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Wakepatrol

Bad Economy Or Too Many Ships?

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I was looking at the December Caribbean cruises on Holland America.

 

The prices are so drastically low. I saw a couple of 7 day cruises leaving Dec14-15 for $199 for an inside cabin.

 

I saw Xmas and New Years cruises B2B for as low as $849

 

7 day Xmas cruises can be had for $399

 

Xmas and New Years used to be a premium cruise fare. I guess that's done as well. I went to a gorgeous mall last night and it was a ghost town 2 weeks before Xmas.

 

 

Seems eerily weird

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for those of us in the snow belt, it is very difficult to plan cruises at this time of the year. I'd love to snag a last minute deal, but.....aside from the cost to get outa' here, there's the need for the hotel, the worry of watching storms approaching and the stress or $ to change flights if the airlines aren't proactive enough. Otherwise you miss your cruise.

 

I think that may have an impact on those of us that have had to spend $ in the past or had the stress of trying to get there in the midst of bad weather forecasts. Just a thought.

 

p.s. Our malls are plenty crowded enough. If you went to the mall on a Friday night, it is Christmas party time and maybe people had better things to do?

Edited by kazu

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Hal needs to employ a new pricing strategy. More reasonable prices further out. Then they likely wouldn't need to give the farm away at the end.

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Hal needs to employ a new pricing strategy. More reasonable prices further out. Then they likely wouldn't need to give the farm away at the end.

 

I agree. I can't book last minute because we need to make arrangements for the dogs, for flying to whichever port, etc.

 

But for those who can, there are some great deals last minute. Wish they'd level the playing field.

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Bad economy is a big factor for these unsold cruises. If you referring to Noordam 7 days leaving on Dec 15th, I would say it's bad day to start 7 days cruise because it's Monday. Usual 7 days cruise starts Saturday or Sunday.

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It's also an effect of a bad economy. People without jobs, adequate paying jobs, cannot afford even $200 (actually $400 for 2 or with single supplement) plus transportation to/from the port plus on board expenses (a minimum of about $80 each for HSC) - and they certainly cannot afford to take time off work. So many people unemployed or under-employed.

 

Vacations are one of the first casualties - I suspect many on here are comfortable enough financially that they can still take vacations but I wonder if some are taking fewer/shorter cruises, cheaper cabins or cutting back in other ways?

 

This is just an observational comment, not meant to turn this thread into anything political - let's refrain from that.

 

*ODECCIT was posting while I was typing - makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one aware of the continuing effects of the bad economy.

Edited by bcd2010

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for those of us in the snow belt, it is very difficult to plan cruises at this time of the year. I'd love to snag a last minute deal, but.....aside from the cost to get outa' here, there's the need for the hotel, the worry of watching storms approaching and the stress or $ to change flights if the airlines aren't proactive enough. Otherwise you miss your cruise.

 

I think that may have an impact on those of us that have had to spend $ in the past or had the stress of trying to get there in the midst of bad weather forecasts. Just a thought.

 

p.s. Our malls are plenty crowded enough. If you went to the mall on a Friday night, it is Christmas party time and maybe people had better things to do?

 

Good points however winter weather is a factor every single year. I've never seen prices this low for Holiday Cruises. These cruises started out at $1800 a year ago .

 

Maybe it's the same boring greyhound bus run

Ie St. Thomas, Puerto Rico etc

Edited by Wakepatrol

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I think the slow economy and so many not getting pay raises despite rising prices have slowed cruise ship bookings. There seems to be a general feeling of discontent and unease about the near future. Many families are struggling. What with deadly viruses, terrorism, disagreeable politics, stagnant or slowly growing economy, high air fares, high college tuitions, uncertainty about retirement security etc etc etc may all be contributing to people hesitating about cruising. I'm no economist but these are subjects about which I often hear comments.

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It's also an effect of a bad economy. People without jobs, adequate paying jobs, cannot afford even $200 (actually $400 for 2 or with single supplement) plus transportation to/from the port plus on board expenses (a minimum of about $80 each for HSC) - and they certainly cannot afford to take time off work. So many people unemployed or under-employed.

 

Vacations are one of the first casualties - I suspect many on here are comfortable enough financially that they can still take vacations but I wonder if some are taking fewer/shorter cruises, cheaper cabins or cutting back in other ways?

 

This is just an observational comment, not meant to turn this thread into anything political - let's refrain from that.

 

*ODECCIT was posting while I was typing - makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one aware of the continuing effects of the bad economy.

 

Yes I agree. Black Friday weekend sales were down 11% this year. I'm predicting a bad retail season, but hope not.

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Good points however winter weather is a factor every single year. I've never seen prices this low for Holiday Cruises. These cruises started out at $1800 a year ago .

 

Maybe it's the same boring greyhound bus run

Ie St. Thomas, Puerto Rico etc

 

Exactly. As one who has lived in snow belt all my life (but for time traveling with DH in the Army), we have always dealt with uncertain winter travel. Nothing new for us to worry whether there will be a blizzard the day we are booked to fly south. :D In all the years, I've cruised, Holiday Cruises almost always had about the highest prices of all and the ships were fully booked long before the Holidays.

 

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I think the slow economy and so many not getting pay raises despite rising prices have slowed cruise ship bookings. There seems to be a general feeling of discontent and unease about the near future. Many families are struggling. What with deadly viruses, terrorism, disagreeable politics, stagnant or slowly growing economy, high air fares, high college tuitions, uncertainty about retirement security etc etc etc may all be contributing to people hesitating about cruising. I'm no economist but these are subjects about which I often hear comments.

 

I think you just summed it up perfectly

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Airfares have risen faster than cruise fares have dropped. $199 cruise fare means nothing if the flights are $700.

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I agree. Too much supply.

 

We snagged similar per diem pricing three and six weeks out respectively for 10/14 day cruises Christmas cruises in 2012, 2013. Alaska was exactly the same this summer.....too many cabins and not enough bums. We did not go, but 7 day HAL Statendam cruises were going as low as $279. for an inside this past August.

 

We did a Med cruise this year. We found that prices were up a little from their absolute lows in 2012 and 2013 but our understanding is that supply was lower. We heard that Carnival had pulled back in 2014.

 

We are watching Australia/NZ pricing for late deals in Feb. and March. Pricing is very high with sold out categories. I suspect more demand than supply. But we have seen several good offers for the same time frame in Asia. Have read that some lines will be moving more ships there, and to Asia next year.

Edited by iancal

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Yes I agree. Black Friday weekend sales were down 11% this year. I'm predicting a bad retail season, but hope not.

 

Didn't increase in sales on Cyber Monday make up for some of that?

 

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Airfares have risen faster than cruise fares have dropped. $199 cruise fare means nothing if the flights are $700.

 

That's $899 for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise

 

Sounds about right

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Not certain if retail traffic tells the full story. DW has been out twice for small items. I don't go.

 

But, we have placed 7 separate on line orders for multiple products over the past few weeks since cyber Monday. Don't have to bother with parking, crowds, winter driving, lineups at the cash. We have found that price and selection is much better on line. This is more seasonal on line shopping that we have ever done in prior years.

 

We did not find any great cruise deals on the so called Thanksgiving sales. Lots of promos but the bottom line pricing that we looked at was not special in any way. Some had lower deposits or a free specialty dinner but these have zero impact on our cruise buy decision.

Edited by iancal

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Didn't increase in sales on Cyber Monday make up for some of that?

 

 

Not sure. I personally think people are over saturated with Black Friday sales

(Which is now Thursday) Xmas shopping,flooded emails, and commercials for sales

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I think the worthless media created a perfect storm right before the election with their over the top ebola coverage. People were afraid to get on a plane and/or cruise ship. When the fervor died (immediately after the election) airfares for holiday travel were skyrocketing.

 

Next year, the Christmas/Holiday cruises will likely be back to more costly than regular cruises. Last year's Christmas cruise on Celebrity was slightly more than twice the cost of this year's HAL. Objective markers like unemployment, stock market and real estate increases show the economy is improving. Granted, not for everyone.:confused::confused:

 

Too many people governed by fear?

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I'm in the camp of too much supply.

 

Airline prices are going up, hotel prices are going up. Why not cruise ships? Too much capacity/competition.

 

Yes I agree. Black Friday weekend sales were down 11% this year. I'm predicting a bad retail season, but hope not.

 

Historical data show Black Friday sales don't correlate well to the holiday season shopping overall. Also, that figure doesn't account for a) the fact that "Black Friday" deals started up to two weeks ahead of the actual Black Friday and b) the fact that cyber shopping has become the preferred shopping method of many.

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Dunno. We did a 14 day Celebrity Caribbean cruise last year because the pricing was so attractive. We were able to get decent air pricing six/seven weeks out-this may have been a fluke.

 

Not doing it this year. But in a prior year we planned a several weeks in Florida and then cherry picked a late booking cruise. We would do this again.....but we are retired and have an open schedule. We have several favourite cruise lines and really only care that we get a verandah-gty or otherwise.

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IMHO I think the price of air travel is a big issue here. We snagged an unbelievable price for a holiday cruise but almost had to mortgage the house to arrange our air. In fact, due to the price of air we actually chose our second choice itinerary.

 

Went on line with our airline last night and looked at the seats - despite the ridiculous price we paid, there are still lots of available seats. What is that all about?

 

Florida hotel prices for our pre-cruise night were also surprisingly low. Whatever the cause, both parts of the market place are experiencing the same issue.

 

At other peak seasons I have noticed similarly low prices on exotic itineraries that leave from Asia or Europe - again, a huge discount on the cruise to balance the cost of getting there?

 

I am sure that the economy is also an issue but frankly, considering that the cost of fuel is dropping dramatically right now, why is the air so high?

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I think it is mostly over supply. The US economy is improving faster than most predictions with lots of chatter about interest rates starting to increase soon. Several months ago I read that there would be an over supply of berths for this Caribbean season and to expect lower prices. Seems it has come true.

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Yet is seems HAL prices are still high on Suites. I haven't seen any drop in prices for higher category cabins. Am I missing something?

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