Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Critic News & Feature Articles
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Cruise Critic News & Feature Articles Up-to-the minute News & Feature Articles from Cruise Critic

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 21st, 2010, 10:00 AM
LauraS's Avatar
LauraS LauraS is offline
Sr. Manager, Community
Cruise Critic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Ewing, NJ
Posts: 13,701
Post Another Line Says No to Discounting -- Are Deals Drying Up?

Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

Another Line Says No to Discounting -- Are Deals Drying Up?

Read the entire news article...
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old July 21st, 2010, 01:35 PM
cjm61's Avatar
cjm61 cjm61 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hudson Valley New York
Posts: 593
Smile It's about time

I think the no discounting policy is long overdue. No more shopping around at hundreds of sites for best pricing. I haven't used a TA in years and actually prefer not to. I've found dealing directly with the cruiseline is easier and faster. It also gives me 24/7 access to my reservation, documents, choices for excursions, etc... Using a TA normally means only being able to conduct business during their hours, when the TA shows up for work, if they're not out to lunch or on another line with a different customer. These are things that don't happen when you deal direct with the Cruise Lines. There is always someone there, day or night, when it's convenient for me. If I don't want to do it by phone, I can simply book it online.
__________________




08/03/2014 Carnival Legend
03/31/2014 Carnival Victory
01/04/2014 Carnival Splendor
10/06/2013 Carnival Breeze
07/04/2013 Carnival Splendor
04/06/2013 Carnival Freedom
01/17/2013 Carnival Miracle
11/02/2012 Brilliance of the Seas
08/26/2012 Freedom of the Seas (Went Emerald)
05/14/2012 Carnival Miracle
02/27/2012 Liberty of the Seas
09/10/2011 Carnival Dream
06/18/2011 Carnival Destiny
02/28/2011 Radiance Of the Seas
11/06/2010 Carnival Dream
8/15/2010 Carnival Sensation (Again)
2/21/2010 Carnival Sensation
12/6/2009 Independence of the Seas (Went Platinum)
5/16/2009 Carnival Miracle
2/07/2009 Carnival Liberty
10/6/2008 Carnival Destiny
3/2/2008 Norwegian Pearl
9/29/2007 Carnival Triumph
7/15/2007 Explorer of the Seas
3/4/2007 Caribbean Princess
8/27/2006 Carnival Valor
5/13/2006 Carnival Triumph (Went Platinum), Platinum has its advantages!
2/13/2006 Enchantment of the Seas
10/2/2005 Carnival Destiny
4/17/2005 Golden Princess
2/19/2005 Carnival Glory
10/29/2004 Fascination
7/22/2004 Carnival Victory
4/3/2004 Carnival Glory
10/11/2003 Explorer of the Seas
4/12/2003 Carnival Triumph
10/3/2002 Carnival Legend
2/10/2002 Carnival Victory
2/18/2001 Fantasy
6/1990 Fantasy
6/1988 Festival
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old July 21st, 2010, 04:56 PM
yahootelemundo yahootelemundo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 516
Default

I have never ued a TA in my life. Its a waste of time looking for prices in different places. Not to mention that you dont even know who you are doing business ober the internet. I dont even like to have a TA from the cruiline either. When I want to make a change or anything , I want to make it righyt away. I had a TA from carnival that getting in touch with him was rally hard. Since that day, I book online , unless its the wow sale to make sure that I get the 100 OBC. I bet sometimes I know more than those TA. this day u only ned google , youtube and cruise critics
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old July 22nd, 2010, 02:22 AM
Chacooe's Avatar
Chacooe Chacooe is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,381
Default

I don't think deals are going away, because I am seeing the cruise lines offering more and more now.
__________________


Proud Member of Whale Tail Club
Unofficial VP of Dolphin Watchers





Sailed
1956 S.S. Bengalen Dutch Freighter, San Francisco to Calcutta
2008 Carnival Pride Mexican Riviera
2009 Carnival Paradise Baja Mexico
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old July 27th, 2010, 11:20 PM
R'man's Avatar
R'man R'man is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nearby Baltimore, MD
Posts: 222
Default Free Market...

The free market in cruises will not end. As it is there is an imbalance that favors the consumer. Once the boat leaves, all empty rooms "spoil" and fail to produce revenue for the cruise line, and for the hired help depending on tips and other gratuities. Toss in such mega-ships as Oasis, Epic, Solstice, Liberty and the others, and there will continue to be good deals up and down the fare list. Supply and demand...free markets...they work to everyone's advantage.
__________________




///////

QE2, Trans-Atlantic, 01/06
Grandeur of the Seas, W. Caribbean, 11/06
Grandeur of the Seas, Caribbean Repo, 11/07
Liberty of the Seas, Eastern Caribbean, 10/08
Liberty of the Seas, Western Caribbean, 11/09
Celebrity Mercury, E. Bound Panama Canal, 10/10
Celebrity Mercury, Eastern Caribbean "Goodbye Mercury,"
01/11
Enchantment of the Seas, Eastern Caribbean, 12/11
Sapphire Princess, "Voyage of the Glaciers" Alaska, 05/12
Navigator of the Seas, Western Caribbean, 01/13
Celebrity Constellation, Eastern Med, 10/13
Celebrity Century, Eastern Caribbean, 02/14
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old July 28th, 2010, 01:37 AM
mgm61's Avatar
mgm61 mgm61 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 625
Default

Whatwe are always looking for deals and I couldn't really get one from carnival. I was one of those who got a great deal from an outside vendor. I called Carnival first and then shopped around. I was quoted $200-250 below their best rate. In these days and times I had to take the deal.
For us cruising isn't cheap although its a good deal because of including food, but if we vacation we can't afford 4 star restaurants 3 meals a day. So we really have to save up to have our good time.
I can't believe that some people have so many cruises booked and lined up. It's expensive.
We don't do credit cards so its a big trip for us.
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old July 28th, 2010, 08:39 AM
PattyG12's Avatar
PattyG12 PattyG12 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 6,512
Default

I think it levels the playing field. We always find our own cruises and sometimes book them ourselves. Then we transfer to our TA. She deals with all the other things (dining times, beds together/apart). Once it's all set, she then either gives us a little OBC or, if we're in a balcony (or higher) she gives us pre-paid gratuities. It's very nice to have someone looking out for us. And any extras don't come out of my bottom line. I can't imagine a reason NOT to use my TA. Everyone keeps talking about having control of their bookings. Once it's set, why do you need to keep worrying about everything? Oh, and we only cruise Royal Caribbean so this "lower price" thing has never been an issue.
__________________




Talk to me: CapsFan2@hotmail.com

Wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been - Jimmy Buffett, My Idol

11/07 Majesty of the Seas, 4/08 Grandeur of the Seas, 1/09 Majesty of the Seas, 9/09 Freedom of the Seas, 11/09 Majesty of the Seas, 4/10 Explorer of the Seas, 10/10 Serenade of the Seas. 11/10 Majesty of the Seas, 2/11 Majesty of the Seas, 11/11 Navigator of the Seas, 3/12 Liberty of the Seas, 11/12 Carnival Pride (never again) , 11/12 Adventure of the Seas (Back to Back), 3/13 Freedom of the Seas, 9/13 Brilliance of the Seas, 12/13 Independence of the Seas, 5/14 Explorer of the Seas
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old July 28th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Ivanova's Avatar
Ivanova Ivanova is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 647
Default

Are deals dead? Not completely. As someone pointed out earlier, when sailings don't sell as well as the cruise line would like, they will lower prices (or at the very least offer senior or resident rates) in order to fill the rooms. And these lower prices will be available through the cruise lines as well as through the travel professionals that sell them.

However, this will reduce the deals that can be "shopped around" but only to a degree. The cruise fare will be the same across the board ... either from the cruise line, or your local travel professional, or from an anonymous online travel agency. The only difference, if any, will be any pre-approved non-cash amenities that agencies can offer (OBC, bottles of wine, etc.). And even that will be limited to no more than 10% of the total cruise fare.

There will always be a segment of travelers (not just cruisers) that will want to "do it yourself" and book direct. Although booking through a travel professional still allows you to access (and book) your own excursions, and to check in online, they still want complete control of their booking. Even when they can get an OBC from a travel professional, they will still prefer booking themselves. That won't change.

There will also be a segment of travelers with no loyalty to a travel professional or even to a cruise line, that will only be interested in getting as much of an OBC (or other offer) possible. They will change cruise lines in a heartbeat, and they will jump from one travel agency to another in a heartbet. That also won't change.

The third segment of travelers are those that recognize the value of having a travel professional in their corner. They book with them, not based on price, but based on service and value. They are not inclined to book direct. And they aren't included to change travel professionals, unless there's an issue with service. And this won't change.

So "deals" are not totally dead, just reigned in a bit maybe. And this will not kill travel agents ... they have more lives than cats (20 years ago it was predicted that airlines cutting commissions would kill them; then it was thought 9/11 would be the end of them).
__________________
Susan
Ships 'N' Trips Travel

Ships sailed: Disney Wonder / Disney Magic / Carnival Elation / RCCL Monarch of the Seas / RCCL Liberty of the Seas / RCCL Radiance of the Seas / RCCL Enchantment of the Seas / RCCL Oasis of the Seas / Celebrity Solstice / Star Princess / Norwegian Sun

Last edited by Ivanova; July 28th, 2010 at 09:35 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old July 28th, 2010, 09:57 AM
maureen716's Avatar
maureen716 maureen716 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 126
Default Booking with TA or cruise line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyG12 View Post
I think it levels the playing field. We always find our own cruises and sometimes book them ourselves. Then we transfer to our TA. She deals with all the other things (dining times, beds together/apart). Once it's all set, she then either gives us a little OBC or, if we're in a balcony (or higher) she gives us pre-paid gratuities. It's very nice to have someone looking out for us. And any extras don't come out of my bottom line. I can't imagine a reason NOT to use my TA. Everyone keeps talking about having control of their bookings. Once it's set, why do you need to keep worrying about everything? Oh, and we only cruise Royal Caribbean so this "lower price" thing has never been an issue.
Being a travel agent myself I have many clients that do just what you do. They like the fact that I am the one watching for special rates and that I take care of them before and after the cruise. It's all about SERVICE now and if you don't care about service then book with the cruise line but they will never even give you a bottle of wine much less a Shipboard credit. I usually offer something to most of my clients. I dont on 3 to 5 day cruises but I do on everything else. My clients can reach me up to 10pm every night and if I am out of my office my calls go to my cell phone.

So you just need to find the right agent. I love that the cruise lines are stopping the rebating now maybe I can make a little more than minium wage!!!
__________________
Maureen
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
ncprinter ncprinter is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 53
Default

I am not a TA but I use one for everything I do with traveling. I know that sometimes I do not get the lowest fare but the advantages are worth it. I have an advocate on my side and she can not only get the answers, she can advise me on what to do. Had a situation once when the group she booked missed the flight home because the ship was delayed over 8 hours. He emailed the night before they were to arrive in port and she had flights booked for all later that night. Most poeple did not get out till the next day. And the part I like best is at least some of the money I spend on a vacation gets to stay in the local economy.
__________________


USS Franklin D Roosevelt, 1973-74
Monarch of the Seas 11/99
Sovereign of the Seas 5/03, 5/05
Norwegian Spirit 5/04
Serenade of the Seas 4/06
Mariner of the Seas 5/07
Explorer of the Seas 9/08
Monarch of the Seas 1/09
Carnival Fasination 12/09
Serenade of the Seas 4/10
Summit 1/11
Allure of the Seas 1/12
Summit 5/12
Carnival Fasination 12/12
Summit 1/14
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:53 AM
hubofhockey's Avatar
hubofhockey hubofhockey is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 7,579
Default

This policy might make more sense for Carnival and other lines who spend so much on marketing and are selling a generic product (Caribbean cruises to the same islands) and less sense for lines like Princess or HAL who have a wide variety of itineraries and higher end European, Asian, and other more exotic itineraries. I still like the $200 gift card I get from my wholesale club TA and the better prices on lines that still let TAs discount.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old July 28th, 2010, 11:01 AM
gene609 gene609 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Default Discounting

As long as this economy is in the doldrums, cruise lines will always offer some form of a discount policy - even if it is with a wink. It's in their best interest to sell a cabin - even for a discount - than to have it empty.
No discounts? Don't take that for an answer.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old July 28th, 2010, 12:33 PM
canpass canpass is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 336
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by maureen716 View Post
Being a travel agent myself I have many clients that do just what you do. They like the fact that I am the one watching for special rates and that I take care of them before and after the cruise. It's all about SERVICE now and if you don't care about service then book with the cruise line but they will never even give you a bottle of wine much less a Shipboard credit. I usually offer something to most of my clients. I dont on 3 to 5 day cruises but I do on everything else. My clients can reach me up to 10pm every night and if I am out of my office my calls go to my cell phone.

So you just need to find the right agent. I love that the cruise lines are stopping the rebating now maybe I can make a little more than minium wage!!!
I have used a travel agent and booked myself direct with the cruise line, both have worked well. I think a good TA is worth their weight in gold for many of the reasons stated above but unfortuneately there are a lot of bad ones out there booking people on cruises that have no idea what they are doing. I am currently working with a cruise consultant at NCL who has been nothing short of spectacular, she is arranging a 35th anniversary celebration for us, upgraded my kids cabin, noticed the cabin I wanted was right accross from an access door and suggested another one, and has always returned my calls within a few minutes. She treats me like I want to be treated and that is that my business is important to her and that I am valued as a customer.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old July 28th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Brian Raine's Avatar
Brian Raine Brian Raine is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Manchester England
Posts: 511
Default Carnivla stops TA discounting

I suppose this only applies to the USa TAs.There has always been an imbalance between the USA market and the UK market with the major cruise lines.When we tell US passengers the prices we pay, allowing for the ancillary costs,port charges etc, they usually are in askance.Even a US TA to whom we spoke on the HAL Eurodam was amazed at the discrepancies between our 2 systems. Now perhaps we in the UK will reap the advantages for a change.
__________________
Pollardsboar
Been to so many places so many more to go to.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old July 28th, 2010, 08:28 PM
mencik mencik is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 179
Default

It will only make a difference if the policies are actually enforced. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have had their policy for a few years, but it has been nothing more than lip service. There are mega agencies that routinely rebate more than the permitted amounts, and even though other agencies file complaints, nothing is done. If Carnival and NCL follow suit, all this press will be over nothing.
__________________

Steve

Carnival Valor 9/13
Carnival Dream 10/12
NCL Pearl 10/11
RCL Oasis of the Seas 10/10
Carnival Legend 08/09, Carnival Splendor 11/09
Crown Princess 10/08
Carnival Celebration 6/07, Cunard QM2 11/07
Carnival Victory 10/06
Carnival Spirit 9/05
Carnival Destiny 9/04
Carnival Triumph 10/03
RCL Monarch of the Seas 9/02
Carnival Paradise 9/01
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old July 29th, 2010, 12:37 AM
jindivik223 jindivik223 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 3
Default Discounting Restrictions by Cruise Lines

As a member of a large group of friends cruising next year I can say that American Cruise Lines have discriminated against Non US clients for years.Hence our decision for our large group is to boycott them until there is a level playing field. I emailed many Lines and discounters and had no satisfactory reply to convince us here in Australia to ever return to Lines that many of us have used for many years.
Sad but true
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old July 29th, 2010, 03:54 AM
Doc-Ian Doc-Ian is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 2
Exclamation is discounting dead?

So the cruise lines are 'prohibiting' discounts. Well guess again - that is illegal! It's called price-fixing, and it amounts to restraint of trade. Someone should challenge this, make sure the government is aware of it. They cannot maintain such policies for long.

Discounting will always exist, there will always be a need to fill empty cabins, and agents will always compete with one another. In the age of the Internet, discounting will increase, not end.

Last edited by Doc-Ian; July 29th, 2010 at 03:55 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old July 29th, 2010, 08:20 PM
mencik mencik is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 179
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-Ian View Post
So the cruise lines are 'prohibiting' discounts. Well guess again - that is illegal! It's called price-fixing, and it amounts to restraint of trade. Someone should challenge this, make sure the government is aware of it. They cannot maintain such policies for long.

Discounting will always exist, there will always be a need to fill empty cabins, and agents will always compete with one another. In the age of the Internet, discounting will increase, not end.
Actually, you are wrong there. They are simply requiring that their agents submit full gross funds for any booking. There is no law prohibiting that. If you don't like that, you don't have to be an agent for them. Unlike, say Home Depot and selling hammers, we don't buy cabins from the cruise lines and resell them. We act only as independent sales agents. We do not maintain an inventory of product. That's the difference that keeps it from being restraint of trade.

Having said that, I'm sure that those agents that want to provide discounts will do so in ways that are "off the books". They will give money back in the form of pre-paid cards, or even just send you a check after the fact. But, if the cruise lines actually enforce their policies, you will have to pay the full gross, and the amount of gift the agents can give "on the books" will be strictly limited.
__________________

Steve

Carnival Valor 9/13
Carnival Dream 10/12
NCL Pearl 10/11
RCL Oasis of the Seas 10/10
Carnival Legend 08/09, Carnival Splendor 11/09
Crown Princess 10/08
Carnival Celebration 6/07, Cunard QM2 11/07
Carnival Victory 10/06
Carnival Spirit 9/05
Carnival Destiny 9/04
Carnival Triumph 10/03
RCL Monarch of the Seas 9/02
Carnival Paradise 9/01
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:56 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.