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ak1004

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Everything posted by ak1004

  1. Keith, The $801 is in CAD, so it's around $640 USD plus taxes. Same date (Nov.30) on the hotel website is actually even more expensive. That said, I just got a confirmation from the hotel: My card was charged at $212 CAD (around $170 USD). I really have no explanation for this crazy rate, but the fact remains.
  2. I hear what you are saying. And yes, I'm skeptical too. But people book through sites like Expedia, booking.com, hotels.com etc. all the time. So it basically comes to the credibility of this specific site - trip.com. And I just checked on trivago.com, the price is similar to trip.com. So maybe it is real after all. I emailed the hotel to confirm.
  3. So basically the potential issue might be getting a refund in case I cancel, correct? But I just come to the hotel with the reservation, they must honor it, don't they?
  4. Yes, I prefer to book direct as well, but in this case the difference was huge, just couldn't resist. And yes, trip.com indicated that it's fully refundable.
  5. I thought I'd share my experience and ask for some feedback. We asked our TA for a list of hotels in Miami for a one night stay. One of the hotels was Shelborne South Beach. When looking for pricing in Google, this is what you see (all prices are in CAD): I have never seen such huge discrepancy in prices. Since all sites offer free cancellation, I jumped on it and booked through trip.com. Is there any catch here? I made sure it's the same hotel, same address etc.
  6. For our upcoming O cruise in December, O quote me over $6,000 CAD for business class flights. I booked the flights myself for less than $2,000. Yes, it feels like they quote those crazy prices on purpose so people won't book air through them. Compare this to our upcoming cruise on Celebrity in May. Their online booking system quoted $3,300 CAD. The lowest price I was able to find independently was $3,700 CAD. Not only Celebrity price is cheaper, it's fully refundable if you cancel before the final payment, the fine is only $270 if you cancel after the final payment, and of course you are protected in case of flight delays since you booked through them. Am I able to DIY? Yes, but Celebrity option is cheaper, more convenient and gives a better protection. Oceania as a cruise line is in a different league than Celebrity, but their air program is undefendable. If Celebrity can do it, I don't see why Oceania can't. I assume Celebrity doesn't lose money on this program either..
  7. Those is the answers I got from Oceania when asked why I don't see the credit: This benefit was added to the booking as a gift and that is the reason it is not reflected in the amenities- gifts are not shown on invoices as a matter of privacy. Q: I tried to book excursions online actually and the credit was not applied. I have just been informed that when a booking is paid in full like yours is, you are not able to book tours online and you have to call in to Guest Services, or your travel agent (Reservations) at the number listed below and they will book the tours for you. This is a recent change.
  8. This is slightly off topic, but I remember someone mentioned that prices are much higher for 2022-2023 cruises, so I did a quick check. Our first (and only one so far) Oceania cruise was in 2018 on the Riviera in Sep. 2018. It was a 10 nights cruise from Rome to Barcelona and we paid $4,399 CAD for an inside cabin. I checked prices for similar 10 nights cruises, and they seem to be in $3,100-3,500 CAD range, so actually significantly cheaper than in 2018: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/bordeaux-northern-europe-cruises/barcelona-to-london-RVA230522/ https://www.oceaniacruises.com/mediterranean-cruises/barcelona-to-rome-RVA220818/ https://www.oceaniacruises.com/mediterranean-cruises/venice-to-rome-MNA220514/ I compared similar periods, prices in October are even lower. Am I missing something?
  9. It's actually for both. I started with the round trip option which was already cheaper than booking direct. Then I checked the return flight only because I can book the flight from Toronto to Barcelona with points. The return flight was even a better deal with Celebrity.
  10. We used Celebrity air twice for business class flights, both times it was cheaper than booking directly with airlines or expedia. On our upcoming cruise in May Celebrity is cheaper as well. And yes, they give an option to fly few days before the cruise. Celebrity air is probably one of the best of all cruise lines. The ability to book directly from the website is very helpful as well.
  11. Well, maybe I'm looking at the wrong place, but I don't see it. Also, it should be reflected on check-out of excursions - the credit should be deducted from the total amount, right? In my case it doesn't.
  12. I checked veranda prices on few random European sailings, and it seems that the difference is very small, less than 10%. It's surprising considering that the cabins on the O ships are significantly larger. But I guess it reflects the fact that many people like smaller ships. Makes sense. I would still select the O class all other factors equal, but if I had a better itinerary on a R class ship, I would not hesitate to take it.
  13. I read that many people like the R ships. We took one cruise on Azamara, and while we liked it overall, in my opinion the ship experience cannot compare to Riviera/Marina. Smaller ship, no actual theater, tiny cabins, and the ship while still in a decent shape, starts to show it age. I'm curious what people like in R ships?
  14. Interesting. I compared couple itineraries in May 2023 and the difference was only around 10% for veranda cabins. But I just checked and difference between OV on Riviera/Marina and french veranda on Vista is indeed bigger. Typical OV is around $310-320 and french veranda $380-390. Still over 20%, so you are right, those who don't care about veranda, Vista is not really worth the extra money.
  15. So I just checked prices for summer 2023. It seems like lowest balcony category on Vista is around $410-420 pp per night, while on the Marina/Riviera it's around $370-380. That's around 10% difference which is actually pretty reasonable I think.
  16. I didn't suggest that the premium is undeserved. On the contrary - I'm fully aware that all lines charge extra for their newer ships (see Celebrity Edge and Apex prices - their prices are close to Oceania). I'm just saying that personally I need to see exactly what I'm paying for compared to Marina and Riviera.
  17. Yes, but you can compare 2023 prices on Vista with 2023 prices on Marina and Riviera. They are still higher. O regulars can do whatever they want - for me, I need a good reason to pay higher prices. When I pay higher prices for Marina or Riviera compared to Celebrity or Princess, I know exactly what I'm paying for (better food, better service, no lines etc.) But what I'm getting on Vista that justifies higher prices?
  18. I thought about it too, but not sure how it's related..
  19. What what makes the Vista worth the higher rates compared to Marina and Riviera? Obviously the age - brand new ship vs. 10 years old, but Marina and Riviera are still in great shape. I would love to try the Vista, just trying to understand what I'm paying for?
  20. Nope.. Doesn't show on mine.. But they sent me the screenshot that it's there:
  21. I contacted ShareholderBenefit@oceaniacruises.com and they advised me that it was added as a gift, but I never actually saw it in my account online. Same for Virtuoso credits. Then My TA called them and they said the credits are there, but can be used only while onboard, not for advance reservations.
  22. So my TA called Oceania and they advised her that this credit can be used only for reservations while on board, not before. Same for Virtuoso credits.
  23. "Always deceptive" maybe? Or "Always read the fine print"?
  24. All those promotions are a fiction, a pure marketing tactics. Here is what we paid for our May 2022 cruise: And here is the price now: That includes the so called 20% discount. So the price after the discount is higher by 11% compared to what we paid.
  25. ak1004 is not returning because ak1004 has nothing to add to the subject. That said, ak1004 wants to remind all responders what the original post was about (as usual on cruisecritic, the last 8 pages have nothing to do with the original post). What is Always Included (AI)? Is AI a good value? How AI prices compare to Cruise Only (CO) prices? Can you book cabins with CO prices? Is Celebrity a good line? How Celebrity compare to Oceania, Crystal, Princess, Carnival or Air Canada? How to find a good TA? Can a good TA get you CO prices for a cabin you want? How other cruise lines advertise and how does it compare to Celebrity advertising? Why advertising in North America sucks? Who has a bigger d**k - a Wall Street insider, a lawyer for a large international law firm or an employee of the largest real estate company in the world? Who killed JFK? The original post had nothing to do with any of those questions/issues. My only goal was to show that in some cases, for certain sailings and certain categories, Celebrity advertised prices are different from the actual prices. Clarification: Advertised prices = prices you see in the cruise summary, below the slogan "Always included" (which gibes an impression that all shown prices always include those 3 perks). Actual prices: prices you see during the booking process when you want to book AI. I showed a specific example with screenshots where advertised prices are different from the actual prices. This specific example is a fact, not an opinion. I believe this is false and misleading advertising. Some people believe it's not. It's pretty simple. Has nothing to do with any of the issues/questions listed above. On a related note, I would like to congratulate Celebrity for building such a loyal customer base of real believers and fanboys/fangirls who will say anything to defend their favorite cruise line, no matter what this line does.
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