How many pillars are enough?

//How many pillars are enough?

The two up-market cruise lines, Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania, operating almost identical ships, are in head-to-head competition to attract customers.
But it comes as a surprise to find them both using an almost identical sales spiel to attract passengers. The important phrase, apparently, is “key pillars” – whatever they are.
Listening to the latest gimmick announced by Oceania, you could be forgiven for thinking that the word should be “pillows.”
Oceania are introducing herb-infused bedding in their cabins, promising chamomile-induced sleep thanks to pillow-top cushions filled with gel and wrapped in scented fibre.
The beds will be introduced on the company’s Nautica this autumn 2010, followed by sister ships Regatta and Insignia, and finally the new 1,252-passenger Marina, when she debuts in early 2011.
“Cuisine, service and comfort are the three pillars of the Oceania Cruises brand,” says Bob Binder, the line’s president. “The new Prestige Tranquillity Beds will offer the most comfortable, luxurious sleep experience at sea.”
But are three pillars enough?
Introducing new 2011-12 itineraries for Azamara’s Quest and Journey this week, president and CEO Larry Pimentel explained: “Azamara Club Cruises is built around four key pillars: extraordinary service, cuisine and wines of the world, wellness and vitality, and destination immersion. But what distinguishes our brand most is our ability to deliver the destination, and our new itineraries were precisely built around that commitment.”
So destination seems to be the key difference – important, I would have thought, for holidaymakers choosing to cruise on ships like this rather than giants such as Oasis of the Seas and Norwegian Epic.
Perhaps Oceania have missed a trick with only three pillars – or maybe they take it as read that their passengers choose a cruise by destination anyway.
The five ships operated by Azamara and Oceania were originally built for the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises and carry about 670 passengers each. They have several restaurant options and luxurious public rooms; standard cabins, however, are not the roomiest at sea. Royal Princess, soon to join the P&O fleet as Adonia, is another identical sister ship. Marina is Oceania’s first new build, to a completely different design.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:29+00:00 9 April 2010|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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