melcatfish View Post
I wonder if you guys in the US have access to all the best cruise deals - when I price up via the UK websites with RCCL, Celebrity etc... the prices come out very similar.
x
Actually, I wonder whether there's any possibility that disney is pricing their cruises differently for European visitors? Could that be possible? It kind of would explain a lot, because it's hard to know how so many staterooms are being booked.

Anyway, here's a sample of various cruise lines that offer competing itineraries. I've priced them all for a family of 4 except NCL, because it doesn't seem to have enough 4-person cabins to get meaningful pricing, so I priced it with two cabins, one inside and one balcony, with two people in each. It would be interesting to see whether you are seeing similar disparity in the UK.

Disney Magic 12-day with Greece July 13, 2013: $11310 OV, $18224 Balcony.

RCCL 12-night w/ Greek Isles July 2013 Serenade: $6756 OV, $7400 Balconyl.

Celebrity 12-night Italy and Greek Isles Equinox: OV $7700. Balcony $8400.

NCL 12-night Barcelona to Venice w/Greece Spirit: OV cabin for 4: $6594. 2 cabins (one inside and one balcony): $8800.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:29 AM   #14
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I don't know why one has sold better than the other. Most UK schools don't break up until the day before the Venice sailing, well Bradford ones don't anyway. We can't afford to do either of them. But given I choice I would prefer the Venice one. I've been to Greece lots of times, and once you've seen one Greek Island you've seen them all, or so my son says!

Having been on my first ever cruise last year and with Disney too, I can understand why they have been snapped up. But once you add on the airfare from across the pond, it's a very expensive holiday.

I've settled for the same old Med tour instead and hopping that the prices will drop or there will some IVG, GTY or whatever bargins to be had. These don't seem to selling too well, as the price hasn't moved for the August cruises. I'm still keeping my eye on other cruise lines too, before I book my flights as there have been loads of bargins for this year.

For UK peeps, keep an eye on vacations to go website. It's so annoying that we can't get into the US sites to track the prices. But I know we can always book with a US TA to get the same prices.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:24 AM   #15
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Mykonos is beautiful but imho Santorini is not to be missed - right up there with Venice! Also had no idea of the beauty of Croatia - both Split and Dubrovnik.
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