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Warrnamboolwanderers

Australians Hard Done By

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We have done all our cruises with HAL - Alaska,Baltic, Iberian Peninsula, Norway, Med. 

We noticed more on our last cruise in 2017 that many Australians are frustrated about how much we pay for HAL cruises compared to Americans. I had wondered previously if we could book with American Travel Agents - they say you can but HAL says that unless you booked with one before July 2011 you cannot. Don't think I would like to try.

Problem is and I will give an example is cost difference.

We are looking at Adriatic cruise in 2020. Now for Australians the prices are about $A2800-2900 PP for an inside cabin

***** advertises the cruise for $US1784 ( @$A2500)  plus has a deal where that would give each passenger a refund of $US150 (@$A210).

That makes a difference of $A500-600 PP. Quite a lot considering it is a 12 day cruise.

Now HAL always says they value all of their customers and Mariner Society members and many Americans may say that that is just how it goes and everything is relevant but I just want to make the point that to many Australians the disparity seems like a bit of a rip-off. 

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Posted (edited)

We had exactly the opposite on an RCI Australia/NZ cruise. We booked direct with RCI Australia.  It netted out to about 30 percent less than the best price our North American on line TA could get for this late booking cruise!

 

BTW...we spent a time driving up the Great Ocean Road.  Really enjoyed Warrnambool!  Wonderful part of the world.

Edited by iancal

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59 minutes ago, Warrnamboolwanderers said:

We have done all our cruises with HAL - Alaska,Baltic, Iberian Peninsula, Norway, Med. 

We noticed more on our last cruise in 2017 that many Australians are frustrated about how much we pay for HAL cruises compared to Americans. I had wondered previously if we could book with American Travel Agents - they say you can but HAL says that unless you booked with one before July 2011 you cannot. Don't think I would like to try.

Problem is and I will give an example is cost difference.

We are looking at Adriatic cruise in 2020. Now for Australians the prices are about $A2800-2900 PP for an inside cabin

***** advertises the cruise for $US1784 ( @$A2500)  plus has a deal where that would give each passenger a refund of $US150 (@$A210).

That makes a difference of $A500-600 PP. Quite a lot considering it is a 12 day cruise.

Now HAL always says they value all of their customers and Mariner Society members and many Americans may say that that is just how it goes and everything is relevant but I just want to make the point that to many Australians the disparity seems like a bit of a rip-off. 

Agree with all you say. Australians and New Zealander are the biggest cruise market per capita worldwide and yet the HAL prices are sky high for us. Have tried booking on US websites but once they realise you are from AUST you are redirected and the price after conversion are much more expensive. I stick with HAL as I like the ships and destinations but if I find a comparative cruise at a lesser price on another line I take it even though we are 4 star and the perks are ok. Don't know what we can do about it other than march with our feet. 

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I feel sorry for you Australians and New Zealanders that HAL is taking advantage of you.

 

As poster #2 mentioned they got a good deal with RCI.

 

Maybe you should check out another cruise line.

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Although I cannot compare directly as I have been sick for 4 years, Canadians also can not access the same deals available to Americans.  We can grumble but we don’t have the ports, the population or dollar to compete.  We can do more as North Americans, I believe than Australians and New Zealanders oe European citizens for what it’s worth, but still see the amazing deals our neighbours to the south have access to and sigh.

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We are in the U.K. and have booked with US TAs prior to 2011 so we can continue to do so.  I was told that it is because of legislation in the U.K. which gives cruises far better protection against cruise company’s changes to itinerary etc than US cruisers can get.  Could it be the same reason for Australian and Canadian citizens? 

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... and we have longer flights to get anywhere and ... and ...

 

Do I like it? Heck no, but as we can't do anything about it without moving to the US I don't worry about it. 

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9 minutes ago, Katie52 said:

We are in the U.K. and have booked with US TAs prior to 2011 so we can continue to do so.  I was told that it is because of legislation in the U.K. which gives cruises far better protection against cruise company’s changes to itinerary etc than US cruisers can get.  Could it be the same reason for Australian and Canadian citizens? 

 

I think it is.

 

Cunard's prices have been higher in the UK (and I think Australia and New Zealand, too) for a long time, so it isn't just HAL.

 

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Might it have something to do with Gratuities? In Australia gratuities are not the norm and I understand that some Australians have automatic gratuities removed upon boarding. Have the cruise lines simply added the gratuities to the cruise fare for Australian purchasers and then don't add them to the on board account?

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Are you missing the fact of the exchange on our money (cdn)  We can get the same cruise as US do here in Canada if I had US funds available, but I don't, so I pay more (in relation to numbers) in Cdn funds.  But in fact it is basically the same price.  or am I missing something in this discussion?

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My experience as a Canadian customer of HAL has been that we actually get a slightly better rate booking on the Canadian website, something that I always verify before booking. As an example, today's pricing for a June 6, 2020 14-Day North Cape & Gems Of Norway Explorer aboard the Veendam is $3509 CAD versus $2699 USD on the US site. With today's exchange rate, the US booking would cost me $3588 CAD, or $79 CAD more than booking on the Canadian site.

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Aren't gratuities and some travel protections built into the Australian price that, when you add them into the US pricing makes it fairly comparable?

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22 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

My experience as a Canadian customer of HAL has been that we actually get a slightly better rate booking on the Canadian website, something that I always verify before booking. As an example, today's pricing for a June 6, 2020 14-Day North Cape & Gems Of Norway Explorer aboard the Veendam is $3509 CAD versus $2699 USD on the US site. With today's exchange rate, the US booking would cost me $3588 CAD, or $79 CAD more than booking on the Canadian site.

 

I agree with this.  Each cruise is different but HAL has sometimes been very well priced in CND, almost at par, which right now is saying a LOT!  Especially true for cruises embarking or disembarking in Vancouver.

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32 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

My experience as a Canadian customer of HAL has been that we actually get a slightly better rate booking on the Canadian website, something that I always verify before booking. As an example, today's pricing for a June 6, 2020 14-Day North Cape & Gems Of Norway Explorer aboard the Veendam is $3509 CAD versus $2699 USD on the US site. With today's exchange rate, the US booking would cost me $3588 CAD, or $79 CAD more than booking on the Canadian site.

Much better still is to book through an American travel agent in Canadian dollars.  Our agent always quotes us both USD and CAD and we decide at the time of booking.

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10 minutes ago, taxmantoo said:

Much better still is to book through an American travel agent in Canadian dollars.  Our agent always quotes us both USD and CAD and we decide at the time of booking.

Thanks, but I prefer to use our Big Box TA using the already cheaper Canadian price and taking advantage of their generous perks.

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Posted (edited)

Our experience living in Canada and booking cruises is that 'it varies'  We price our target cruise on both sides of the border, adjusted for currency.

 

Our experience is that the price delta, either way, tends to show up when there are sudden, usually unexpected fluctuations in currency.  I suspect this is because cruise lines set their exchange rate based pricing for several months in advance.

 

I do not believe that large price differences are a result of industry or Government consumer protection plans.  I can see a one or two percent variance but nothing much more.  I attribute the pricing difference to market based pricing.  The cruise lines price to what they think they can get in a particular market.  No different that many well know consumer products that carry pricing models based on both the local cost models and on what the 'traffic will bear; for their products. 

 

Some cruise lines are still trying to enforce this practice but it must be increasingly difficult.  Most other travel vendors gave this practice up a long time ago because people like me can get on the web and price internationally in five or ten minutes flat.  

Edited by iancal

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One time, when we were travelling with my Australian SIL and her hubby, we had a sale on our cruise, and when I told her about it, she went back to her Travel agent and got an even better deal.  I was pleased that I had noticed it here, and thought to mention it, and she was thrilled with her new price.  

 

When you see a sale in the US, can you not request your Australian TA to try to get it for you?

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9 hours ago, skurvish said:

Might it have something to do with Gratuities? In Australia gratuities are not the norm and I understand that some Australians have automatic gratuities removed upon boarding. Have the cruise lines simply added the gratuities to the cruise fare for Australian purchasers and then don't add them to the on board account?

No we still pay gratuities along with everyone else. 

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Sorry for delay in reply to comments. As mentioned by another poster, we still have to pay gratuities, the dollar difference US and Australian is shown so currency not a factor.

I know it is all cruise lines re TA policy. ( US lines for sure as all lines owned by one or two companies.

I enjoy Hal but maybe, despite liking the itinerary fir next year cruise - want to see a bit of Malta I may look at RCI or Celebrity who I have been wanting to try.

Sorry I forgot about our kiwi friends who enjoy the same disparity in pricing. Seems Canadians are a bit better off and nothing against Americans - I like you except for the buffet lines ha ha. But just as America does not like subsidising the rest of the world in many things, maybe the rest of the world cruisers do not like subsidising American cruisers. 

We would just like a ‘Fair Go’ in pricing terms or access to the deals we do not get. I can tell you, in terms of perks, upgrades etc. we get nothing like what Americans do.

I wonder if HAL ever read forums etc. like hotels do on TripAdvisor? It would be nice to get some comment from them, and not just a standard blab.

Anyway I have had my gripe, thanks for reading and commenting. It is just nice sometimes to get things off your chest. 

We are 3 star mariners which is not a high status as we do not cruise as much as Americans particularly but we have been loyal repeat customers as have many Aussies and Kiwis and in business, repeat customers are what you want.

May see some of you on a future cruise, whether that be HAL or not remains to be seen.

 

Regards

Tony

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10 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

Aren't gratuities and some travel protections built into the Australian price that, when you add them into the US pricing makes it fairly comparable?

No we are still billed the daily gratuities

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