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Overly-strong US dollar eliminating many cruisers


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Of course, it will pass. I have no clue when and am no economist nor did I ever claim to be. However, your dollar goes up and down, U.S. dollar goes up and down, as does Euro, Yen, and most world wide currencies. Canadian currency at some point will vary into a more reasonable zone. I understand the displeasure of any nationality which at any given time has a weak currency deals problems balancing their spending. I don't dismiss or diminish it but accept it is reality. This is not the first time our dollar has been stronger than the Canadian dollar and likely will not be the last. In the same vein, Canada $ has been stronger than U.S. in the past and likely will be again in the future.

 

You can 'pick every nit' as POA introduced us to that expression and always find something to criticize..... even when there really is no appropriate criticism. So, pick the nits. :)

 

 

What else would there be to do if it wasn't nit picking :D;). There isn't a person on earth that knows when the economy will change and turn in our favour although some claim they do. Lots of "experts" around. All a person has to do is read a little each day. You'll find information to say it will be better next week or 50 years from now. My "expert" guess is that it will be somewhere between those two :D.

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I am comparing approximately the same time frame for booking as I did last year. Some of the difference must be the exchange rate, the rest I assume is HAL's increased cruise pricing.

 

HAL's pricing in USD + the CND exchange rate + 2.5% for my credit card exchange fee = more than the CND pricing for each of these cruises.

 

Just a little sidebar about the 2.5 % exchange. Someone on here told me about the Sears MasterCard (now Scotia bank momentum I think) doesn't charge that 2.5% and doesn't have a yearly fee. I use it for all my usd transactions. Every little bit of savings helps.

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We all started with the same amount of our own currency.

 

No we didn't. 1000 USD is the same amount as 1400 AUD and 1400 CAD.

 

1000 USD is not the same amount as 1000 AUD and CAD, any more than it's the same amount as 1000 JPY or 1000 GBP or 1000 KWD, or any more than 1000 meters is the same length as 1000 yards. They are different units with different values.

Edited by Blue Mudshark
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As an American, I have benefitted from the strong US dollar against the euro and Canadian dollar this year. There were other travel years where the dollar was much weaker relative to the euro and British pound. We have no control over currency fluctuations, and I'd be lying if I said the foreign exchange rate made no difference to me. However, as with any commodity, when the price gets too high - do without or find a less expensive alternative. Canada, Australia, and the US are huge, and I doubt most of us have seen everything there is to see in our own countries.

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We also use the Chase card. We do not pay the extra 2.5 percent on foreign Visa transactions nor do we pay the hidden 2.5 percent on foreign ATM withdrawals.

 

It can add up. We did a check two weeks ago on our last 12 months. Using the card saved us just over $450 in FX fees, visa and atm, that we would have otherwise paid to either CIBC or Royal Bank.

Edited by iancal
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Is there any basis for such assumptions? Typical income levels in the USA, Canada, and Australia are pretty similar; certainly they don't differ by anything close to the 140% or so by which the USD differs from the AUD and CAD.

 

And why would Australians and Canadians take less cash with them on a cruise?

 

These assumptions seem to be based on the notion that AUD, CAD, and USD are (or should be) at parity for some reason, and I don't know of any rational reason for such an assumption. They are different units, and there is no reason to expect them to be equal.

 

Pretty simple I think. We each have x$ to spend - if those $s are worth less elsewhere we will spend them where we get the most value for them.

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As an American, I have benefitted from the strong US dollar against the euro and Canadian dollar this year. There were other travel years where the dollar was much weaker relative to the euro and British pound. We have no control over currency fluctuations, and I'd be lying if I said the foreign exchange rate made no difference to me. However, as with any commodity, when the price gets too high - do without or find a less expensive alternative....

 

...Or one gets creative. I really enjoy Europe and as an ancient history fanatic, there is just not that much this side of the Atlantic that interests me. (Yes, I've done a lot of travel in the US when I was younger, but....)

 

I am willing to be creative and to travel in a less affluent style in order to get to Europe several times a year. It can be done. At least one of my trips will utilize airline FF miles. If cruises are expensive I'll focus on a land trip. If hotels are expensive I'll trade a more expensive one for a cheaper one that is still well-placed. I tend to do most sightseeing on my own, so there is little outlay there other than for public transportation and admissions. And so on...

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and this is a big PLUS to HAL.

 

they let us choose whether to book in Canadian or U.S. $.

 

So, we have the benefit of doing the math, weighing the risk and making our choices.

 

Not all cruise lines give you that option, so while we may not like where our currency is right now, at least with HAL we have options.

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In the past we have had the same option of US or CAD from Princess and from Celebrity. But only if we booked with a Canadian TA.

 

My TA is in the U.S. and allows me to book either.

 

I can tell you that Oceania is U.S. $ only. which means if you see the U.S. $ is rising against the Cdn $ you either pay early (way too early) or you gamble.

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What else would there be to do if it wasn't nit picking :D;). There isn't a person on earth that knows when the economy will change and turn in our favour although some claim they do. Lots of "experts" around. All a person has to do is read a little each day. You'll find information to say it will be better next week or 50 years from now. My "expert" guess is that it will be somewhere between those two :D.

 

Yes that was me.

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On the other hand it makes the crazy high provincial taxes on our Manatoulin Island cabin more bearable.

 

We have 80 acre Lake Huron frontage and a 16' aluminum v-bottom boat, any of my Canadian friends are welcome to use that as their cruise alternative. ;)

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Just a little sidebar about the 2.5 % exchange. Someone on here told me about the Sears MasterCard (now Scotia bank momentum I think) doesn't charge that 2.5% and doesn't have a yearly fee. I use it for all my usd transactions. Every little bit of savings helps.

 

Thanks, CC.

 

May have to add another card to the pack if this situation continues!

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It would be nice if the Canadian economy became more diversified and was less dependent on natural resources. If this were the case, then there would be fewer large currency fluctuations such as the one we have seen recently. The dollar would probably fluctuate within a smaller band, rather than such a large one.

 

As someone who currently lives in Canada but can live/work in both countries, I'm thinking very hard about whether it is worth it to stay in Canada and to earn CAD. I do think this situation could go on for quite sometime and it is certainly giving me some pause. This kind of currency fluctuation is very unsettling but I don't think Canada's economy will balance out with more services, manufacturing, etc. to compensate for the dependence on natural resources. I'm not sure if the political will to diversify in Canada is there. Yes, it is true, the recent issue is in large part due to the oil price drop, but to have that be such a huge driver of a country's currency is an unsettling prospect for me. Long term diversification of the Canadian economy to other types of manufacturing and services will bring better stability to the Canadian dollar.

 

We are about to embark on a Holland America cruise out of Southeast Asia. For Canadians and Aussies looking for less expensive destinations, I'd strongly recommend visiting the Southeast Asia region. Their currencies have taken a hit as well in the past few months, and the value proposition here is much better than in the US and other popular travel destinations. Unless we make a move back to the US to earn USD again, our trips there will be limited to visits with my family until the CAD strengthens. Here's hoping for a more diversified Canadian economy in years to come.

Edited by Gamelan1971
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Telling those effected that "this is just a cycle" or "the USD has been lower before" or similar adds nothing to this thread. Those effected by the rise in the US dollar are well aware of that. Also no one seems to be complaining.

 

Because many cruises are priced in USD (the parent company trades in USD) the rise and fall of the USD had ZERO effect on cruise costs of people from the USA but it does have a noticeable effect in the value equation of those from other countries where in real terms it costs us a lot more (in our currency) to cruise. No complaints just facts. So it may or may not alter our discretionary spending decisions. That was what the OP was stating.

 

As I said earlier the impact has not been great on us as I have found bargain cruises priced and booked in Australia for next year. Cant speak for HAL as these prices are for RCL or Celebrity and the cost has not risen in AUD comparative to the rise in the USD. In saying that I choose not to pay the equivalent of $20 AUD for a cocktail and balk at paying over $12AUD for a beer. They are not so important to my cruise at that value.

 

Has the cost to cruise booked in CAD risen if booked locally?

 

My cruise costs in AUD (including all port charges and taxes (but not grats)

 

13 days Radiance Sth Pacific $1350 AUD Balcony

6 Days Carnival Spirit Sydney Melbourne return $492 AUD Single Balcony.

14 Days Voyager Syd-Singapore $1352 AUD Balcony

 

Just completed an 8 day on Solstice in the Pacific $1099 AUD all tips plus drinks package in a balcony.

 

US cruises booked in either AUD at home or USD work out to be far more expensive so they can wait.

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Your recollection is faulty. When the Euro was implemented, the exchange rate was 1 Euro for $1.1789 USD, not $.85.

 

Ironically, what you wrote is the inverse of what was implemented. One dollar equaled approximately .85 Euro.

 

Sorry MadMan but you are wrong! I was in Europe when the implementation took place and the Euro was LESS than the USD which is why many Americans invested in the Euro at that time.

 

It's one thing to make a simple mistake; it's quite another to be obstinate and insist that your erroneous recollection is correct. I suggest that you make a simple Internet search on the implementation of the Euro before making yourself look foolish in future posts.

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I will be going on a 21 day dream cruise with HAL this winter, but I am afraid it may be the last for while due to the inequality in the CAN-US exchange rate.
(emphasis added)

 

1) there's no rule that CAD must be on par with USD

2) The idea of floating currencies is that there's always eqality, rather than the fixed system of 40 years ago.

3) Note this morning's news that when Azerbaijan let its currency float this weekend it dropped. "Following the move, the manat fell by 32 percent. One manat, which was worth around $0.95 Friday, was now trading at $0.65."(ABC News) Surprisingly (or not, actually) it's about on par with the CAD.

 

 

So could we get on with actually talking about cruising, and not economics?

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Wouldn't it be nice if the world had a single currency? There would be no exchange rates to deal with.

When they started the Euro, it looked like it was the beginning of a world currency. I had hoped at that time, other stable economies such as Japan, Australia, Canada, and the US would also join the Euro. But those hopes are now dashed by problems such as Greece.

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It's one thing to make a simple mistake; it's quite another to be obstinate and insist that your erroneous recollection is correct. I suggest that you make a simple Internet search on the implementation of the Euro before making yourself look foolish in future posts.

 

Check it out!

http://useconomy.about.com/od/inflation/p/Euro-To-Dollar-Conversion.htm?utm_term=us%20dollar%20vs%20euro%20history&utm_content=p1-main-1-picture&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=adid-858106e6-7178-4593-9550-6897b6b964de-0-ab_gsb_ocode-35381&ad=semD&an=google_s&am=broad&q=us%20dollar%20vs%20euro%20history&dqi=&o=35381&l=sem&qsrc=999&askid=858106e6-7178-4593-9550-6897b6b964de-0-ab_gsb

 

Then check the chart after the Euro was actually used as currency.

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From The Independent (an actual newspaper) of Thursday 31 December 1998:

"The pound, which will buy about 1.42 euros at the current exchange rate, lost value, as did the dollar after the official publication of the conversion rates. The dollar was trading at an initial value of $1.1685 to the euro."

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If 1.00 USD == 1.40 CAD, nobody is "losing" (or "gaining") 40 cents unless there's an assumption that we can expect parity (1 USD = 1 CAD). I can't imagine any reality-based reason for that expectation. USD and CAD are different currencies. Japanese yen have exchange rates of 10 JPY == 0.008 USD (and 1 JPY == .012 CAD), but that doesn't mean that Japanese are losing 99 cents of every dollar spent in the US or Canada.

 

CAD and USD are not tied to each other ... 1.40 CAD is not 40 cents more than 1.00 USD. It's the same as 1.00 USD. So you won't be losing 52 cents if you choose Europe, although 1 EUR is even bigger than 1 USD.

Exactly! The problem is that too many people think they should be at par just because the name is the same - like the Bermuda dollar - and don't fall into that mental trap when the name is different, like the yen or pound or kroner or ruble or rupee or ... Edited by catl331
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This thread is not about whining. It is about the impact that a low Canadian dollar will/may have on people's decision to cruise.

 

A reasonable question and the fact that some have explained the impact and how the cost affects things is not whining IMO.

 

If some make light of it, then yes, people will get more emphatic.

 

There is no question it will have an effect on cruising IMO. How much so, is another question.

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