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Recently P&O have seemed to have learnt there lesson regarding late price reductions and have offered some very good deals on brochure price which seem to never go lower. I know in Carol Marlow days it was a regular occurrence for brochure prices being high on release and some very serious price drops and not all late deals where you could nt choose your cabin or dinner sitting that was introduced at a later date. We had the benefits and losses on both we once paid for a 14nt cruise on Azura £499 and had a excellent positioned inside cabin. On the other hand we booked a balcony cabin on Arcadia in 2007 on brochure release and not long after they were offering suites at a lot lower price than we paid. It is swings and roundabouts and is a gamble that only you can take and decide.

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Forgive me, but you have stated this elsewhere as if it is fact when, as now, it is just your theory. A very logical theory, yes, but not born out in fact.

 

Like DaiB, we have booked a number of cruises when they have been released. They have not all been suites. Every single one has never been cheaper than when we booked. Some have gone up by thousands of pounds. Yes, people can get bargains on Saver fares if they are prepared to be allocated the leftovers (which we aren’t), but there are quite a few of us on here who (perhaps foolishly) check prices very regularly and are all saying the same thing. And we are basing this on hard facts, not theories.

 

Your assertion that because prices change so frequently it is inevitable that, at some given time in the future, they are certain to be cheaper would hold more water if you could provide a concrete example of a Select price that has been sold at a cheaper price (allowing for the value of On Board Credit) a considerable time after release. I would actually like to be proved wrong as having to book so far in advance in order to get the cabins we want at the lowest prices is a pain.

 

I take your point entirely, but I'm basing my comments not on theory but hard fact. I'm not saying that prices will always drop after the first day, or even that they'll usually drop - simply that they can and do drop sometimes. But unless you check the price you paid on day one every hour of every day between booking and cruising you'll never know that, because these reduced prices never stick around for long. P&O rely on that to maintain the perception that prices on the first day never fall - it's a great cashflow booster for them.

 

The reason I use the word 'fact' is that the comments are based on personal experience over the last couple of years, and before that. I watch for specific suites on specific ships, Southampton to Southampton, at what I'd consider to be reasonable prices (I know that's a very subjective matter!). I start looking on day one, and if there's nothing which meets those criteria (which there wasn't for 2019) I keep on looking pretty regularly after that. Not always, but quite often, something comes up at a later point, as it did a few weeks back, which is at a lower price than the first day price. In that case I made the booking, and an equivalent suite is now almost £400pp more than the price I paid - it may well drop again though.

 

I do not book anything other than Select Price, and I don't do last-minute bookings. I like plenty of notice, I like Freedom Dining and I know exactly which suite I want. Possibly I've been very lucky, but it's worked in each of the last two years.

 

It's not a technique I can recommend to everyone, though - if your requirements are more specific than mine (and I'm reasonably flexible on destinations and dates) the only way to be sure of getting what you want is to book early, and you may well get the best price on day one. But you can't guarantee that.

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Not looking for late deals, just when is the best time to buy for 2019

 

Impossible to say - because prices move up and down so frequently that they're impossible to track. See above post for my recent 2019 experience. My price was lower than the first day price, and it's since increased - but I fully accept that it might go down again.

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I take your point entirely, but I'm basing my comments not on theory but hard fact. I'm not saying that prices will always drop after the first day, or even that they'll usually drop - simply that they can and do drop sometimes. But unless you check the price you paid on day one every hour of every day between booking and cruising you'll never know that, because these reduced prices never stick around for long. P&O rely on that to maintain the perception that prices on the first day never fall - it's a great cashflow booster for them.

 

The reason I use the word 'fact' is that the comments are based on personal experience over the last couple of years, and before that. I watch for specific suites on specific ships, Southampton to Southampton, at what I'd consider to be reasonable prices (I know that's a very subjective matter!). I start looking on day one, and if there's nothing which meets those criteria (which there wasn't for 2019) I keep on looking pretty regularly after that. Not always, but quite often, something comes up at a later point, as it did a few weeks back, which is at a lower price than the first day price. In that case I made the booking, and an equivalent suite is now almost £400pp more than the price I paid - it may well drop again though.

 

I do not book anything other than Select Price, and I don't do last-minute bookings. I like plenty of notice, I like Freedom Dining and I know exactly which suite I want. Possibly I've been very lucky, but it's worked in each of the last two years.

 

It's not a technique I can recommend to everyone, though - if your requirements are more specific than mine (and I'm reasonably flexible on destinations and dates) the only way to be sure of getting what you want is to book early, and you may well get the best price on day one. But you can't guarantee that.

 

It may be the way you have explained your example, but it still doesn’t sound as though it supports your core assertion. I get that a price may have gone up £400pp from when you booked (even if you booked recently), as that’s normal. And it may subsequently drop again. That’s also normal. But, are you saying that, even after allowing for such things as double on board credit that you can often secure at launch, you have a specific example of a cruise where the Select price dropped significantly after launch?

 

If so, it would be really helpful to provide the specific example and figures so that we can understand the detail - type of cruise, date etc. As terrierjohn has said, many of us on here are only really interested in Southampton to Southampton Cruises. I am aware that prices for Caribbean fly cruises are dropping due to the fall in demand following the various hurricanes (and, I suspect, associated drops in air fares).

 

Whilst none of us have the ability to check prices every hour of every day, it seems highly illogical, when the underlying trend is upwards, that prices suddenly drop to a level below launch price, only to increase again so quickly that none of us who watch these things carefully has ever noticed. Seems pointless for P&O to do that as it wouldn’t achieve anything as so few people would have seen it.

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When OBC increases it is usually linked to a price of the cabin going up. I still have not seen the price of any cruise cabin I have booked go down. I now look very regularly.

 

I have 8 cruises booked.

 

 

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It may be the way you have explained your example, but it still doesn’t sound as though it supports your core assertion. I get that a price may have gone up £400pp from when you booked (even if you booked recently), as that’s normal. And it may subsequently drop again. That’s also normal. But, are you saying that, even after allowing for such things as double on board credit that you can often secure at launch, you have a specific example of a cruise where the Select price dropped significantly after launch?

 

If so, it would be really helpful to provide the specific example and figures so that we can understand the detail - type of cruise, date etc. As terrierjohn has said, many of us on here are only really interested in Southampton to Southampton Cruises. I am aware that prices for Caribbean fly cruises are dropping due to the fall in demand following the various hurricanes (and, I suspect, associated drops in air fares).

 

Whilst none of us have the ability to check prices every hour of every day, it seems highly illogical, when the underlying trend is upwards, that prices suddenly drop to a level below launch price, only to increase again so quickly that none of us who watch these things carefully has ever noticed. Seems pointless for P&O to do that as it wouldn’t achieve anything as so few people would have seen it.

 

I am indeed saying that, and I'm talking specifically about my own purchases of Southampton-Southampton cruises, as outlined above. I've been quite specific about the parameters, but giving details of actual prices paid for actual cruises wouldn't help at all because the day one prices aren't now available. I simply know that the price and other parameters I set were not matched at that point (because the prices were too high) but were matched last month after a fall in one or more of the prices. It's risen since, but may fall again - that's dynamic pricing for you. It works for airlines and it works for cruise companies.

 

You may choose to think I'm making all this up, though quite why I have no idea. All I'm doing really, and it doesn't benefit me in any way (possibly the reverse, my wife tells me, if others follow the same course), is pointing out that day one booking isn't necessarily quite the bargain that P&O (and all the agents) make it out to be. It's very much in their interests to push this line, and if you're happy to go along with that, that's fine of course, but until they offer the sort of price guarantee that Saga, I believe, offer, I remain sceptical and my own experiences support that scepticism.

 

Now if they were to offer a Saga-like guarantee on day one bookings that they'd make a partial refund for any price drop, I'd book then like a shot!

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I am indeed saying that, and I'm talking specifically about my own purchases of Southampton-Southampton cruises, as outlined above. I've been quite specific about the parameters, but giving details of actual prices paid for actual cruises wouldn't help at all because the day one prices aren't now available. I simply know that the price and other parameters I set were not matched at that point (because the prices were too high) but were matched last month after a fall in one or more of the prices. It's risen since, but may fall again - that's dynamic pricing for you. It works for airlines and it works for cruise companies.

 

You may choose to think I'm making all this up, though quite why I have no idea. All I'm doing really, and it doesn't benefit me in any way (possibly the reverse, my wife tells me, if others follow the same course), is pointing out that day one booking isn't necessarily quite the bargain that P&O (and all the agents) make it out to be. It's very much in their interests to push this line, and if you're happy to go along with that, that's fine of course, but until they offer the sort of price guarantee that Saga, I believe, offer, I remain sceptical and my own experiences support that scepticism.

 

Now if they were to offer a Saga-like guarantee on day one bookings that they'd make a partial refund for any price drop, I'd book then like a shot!

 

I think we will have to agree to disagree! Unfortunately, nothing that you have said, or the partial example you have provided, has proved your point IMO. You are clearly convinced that because prices go up and down regularly it therefore must follow that, at some point, they will fall below the launch prices. But, by your own admission, you don’t have the launch prices. You are comparing the price on a given date (not at launch) against subsequent dates and, yes, that will show fluctuation. But that is not the issue we are discussing.

 

If what you do works for you that’s great. And, if you are convinced that your approach gets you the best deals then fantastic. I dislike having to book cruises at launch 2 years out but I know that, like many others on here, if I had relied on your theory I would be paying between £400 to £2,000 more for every single one of the future cruises we have booked. And that, I’m afraid, is a hard fact!

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I think we will have to agree to disagree! Unfortunately, nothing that you have said, or the partial example you have provided, has proved your point IMO. You are clearly convinced that because prices go up and down regularly it therefore must follow that, at some point, they will fall below the launch prices. But, by your own admission, you don’t have the launch prices. You are comparing the price on a given date (not at launch) against subsequent dates and, yes, that will show fluctuation. But that is not the issue we are discussing.

 

If what you do works for you that’s great. And, if you are convinced that your approach gets you the best deals then fantastic. I dislike having to book cruises at launch 2 years out but I know that, like many others on here, if I had relied on your theory I would be paying between £400 to £2,000 more for every single one of the future cruises we have booked. And that, I’m afraid, is a hard fact!

 

Agreed - we'll just have to disagree on this. You're still missing the central point, though, that my comparisons have always taken the launch price as the starting point, and that's exactly the issue we're discussing.

 

To be clear, on each occasion the price I paid was considerably less than the launch price, and on each occasion I only booked because the launch price had been too high but the price had fallen to a more reasonable level.

 

It's a myth that the price never falls below the launch price, largely because the cruise companies work hard to maintain the myth (though they won't offer any guarantees to back it up), but also because it's difficult for people who believe the myth ever to accept that they might not actually have paid the lowest price, and that it might just be possible for someone else to get a better deal. Such is life. I'll book on launch day when the price is right, but if it isn't I'll wait for a price drop.

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My own experience over the last 3 or 4 years is that launch price taking into account the 5 or 10% reduction always available to Peninsular members is only guaranteed on launch day, and can be immediately subject to fluid price increases, as definitely occurred on our launch booking in September this year.

Then once this discount period ends the prices generally increase, although OBC can increase to compensate. Thereafter it becomes increasingly difficult to know whether the price is increasing or decreasing as regular fluid pricing takes over, unless of course you have your booking documents to refer back to.

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Agreed - we'll just have to disagree on this. You're still missing the central point, though, that my comparisons have always taken the launch price as the starting point, and that's exactly the issue we're discussing.

 

To be clear, on each occasion the price I paid was considerably less than the launch price, and on each occasion I only booked because the launch price had been too high but the price had fallen to a more reasonable level.

 

It's a myth that the price never falls below the launch price, largely because the cruise companies work hard to maintain the myth (though they won't offer any guarantees to back it up), but also because it's difficult for people who believe the myth ever to accept that they might not actually have paid the lowest price, and that it might just be possible for someone else to get a better deal. Such is life. I'll book on launch day when the price is right, but if it isn't I'll wait for a price drop.

 

OK. Thanks for clarifying. I’m clearer now on what you are saying. I just wish that you had been able to evidence it with a real life example to help those of us who have found the opposite to be the case.

 

To be fair to P&O, as far as I am aware (and I’m happy to be corrected on this), they do not claim that their launch prices are the cheapest they will ever be or even imply that they will never be bettered.

 

So I certainly don’t book at launch because I’m suckered by anything P&O says or implies. It’s just that, like many other regular P&O cruisers, we have found that, in reality, the launch price has never been bettered afterwards.

 

To a degreee, it’s somewhat cosmetic for us as we have to book an accessible cabin, so have to book early as they go so quickly. But it’s nice to know that by booking at launch on our last 4 and next 5 P&O cruises we have paid around £10k less in total than if we had held off in anticipation of a price drop.

 

I appreciate that my recent experience of 9 out of 9 bookings (or daiB’s 15 out of 15) is a tiny sample in the scale of the number of bookings that P&O deals with, but it’s still 100% and until that success rate drops below 50% it’s clearly worth my while to stick with my current approach.

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Hi

This is quite an interesting discussion for me as I like to grab a bargain. I have noted though that suites often sell out quickly, therefore it is unlikely the price will drop. And if they do drop, it seems to be when there is late availability they are offered for a fee to those in balcony cabins. I have personal experience of this. In August I was booked into a balcony on Aurora to go to the fjords. 2 weeks before sailing there were at least 10 suites and mini suites left - I was watching out of curiosity to see what would happen. Then we were offered an upgrade to a suite for £250 which we took. The holiday cost us £1050 each. Yet the suites were still being advertised at over £2500 each. My conclusion is that if you really want a suite book early as you cannot guarantee getting one the way we did. Monitoring suite prices is in my view pretty pointless, but other grades, especially on larger ships such as Azura can often fall late on. I do dummy bookings to see how many cabins are left if I am looking for a late deal - lots of cabins generally means the price will drop. Currently I am looking at a Caribbean cruise in January. If the price drops in the next few weeks I will book it, if not I'll be on holiday somewhere else. And yes I do book a saver fare and so far I have never had a problem with the cabin allocated

BTW I booked very early on for one of the Middle East Cruises in 2019. So far the price has gone up, but hopefully it will not come down below what I paid. We shall see.

Cathy

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Look at both Azura and Britannia for early December, prices have dropped thru the floor.

It is cheaper than a Virgin flight to Barbados and you get the 14 day cruise for FREE

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Look at both Azura and Britannia for early December, prices have dropped thru the floor.

It is cheaper than a Virgin flight to Barbados and you get the 14 day cruise for FREE

Nov and early Dec in the Caribbean has always been the bargain price period, and if you are flexible about dates, UK airport and cabin location, then you can obtain some good bargains. If we still did fly cruises we would never consider booking early for this period.

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Apologies for not reading the whole thread. On our cruise in October to the Canaries on Britannia there were price drops. Also in November deals can sometimes be had. Generally price drops are less obvious and ships are filled via upgrades.

 

 

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Nov and early Dec in the Caribbean has always been the bargain price period, and if you are flexible about dates, UK airport and cabin location, then you can obtain some good bargains. If we still did fly cruises we would never consider booking early for this period.

 

 

 

However the Cruises from Southampton in late November and early December are quite cheap also. But there is little price drop as the prices are low to start with. Clearly not a time of year when people want to cruise.

 

 

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Look at both Azura and Britannia for early December, prices have dropped thru the floor.

It is cheaper than a Virgin flight to Barbados and you get the 14 day cruise for FREE

I think the prices have dropped more than usual this year as quite a lot of people have cancelled due to the devastation in the Caribbean.

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However the Cruises from Southampton in late November and early December are quite cheap also. But there is little price drop as the prices are low to start with. Clearly not a time of year when people want to cruise.

 

 

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Not only 'cheap' but when we booked we got obc that amounted to almost 20% of the fare.

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Not only 'cheap' but when we booked we got obc that amounted to almost 20% of the fare.

 

 

 

When I first looked at a cruise in Dec. 18, you could get a suite for £55.00 less per night than the bottom price I have seen before with OBC as well. Certainly less than a balcony on some cruises. The price is now back up to what I would expect to pay.

 

But this time of year tends to be busy with ‘do’s’ for various groups we belong to. So it was always a non starter for us.

 

 

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Canary Islands 12nts on Ventura at £599 is very good value.

 

It is. There are a couple of £699 Select Prices too for 12 night cruises on offer - inside, of course. I somehow doubt the opening day price was lower than this. Looks like P&O bookings aren't living up to expectations. Economic problems?

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It is. There are a couple of £699 Select Prices too for 12 night cruises on offer - inside, of course. I somehow doubt the opening day price was lower than this. Looks like P&O bookings aren't living up to expectations. Economic problems?

 

 

 

If it is Ventura there were a couple of very low priced cruises when they came out one was the one I mentioned above.

 

 

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It is. There are a couple of £699 Select Prices too for 12 night cruises on offer - inside, of course. I somehow doubt the opening day price was lower than this. Looks like P&O bookings aren't living up to expectations. Economic problems?

 

 

 

12th Dec on Ventura started at £699 for an inside

 

Taken from the brochure.

 

 

Looked further and found in Dec 19, three 12 night Cruises on Oceana, Oriana and Ventura. Two are from £699 and one is from £649. These are all start prices taken from a brochure.

 

As I said this is possibly the cheapest time to cruise. Possibly because people have other things to do.

 

So the prices you are seeing now are little different from the start prices.

 

 

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Edited by daiB

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Tried the P&O website. It wont let me search for Nov and Dec 2019. How do you find cruises for the end of 2019?

Many thanks.

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Tried the P&O website. It wont let me search for Nov and Dec 2019. How do you find cruises for the end of 2019?

 

Many thanks.

 

 

 

They are not available yet as they will not be released until March/April 18.

 

 

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My wife booked our May 2018 during the first week of release and the prices have gone up £500 each at this time. We looked at a cruise for 2019 when the brochure came out , selected one but didn't book and that has already gone up by £200 per person. We were hoping the prices would go down in 2018 but I think we may have made a mistake in our thinking here!

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The cruise I have booked( Booked on day of release) has just gone up and up and up....Depends on the cruise...and the ship :)

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Yes.

I booked early this year for Feb 18.

The inside cabin I booked is now offered for £400 less.

Balcony cabins were £600 more than inside and are now offered for £100 more than I paid for an inside.

 

 

The final payment is not due for another 2 weeks.

 

I would cancel and rebook but we are travelling with friends and may not end up on the same flight.

 

Just a thought. We had a similar problem. In our case, I wanted to downgrade from a superior balcony to a balcony on the stern in our favourite cabin, which had unexpectedly become available at the last minute. We had booked direct with P&O so I called them and the lovely young lady held the flights, whilst cancelling and re-booking the same cruise. It took a while as she had to keep the Flight Department on hold simultaneously but it worked a treat. I sent an email to her boss to highlight her excellent suggestion and service. It's worth a try. Good luck.

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We have recently booked Arcadia's 47 night 2019 world cruise sector from Southampton to Brisbane...our 3rd cruise on her:D ....at the price we paid we will not be expecting any price drop for us EVER ....checked out the current price yesterday and it is now twice and a little bit more than the offer we booked on .....win win :)

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We have recently booked Arcadia's 47 night 2019 world cruise sector from Southampton to Brisbane...our 3rd cruise on her:D ....at the price we paid we will not be expecting any price drop for us EVER ....checked out the current price yesterday and it is now twice and a little bit more than the offer we booked on .....win win :)

 

Well done! Booked on the first day it went on sale?

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Well done! Booked on the first day it went on sale?

 

Not the first day but pretty close I think ;) not believing the price i was seeing I checked with our Scottish booking agency they couldn't come close. We can't book online with PO UK so I rang the call centre number given and yes the price was correct and included £150pp obc.....couldn't book quick enough :')...... I believe this particular sectors bargain pricing was only open for Australian bookings, now that makes a change :cool:

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I checked one of the Black Friday special offers that were being offered by P&O, the extra special low price for the 4 day Ventura cruise sailing just before our 35 night Caribbean cruise in February was identical in price to the first edition brochure, and of course early bookers would have received their 5% discount as well.

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Thanks - that's incredibly interesting and useful. I've been looking for a site like that for a while.

 

The price history they give is fascinating. A806, for example, shows the best suite price was available on 1 August 2017 (£1969) with earlier prices varying up to £2999.

 

A very useful tool for checking whether those first day prices really are the lowest prices - that one certainly wasn't!

 

If you were a Peninsular Club member (minimum 15 nights previous P&O experience) then the price of a suite for A806 at launch was £1996. That’s before any TA or other discount (we get an additional 5% even though we book direct with P&O). And, there was double on board credit at launch - and you had the pick of the best suites.

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We're on Britannia in October to the Canary Islands and the price has dropped by over £2000!!! Arrgghh. I just wanted a moan, I know I shouldn't have looked.

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We're on Britannia in October to the Canary Islands and the price has dropped by over £2000!!! Arrgghh. I just wanted a moan, I know I shouldn't have looked.

 

That's infuriating - doesn't make sense to cancel and rebook, I suppose?

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We're on Britannia in October to the Canary Islands and the price has dropped by over £2000!!! Arrgghh. I just wanted a moan, I know I shouldn't have looked.

 

 

 

Had a look at the pricing for that cruise. The prices seem to be about the same as when the cruise started booking, I take it you booked in autumn last year when the prices were at there highest.

 

This confirms what I said earlier book at the beginning not in the middle of the process. You could wait and sometimes you will get a good deal but it will only be around the starting price.

 

 

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Had a look at the pricing for that cruise. The prices seem to be about the same as when the cruise started booking, I take it you booked in autumn last year when the prices were at there highest.

 

This confirms what I said earlier book at the beginning not in the middle of the process. You could wait and sometimes you will get a good deal but it will only be around the starting price.

 

 

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I booked late May. I appreciate the prices go up and down depending on demand. Who knows, it could go up again tomorrow. I'm going to stop looking! :D

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I booked late May. I appreciate the prices go up and down depending on demand. Who knows, it could go up again tomorrow. I'm going to stop looking! :D

 

 

 

Yes that’s the best advice.

 

 

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I booked late May. I appreciate the prices go up and down depending on demand. Who knows, it could go up again tomorrow. I'm going to stop looking! :D

 

If I was you I would consider cancelling it and losing your deposit and then rebook at the lower price you might be better off.

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If I was you I would consider cancelling it and losing your deposit and then rebook at the lower price you might be better off.

 

I'm thinking about it, I paid 15% deposit so around £980.00, I wouldn't save £2000 but I'd save just over £1000 which could get us a lot of wine on the cruise!

 

Obviously I'm bloody rubbish at booking cruises. :o:o

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