Published at Thursday, June 07th 2018. by daniel amoien in Cruise Ship Cabins.
A cruise passenger`s perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard.
The asking price for this ship is less than the price for one large apartment on The Magellan. The asking price and selling price are two different prices. This ship could probably be bought for about 11 million dollars. It would be foolish to finish this ship in a Greek union shipyard. It can be economically towed over to the nearby shipyards in Tuzla Turkey. The ship can be finished there quicker and for about half the price and with better craftsmanship. This ship could be bought and finished to a high standard equal to The Orphalese for a total cost of much less than 100 million dollars (maybe even as low as 60 million). It can be finished to order with each residential unit customized to suit its owner(s). The finished product would be a brand new completely modern ship with luxury homes onboard which would be at least as good or better than any on the market. That still seems like a big chunk of change. But this is a big ship and it would easily accommodate 200 luxury residential units and an additional 200 or so conventional cruise cabins like The Orphalese. The average cost of the residential units would be less than $500000. That would mean that the smaller residential units would cost much less than the average price. Also with an additional two hundred (plus) conventional cruise cabins the cabin owners could recoup much of the operating costs and thus virtually eliminate the maintenance fees for themselves. The expense to owners can be less than 10% of the going rates if the buyers did not need to pay some slick promoters and salesmen but just bought the ship directly themselves sharing the actual costs by dividing the ship ownership among the buyers. Why would anyone want to pay ten times as much money to buy and much higher maintenance fees for a similar shipboard residential unit? The only reason I can think of is to impress others with how much money they can afford to throw away. Again the asking price is subject to negotiation. Used ships can be refurbished to look practically new and can be brought up to international safety standards (SOLAS). There are shipyards around the world that can do good quality work at even lower cost than the shipyards in Tuzla Turkey. If a ship is currently lying in Greece (as many are) then Tuzla is the best place to tow it for major shipyard work. The SE shipyards in the Black Sea port of Nikolaev Ukraine offers the best value for the money in that part of the world. The bottom line is that smart shoppers can get good deals even on lavish purchases such as a luxury residential home aboard a cruise ship. I maintain a list of those who have expressed an interest. The list is confidential and will not be shared for any marketing purposes. The purpose of maintaining the list is to facilitate joint ownership directly between buyers without any middlemen or promoters involved.
My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the Category B staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom we had two initial impressions. First of all the curved walls gave the room a very unique look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didn`t have a bathroom... well at least not in the traditional sense. You entered the stateroom through a door between a shower stall and a toilet stall (each with a heavily frosted enclosure). A curtain separated these areas from the main part of the stateroom which among other things included the bed a couch storage closets / cabinets and a sink. The advantage of having the sink outside of the toilet and shower area is that one occupant can use the sink while another is using the shower or toilet (a convenience that you don`t often find in traditional cruise ship staterooms). In addition the unique design of the stateroom provided much more storage space than is typically found in a conventional stateroom of similar dimensions. However despite that I found the stateroom to be very tight (particularly in the cabins that have the bed nearer to the entrance door than to the balcony door) and overall I must admit that I would have preferred a more conventionally designed stateroom configuration or one of the larger deluxe balcony (Category D) staterooms on the Epic).
The biggest value of all onboard cruise ship is in labor costs. The better cruise ships tend to be labor intensive providing passengers with unrelenting attention and extravagant pampering. The hotel staff on all cruise ships provides the basic services including food preparation and serving laundry cabin stewarding entertainment casino operation beauty shop operations This is one area where I would prefer to not scrimp because of the very good value in these services due to the low cost of international labor. I would prefer to go beyond the level that most cruise ships go in the area of spas. Land based luxury and specialty resort spas are very expensive but the exact same level of service professionalism skill and treatments can be provided on a cruise ship at extremely low cost. Labor is the key and the primary reason for most of the expense of spas. Labor is a tremendous value on a cruise ship because the cruise ship managers can choose workers from the global marketplace where it is easy to get the best value for the money.
Let`s look at the numbers on this ship. 100% of the acquisition cost would have been $500000. 1% thus = $5000. One hundred buyers could own one percent each. There are 120 cabins so each co-owner could have a private cabin with 20 cabins left over. However these cabins are a bit on the small side. Every cabin does have a bath and shower but the size is just too small to be comfortable for most people especially if the owners intend to live onboard full time. On a ship this size I would recommend that there be no more than 60 joint owners so each can have two cabins and will have the option of converting those two cabins into a two room suite. To keep the numbers simple lets say that this ship has 50 buyers who each buy 2% of the ship. Buy in cost per owner would then be $10000. If there were only ten buyers then the acquisition cost per buyer would be $50000. $50000 will not buy much of a house on land but on this ship it would buy 10% of a ship like the Vergina Sky and twelve cabins that could be converted into a fairly large home.
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