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Huge price discrepency


petermack

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I live in Ireland but in the past 2 years or so I have always booked my cruises through a well known large UK cruise agency. I asked the agent for a price for Liberty of the seas departing Barcelona on May 25th 2014 and a Junior Suite. The agent quoted me just under £4,500 Stg. I asked an Irish cruise agent for a quote for the same identical cruise and they quoted me €3,350 euro which equates to roughly £3,000 Stg

 

I couldnt believe the difference so I went on to the Royal Caribbean website and this time logged into the UK site and then the Irish site.The price discrepency is the same on the website, over £1,500 Stg for a 7 night cruise. I rang RCI to see if there was a problem with the online pricing and they replied there is no problem with our system.

 

How can RCI justify this type of pricing discrepency.

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I live in Ireland but in the past 2 years or so I have always booked my cruises through a well known large UK cruise agency. I asked the agent for a price for Liberty of the seas departing Barcelona on May 25th 2014 and a Junior Suite. The agent quoted me just under £4,500 Stg. I asked an Irish cruise agent for a quote for the same identical cruise and they quoted me €3,350 euro which equates to roughly £3,000 Stg

 

I couldnt believe the difference so I went on to the Royal Caribbean website and this time logged into the UK site and then the Irish site.The price discrepency is the same on the website, over £1,500 Stg for a 7 night cruise. I rang RCI to see if there was a problem with the online pricing and they replied there is no problem with our system.

 

How can RCI justify this type of pricing discrepency.

 

I just looked on the American Travel Agent Site and that cruise in a Junior Suite comes out to $4680.50 USD which is £2901.91 STG. That does not include gratuities though.

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RCI conversion rates are wacky!!! I generally check the EUR price and GBP price before booking... Then I go with the best one. For our July cruise around the Baltic/Russia it was much cheaper to pay in GBP!

 

I agree...its usually cheaper for me to go through the UK and pay in STG but for there to be a discrepency of over £1,500 STG is crazy. If I lived in the UK and had just booked this cruise at this price, I'd be furious.

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In the UK we have ABTA protection. So if anything goes wrong, ABTA will sort you out. In America, they don't have the same protection. I don't know if Ireland has the same protection. I know Credit Card companies offer some protection.... bilut not everyone uses Credit Cards.

 

Tips:

Use a Credit Card at all times if purchase is over £100.00 as you have protection under Section 75 of the Finance Act

 

Download Tunnel Bear to access all Cruise sites in the USA

 

Compare all prices in the UK, Eire, Europe and USA - Book with the best deal

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Ireland has ABTA as well, so that's not it. RCL's pricing variations, and the variations of their offers by region are ridiculous. For my transatlantic next year, the US had a 2 month offer of no solo supplement, which a huge number of people have taken advantage of, yet I still had to pay almost double.

 

It's one thing to vary your prices by market when selling something like a car, as you can say there are different features, or different costs associated with the product, but it's crazy that two people can book at the same time, on the supplier's own website, and pay such hugely different prices for exactly the same product - you'll be sleeping in the same beds, eating the same food, seeing the same shows.

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Tips:

Use a Credit Card at all times if purchase is over £100.00 as you have protection under Section 75 of the Finance Act

 

Download Tunnel Bear to access all Cruise sites in the USA

 

Compare all prices in the UK, Eire, Europe and USA - Book with the best deal

 

I VPNd into the US site to try book, but at some stage during the booking it spotted either my address or my CC was Irish, and refused to continue. On my next trip I plan on asking people I meet if they can recommend a US travel agent, but that does leave you without protection.

 

Section 75 of the Irish Finance Act is "Amendment of Schedule 1 (exempt activities) and Schedule 3 (goods and services chargeable at the reduced rate) to Principal Act." and deals with things like the promotion of sporting events. ;)

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Yes, there can be very large price difference between what they offer in one country to the next. It is much like how there can be special offers for residents of some states, but not others, or for military personnel in some countries.

 

It is frustrating, but seems to be a typical practice in the travel industry (we also find variations if we price airfare on the US vs German website of the same airline and big variations in Disneyland Paris pricing depending on what country you are logged in from).

 

A word of warning to those of you booking through foreign travel agents--the last two cruises that we have booked via the German site, when we hand them our US passports to check in, they ask to see our German residency permits before they will give us our keys. I don't know what they would do if we did not have them.

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A word of warning to those of you booking through foreign travel agents--the last two cruises that we have booked via the German site, when we hand them our US passports to check in, they ask to see our German residency permits before they will give us our keys. I don't know what they would do if we did not have them.

 

That's weird - were you sailing from Germany? Had you given them your US passport details or you Germany residency details at booking time?

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OP. Is your price for 2 people? I am from Australia but booked my cruises through a large online US agent. For comparison purposes I did a quick search of their site and it showed the cheapest suite (prob a guarantee) is $2249 US pp for that cruise. You have to add taxes for the final price and of course gratuities. When you book through a US agent you can also take advantage of any price drops/offers that become available right up to 75 days out when final payment is due.

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In the UK we have ABTA protection. So if anything goes wrong, ABTA will sort you out. In America, they don't have the same protection. I don't know if Ireland has the same protection. I know Credit Card companies offer some protection.... bilut not everyone uses Credit Cards.

 

Just curious, what protection do you have that is so different?

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OP. Is your price for 2 people? I am from Australia but booked my cruises through a large online US agent. For comparison purposes I did a quick search of their site and it showed the cheapest suite (prob a guarantee) is $2249 US pp for that cruise. You have to add taxes for the final price and of course gratuities. When you book through a US agent you can also take advantage of any price drops/offers that become available right up to 75 days out when final payment is due.

 

 

Price quoted was for 2 Adults and 1 child aged 3 at the time of the cruise. I also got some quotes from the US agents and the Irish agents still comfortably beat their prices. The cruise was pretty much full so there are only 2-3 junior suites still available so guarantee was not available at the time.

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I VPNd into the US site to try book, but at some stage during the booking it spotted either my address or my CC was Irish, and refused to continue. On my next trip I plan on asking people I meet if they can recommend a US travel agent, but that does leave you without protection.

 

Section 75 of the Irish Finance Act is "Amendment of Schedule 1 (exempt activities) and Schedule 3 (goods and services chargeable at the reduced rate) to Principal Act." and deals with things like the promotion of sporting events. ;)

 

There are many USA Travel Agents who are able to take your booking, and enable you to enjoy cheaper prices and increased benefits. Initially I purchased Fodor's "The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises" where they have a section of Travel Agents. I just E-mail each of them to "Ask the Question - Can you?"

 

Trust this assists ;-)

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There are many USA Travel Agents who are able to take your booking, and enable you to enjoy cheaper prices and increased benefits. Initially I purchased Fodor's "The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises" where they have a section of Travel Agents. I just E-mail each of them to "Ask the Question - Can you?"

 

Trust this assists ;-)

 

I still find that US agents seem to have greater offers in terms of perks such as obc or free dining in the speciality restaurants then the European agents.

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Just curious, what protection do you have that is so different?

 

Let's say you buy the flights, hotel and cruise as a package with RCCL (either direct or via a TA). If your TA or RCCL or even the airline goes bust whilst you are travelling, ABTA are obliged to get you back safely to the UK.That is the main protection offered.

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That's weird - were you sailing from Germany? Had you given them your US passport details or you Germany residency details at booking time?

 

This has been when we book on the German website, using the German pricing. We give our address (German) and passport details (USA) when filling out forms ahead of time. It seems to trigger them to want "proof" that we really are German residents and not just using the address to snag deals.

 

Just curious, what protection do you have that is so different?

 

Among other things, I am pretty sure that we have more legal rights in the unlikely event of the cruise being cancelled or interrupted than US booked passengers do.

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Let's say you buy the flights, hotel and cruise as a package with RCCL (either direct or via a TA). If your TA or RCCL or even the airline goes bust whilst you are travelling, ABTA are obliged to get you back safely to the UK.That is the main protection offered.

 

Also if you pay by Credit Card for a flight or Cruise and it goes bust, your contract for the Flight/Cruise is with the Credit Card Company. Therefore, you have a right to a refund from the Credit Card Company. Just re-book a flight/Cruise.

 

ABTA may be obliged to get you back, but as/when they deem it possible.

 

Have booked for years via the USA and never had any problems. As previous posters state you get access to price drop with refunds or upgrade. Plus I think you can change a booking up to 60 days without loss of deposit.

 

Unlike the UK -

Change? - OK - Deposit Lost

Celebrity 123 - Sorry no only USA

Free Grats - Sorry no - only the USA

Pick a Perk - Sorry no - Only the USA

Free - Specialty Dining - Sorry No - Only the USA

 

The list goes on and on!

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Also if you pay by Credit Card for a flight or Cruise and it goes bust, your contract for the Flight/Cruise is with the Credit Card Company. Therefore, you have a right to a refund from the Credit Card Company. Just re-book a flight/Cruise.

 

 

 

ABTA may be obliged to get you back, but as/when they deem it possible.

 

 

 

Have booked for years via the USA and never had any problems. As previous posters state you get access to price drop with refunds or upgrade. Plus I think you can change a booking up to 60 days without loss of deposit.

 

 

 

Unlike the UK -

 

Change? - OK - Deposit Lost

 

Celebrity 123 - Sorry no only USA

 

Free Grats - Sorry no - only the USA

 

Pick a Perk - Sorry no - Only the USA

 

Free - Specialty Dining - Sorry No - Only the USA

 

 

 

The list goes on and on!

I'm with you on this one.

ABTA protection is definitely not worth £1500 STG (or even half that in my book)

 

We always tend to book the flights separate to the cruise as we like to fly out one or two days early and, as you say, ABTA only covers a vacation when booked as a 'package'. There is also ATOL which works in the same way.

 

Neither is of any benefit if you book flights directly with an airline but the cruise only element would be covered by ABTA if you use a UK agent. But as I said, not worth £1500.

 

So use a credit card and shop around..

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Also if you pay by Credit Card for a flight or Cruise and it goes bust, your contract for the Flight/Cruise is with the Credit Card Company. Therefore, you have a right to a refund from the Credit Card Company. Just re-book a flight/Cruise.

 

ABTA may be obliged to get you back, but as/when they deem it possible.

You'd get a refund of the original cost, but if I'd booked a flight for €300 now, and the airline went bust a few weeks before my trip, I could still be €1000 out of pocket if an alternative wasn't cheap. On top of that I'd be trying to rearrange transfers etc for the new flight. Not the end of the world, but it could leave you quite out of pocket in a worst case scenario.

 

 

Have booked for years via the USA and never had any problems. As previous posters state you get access to price drop with refunds or upgrade. Plus I think you can change a booking up to 60 days without loss of deposit.

 

Unlike the UK -

Change? - OK - Deposit Lost

Celebrity 123 - Sorry no only USA

Free Grats - Sorry no - only the USA

Pick a Perk - Sorry no - Only the USA

Free - Specialty Dining - Sorry No - Only the USA

 

The list goes on and on!

That's the main reason I'm looking at asking fellow passengers for US travel agent recommendations - if someone's been using a trusted agent for years I think it would be better than picking one at random off the internet. The perks, and price drops in the US are much better. To be fair to my current TA, she does try to surprise me with little sail away gifts, but she's limited in what she can offer.

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I'm with you on this one.

ABTA protection is definitely not worth £1500 STG (or even half that in my book)

 

We always tend to book the flights separate to the cruise as we like to fly out one or two days early and, as you say, ABTA only covers a vacation when booked as a 'package'. There is also ATOL which works in the same way.

 

Neither is of any benefit if you book flights directly with an airline but the cruise only element would be if you use a UK agent. But as I said, not worth £1500.

 

So use a credit card and shop around..

 

Agree, I've asked this question many times to the posters that quote you're better protected. If you only book the cruise element i.e. flights and everything else separately, what more protection do you get than any other citizen that books just the cruise? If you've got adequate travel insurance and have paid with a credit card, what other protection is the UK TA going to give you if you've not booked the 'package' with them?

 

As previously quoted, look at the US T&C, much better than ours.

 

Port Royal - I'll add to that list:

 

- Are able to change to another available cabin in the same category if you book a guarantee and don't like what you're issued.

 

- Upgrade after final payment to a higher category (even after price drops)

 

- Price drops honoured

 

Concur, the list goes on and on.

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You'd get a refund of the original cost, but if I'd booked a flight for €300 now, and the airline went bust a few weeks before my trip, I could still be €1000 out of pocket if an alternative wasn't cheap. On top of that I'd be trying to rearrange transfers etc for the new flight. Not the end of the world, but it could leave you quite out of pocket in a worst case scenario.

 

 

 

That's the main reason I'm looking at asking fellow passengers for US travel agent recommendations -

 

One is unable to do this from Cruise Critic UK

 

Download Tunnel Bear software -

Click right hand switch to US

Click the left hand switch to on

Wait - Loads

Go to http://www.cruisecritic.com

- Click "Find a Cruise" - Search and US Agents will pop up - Ask the question

 

But do not think one could be reprimanded for suggesting part of their Group - No doubt security will inform me accordingly

 

Good Luck

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