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W283386

Fares Gone Crazy

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

Our next two big trips are land vacations. I’ve booked far better accommodations on land than a 250sq ft box at sea for far less money.  My vacations don’t need to be cruises. 

Personally we would always pick a cruise over a land vacation. We do short breaks in hotels but nothing really compares to cruising for our main holiday.

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

Our next two big trips are land vacations. I’ve booked far better accommodations on land than a 250sq ft box at sea for far less money.  My vacations don’t need to be cruises. 

 

Whilst I cannot see us ever giving up cruising altogether our thoughts have gone pretty much in the same direction as yours this year. Our usual plan is one Caribbean or world wide cruise and one Mediterranean cruise.

 

We had our Caribbean cruise booked over a year ago at what we consider a decent price for a RS. We also have a Far East cruise booked for 2020 at a reasonable cost.

 

Looking at the Mediterranean this year, however, prices are silly and there is no S class ship there. So the choice is pay a ridiculous price for a suite on Edge or book a cruise on an as yet unrevolutionised and very tired M class ship with only one real speciality restaurant (LPC is only good for once a cruise)....Just not worth it. As we have got older the ships themselves mean more to us. We aren’t just using them as somewhere to sleep between ports.

 

We have been following closely the comparisons by others of alternative cruise lines cruise lines which may be a future choice....

 

At the present cost of an RS for 10 nights on Edge I can book a 4 bedroom Mediterranean villa with private pool, car hire and flights from the U.K. for a month and still have £6,000 left for food and drink!!! There are lots of vacation options to cruising, unless prices go down our Mediterranean breaks will become land based.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

$2299 pp with premium drinks, prepaid gratuities, unlimited WIFI for 2 and $950 OBC. Same cruise less than one week later was $2399pp only classic beverage and prepaid gratuities, no WIFI, and only $500 OBC. Scratching my head and being grateful we booked a week ago.

 

Different dates often equal different levels of demand for whatever reason.  Again, supply and demand.  A week later maybe was a holiday, a school break, a week when an airline was offering great fares to the debarkation city, or for inexplicable reasons more people just wanted to cruise that week, driving fares up.

Edited by waterbug123

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We booked our cruise with Costco when there was 2 free perks offer at Celebrity. They actually offered the no perk option for $500 less. We figured we don't need those perks and saved $500 per room.

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4 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

 

Different dates often equal different levels of demand for whatever reason.  Again, supply and demand.  A week later maybe was a holiday, a school break, a week when an airline was offering great fares to the debarkation city, or for inexplicable reasons more people just wanted to cruise that week, driving fares up.

I'd usually agree with you about the supply and demand. In regard to the cruise I'm referring to however, we booked a week ago.  It shows no diminished cabin availability over that time period (6 days to be exact). It's seems to be an arbitrary new promotion that is offering less value for more money....a lot less value. It reinforces to me the need to be vigilant when booking with X (and I suspect most vacation options) and watch for a value we're comfortable paying and jumping on it.  Once booked, it also pays to be vigilant and watch for price drops or added value promotions. We've benefitted over the years by doing that in receiving price reductions, upgrades and additional OBC.

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20 minutes ago, Luvcrusn said:

I'd usually agree with you about the supply and demand. In regard to the cruise I'm referring to however, we booked a week ago.  It shows no diminished cabin availability over that time period (6 days to be exact). It's seems to be an arbitrary new promotion that is offering less value for more money....a lot less value. It reinforces to me the need to be vigilant when booking with X (and I suspect most vacation options) and watch for a value we're comfortable paying and jumping on it.  Once booked, it also pays to be vigilant and watch for price drops or added value promotions. We've benefitted over the years by doing that in receiving price reductions, upgrades and additional OBC.

 

In one way or another, it's still likely a product of supply and demand.  Maybe another line selling a similar cruise raised their rates.  Or perhaps when you booked at the rate you did, many others did too, and the cruise line felt that bookings were going so well, they could afford to raise the price and diminish the perks.     You say you're not seeing diminished cabin availability, but that's kind of like looking at the seat map for an airplane and thinking it's an accurate indicator of how many seats remain unsold; it's not. Example:  A TA could have gotten a block of cabins for a group but individual cabins haven't been assigned yet.  Even if they haven't yet sold any cabins since the price increase, they may feel that the existing market conditions warrant holding off a bit before making other changes.

I do agree with you though, that one should always be vigilant  in watching for price drops or additional promotions for which they might be eligible!

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15 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

In one way or another, it's still likely a product of supply and demand.  Maybe another line selling a similar cruise raised their rates.  Or perhaps when you booked at the rate you did, many others did too, and the cruise line felt that bookings were going so well, they could afford to raise the price and diminish the perks.     You say you're not seeing diminished cabin availability, but that's kind of like looking at the seat map for an airplane and thinking it's an accurate indicator of how many seats remain unsold; it's not. Example:  A TA could have gotten a block of cabins for a group but individual cabins haven't been assigned yet.  Even if they haven't yet sold any cabins since the price increase, they may feel that the existing market conditions warrant holding off a bit before making other changes.

I do agree with you though, that one should always be vigilant  in watching for price drops or additional promotions for which they might be eligible!

I'm not saying you're wrong, but that it does not seem quite right. Just a note: when a TA gets a block of rooms, they disappear from the inventory shown on the X website until such time as any unsold inventory from the TA block gets returned to X.

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1 hour ago, Luvcrusn said:

I'm not saying you're wrong, but that it does not seem quite right. Just a note: when a TA gets a block of rooms, they disappear from the inventory shown on the X website until such time as any unsold inventory from the TA block gets returned to X.

 That last statement is completely false, at least with the online travel agent I use. When I check for cabins on a group booking, I find the cabins offered by the agent also show up on the Celebrity's u.k. site. That's where I look for the best cabin. If the one I want is just on the u.k. site, I can get that at the group rate.

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32 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

 That last statement is completely false, at least with the online travel agent I use. When I check for cabins on a group booking, I find the cabins offered by the agent also show up on the Celebrity's u.k. site. That's where I look for the best cabin. If the one I want is just on the u.k. site, I can get that at the group rate.

I guess it's different on the UK site than on the US site then. 

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56 minutes ago, Luvcrusn said:

I guess it's different on the UK site than on the US site then. 

Normally the U.S.website only shows a handful of cabins. Some travel agencies show many more. The U.K. websites shows many more, if not all available. I’ve seen over 50, per category, at times.

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Prices may start high but they only stay there if people are willing to pay them.  When inventory sits empty, prices do come down.  You have to be vigilant and check pricing regularly.

 

And when you still aren't happy with pricing, there are lots of other cruise options out there.  While I prefer Celebrity, I will and do book other lines.

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24 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

Normally the U.S.website only shows a handful of cabins. Some travel agencies show many more. The U.K. websites shows many more, if not all available. I’ve seen over 50, per category, at times.

Grandgeezer, if you do a mock booking on the US X site and choose a cabin category and then when you get to the page that says We Choose and You Choose, select the latter. It will then show all cabins available within that category. 

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I just checked my cruise in May that I booked less than 2 months ago. Now the price went down another 10% from 3 weeks ago, however, I still do not see much new bookings. It seems it is too early in the season that prohibited most family with school age kids to go. Anyway, the air ticket and hotel prices also went up in the last few weeks. So we could not save much if have waited a few more weeks before booking.

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4 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

Grandgeezer, if you do a mock booking on the US X site and choose a cabin category and then when you get to the page that says We Choose and You Choose, select the latter. It will then show all cabins available within that category. 

I checked  November 30, on the Equinox, category 2D. Celebrity shows 4 available and uk shows 22.

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12 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

I checked  November 30, on the Equinox, category 2D. Celebrity shows 4 available and uk shows 22.

I also just checked that cruise on the US website and it now shows 21 available 2Ds!

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On 2/14/2019 at 9:34 AM, W283386 said:

We enjoy the 5 day cruises.  Last year we booked a balcony cabin (in February) for a December 8th cruise on the Infinity with two perks for $1440 leaving from Ft. Lauderdale.  This year the same cruise, ship, cabin and itinerary is $2025 and leaving from Miami.  That is over a 40% increase.  Looks like it will be an Air BNB in Florida this year.  Plus no need for parking or medical insurance. 

 

Agree with you, crusing is getting more expensive.

So, it looks like you will be in an Air BNB in Florida this year? Plus no need for parking or medical insurance.  

But,  have you considered booking a less expensive Inside cabin?

Or,  sailing with a less expensive mass market cruise line like Carnival or RCCL?

Maybe there will be more land based vacations in your future if the cost of cruising keeps rising?

Good luck.  And enjoy your AirBNB vacation.

King

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17 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

 

 

15 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

 

 

14 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

if you do a mock booking on the US X site and choose a cabin category and then when you get to the page that says We Choose and You Choose, select the latter. It will then show all cabins available within that category. 

 

I don't think you understand though.  Let's say it shows you 50 assorted balcony cabins that you can choose.  What I'm saying is that a TA could have 10 balconies reserved for a group, but if the group hasn't actually selected their individual cabins yet, then all 50 show up as available to be selected by anyone looking for a cruise.   There are 50 available to select, but only 40 available to be sold since 10 have already been "sold.' Hence, sales may have taken place for your cruise that you're unaware of.

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9 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

 

Agree with you, crusing is getting more expensive.

So, it looks like you will be in an Air BNB in Florida this year? Plus no need for parking or medical insurance.  

But,  have you considered booking a less expensive Inside cabin?

Or,  sailing with a less expensive mass market cruise line like Carnival or RCCL?

Maybe there will be more land based vacations in your future if the cost of cruising keeps rising?

Good luck.  And enjoy your AirBNB vacation.

King

Personally we would consider moving down to an Ocean view simply because they don’t offer the drinks package with an inside. Looking at an Asian cruise for the first time with Celebrity an Ocean view is around £1000 less than a Balcony.

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52 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

 

 

I don't think you understand though.  Let's say it shows you 50 assorted balcony cabins that you can choose.  What I'm saying is that a TA could have 10 balconies reserved for a group, but if the group hasn't actually selected their individual cabins yet, then all 50 show up as available to be selected by anyone looking for a cruise.   There are 50 available to select, but only 40 available to be sold since 10 have already been "sold.' Hence, sales may have taken place for your cruise that you're unaware of.

 

You're also forgetting all those category guarantees which aren’t booked in a specific cabin either. The ship could potentially be almost sold out yet show 50 available cabins to choose from. 

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1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

 

 

 

I don't think you understand though.  Let's say it shows you 50 assorted balcony cabins that you can choose.  What I'm saying is that a TA could have 10 balconies reserved for a group, but if the group hasn't actually selected their individual cabins yet, then all 50 show up as available to be selected by anyone looking for a cruise.   There are 50 available to select, but only 40 available to be sold since 10 have already been "sold.' Hence, sales may have taken place for your cruise that you're unaware of.

I understand. Clearly we are having difficulty communicating our points to one another. As soon as my TA (who has a block of rooms) grabs a cabin for me it shows on the US X site as unavailable. If I do a mock booking and put a 24 hour hold on it,  it shows as unavailable.  When I release it, it shows up again. Your theory, while holding up in the economic sense, is not showing up as it should with sales. When it gets close to sail date and there's a huge price drop to fill unsold cabins, they begin vanishing quickly.  Now inventory is high on unsold cabins and within 6 days the offering was unchanged (whether you believe it or not), the cabin cost rose $100pp and the perks diminished from 4 to 2.

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15 minutes ago, Luvcrusn said:

I understand. Clearly we are having difficulty communicating our points to one another. As soon as my TA (who has a block of rooms) grabs a cabin for me it shows on the US X site as unavailable. If I do a mock booking and put a 24 hour hold on it,  it shows as unavailable.  When I release it, it shows up again. Your theory, while holding up in the economic sense, is not showing up as it should with sales. When it gets close to sail date and there's a huge price drop to fill unsold cabins, they begin vanishing quickly.  Now inventory is high on unsold cabins and within 6 days the offering was unchanged (whether you believe it or not), the cabin cost rose $100pp and the perks diminished from 4 to 2.

 

Sure, when your TA grabs you a specific cabin or you do a mock booking of a specific cabin, it shows unavailable...because you've chosen a specific cabin. But until that specific cabin is selected, it will show available for selection, even if it's been sold.  Meanwhile 10 people could book a guarantee.  10 more cabins then would have been sold but those showing available will be unchanged because specific cabins haven't been assigned.  I don't know how to make it any clearer than that. 

You don't really have any way of knowing how many cabins remain unsold, only how many remain unselected. Since the price and perks were changed, you're looking at the cabin availability and assuming no cabins have been sold at the higher rate, but they could have sold 100 more cabins since then- if it was guarantee cabins or a group block and the individual pax in the group haven't selected their cabins yet, they will still show as available, as you're seeing.   But if someone tried to buy every cabin that shows available (i.e. a big group) they wouldn't be able to because some of those "available" cabins have already been sold.  Available for sale is not the same as available to be assigned.  It's confusing, but there's a difference.

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1 hour ago, mfs2k said:

 

You're also forgetting all those category guarantees which aren’t booked in a specific cabin either. The ship could potentially be almost sold out yet show 50 available cabins to choose from. 

 

Exactly!  And eventually, when those 50 cabins are assigned to the folks who booked guarantees, they won't show as available anymore.

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2 hours ago, yorky said:

Personally we would consider moving down to an Ocean view simply because they don’t offer the drinks package with an inside. Looking at an Asian cruise for the first time with Celebrity an Ocean view is around £1000 less than a Balcony.

We did this! We liked the itinerary for upcoming Summit cruise this summer and originally passed due to the excessive price for a balcony. We have always booked balconies. Later went back and booked an ocean view for  CDN $2000+ less. Still high in my estimation but more manageable.

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Interesting thread.   We sometimes remind our friends that there are many decent cruise lines (of which Celebrity is only 1) and the more flexible you are in your booking strategy, the more opportunity to get a really good deal.  And for us, it can involve more then just the cruise portion.  For example, this past summer we did a last minute booking on a Princess repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to NYC.  Not only was the price a lot better then offerings by Celebrity, but Princess had an amazing one-way Business Class airfare to get us to Copenhagen.   In fact, the savings on the Business Class fare exceeded the price of the cruise :).  

 

Another booking decision we made was to skip doing our usual annual Celebrity Caribbean cruise (between the US Thanksgiving and Xmas) in favor of cruising on MSC.   Why?  Because we could book the Yacht Club on MSC (this is a pretty amazing ship within a ship) for less per passenger day then a normal balcony on the available Celebrity cruise.  For those who have never  cruised on MSC's Yacht Club.....it blows away what you would get (in terms of food and service) on Celebrity...if in the most expensive suites...much less a regular balcony.  Limiting one's self to a single cruise line is simply limiting opportunity.  It is a very competitive industry and pricing is always changing with most cruise lines.  Riding the best trends is just part of the fun.

 

Hank

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FWIW my January 2020 cruise on Reflection is 50% higher today (booked a month ago) for the same balcony room. And that doesn't included the four perks I received. Who knows why, it's a long way off.

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