Beginning in 2007, all Regent Seven Seas
cruises will be liquor-inclusive, according to the Fort
The question of
whether to include liquor in the ticket price has dogged Regent
(formerly known as Radisson) and Crystal Cruises the two largest
luxury cruise companies, in terms of berths and ship sizes over the
years. Smaller competitors Silversea Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line
and SeaDream Yacht Club are liquor-inclusive.
Regent President Mark Conroy, the decision is part of a rebranding
of the entire Regent cruise experience, which started with the name
change in March. Conroy said that after hearing good reviews from
guests on its world cruises, which are already liquor-inclusive, he
determined the policy should go fleetwide.
Weve noticed how
the policy has contributed to the air of conviviality aboard, with
more people getting out of their suites socializing, Conroy said.
Its this open, intimate spirit of camaraderie we wish to foster on
all Regent voyages.
Sauleau, executive vice president of operations for Regent, said
that the policy would cost the company somewhere between $12 and
$16 per person, per day, but that the increased cost per day to
guests would be less than that. He estimated that the surcharge
would be somewhere between $9 and $10 per day, but noted it has not
been determined yet. Sauleau said he has pushed Regent to adopt an
alcohol-inclusive policy for a long time, not least because he was
senior vice president of operations for Silversea from 1994 to
He is convinced
that the atmosphere onboard Regents ships will be improved by such
a policy, and he added that passenger surveys and comment cards
indicate overwhelming approval among customers for a
say, Include the beverage, because we can meet in the bar and there
is a better atmosphere, Sauleau said. They dont have to think about
whos paying and whos not paying and worry about offering someone a
described the policy shift as a logical evolution of Regents
Our guests are
telling us that luxury products should be all-inclusive, he said.
It makes it easier for them.
Despite the term
all-inclusive, Regents new liquor policy is not all-encompassing.
The line specifically states there will be select complimentary
wine and spirits at all bars and restaurants fleetwide on every
This is the same
as the other luxury lines liquor policies, which, while including
most liquors, also break out a separate menu of super-premium
brands that come with a surcharge. Vintage or premium wines are
also extra, while a complimentary selection is served with lunch
Director of Business Development Michael von Wittenau said that no
lines liquor policy is really all-inclusive because its built into
the price of the cruise.
be misleading, he said. We choose to keep the per diem lower, and
in the area of alcohol give the guests the choice to purchase
alcohol based on their individual consumption.
Von Wittenau said
Crystal had discussed implementing an inclusive liquor policy but
found that its guests do not request one.
He added that
drinks are priced reasonably for those who wish to partake, but
that many customers dont drink enough to justify a
leading healthier lifestyles, von Wittenau said. People realize its
built into per diems, and those who dont drink that much are quite
happy we dont include the alcohol but very excited that we decided
to include bottled water and soda and cappuccinos, which are
important to the luxury traveler.
Sauleau said that
while some cruise passengers do not drink alcohol, the vast
director of public relations Bruce Good said his cruise lines
liquor policy is part of larger menu of Signature Delights,
including complimentary caviar and on-deck massages, which is
available to all guests.
Seabourn does not offer different classes of service with more or
fewer inclusions, Good added.
Fares are not
based on how much or how little the guest expects to drink, eat or
sleep during the cruise, he said.
reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].