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uktog

Impact of pricing drops on upgrade bids

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Bonnie

 

Can you advise can someone who books relatively last minute is eligible to bid for upgrades as soon as they have booked?

 

I booked on a cruise at the end of last year - cost if you ignore the future cruise discount certificate I also threw in was £7200.  The cruise is in May.  Today I got an offer email from Azamara (oops getting them now) and the identical cabin would cost £2700.  It is after final payment so of course I cannot do any cancel and rebook I just have to reflect and learn.

 

So it seems it is the case if I can do a last minute upgrade bid, I would have a much better deal in future waiting very late on cruises where airfare costs are less of an issue and we have an open mind on itinerary, booking late and then using my budget for a big upgrade.

 

In May I could have waited, booked now then put in a strong bid for a suite (based on the figures in the email I had) and still have change from what we have paid only a short time ago for a verandah.

 

It is worrying that cruises that were being sold for over £7k are now being offered for less than £3k..... you always know someone pays less than you .....but that much.... 

 

Oh well, lesson learned 

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Posted (edited)

Uktog I totally agree with you.

 

I saw that discount too, it’s only £700 more for me to now book a balcony instead of an inside so I rang to see if I could upgrade  and was told that it wasn’t possible to upgrade unless I cancelled my fully paid cruise at a cost of over 75% I said I found that was odd basically Azamara don’t want my money! I can’t upgrade at any price without cancelling my booking.

 

Of course I can bid to,upgrade at a minimum cost of $2000 

 

This doesn’t seem right at all but I’m happy to be onboard regardless and maybe my upgrade bid for an OV will be successful 😀

Edited by DebbieMacG

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uktog and DebbieMacG I feel your pain.😢

We received the email today, if only we had received it last week we would be sailing with you instead of on the Norfolk Broads.

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I have decided I am never booking early again. It is obvious that Azamara have significantly overpriced a lot of cruises and they are now having fire sales. Very annoying for a few hundred pounds but UKtog's reduction for the same grade cabin from £7200 dropped to £2700 would have me incandescent with rage! 

 

If a cruise is in The Med with lots of flight options from the UK, then I'm going to wait until final payment is past due for the cruise and do a late booking.  

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38 minutes ago, DebbieMacG said:

Uktog I totally agree with you.

 

I saw that discount too, it’s only £700 more for me to now book a balcony instead of an inside so I rang to see if I could upgrade  and was told that it wasn’t possible to upgrade unless I cancelled my fully paid cruise at a cost of over 75% I said I found that was odd basically Azamara don’t want my money! I can’t upgrade at any price without cancelling my booking.

 

Of course I can bid to,upgrade at a minimum cost of $2000 

 

This doesn’t seem right at all but I’m happy to be onboard regardless and maybe my upgrade bid for an OV will be successful 😀

That sounds really strange. Most cruise lines value repeat guests. Are you using a travel agent?  If so, let them contact Azamara. Your TA has an incentive to get you the upgrade, they make more commission and have a happy client. Azamara direct is not always helpful. Those  people who answer calls, probably have no incentive to make you happy. If you don’t use a TA, get one. A good TA knows how to deal with cruise lines. My TA has excellent getting me added value on cruises. He also gives me extra OBC. Using a TA doesn’t cost extra. 

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Posted (edited)

I do not think the position of Travel Agents in the UK is the same as elsewhere in terms of what they can negotiate after final payment.  I think Lottie is right, late bookings are the way to go

 

Anyway the price we paid is what its cost,  however very keen to know from Bonnie if I booked a verandah today on one of the late sale deals could I then come into bid for a suite because I could avoid the bad suite location issue and bid for a premium suite at todays prices (I accept that might not happen on every cruise, I am thinking of possible scenarios for the future that is all)

Edited by uktog

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Posted (edited)

I’m not using a TA, in the UK we rarely gain any benefit from using them like extra OBC or discounts and it’s usually easier to deal with the cruise line directly because you can call them right away if you see a price drop. I’ve never had a problem like this with Celebrity, Cunard or Princess. 

 

I agree with Lottie, infact I was about to book a cruise today for September but now I’m going to wait and see. 

Edited by DebbieMacG

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It isn’t just Azamara though, we have been caught out by Cunard last minute reductions in the past and also special offers they suddenly make.

Is it worth dropping an email to Richard Twynam?

The last thing on my mind would be offering Azamara more money for an upgrade.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

It isn’t just Azamara though, we have been caught out by Cunard last minute reductions in the past and also special offers they suddenly make.

Is it worth dropping an email to Richard Twynam?

The last thing on my mind would be offering Azamara more money for an upgrade.

 

I am just leaving this one alone, because it could happen again and again and as you say its an industry practice, though the scale of this drop has rather shocked me, probably something I wasn't aware of but having finally got on their mailing list, the first email I got delivered the bombshell.  I am more keen to set up a new tactic, late booking and use the savings from our perceived notional budget to bid for an upgrade IF these late fares are allowed to bid for upgrades.

Edited by uktog

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Just now, uktog said:

I am just leaving this one alone, because it could happen again and again and as you say its an industry practice, though the scale of this drop has rather shocked me.  I am more keen to set up a new tactic, late booking and use the savings from our perceived notional budget to bid for an upgrade IF these late fares are allowed to bid for upgrades.

The scale of that price drop is ridiculous. As Lottie said, they got the pricing wrong to start with. It's obvious Azamara are trying to see what the market will bear, but I'm not playing the game. I've seen on a couple of my cruises just how inflated the price has been before dropping back substantially. Luckily I've not been caught and don't intend to be.  

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, DebbieMacG said:

Uktog I totally agree with you.

 

I saw that discount too, it’s only £700 more for me to now book a balcony instead of an inside so I rang to see if I could upgrade  and was told that it wasn’t possible to upgrade unless I cancelled my fully paid cruise at a cost of over 75% I said I found that was odd basically Azamara don’t want my money! I can’t upgrade at any price without cancelling my booking.

 

Of course I can bid to,upgrade at a minimum cost of $2000 

 

This doesn’t seem right at all but I’m happy to be onboard regardless and maybe my upgrade bid for an OV will be successful 😀

I know we have conversed before on upgrades and the like. I thought you said you needed an accessible cabin and for your next cruse had booked an inside accessible?  There aren't any accessible balcony cabins on Azamara. 

 

Phil 

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6 minutes ago, uktog said:

I am just leaving this one alone, because it could happen again and again and as you say its an industry practice, though the scale of this drop has rather shocked me, probably something I wasn't aware of but having finally got on their mailing list, the first email I got delivered the bombshell.  I am more keen to set up a new tactic, late booking and use the savings from our perceived notional budget to bid for an upgrade IF these late fares are allowed to bid for upgrades.

Yes the scale of the drop is phenomenal.

I would have thought by the time these late offers are released they would have assigned all the upgrade requests though so little chance of bidding for an upgrade.

We have cruises booked for 2020 with Saga on their new ships, their strategy is offer a 35% discount initially and then reduce the discount as the ship fills.

This should ensure that early booking secures the best price. We shall see

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18 minutes ago, uktog said:

I am just leaving this one alone, because it could happen again and again and as you say its an industry practice, though the scale of this drop has rather shocked me, probably something I wasn't aware of but having finally got on their mailing list, the first email I got delivered the bombshell.  I am more keen to set up a new tactic, late booking and use the savings from our perceived notional budget to bid for an upgrade IF these late fares are allowed to bid for upgrades.

Ann, I only booked my May Pursuit cruise a few weeks ago...on March 13th I think. I had the upgrade bid email within a few days, so yes they do allow it on late bookings.  It's Rome to Venice so flights were easy. I booked them independently anyway as It was MUCH cheaper than letting Azamara do them for me. 

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17 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

Yes the scale of the drop is phenomenal.

I would have thought by the time these late offers are released they would have assigned all the upgrade requests though so little chance of bidding for an upgrade.

We have cruises booked for 2020 with Saga on their new ships, their strategy is offer a 35% discount initially and then reduce the discount as the ship fills.

This should ensure that early booking secures the best price. We shall see

I will be interested to hear Saga new ships v Azamara comparisons when you can make them. 

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Well Ann, I was due to be on Saga Spirit of  Discovery in September but we had to cancel the cruise last week, due to my friend's serious illness. All I can tell you is Saga management were fantastic. They immediately refunded our deposits and were very kind and efficient. I know my other friends are on this cruise and they will be able to give a good comparison between Saga and Azamara. 

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34 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I know we have conversed before on upgrades and the like. I thought you said you needed an accessible cabin and for your next cruse had booked an inside accessible?  There aren't any accessible balcony cabins on Azamara. 

 

Phil 

I have booked an accessible inside cabin because I use a wheelchair, a normal inside isn’t big enough to store the chair but a regular balcony is. Since I can walk a few steps I don’t need to transfer to the bed from the chair or need the shower to be wheelchair accessible. Also the chair can be folded to go through the door. It’s harder work for my husband but worth the trade for the balcony and has the bonus of meaning that the accessible inside would be available for someone who cannot transfer.  If I can manage without an accessible cabin I do but the wheelchair makes it difficult, since getting the wheelchair last year I’ve cruised with Celebrity and Princess and managed both times because I couldn’t get an accessible cabin. The wheelchair fits through the door on a regular cabin on Celebrity and Princess have the big open wardrobe area which the wheelchair can be stored in but an regular Azamara inside cabin is too small.

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The same thing has happened to us Ann, a Canadian consolidator has our B2B next month for less than half the price we paid including flights, transfers, two nights in a hotel in Tokyo, a city tour and free Wifi none of which we have of course.

We’ll certainly be using the same tactics as you in future.

Jenni

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3 hours ago, uktog said:

 

I booked on a cruise at the end of last year - cost if you ignore the future cruise discount certificate I also threw in was £7200.  The cruise is in May.  Today I got an offer email from Azamara (oops getting them now) and the identical cabin would cost £2700.  It is after final payment so of course I cannot do any cancel and rebook I just have to reflect and learn.

 


If we had an 🤬 option to click on for your post, that's what I would have done.  I would be seething at such a drop.  Sure, you expect you might end up paying more by booking early, but that is ridiculous!  I'm so sorry.

It does seem now if you're flexible with your time and itineraries, and have options to get to the port, waiting is better.  We have to fly everywhere, so often airfare precludes us from taking advantage of last-minute deals.  Plus, of course, those darn jobs that allow us to pay for the cruises  🙂

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2 hours ago, hiccups said:

If we had an 🤬 option to click on for your post, that's what I would have done.  I would be seething at such a drop.  Sure, you expect you might end up paying more by booking early, but that is ridiculous!  I'm so sorry.

Well said, I’d click 😡too!

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Hi uktog, sorry I’m tardy in responding. 

There’s plenty in your question that I shouldn’t speculate on. That only gets me in hot water.

But I do know that If the new lower fare is categorized as non-full-fare it wouldn’t qualify for an upgrade. You’ll have to check with our Reservations about the new fare...whether it qualifies. 

As for bidding close in, I believe the answer is yes, you may bid between 90-days through 3-days prior to sailing. 

 

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I recently encountered the same thing with Celebrity.  We had booked our cruise over a year and a half in advance.  The price dropped dramatically after final payment was due.  We had our agent call Celebrity but nothing could be done.  Soon after,  we were sent the email about bidding for an upgrade.  It was an insane amount to upgrade to a suite from what we paid for Aqua Class vs. the new pricing available.   I called and sent Celebrity an email.  The answer was basically so sad, too bad.  What made it all worse was we met a couple on board that waited to book.....paid a much lower rate and then successfully bid on an upgrade.  Azamara is now part of the same scheme.  I learned my lesson about booking early and loyalty.  

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5 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

Hi uktog, sorry I’m tardy in responding. 

There’s plenty in your question that I shouldn’t speculate on. That only gets me in hot water.

But I do know that If the new lower fare is categorized as non-full-fare it wouldn’t qualify for an upgrade. You’ll have to check with our Reservations about the new fare...whether it qualifies. 

As for bidding close in, I believe the answer is yes, you may bid between 90-days through 3-days prior to sailing. 

 

Thanks Bonnie and others

Did not want to get you in any hot water! 

i have looked again this morning and the price has changed to £7200!?!!

So maybe what I and others saw yesterday was a pricing error.  That said, we are still moving into the booking late camp for the future if we opt to go to Europe as that. undoubtedly seems to give best value. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, uktog said:

Thanks Bonnie and others

Did not want to get you in any hot water! 

i have looked again this morning and the price has changed to £7200!?!!

So maybe what I and others saw yesterday was a pricing error.  That said, we are still moving into the booking late camp for the future if we opt to go to Europe as that. undoubtedly seems to give best value. 

 

 

 

Hmmm. Very interesting that it has changed back. Wonder what that was about?

 

Phil 

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7 hours ago, uktog said:

Thanks Bonnie and others

Did not want to get you in any hot water! 

i have looked again this morning and the price has changed to £7200!?!!

So maybe what I and others saw yesterday was a pricing error.  That said, we are still moving into the booking late camp for the future if we opt to go to Europe as that. undoubtedly seems to give best value. 

 

 

 


May I ask, is this the 14-night Japan, Russia and Alaska sailing on Quest on May 12th?  Asking because I noticed a couple weeks ago the pricing on this cruise is ridiculously low--makes me wish I had that kind of time to take off, but I have a busy month at work in May.  Plus, of course, the airfare would be prohibitive.

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Hi

No it was the 10 night from Rome to Barcelona

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