Posted February 6th, 2013, 05:25 PM
I just want an answer that stops me feeling that I am being discriminated against.
Basically, we are.
In some cases, as LAFFNVEGAS
says, the difference is not as great as it appears.
In some cases, a cruise that's aimed specifically at the UK market will be cheaper when bought in the UK. I've taken Princess cruises where this has happened, on board their UK-market ships.
And there is justification for a slightly price for the UK market because there is a higher level of consumer protection here which has to be paid for, plus the costs of doing business are different. I think that's fair enough.
However, on many occasions the difference in price is just far too high to be capable of being explained by such factors. When you couple that with some cruise lines' prohibition on you booking in a different market (ie UK residents who are not US citizens not being allowed to book through a US travel agent), there is no other conclusion than that this is straight discrimination. I wouldn't complain if we always had the choice to book through a US agent if we wanted to accept the lower consumer protection etc in exchange for the lower price - some cruise lines will allow this (I thought NCL did, but that may have changed). But when we are prevented from doing so and made to pay the higher price, I will take my business elsewhere.
One of the other forms of discrimination you see is cruises not being made available to the UK market until long after they have gone on sale in the US. There's an entire season of NCL cruises that's like that at the moment. I can see all the details via an online travel agent in the US, but the NCL UK website pretends that these cruises don't exist. Again, this wouldn't matter if you can choose to book through a US agent to get access to these cruises. But the cruise lines that prevent you doing that are discriminating - there is no other way to describe it.