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lysolqn

Has the former Go Better, Go Best gone crazy?

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As a solo, I feel I have no option but to book onboard.  I had to cancel/move all my reservations for 2019 due to health issue but fortunately all cruises were previously booked onboard last year so no penalty except the true 50% cancellation fee on one (trip insurance covered it).  For a cruise booked from land with a $450 nonrefundable deposit in the same circumstance, I'd have been out the $450 because I couldn't use the $350 future cruise balance ($450 less $100 penalty) within 12 months.  BTW, the prices for nonrefundable are not only absurdly high, they're DOUBLE absurd if you're solo = you only can use one gratuity, one drink package.  I take 14 day cruises as a minimum, don't drink, get free coffees, 3 cans of soda daily to take to the cabin, and buy a few bottles of decent wine for my one daily glass with dinner.  My tips run $15/day in concierge.  If I book onboard nonrefundable, the deposit will still be the usual $100 and I can add my military discount of $200.  I'm willing to risk $100 but not $450 because I know first hand life can get in the way of your best laid plans.

Edited by goofysmom99

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12 hours ago, DYKWIA said:

By coincidence, after looking at a holiday next year and crunching a few numbers,  I asked my wife yesterday "how much do you think our 12 night Med cruise is costing us this year on the Infinity - just the cruise and "free" drinks packages - tips, flights, car parking, excursions etc extra" (2A Balcony)

 

"About £150 / night", she guessed.

 

"Closer to £380 / night", I suggested (500$)

 

"well the steak and seafood in the MDR needs to be a lot better or it will be back to land vacations" 

 

For £150 /night you can find excellent hotels in most parts of the world with £230 in your back pocket which will go a long way for food a drink.

 

A shame really but the continuing price rises whilst still affordable for us no longer appear to be good value.

 

We’ve cruised four times with Celebrity, 2014-2017, in Aqua or balcony, always with drinks package. A great experience each time. Every one was less than £150pppn, excluding air fares which we booked separately. Last year, Cunard to the Canaries significantly undercut Celebrity (though paying for each drink mounted up!) but booking onboard for $430 OBC each for next year to the Baltic was a no-brainer. Now, with Carnival shares purchased, adding another $250 OBC every time on longer cruises, Celebrity’s current pricing looks decidedly unattractive, apart from last minute bookings.

 

Stuart.

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8 hours ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Before they changed to the new pricing, the difference between non-refundable and refundable deposit fares for the same number of perks was generally about 5%. So consider that about 210 CAD of the above 725 CAD difference is due to the refundable deposit and 515 CAD is a reasonable estimate what you would be paying to add the two perks.

 

Not sure what do you mean. We always booked refundable deposit. And we don't drink. So for us, to pay those prices just doesn't make sense. The perks we would take are OBC and Internet. But with refundable deposit, the prices are getting pretty close to Oceania, where you get Internet, all non alcoholic drinks and all specialty restaurants included in the basic price. 

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Y'all complained when these perks were included in the base price - especially those that don't drink or were satisfied with the two hour Elite cocktail events.  Now you're bitching when you have to pay separately for the perks  OF YOU WANT THEM.  

 

And do the math.  Eleven day cruise.  Classic alcohol package $59/night plus 20% gratuities = $779.  Gratuities $14.50/day = $160.   $779+160= $939.  $700 Sounds like a bargain to me.

 

Don't drink?  Fine - paying for even two perks probably makes no sense.  So you pay the base fare without perks - which is What y'all wanted in The first place.

 

non-refundable deposit?  But insurance or use the right credit card or self insure.  The new system discourages people from booking multiple cruises then cancelling most of them.  Sounds good and fair to me.  

Edited by jkgourmet

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7 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

 

non-refundable deposit?  But insurance or use the right credit card or self insure.  The new system discourages people from booking multiple cruises then cancelling most of them.  Sounds good and fair to me.  

Just curious, will insurance cover your full refundable deposit as all but $100pp will go into a future cruise credit?

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18 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

Y'all complained when these perks were included in the base price - especially those that don't drink or were satisfied with the two hour Elite cocktail events.  Now you're bitching when you have to pay separately for the perks  OF YOU WANT THEM.  

 

And do the math.  Eleven day cruise.  Classic alcohol package $59/night plus 20% gratuities = $779.  Gratuities $14.50/day = $160.   $779+160= $939.  $700 Sounds like a bargain to me.

 

Don't drink?  Fine - paying for even two perks probably makes no sense.  So you pay the base fare without perks - which is What y'all wanted in The first place.

 

non-refundable deposit?  But insurance or use the right credit card or self insure.  The new system discourages people from booking multiple cruises then cancelling most of them.  Sounds good and fair to me.  

Even Sail All priced at $1185 for this cruise with all 4 "perks" ($300 OBC, Wifi, gratuities, CL Bev) is a decent savings if you price these out and add them individually to the base cabin rate.  Of course that is if you want all 4 "perks" which are really purchasing add-on's so not perks at all.

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Well I will throw in my 2 1/2 cents... We have been travelling with Celebrity for years and have seen the prices going up, up, up..

 

We were on Reflection for a Spring Break cruise and did not get the drink package, as we got such a great deal on a Resident Rate and we live 35 mins. from the Port, so there is no air involved.  We also get the Elite benefits.   I am not a huge drinker and my Partner drinks a bit more than me (he's from Texas - LOL😁) so we usually spend about $500 on liquor (7 day cruise) - we also had the Elite happy hour(s) and all of the parties -- so we were fine.

 

We decided to book a Christmas cruise for this year (to avoid the ice and snow like last year in TX) and I wrote to my TA on-board and all she said was "book it on-board." The signal had been given...  We booked the same cabin we had for $1,200 PP; Celebrity gave us an additional $100 SBC. We then transferred the booking to her. Well... the  2 Perk Sail Away Deal came up and we took the classic liquor package (which we will upgrade to premium when we board), the $300 SBC and TA Gratuities plus an additional $50 loyalty bonus (Total SBC $450) and we get the internet from Celebrity - it ran $180PP more... -- But wait... I saw the prices dropped another $100PP and the adjustment was made w/o any changes to the perks.  So it ended up running us $80PP for all of the perks above on a Christmas cruise.

 

I stay on top of the pricing (daily) for the cruises we book and you need a good TA who will work with you... We currently have two cruises set up with Celebrity and one with Oceania and we just lurk in the shadows👽 and work those deals... If it is too expensive, we wait or do not book.  Our deal on Oceania 10 days Lisbon to Rome was $3,199 (ocean view) - incl air, gratuities, SBC and excursions... Summer of 2020 we are off to Ireland/ Iceland -- I just checked and the rates are now a $1,000PP more than what we paid incl. drink package, gratuities, SBC and Elite Internet...

 

You have to look for those deals, know your dates and be ready to book when you see it and carry the travel insurance...Do not hesitate.. Like I tell my students -- You Snooze You Lose...

 

P.S. Celebrity Travel Insurance is based on amount spent on booking not on age so it is a great deal; on Oceania we buy insurance from an outside carrier, as they base it on age and can be very expensive (even if one is younger - like me😜).

 

Happy Sailing To ALL...😊  

 

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On 5/13/2019 at 8:32 AM, lysolqn said:

Just booked an 11-night cruise (#39 on X) and checked out the perks offers.  We usually choose two perks ($150 OBC per person and gratuities) since we're not drinkers and have no need for unlimited Wi-Fi because Elite Plus status gives us sufficient free Wi-Fi to meet our needs.   What used to be known as Go Better, Go Best is now Sail Plus (two perks of your choice) and Sail All (all four available perks).  Both options allow for refund of deposit should you need to cancel your reservation.  (It appears X has decided to follow the airline industry with respect to cancellations.  What's next?  Charging for checked baggage?)  Bottom line, Sail Plus is $700 per person, while Sail All is $1085 per person.  Am I the only one who finds these prices ridiculous?

 

Sincere question, did you do the math per person per day and compare it to the cost of buying individually?

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20 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Another issue is those huge price drops after the final payment. Yes, it happens with other lines as well, but not to that extent. The reason is simple: lines like Princess and HAL start with very reasonable pricing, so they don't need to drop the prices. Celebrity starts with crazy pricing, so they don't fill cabins and need those fire sales. Our June cruise is now 35% cheaper than we booked. Inside cabin was at some point less than $1,000 CAD. We are really concerned what kind of demographics those prices will attract. If we want to sail with Carnival demographics, we would book Carnival, not Celebrity.

I totally agree that Celebrity's pricing with bundling all the perks (that we don't want) is driving us away.   I have done NCL and Royal Caribbean, but never HAL (mainly because of its terrible smoking policy-which has changed now) or Princess.  We won't do Carnival or expensive Disney.

 

Recently, I researched for a transatlantic from Rome to Miami in 2020 and compared NCL, Celebrity,  Princess and Royal Caribbean.   PRINCESS was by far the highest price.   Celebrity was next, still $900 per couple more than the same cruise on Royal Caribbean.   On Royal we get the wonderful Diamond happy hour benefits from 4:30-8 that allows us to order a glass of wine in the MDR.  On our last Royal cruise for 22 days we didn't spend a nickel on alcohol.  Heck with a drinks package.

I couldn't find a comparable cruise from HAL, but I did find some nice cruise that were longer than the others, but still more expensive than the others except for Princess.   NCL does price bundling as well, but their prices are more reasonable, but still can't beat Royal.  We are trending toward Royal.

 

We looked at MSC since everyone we know was talking about them and two of our friends had a nice cruise on MSC, but they just took a cruise on MSC and said the food was terrible.

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3 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

I totally agree that Celebrity's pricing with bundling all the perks (that we don't want) is driving us away.   I have done NCL and Royal Caribbean, but never HAL (mainly because of its terrible smoking policy-which has changed now) or Princess.

We won't do Carnival or expensive Disney.

 

NCL does price bundling as well, but their prices are more reasonable, but still can't beat Royal.  We are trending toward Royal. We looked at MSC since everyone we know was talking about them and two of our friends had a nice cruise on MSC, but they just took a cruise on MSC and said the food was terrible.

Hi 4774Papa - You can get the pricing on Celebrity w/o all of the perks. It depends on how they price the perks above the base fare. We do not even look at NCL or MSC - we did NCL once - never again and MSC has consistently poor reviews across the board, as they try to cater to Americans, but much of their staff is not trained properly. Years ago on HAL we liked their drink booklet package that came in a 10/20 pack. That was great.. We were told some people left their unused drink booklets in the stateroom Bible.. You know I checked it when I boarded, but no drink tickets... So Sad..😪

 

I have heard MSC has beautiful ships, but food and service leave a lot to be desired. IMHO Celebrity, HAL and Princess are in  the top tier of the mid-priced cruise lines (before the jump to Azamara and Oceania) and NCL or MSC should not be considered in that group. Take a look at the reviews overall and see what the patterns are. 

 

Good luck!!!   Happy Cruising!!!😁

Edited by neilrr

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1 hour ago, neilrr said:

 

I have heard MSC has beautiful ships, but food and service leave a lot to be desired. IMHO Celebrity, HAL and Princess are in  the top tier of the mid-priced cruise lines (before the jump to Azamara and Oceania) and NCL or MSC should not be considered in that group. Take a look at the reviews overall and see what the patterns are. 

 

Good luck!!!   Happy Cruising!!!😁

 

Completely agree. We sailed on all of them except NCL and MSC. Oceania was the best, Azamara close second, Princess was (in our opinion) slightly better than Celebrity and HAL, but definitely in the same category. 

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We've done MSC once and liked it so much we are doing it again in October. To us, the key is being in the Yacht Club, it's first class in every aspect. From what we saw, I don't think we'd venture in the lower classes of cabins. I think word is spreading because we looked at booking it again in 2020 and the pricing is up about 50% from what we paid, which is still much cheaper than even the Sky Suite on Celebrity.

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2 hours ago, neilrr said:

Hi 4774Papa - You can get the pricing on Celebrity w/o all of the perks. It depends on how they price the perks above the base fare. We do not even look at NCL or MSC - we did NCL once - never again and MSC has consistently poor reviews across the board, as they try to cater to Americans, but much of their staff is not trained properly. Years ago on HAL we liked their drink booklet package that came in a 10/20 pack. That was great.. We were told some people left their unused drink booklets in the stateroom Bible.. You know I checked it when I boarded, but no drink tickets... So Sad..😪

 

I have heard MSC has beautiful ships, but food and service leave a lot to be desired. IMHO Celebrity, HAL and Princess are in  the top tier of the mid-priced cruise lines (before the jump to Azamara and Oceania) and NCL or MSC should not be considered in that group. Take a look at the reviews overall and see what the patterns are. 

 

Good luck!!!   Happy Cruising!!!😁

I do realize that X has added an option to book without perks, but the no perk price is still inflated.  At least the prices for the cruises that I am looking at are too high.

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7 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Even Sail All priced at $1185 for this cruise with all 4 "perks" ($300 OBC, Wifi, gratuities, CL Bev) is a decent savings if you price these out and add them individually to the base cabin rate.  Of course that is if you want all 4 "perks" which are really purchasing add-on's so not perks at all.

It may make sense for people that drink a lot and don't take advantage of the elite HH.   We have never had the beverage package and for a 14 day cruise normally spend about $300 total on alcohol (usually wine for dinner).

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We prefer the refundable  fare plan.

We are not big drinkers,  but the Classic perk is convenient, includes tea,  nicer coffees, water, juice(?),  dh beer and scotch...and a bit of OBC helps at the spa,  We look for fair pricing based on itin and ship, usually when  bookings open,

 

The "non refundable" lower fare ( which gives a  future credit) gives another option....could be useful for last minute bookings!

 

So far we are  doing OK with X...of course not how it used to be,  but in view of present reality it's our  best choice.

Edited by hcat

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With the 'Sail Plus-Best Value' it says: Choose two perks and bonus on board credit. How much is the bonus on board credit? the

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21 minutes ago, sasset said:

With the 'Sail Plus-Best Value' it says: Choose two perks and bonus on board credit. How much is the bonus on board credit? the

Think you are referring to the current spot promotion offering up to additional $200 OBC. I believe that this ends tomorrow.

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For us price is important but not the deciding factor.  We are Diamond on Royal but for us too many kids, Diamond Lounge wall to wall people, too noisy with announcements every 15 mins 

Haven’t tried Princess but the cruises we have looked at price is equal or higher but for us lose E+ internet, laundry, speciality coffee, and Happy hour.  MSC seems great in YC for Caribbean but we don’t want to go there when there are so many other places to see. So for the foreseeable future we will happily sail on X

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18 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

I do realize that X has added an option to book without perks, but the no perk price is still inflated.  At least the prices for the cruises that I am looking at are too high.

4774Papa - The prices do tend to fluctuate.  You have to keep an eye on the prices based on what you think is fair and when you see it -- grab it. The on-line TA's have sales --with lots of nice perks (if desired) and Memorial Day Sale is coming up "sometimes" a great time to find good deals... When we see those deals -- and we know our schedule (which is VERY regimented) we grab it and book it.  We have little flexibility.  I personally am usually checking things daily... We have three trips we booked that I monitor for price changes and upgrades.. Call me "crazy" 👽 Good luck!!!😊

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13 hours ago, bkbarrym said:

Think you are referring to the current spot promotion offering up to additional $200 OBC. I believe that this ends tomorrow.

The Sail Plus (2 perks) gives $300 OBC as one of the perks, if chosen. Then you can choose one of the following: Classic Drink Package, Pre-paid Gratuities or Internet. You can mix and match the two that appeal to you.😊

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Thanks, but the way it's worded on the site makes it read like two perks and an additional OBC.

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3 minutes ago, sasset said:

Thanks, but the way it's worded on the site makes it read like two perks and an additional OBC.

Correct. Current promotion, ending today gives you $200 OBC in addition to whichever 2 perks you choose.

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7 minutes ago, bkbarrym said:

Correct. Current promotion, ending today gives you $200 OBC in addition to whichever 2 perks you choose.

I could only get the extra $200 OBC on 2019 sailings. 

 

 

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