This tip will save you thousands of dollars

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Saving Money on Your Cruise - Tips & Advice
Offer up your advice for saving money on cruises...from booking tips to info on shore excursions.
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
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 04:46 AM.
#1
San Francisco Bay Area
1 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hello friends,
I am writing to you today to inform you of what I think are fraudulent business practices being perpetrated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and many others as well. Some months ago, my friends and I selected, and paid for a cruise. We were told by Royal Caribbean Cruise officials over the phone that purchasing the cruise early was the "wise choice" because we would lock our price in and avoid any potential increases as the cruise sail-date nears and the cruise becomes sold-out. This sounded good, but it never happened. What happened is that the cruise line dropped their prices by more than 35% from the prices we paid. Why didn't the nice Royal Caribbean Cruise specialist mention that this could happen and that we would be suckers that got hammered for higher prices. Our travel agent could do nothing for us. They were victims just like us. Royal Caribbean and her sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruise Lines have one of the most restrictive refund policies in the cruise industry. Read that as: "Haha, we don't do that!" Not only would they not refund us any of the excessive overcharge, they wouldn't even consider an upgrade to another cabin category as partial mitigation of our losses. They claimed they would have to do that for everyone who was overcharged. Wow, that sounds fair to me. Meanwhile, we were sinking without a life boat to be had or a life preserver from Royal Caribbean.

So, my suggestion, and HOT TIP for anyone wanting to book a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruise in the next three years (while the recession is in full bloom) is to not book the cruise until after their cancellation period has expired, usually 75 days before the sail date. This way, you will almost guarantee yourself of saving at least $1000 or more off the cruise costs before their cancellation period expires. And, you will still have plenty of time to book flights, hotels, and any other travel need you may have at great savings as well.
#2
Michigan
7,870 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I never book way in advance. Mostly because I never know my schedule that far in advance, but also because the best deals seem to be 4 months out.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


#3
Cincinnati, OH
8,458 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I have alway received money back or an upgrade when they have lowered the price and one time it was about two weeks before the cruise. I like to book eary because I like a certain room.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#4
Illinois
1,524 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I have never seen our cabin category drop in price. In fact, the price seems to steadily increase. We usually book a year in advance, and am always looking for a price drop but none so far. I know I read of people getting the decreased price but then some of the deals are for new bookings only. I wonder if sometimes the problem isn't with the TA. I know I always asked ours if we could get a refund if the price dropped, and she would always say "If they let me", well I know she never watched for any price drops, and wouldn't have refunded me if she did as her commission would have decreased. One reason I'm not using a TA this time.
I kind of think of this problem as similar to seeing something at the mall go on sale after I bought it. I just try not to fret about it. Maybe I'll get a great deal next time.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Allure of the Seas 2/25/2018 Western Caribbean
Harmony of the Seas 2/4/2017 Eastern Caribbean
Anthem 9/2016 Canada/New England (35 yr)
Equinox 2/2016 Ultimate Carribean
Independence of the Seas 2/28/2015
Rhapsody of the Seas 8/22/2014 Alaska
Navigator of the Seas 2/23/2014 Western Carribean
Oasis of the Seas 8/31/13 Western Carribean
Oasis of the Seas 2/23/13 Eastern Carribean
Jewel of the Seas 10/21/12 New England/Canada
Allure of the Seas 2/26/2012 Western Carribean
Explorer of the Seas 9/10/2011 Bermuda (30 yr)
Freedom of the Seas 2/27/2011 Eastern Carribean
Majesty of the Seas 10/2010 Bahamas
Adventure of the Seas 2/2010 Southern Carribean
Liberty of the Seas 1/3/09 Eastern Carribean
Voyager of the Seas 2/24/08 Western Carribean
Freedom of the Seas 3/07 Western Carribean
Vision of the Seas 3/05 Mexican Riviera
Adventure of the Seas 8/04 Southern Carribean
Imagination 8/01 Western Carribean
Sovereign of the Seas 8/1994 Eastern Carribean
Fantasy 9/1991 Bahamas (10 yr)
#5
Michigan
1,938 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Although I hate when I see the price drop, it happens with everything; airfare, hotels, even sales at stores. They don't give you your money back because you paid more. You agreed to the price that you bought it for. It sucks, so I just don't even look anymore to check the prices once I have booked.
#6
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,920 Posts
Joined May 2001
We've never had a cruise fall in price either....I mean, when we book, we do it because we feel the price we agreed to pay was fair. I wouldn't have booked it if I felt the price was too high!
It's similar to a cell-phone plan...you sign a contract for a set price----if you didn't like the price, you wouldn't sign the contract!
#7
10,074 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by grumpaman
Hello friends,
I am writing to you today to inform you of what I think are fraudulent business practices being perpetrated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and many others as well. Some months ago, my friends and I selected, and paid for a cruise. We were told by Royal Caribbean Cruise officials over the phone that purchasing the cruise early was the "wise choice" because we would lock our price in and avoid any potential increases as the cruise sail-date nears and the cruise becomes sold-out. This sounded good, but it never happened. What happened is that the cruise line dropped their prices by more than 35% from the prices we paid. Why didn't the nice Royal Caribbean Cruise specialist mention that this could happen and that we would be suckers that got hammered for higher prices. Our travel agent could do nothing for us. They were victims just like us. Royal Caribbean and her sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruise Lines have one of the most restrictive refund policies in the cruise industry. Read that as: "Haha, we don't do that!" Not only would they not refund us any of the excessive overcharge, they wouldn't even consider an upgrade to another cabin category as partial mitigation of our losses. They claimed they would have to do that for everyone who was overcharged. Wow, that sounds fair to me. Meanwhile, we were sinking without a life boat to be had or a life preserver from Royal Caribbean.

So, my suggestion, and HOT TIP for anyone wanting to book a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruise in the next three years (while the recession is in full bloom) is to not book the cruise until after their cancellation period has expired, usually 75 days before the sail date. This way, you will almost guarantee yourself of saving at least $1000 or more off the cruise costs before their cancellation period expires. And, you will still have plenty of time to book flights, hotels, and any other travel need you may have at great savings as well.
Welcome to Cruise Critic.

Seasoned travelers know two things for sure:

1. If you book early, you will probably get the exact cabin you want. You can avoid any price increases that may come along as the ship starts to fill up.

2. If you wait and book closer to the cruise date, you will probably save money but will probably not get exactly what you want.

This isn't some conspiracy perpetrated by the cruise lines. It simply IS.

Personally, I don't even start looking until about 6 months prior to my desired date and rarely book more than 4 months prior. From years of cruise experience, I know that the price will more than likely go down as the sailing gets closer....EXCEPT during those peak travel times like major holidays and summer time and when school is out.

There are no hard and fast rules about prices. It's all supply and demand. If the ship fills up, there won't be any discounting...and will probably be increases as there are fewer and fewer cabins available.

It's a crap shoot.
#8
1,456 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Well, I have a group of 20 of us sailing in 17 days for my wedding cruise. Not even a month ago I called RCCL and managed to get $200 refund for my future in laws, my mother and a friend of ours, then $400 refund for my godfather and aunt's room. All where due to the fact they offered a residency and senior discount.

I've never had a problem with Royal honoring price drops after I've booked. So this isn't completely true. We also booked our rooms well before final payment was due.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
~Kathy~

#9
NW Pennsylvania
1,165 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
If you scan the MANY other posts, especially on the Royal Caribbean threads, you will see that people do receive refunds every day.

I have received a refund when the price drops on every single cruise I've taken, often several hundred dollars.

There is even a program called Cruise Shark that will scan the pricing several times a day so that people can find the price drops and call to get the reduction.

I'm curious if you all spoke directly with RC and what the reason for the price drop was - possibly resident discount, etc. that you may not have qualified for?
It's not fair to say that RC overcharges people, when that's not the facts.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"LookingForward2" aka Laura



Disney Wonder 2000
Disney Wonder 2001
RC ADVENTURE July 2006
RC MAJESTY October 2006
RC MAJESTY June 2007
Celebrity CENTURY Feb 2008
RC GRANDEUR June 2008
RC MAJESTY October 2008
RC ADVENTURE July 2009
RC MAJESTY September 2010
RC ENCHANTMENT - October 2010
RC MAJESTY - Feb 2011
RC NAVIGATOR - Feb 2011
RC SERENADE - October 2011
RC MONARCH - March 2012
RC FREEDOM - September 2012
RC GRANDEUR (9 night repo) - April 2013
RC MAJESTY - August 2013
RC OASIS - May 2014
RC EXPLORER (repo) Nov 2014
RC MAJESTY (one last time...) April 2015

RC VISION (Med) Sep 2015
NEXT: RC OASIS February 2017
#10
Tacoma, WA. USA
466 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Book your cruise up to a year ahead, some you can book 2 years ahead if you want, but never, never, pay for the whole cruise until payment is due. That way if the price has dropped, re-book at the lower price. That has happened to me. If I have stayed with the original price I booked, I would usually get a nice upgrade. I think that your TA doesn't want to loose the commission. A TA is nice, and they offer incentives to book with them, but I go directly through the cruise line. I realized that I knew more than my TA, and she even quit sending the complimentary bottle of wine!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruising since 1997...

Princess,
Alaska 1X, Panama Canal 2X, Canada/New England 1X, Hawaii 2X, Caribbean 5X, Mexico 4X, Pacific NW 2X, and Tahiti 3X.

Holland America,
Mexico 2X and Caribbean 2X

Carnival
Mexico 1X

MSC Cruise
Caribbean 1X

Connie
#11
16,535 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Whether a cruise price drops is dependent on the cruise itself. If it's a popular one, obviously they don't need to reduce the rates to fill the ship. So some cruisers won't see a discount for their particular ship.

We have received credits for the last 3 cruises we've booked further out. The OP was mislead by the TA if told they cannot help him out. Unless ....his particular category wasn't included in the reduced price or as someone else said a State or age discount appeared that he didn't match. If the agent books enough cruises and has a relationship with the line, it's amazing what they can do to help.

Personally we like to choose the room we want and find that we get the lowest air by not waiting till the last minute. If we were happy enough with the price to book it, getting any additional discounts isn't always in our minds.

I'd advise the OP to think of happy things and enjoy the cruise. Cancel it if this issue will taint the whole experience for you.
#12
Winston-Salem, NC
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I've seen this same complaint on CC many times and I simply don't understand it.

Many, many months ago we booked a Sky Suite with Celebrity for a Baltics cruise this May. Like previous posters, I like to get the exact cabin I want and wouldn't book it if I didn't believe the price was reasonable.

Twice now, once prior to the cancellation date and once after, I have received a refund simply by calling Celebrity and requesting it after I've noticed the price drop. The total refund now stands at $1960.

This is another reason I like to manage my own reservations as TA's don't watch nearly as closely for price drops and do seem to want to protect their commission (can't blame 'em).

But the refund I've received to date is much more valuable than any OBC or pre-paid grats a TA would offer anyway.

Call the cruise line and don't stop until you get the answer you want.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#13
Illinois
1,524 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by Bill and Connie
Book your cruise up to a year ahead, some you can book 2 years ahead if you want, but never, never, pay for the whole cruise until payment is due. That way if the price has dropped, re-book at the lower price. That has happened to me. If I have stayed with the original price I booked, I would usually get a nice upgrade. I think that your TA doesn't want to loose the commission. A TA is nice, and they offer incentives to book with them, but I go directly through the cruise line. I realized that I knew more than my TA, and she even quit sending the complimentary bottle of wine!
Yes, I agree, a good TA is valuable if they work for you. My TA worked with a large company that is known for being rather difficult in regard to customer service. I was never given any incentive to book, and only got a small OBC and a photoalbum because I kind of whined about the incentives other TA's give. I would use a TA if I were booking a more complicated trip or one that I didn't feel comfortable handling, but we have cruised enough now that I am ok with handling the details for a Carribean cruise, and definitely wouldn't have them book airfare for me. I think reading posts on CC is sometimes the best way to make good choices for your cruise!
I will still watch out for price drops, but if I never get one, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. How does *********** work by the way?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Allure of the Seas 2/25/2018 Western Caribbean
Harmony of the Seas 2/4/2017 Eastern Caribbean
Anthem 9/2016 Canada/New England (35 yr)
Equinox 2/2016 Ultimate Carribean
Independence of the Seas 2/28/2015
Rhapsody of the Seas 8/22/2014 Alaska
Navigator of the Seas 2/23/2014 Western Carribean
Oasis of the Seas 8/31/13 Western Carribean
Oasis of the Seas 2/23/13 Eastern Carribean
Jewel of the Seas 10/21/12 New England/Canada
Allure of the Seas 2/26/2012 Western Carribean
Explorer of the Seas 9/10/2011 Bermuda (30 yr)
Freedom of the Seas 2/27/2011 Eastern Carribean
Majesty of the Seas 10/2010 Bahamas
Adventure of the Seas 2/2010 Southern Carribean
Liberty of the Seas 1/3/09 Eastern Carribean
Voyager of the Seas 2/24/08 Western Carribean
Freedom of the Seas 3/07 Western Carribean
Vision of the Seas 3/05 Mexican Riviera
Adventure of the Seas 8/04 Southern Carribean
Imagination 8/01 Western Carribean
Sovereign of the Seas 8/1994 Eastern Carribean
Fantasy 9/1991 Bahamas (10 yr)
#14
Hubbard, OH USA
6,273 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
To the OP, the price reduction may have been a "one day only" special pricing for new bookings only. I have gotten price reductions after final payment on some of our cruises W/RC in the past. If you want a specific cabin, you should book early, and keep your eyes on the cruise. Then, if there is a discount, you can get the credit.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Debbie -- 386 nights of sailing!
Spending my kids inheritance 1 cruise at a time
Working on my "bucket list" 1 port at a time!

UPCOMING CRUISES:

Royal Caribbean Mariner (4 nights 11-6-17 Asia)
Celebrity Millennium (14 nights 11-12-17 Asia)
Celebrity Sillhouette (9 nights 1-26-18)
Celebrity Eclipse (14 nights 2-4-18)
Celebrity Solstice (12 nights 1-31-19 OZ to NZ)



PAST CRUISE HISTORY: (45 cruises completed!)
Celebrity-Infinity (Carnaval in Rio! 1-31-16), Solstice (OZ & NZ 1-27-15), Millennium (Western) 2-6-12, Eclipse 1-26-13 (Southern 14 nites), Equinox (Mardi Gras 2-20-17) (56 nights sailed)
HAL Ryndam (Hawaii & Tahiti 30 day) 1-4-09, Westerdam (Eastern) 10-29-06 (37 nights sailed)
RCCL - Serenade (Southern 2-3-17), Oasis (Western 9-10-16) Serenade (Southern 2-15-16), Rhapsody (Queensland 2-17-15), Legend (Southern 2-3-14) Legend (Eastern 1-24-14), Independence (Western 2-10-13), Explorer (Bermuda 10-28-12) Serenade (Southern) 1-28-12 Allure (Western) 10-9-11, Oasis (Western) 10-1-11, Liberty (Western) 2-5-,11, Liberty (Western) 2-7-10, Navigator (Western) 1-30-10,Navigator (Western) 1-25-10, Jewel (Panama) 11-7-08, Enchantment (Western) 9-1-08, Radiance (Hawaii) 5-3-08, Enchantment (Western) 1-26-08 B2B, Enchantment (Western) 1-21-08 B2B, Mariner (Eastern) 9-2-07, Freedom (Western) 9-10-06, Empress (Western) 9-3-05, Navigator (Western) 5-14-05, Jewel (Eastern) 1-29-05, Majesty (Bahamas) 3-1-04, Explorer (Western) 5-10-03, (198 nights sailed)
Norwegian - Pearl (Southern) 3-2-07 Dawn (Repo) 11-1-09 NCL Pearl (Western) 10-10-10, Jewel (Western) 10-13-13 Dawn (Repo) 11-7-14, Dawn (repo) 10-30-15 (65 nights sailed)
Princess - Grand Princess (Southern) 2-11-12 Caribbean Princess (Eastern) 4-29-06 (14 nights sailed)
Carnival - Sensation (Western) 5-10-04, Holiday (Western) 4-19-04, Destiny (Southern) 4-6-03 (17 nights sailed)
#15
Littleton, Co
112 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I am sailing on RCCL in a month, and booked a year in advance. I have called at least 5 times now and received price drops every time, and upgraded my cabin twice. We have saved a total of $2000.......so yes, RCCL does honor price drops.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#16
566 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We always book way in advance and always get price drops. You have to watch the price and call or email them and have them apply the price drop. They even do it if you've already paid in full.
#17
Central Florida
90 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I booked my RCCL June cruise in December directly through them on the phone. I then read this thread and out of curiosity, I called them and inquired about a price drop. Sure enough, it had gone down from when I booked. In a matter of 5 minutes, she credited me the $320 difference. Simple and quick.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
------------------------------------------------
Past Cruises:
Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean) - 6/27/09
Sovereign of the Seas (Bahamas) - 12/31/07
#18
Lisbon
299 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
We just had a price drop on the cruise we booked (with NCL). Unfortunetly, it says "for new bookings only"... I wouldn't mind to be upgraded... what do you think I should do? It's allways irritating.
#19
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
OP I find your post odd too, as RCL has always given me the price drops. Anyone know if they changed their policy, or this was one of the last minute tuesday new bookings only sale.

Iv gotten multiple rate reductions from RCL as have others on my cruises. Iv been on RCL as recently as a week ago last sunday.

Something we dont know in your facts that might explain why you couldnt get the rate reduction.