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  #1  
Old January 31st, 2012, 10:10 PM
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Exclamation Princess Cruises ripping off Australians

I'm incensed at the pricing policy of Princess Cruises and how they discriminate unfairly to their customers who are non North American residents.

As many of you would already know, if you look at any of the big discounted cruise websites based in the USA and compare the prices they are charging for exactly the same cruises out of Australia, in particular, you will quickly see that unless you are from the USA you being ripped off, in many cases by several thousands of dollars per person, per cruise.

If you approach these overseas websites they claim they can no longer sell these heavily discounted cruises to anyone who doesn't live in North America.

I have spoken to ACC and they have said there is nothing legally they can do to stop this practice of pricing based on where you live.

Regardless I think it is unethical and smacks of discrimination.

The only way to change it is for us to collectivily lobby the cruise companies directly and tell them how pissed off we are. We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more.

But I need your help, to track down and document cases where cruise companies like Princess are ripping people off who don't live in the USA.

For example two night sample cruises offered in Australia start at $900 yet overseas these can be obtained at the same time, on the same cruise for $199.00.

How can they justify such discrepancies especially when the Australian Dollar is so much higher than the USD. If anything cruises paid for in Australia in AUD should be cheaper NOT more expensive.

Additionally the cost per night of cruising in Australia is again routinely $150+ per night per person. Yet if you look at cruising markets all over the world $50 per night is more the norm.

Sunlight is often the best medicine and that's what I intend to do, shine light on how us Aussies are being royally ripped off.

But I need your help to document it. Once we have a large body of evidence we might even approach the tabloid TV shows that would love to run with a headline "Aussies being RIPPED OFF".

The more we talk about it, the more pressure that will be applied to the cruise companies to change their discriminatory policies.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 10:18 PM
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I feel sorry for you but there is not much can be done. Tips are include in yours. I have not seen to many cabins at $50 a night so it isnt teh norm
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  #3  
Old January 31st, 2012, 10:28 PM
jagoffee jagoffee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingoboy View Post
I'm incensed at the pricing policy of Princess Cruises and how they discriminate unfairly to their customers who are non North American residents.

As many of you would already know, if you look at any of the big discounted cruise websites based in the USA and compare the prices they are charging for exactly the same cruises out of Australia, in particular, you will quickly see that unless you are from the USA you being ripped off, in many cases by several thousands of dollars per person, per cruise.

If you approach these overseas websites they claim they can no longer sell these heavily discounted cruises to anyone who doesn't live in North America.

I have spoken to ACC and they have said there is nothing legally they can do to stop this practice of pricing based on where you live.

Regardless I think it is unethical and smacks of discrimination.

The only way to change it is for us to collectivily lobby the cruise companies directly and tell them how pissed off we are. We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more.

But I need your help, to track down and document cases where cruise companies like Princess are ripping people off who don't live in the USA.

For example two night sample cruises offered in Australia start at $900 yet overseas these can be obtained at the same time, on the same cruise for $199.00.

How can they justify such discrepancies especially when the Australian Dollar is so much higher than the USD. If anything cruises paid for in Australia in AUD should be cheaper NOT more expensive.

Additionally the cost per night of cruising in Australia is again routinely $150+ per night per person. Yet if you look at cruising markets all over the world $50 per night is more the norm.

Sunlight is often the best medicine and that's what I intend to do, shine light on how us Aussies are being royally ripped off.

But I need your help to document it. Once we have a large body of evidence we might even approach the tabloid TV shows that would love to run with a headline "Aussies being RIPPED OFF".

The more we talk about it, the more pressure that will be applied to the cruise companies to change their discriminatory policies.
Since I do not live in Australia this does not really impact me, but I can tell you that I do not believe that $50 day PP for a cruise purchased in the US is not the norm unless I am also getting ripped off.

What is the exact cruise and category of cabin that you are using to make the comparison? What is the Australia based priced and the US based price?
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  #4  
Old January 31st, 2012, 10:51 PM
rdsqrl rdsqrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingoboy View Post
. . .
Additionally the cost per night of cruising in Australia is again routinely $150+ per night per person. Yet if you look at cruising markets all over the world $50 per night is more the norm.
I don't think any North American on this board is going to dispute your basic premise, that Princess can and does routinely charge non-North Americans more for their cruises. However, you do your cause a disservice when you post wildly exaggerated numbers like the above. I would give my eyeteeth for a $50 per night cruise. $150 per person per night is what I would consider downright cheap and that's at the single supplement rate.
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  #5  
Old January 31st, 2012, 10:52 PM
compozer compozer is offline
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I've read other places here about your prices being higher but I thought that was because of the tip included in the price. I have never seen a cabin for $50 a night - not even any for $100.
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  #6  
Old January 31st, 2012, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compozer View Post
I've read other places here about your prices being higher but I thought that was because of the tip included in the price. I have never seen a cabin for $50 a night - not even any for $100.
I agree. It's not easy to find a cruise on Princess for less than $100/night.

What the OP hasn't mentioned is Australian laws and regulations as well as agreements between Princess Australia and Princess USA. It's not as simple as the OP is making it out to be.
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  #7  
Old January 31st, 2012, 11:31 PM
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How much are comparable P&O Australia cruises? Or RCI cruises?
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  #8  
Old February 1st, 2012, 12:52 AM
calilregit calilregit is offline
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Default service comes at a cost

Do you really think you should be able to get a cruise for $50-$100 per night? If you do the cruise line is subsidizing you and that means other passengers are subsidizing you. Cruising is one of the most affordable vacation options but service comes at a cost. Princess offers an egalitarian atmosphere while also providing an opportunity for passengers to choose for themselves lower cost or more ammenities. There are plenty of ways to save money on a cruise if that is your priority.

One of my favorite cruises was on Princess out of Sydney, through Bali, Tawain, Hong Kong, Japan and China. I flew from Boston to LA, from LA to Sydney, stayed for three days, cruised, and then flew home from Bejing. None of it was cheap but I found it all to be great value. I loved Sydney. The Aussies were great! Everyone of them I met seemed to love the cruise as much as I did. When they found out how expensive healthcare and college educations are for American parents they were
sympathizing with me.
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  #9  
Old February 1st, 2012, 01:24 AM
smslms smslms is offline
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Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking Aussies, but this is a very familiar refrain. All I know is that there are an awful lot of Aussies cruising, so if it is such a rip off you must have a lot more disposable income than those of us in North America.
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  #10  
Old February 1st, 2012, 02:13 AM
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I don't think it is so simple. To compare prices you have to compare 'apples with apples' and .... In some cases, I know people have compared the full brochure price that we are offered in Australia, with discounted special prices or flash sales in the USA. I believe that cruises on Princess Aust are probably cheaper for Aussies than they are for Americans.

Prices quoted on American sites or for American cruises do not usually include port taxes.

An example - We booked a 49 night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, and as a comparison I will quote interior prices. We were quoted $4810 AUD whereas the US price was $4,385. We booked this while we were on the Sun Princess and the Aussies were up in arms that we were quoted a price higher than the US price in the brochure, but they failed to read the fine print that said that $615 extra in taxes was added to the US price, making it slightly more expensive. I am not implying that this happens on all cruises, but it is something to look out for.

Tipping has been removed from the Aust-based ships, but I think the OP was referring to cruises in other parts of the world.
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  #11  
Old February 1st, 2012, 03:05 AM
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I too dispute the concept that non-US cruisers are being 'ripped off'

#1 - Some the discounts you may see are based on Travel Agents rebating their commissions, not Princess pricing. In that case, its the TA who decides who is eligibel

#2 - As noted, the laws and rules are different. For example in the UK you have ABTA(?) which helps in the event of agency failure. The US doesn't have that and that is priced into the ticket.

#3 - Geographic pricing is not uncommon in travel. Even WITHIN the US prices can vary for certain states as Princess tries to build business from underrepresented areas.

#4 - You also have to consider exchange rates, changes in marketing an operating costs, etc.

Where AUS/UK etc loses out is the inability to get price modifications, but that's not so much a Princess issue as a rules and regs one.

There's not some grand scheme to 'rip off' Princess cruisers outside of the US.
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  #12  
Old February 1st, 2012, 03:05 AM
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Dingoboy you are so right and there is just so much discrimination. I am an Australian who has been cruising for years but I have an american address which I use when booking my cruises, a friend's address, who allows me to use her address and who I go and visit at least once every year or we cruise together. I told her our predictament years ago when we first met when we were chatting across the table at dinner. I use the same online TA each time. I check the prices and do the comparison. I just did an Australia cruise on Princess which I booked through usa and it was much cheaper than I could get from local TA. So you go figure?
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  #13  
Old February 1st, 2012, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonbeam View Post
I too dispute the concept that non-US cruisers are being 'ripped off'

#1 - Some the discounts you may see are based on Travel Agents rebating their commissions, not Princess pricing. In that case, its the TA who decides who is eligibel

#2 - As noted, the laws and rules are different. For example in the UK you have ABTA(?) which helps in the event of agency failure. The US doesn't have that and that is priced into the ticket.

#3 - Geographic pricing is not uncommon in travel. Even WITHIN the US prices can vary for certain states as Princess tries to build business from underrepresented areas.

#4 - You also have to consider exchange rates, changes in marketing an operating costs, etc.

Where AUS/UK etc loses out is the inability to get price modifications, but that's not so much a Princess issue as a rules and regs one.

There's not some grand scheme to 'rip off' Princess cruisers outside of the US.
The inability to get price modifications has to be a Princess issue, not an Australian government ruling.

exchange rate - currently the Aussie dollar is higher than the US dollar. Aussies would be happy to be able to book cruises with prices quoted in US dollars and we pay whatever it costs us.

Australians are covered is they book with an Aust TA who is part of the Travel Insurance Compensation Scheme (sorry if I don't have the exact name). This covers us if we book with a TA and they don't pass the money on to the principal company. That is the extent of the coverage.
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  #14  
Old February 1st, 2012, 03:36 AM
kuldalai kuldalai is offline
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Default Why NOT Try This Approach .

Dingo Boy you would probably do better taking the issue up with the Australian Government Minister for Trade, rather than the ACCC.

The ACCC is a Body to ensure that there is fare competition within Australia, no retail price dictated by suppliers to sellers . Monopoly suppliers reducing competition etc .

It is more a TRADE issue . There is a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the USA, so one would think that charging Australians higher fares for a product that can be bought in the USA for a lower fare would be the equivalent of applying a tarriff against Australian purchasers. Under a Free Trade Agreement there shoudl be no tarriffs.

Incidentally Star Cruises also practices this different pricing for different nationalities, in that Malaysians and Singaporeans can get cruises at token fares just to get them on board to gamble in the casinos . However an Australian in Singapore with S $ cannot purchase these fares .

The other hope is more competition in Aus waters . Up till now Carnival has been the main gorilla and charged Aussies higher fares to travel in their hand me down ships cascaded from North America. With other players now planning to be here permanently that should end Carnivals cosy monopoly .
If the other players can be proven through communication with Carnival Australia to have a gentlemans agreement to charge higher than US fares, then that would be an issue that the Australian ACCC could get involved with .
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  #15  
Old February 1st, 2012, 03:56 AM
GOTTODOIT GOTTODOIT is offline
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Well said Kuldalai
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  #16  
Old February 1st, 2012, 04:48 AM
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It's definitely a legislative issue. Now, could it be that US law means they HAVE to allow price drops and others don't? Yes. I never could quite find out which rule applies (I think it has something to do with cancellation rules on contracts). I'm pretty sure Princess would be very happy if they didn't have to allow it without a full rebook, I doubt they do it by choice.

My point however was not that those specific items were the reason for differences, just that there are any number of reasons why countries are handled differently, and it's not necessarily a grand rip-off scheme against a set of people, it's just international business. Sometimes we forget the goal of a corporation is to make as much money as possible by legal means.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus Traveller View Post
The inability to get price modifications has to be a Princess issue, not an Australian government ruling.

exchange rate - currently the Aussie dollar is higher than the US dollar. Aussies would be happy to be able to book cruises with prices quoted in US dollars and we pay whatever it costs us.

Australians are covered is they book with an Aust TA who is part of the Travel Insurance Compensation Scheme (sorry if I don't have the exact name). This covers us if we book with a TA and they don't pass the money on to the principal company. That is the extent of the coverage.
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  #17  
Old February 1st, 2012, 05:50 AM
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It is not just Princess, other lines do the same thing. I don't condone or understand why it is done.
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  #18  
Old February 1st, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonbeam View Post
I too dispute the concept that non-US cruisers are being 'ripped off'

#1 - Some the discounts you may see are based on Travel Agents rebating their commissions, not Princess pricing. In that case, its the TA who decides who is eligibel

#2 - As noted, the laws and rules are different. For example in the UK you have ABTA(?) which helps in the event of agency failure. The US doesn't have that and that is priced into the ticket.

#3 - Geographic pricing is not uncommon in travel. Even WITHIN the US prices can vary for certain states as Princess tries to build business from underrepresented areas.

#4 - You also have to consider exchange rates, changes in marketing an operating costs, etc.

Where AUS/UK etc loses out is the inability to get price modifications, but that's not so much a Princess issue as a rules and regs one.

There's not some grand scheme to 'rip off' Princess cruisers outside of the US.
Only approx £4 of your holiday price actually goes towards funding ABTA, Atol etc. so that reason for UK prices being higher is a non-starter. The reason our prices are more expensive, is because they know we'll pay it. If everyone in the UK stopped going on holiday, the prices would soon come down.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newport dave View Post
.... The reason our prices are more expensive, is because they know we'll pay it. If everyone in the UK stopped going on holiday, the prices would soon come down.
...and there you have it. Business school 101. "Law of Supply and Demand". It's not discrimination, it's business.
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  #20  
Old February 1st, 2012, 09:33 AM
Carnivaluver Carnivaluver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingoboy View Post
I'm incensed at the pricing policy of Princess Cruises and how they discriminate unfairly to their customers who are non North American residents.

As many of you would already know, if you look at any of the big discounted cruise websites based in the USA and compare the prices they are charging for exactly the same cruises out of Australia, in particular, you will quickly see that unless you are from the USA you being ripped off, in many cases by several thousands of dollars per person, per cruise.

If you approach these overseas websites they claim they can no longer sell these heavily discounted cruises to anyone who doesn't live in North America.

I have spoken to ACC and they have said there is nothing legally they can do to stop this practice of pricing based on where you live.

Regardless I think it is unethical and smacks of discrimination.

The only way to change it is for us to collectivily lobby the cruise companies directly and tell them how pissed off we are. We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more.

But I need your help, to track down and document cases where cruise companies like Princess are ripping people off who don't live in the USA.

For example two night sample cruises offered in Australia start at $900 yet overseas these can be obtained at the same time, on the same cruise for $199.00.

How can they justify such discrepancies especially when the Australian Dollar is so much higher than the USD. If anything cruises paid for in Australia in AUD should be cheaper NOT more expensive.

Additionally the cost per night of cruising in Australia is again routinely $150+ per night per person. Yet if you look at cruising markets all over the world $50 per night is more the norm.

Sunlight is often the best medicine and that's what I intend to do, shine light on how us Aussies are being royally ripped off.

But I need your help to document it. Once we have a large body of evidence we might even approach the tabloid TV shows that would love to run with a headline "Aussies being RIPPED OFF".

The more we talk about it, the more pressure that will be applied to the cruise companies to change their discriminatory policies.
I always feel discriminated when I go to Australia too. Talk about a rip-off. I am charged over 1.5% interest of purchase price just for using my credit card at hotels. I guess that is the law there but we are not charged that in the US. I guess it works both ways.
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