Posted July 20th, 2009, 12:37 PM
Just for yucks I priced out BCCL, CCL (Imagination), NCL (Sky) and RCCL(Majesty) for weekend cruises on 7/31/09 (for a last minute price comparison) and 9/18/09 (for low season.) I used the BCCL website and Travelocity (I excluded travelocity's booking fee) Disclaimers: all prices are per person double including taxes (but no fuel surcharge.) I've listed the categories used on each ship for each date. I felt the coach insides on BCCL really didn't compare to the majors, so I compared the lowest grade insides on the majors to the regular (not coach) insides on BCCL. Same applies to the outsides. For the suites I compared the top of the line suite on BCCL to the minisuites on CCL and RCCL and a standard balcony on NCL (ok, I'm being a little off with NCL, I admit). On the majors not all categories were available on all cruises, I went with the lowest comparable category available in that case. In a few cases outsides were less than the insides on the majors, that's common due to the crazy way they price things. Here's what I got:
Cabin Type/Categories Used/Price Jul 31th/Price Sept 18
Inside Bunk,None Available,N/A,N/A
Inside Bunk ,None Available,N/A,N/A
BCCL is cheaper so if price was your only consideration BCCL comes out ahead, and if you're willing to deal with the standard coach cabins you'll be lower still.
The majors do offer more on their itineraries (CCL leaves in the wee hours from Nassau on Saturday giving you time to enjoy the nightlife, NCL and RCCL go to their private islands instead of the Sunday at sea.) As for the quality of the cruise I'd have to cruise BCCL to compare, but the majors have bigger ships with a variety of features. Also all the majors leave out of Miami if that is a consideration.
Not making any conclusions based on this, just laying it out there!