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gadaboutgal

MSC "BID UP" program launch

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If they have higher cabins that didn't sell, I don't see why they can't upsell it through bidding to maximize profit. 

It's better than random people getting an upgrade. With bidding, at least it's a fair game.

 

This mostly hurts the YC-only cruisers as they are now having to pay the inflated price and have nothing to upgrade to.

 

With NCL, I have always booked inside guarantee and upgraded to the Balcony at a lower price. If there is a significant last-minute price drop, I can even change to Balcony with very little price difference. So inflated pricing doesn't bother me.

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30 minutes ago, thetaro said:

If they have higher cabins that didn't sell, I don't see why they can't upsell it through bidding to maximize profit. 

It's better than random people getting an upgrade. With bidding, at least it's a fair game.

 

This mostly hurts the YC-only cruisers as they are now having to pay the inflated price and have nothing to upgrade to.

 

With NCL, I have always booked inside guarantee and upgraded to the Balcony at a lower price. If there is a significant last-minute price drop, I can even change to Balcony with very little price difference. So inflated pricing doesn't bother me.

I am one of the random people who got an upgrade to Yacht club on their last cruise!

When I looked at the cost though, I actually paid approximately the same for our balcony cabin and deluxe drink package as an inside Yacht club or the price of the  YC balcony for a last minute reservation.

So maybe not so random!

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14 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

Don't you agree with me that I'm a loser on the bidding system if I now have to pay $7000 instead of $5000 for the cabin?

 

I understand the market forces and I also understand why NCL does it. but can't I still be a loser if I have to pay $7000 instead of $5000?

 

Market forces say that without the bidding system NCL can sell two cabins for $5000 each and with the bidding system they can hope to get $7000 each but if they only sell one for that price they can sell the other for $3000 and still get $10000.

 

I don't say that I am the loser because I have to pay $7000 and someone else might get a  cabin in the same category for only $3000. I am the loser because $7000 is $2000 more than $5000! It's not about how much someone else pay for their cabin, only what I pay.

 

The bidding system really hasn't costed me anything because I haven't cruised on NCL since they started with it. I don't pay more than I'm willing to pay! If MSC does the same as NCL, I am out! 

You nailed it on the head.  For people not familiar with details of NCL over the years and impacts of the bid system, it may seem like bidding is a good idea.  For some, yes, others, no.

 

I have seen 2021 MSC YC prices very high though.

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13 hours ago, Até said:

You don't have to ask and it really doesn't matter.  If someone pays pre final payment asking price for a suite on NCL they overpay, period.  Forced minimum bid amounts are tightly controlled so the people who think they got a deal on an upgrade bid usually pay about what the suites used to sell for before the bidding process was implemented.  And yes, the system is designed for one purpose and that is not to help the consumers it is to increase sales revenue for the same cabins.  A bidding system basically would lose money if they really let people have the cabins for less than they were selling for before the bid system.  So far I've seen that they just raise the cabin prices to catch a few unwary people with outright sales then bid off the remaining ones back near the original price, they control the system and the minimum bids, and anyone who booked outright just lined the corporate pockets with some extra cash.  And don't think this same thing isn't happening, to a lesser dollar value, to balcony and ocean view cabins.  Since several cruise lines have implemented systems and don't seem like they are getting rid of them it evidently is a money maker that basically relies on consumers not knowing what the cabins would normally sell for and getting caught up in the bidding frenzy.

 

What the cruise lines either don't realize or don't care about is that it does also hurt people who usually book the higher cabins and don't want to book a balcony and take a chance on winning a bid to an unknown cabin location.  NCL lost piles of us, and I recognize many now here on the MSC forum.  If they implement a bidding system MSC will see an initial significant decrease in people outright booking YC and Aurea cabins, just like what happened on NCL.  What will be interesting is the reaction of the cruise line, in NCL's case it was to actually increase the prices which served to drive higher minimum bids from unsavvy people.  Hopefully MSC doesn't use that same tactic.

 

I still read the NCL forums and have seen some interesting discussion about how NCL is becoming more and more like Carnival, even the Haven has been having troubles with unruly passengers being kicked off the ship.  I can't help but feel NCL's new orientation towards the bargain hunter, first time, uneducated cruiser is in part fueled by the bidding hoax.

Exactly right on.  The second super long bidding thread on NCL boards reads like a lonely hearts forum.  It is either ...I got a bargain compared to retail rate (jacked up rate) or I didn't win my bid, but I don't care anyways because now I saved $ to spend on whatever.  Several here articulate impact on them and many more out there.

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12 hours ago, sidari said:

Trouble is MSC have employed Ex NCL people so no surprise to see them trying out NCL ideas which hopefully will fail.

On Divina over last Xmas and New Year our cabin steward who has been with MSC for many years and knows the job inside out was telling us that they had just got a new Housekeeping manager from NCL who was trying to change the way MSC work, meanwhile alienating the staff in the process.

That is not good news.  The past four years give or take since FDR took over NCL it has been all take and I can maybe think of two gives, one being making the Chinese restaurants free on ships that have them.  The take list would be pages long.  Their biggest seems to increase the DSC and the auto service charges on drinks and imputed value on "free" packages plus thinning staff at regular intervals.

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13 minutes ago, dexddd said:

You nailed it on the head.  For people not familiar with details of NCL over the years and impacts of the bid system, it may seem like bidding is a good idea.  For some, yes, others, no.

 

I have seen 2021 MSC YC prices very high though.

 

I have started to look at prices for 2021 and I have NOT seen very high prices. (One week on one of the newer ships in February is less than $6000, for two, and that's okay, I think.)

 

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Just now, sverigecruiser said:

 

I have started to look at prices for 2021 and I have NOT seen very high prices. (One week on one of the newer ships in February is less than $6000, for two, and that's okay, I think.)

 

Check March Mera.

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3 minutes ago, dexddd said:

Check March Mera.

 

I looked at Meraviglia March 7 and March 14 and that was less than $6000 for Yacht Club Deluxe Suite.

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8 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I don't understand what you mean, who do I need to ask? I know that $7000 is more than $5000. The bidding system made the prices go up and I will have to pay more for the cabin I want.

 

It's not that I care how much anyone else pay and it's not that I don't understand the market forces. It's not a win win situation for me because I have to pay more!

I think we're beating a dead horse here, sverigecruiser. All I'm trying to say is this: there's no way to know what price a cabin "should" sell for. There IS no "should." It's entirely driven by the free market. If they have 2 cabins to sell and they're priced at $5000 each, as you pointed out, and yet they are able to get someone to bid more, OK, so? So that means someone was willing to pay. You seem to think you have some "right" to pay what you think you "should" pay. I think you already know that cruise prices fluctuate all the time. The same cabin might cost one price for one sailing and a different price for another. Well, that's just how it works. Where I agree with you is that the bidding system does introduce a certain distortion of the normal process. Without bidding, the cruise lines would just have to price the cabins appropriately solely based on customer demand. Unsold cabins = cruise line either has to lower the price or the cabin goes empty. The bidding system allows the price to fluctuate more. But that's really no different than cruise lines offering refundable vs non-refundable deposits, guaranteed cabin vs picking your own, offering incentives like "free" drink packages, excursions, internet, specialty restaurants, and so on. It's just one more tactic the cruise lines have to generate income. But that's the business they're in. And that's what I like about it. If MSC or NCL implements a bidding system and people don't like it, they'll go to another line that wants their money. That's the free market, too.

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22 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

 I see this as a total win/win, the cruise line gets the ship full and bargain hunters get to sail for less. There are no losers here

 

This is where we disagree.

 

Before the bidding system started NCL may charge $5000 for a suite and people paid that. When the bidding system started they raised the prices A LOT (you can see that many agrees with that on the NCL board). Now someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000 and someone who might want it can book a balcony cabin and bid on a suite and maybe get it for $3000.

 

I don't agree with you that there are no losers. I still think that $7000 is more than $5000.

 

We just have to agree that we disagree!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

This is where we disagree.

 

Before the bidding system started NCL may charge $5000 for a suite and people paid that. When the bidding system started they raised the prices A LOT (you can see that many agrees with that on the NCL board). Now someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000 and someone who might want it can book a balcony cabin and bid on a suite and maybe get it for $3000.

 

I don't agree with you that there are no losers. I still think that $7000 is more than $5000.

 

We just have to agree that we disagree!

 

 

Let me quote from your post above:

"Now someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000." Nobody HAS to pay anything, you say someone who really wants the suite, well then don't get a suite, problem solved. Or if you really want a suite, find a cruise with a suite priced at $5000, meaning you might have to go on a different ship or a different date. Otherwise, why can't YOU be the one who snags the suite for $3000? Anyway...

We agree that we will have to agree to disagree. :classic_biggrin: 

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16 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Without bidding, the cruise lines would just have to price the cabins appropriately solely based on customer demand. Unsold cabins = cruise line either has to lower the price or the cabin goes empty.

 

We agree about this! This is exactly what I mean!

 

Without bidding the customer demand say that $5000 is the "correct" price and they sell the suites for $5000. Now NCL can try to sell the suites for $7000 and someone who is only interested in a suite and really wants to cruise on NCL can pay $7000 for it. If not every suite is sold for $7000 the customer demand say that $7000 is too much and NCL can let the suite be empty or let someone bid on it.

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5 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Let me quote from your post above:

"Now someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000." Nobody HAS to pay anything, you say someone who really wants the suite, well then don't get a suite, problem solved. Or if you really want a suite, find a cruise with a suite priced at $5000, meaning you might have to go on a different ship or a different date. Otherwise, why can't YOU be the one who snags the suite for $3000? Anyway...

We agree that we will have to agree to disagree. :classic_biggrin: 

 

What I mean is that someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000 to get it and someone who will be happy without the suite can book a minisuite and make a bid on a suite.

 

I can't be the one who snags the suite for $3000 because I'm not interested in the minisuite I get if I don't win a bid.

 

I will not respond anymore about this.

 

I honestly wish you happy cruising!

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5 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

We agree about this! This is exactly what I mean!

 

Without bidding the customer demand say that $5000 is the "correct" price and they sell the suites for $5000. Now NCL can try to sell the suites for $7000 and someone who is only interested in a suite and really wants to cruise on NCL can pay $7000 for it. If not every suite is sold for $7000 the customer demand say that $7000 is too much and NCL can let the suite be empty or let someone bid on it.

You see, I knew we'd get to a point where we saw things the same. 😊Yes, if I were a suite-only or a Yacht Club/Haven-only passenger and I'd been used to paying $5000 for a cabin and suddenly it cost $7000 instead due to a bidding war, I'd be upset. But I'm not, I look for the best deal I can find and I'm not willing to pay whatever it takes to get YC, suite, etc. I'm only willing to pay what I can afford and if that means I don't get the fancy cabin, well that's life. :classic_mellow:

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4 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

What I mean is that someone who really want the suite has to pay $7000 to get it and someone who will be happy without the suite can book a minisuite and make a bid on a suite.

 

I can't be the one who snags the suite for $3000 because I'm not interested in the minisuite I get if I don't win a bid.

 

I will not respond anymore about this.

 

I honestly wish you happy cruising!

OK, tack så mycket för samtalet. 😉

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9 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

With all due respect to the loyal MSC Yacht Club/Suite cruisers in this thread, from an outsiders perspective it comes off as you are stuck up, entitled people who don't want the common folk associating with you in your precious members' only areas at a cheaper rate then what you might have paid for it.  Just saying 

 

This is absolutely not true!   Not only am I totally NOT stuck up If you met me at trivia or at the spa I would likely strike up a conversation with you.  

 

Here is the deal.  I am NOT rich... but I budget for my suite cruise every orher year.   My job of almost 30 years has me catering to people on a daily basis.  A lot.  When I vacation I look forward to being pampered.  I choose a line like MSC or (the old) NCL where I can have pampering without being amongst snobs that I would be on a luxury line.  I do not have tons of money to throw away.  Value is important to me. 

 

MSC, I thought, had it right.  Price suites correctly, where the product is in demand and might sell out but some availability can be found.  In the case of NCL they upped the suite prices, in many cases doubling them.  So, less people booked them.  I know that is when I tried MSC.  

 

No, I do not want to book a balcony and then try for the bid.  I am an organized planner.   I like to

know exactly what I am buying.  For that reason I usually book early.  And book the suite I want.  

 

The losers are folks like me.  I cruised solo in an inside on Seaside in May.  I booked a year in advance. It was a little over $3,000.   So now, with the new model, if that same cruise costs me $5000 and the person next to me booked s balcony for $1,500 and bid $1,000 to updrade I am paying an inflated price.  

 

This to model is for people who like to play the game.  It is not for me.  I make no apologies.  But it has thing to do with being stuck up. 

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I see the point of view of two groups:

1. The Haven/Yacht club folks who paid full price and planned their trip a year in advance.

2. The "last minute bookers" who often enjoyed the low prices, but are now replaced by the bidders.

 

The people who may be gaining the most are those booking cabins in the lowest category and are reaping the benefits of the bidding system through more of the lowest categories being vacated by the bidders.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, DMH15 said:

This is absolutely not true!   Not only am I totally NOT stuck up If you met me at trivia or at the spa I would likely strike up a conversation with you.  

 

Here is the deal.  I am NOT rich... but I budget for my suite cruise every orher year.   My job of almost 30 years has me catering to people on a daily basis.  A lot.  When I vacation I look forward to being pampered.  I choose a line like MSC or (the old) NCL where I can have pampering without being amongst snobs that I would be on a luxury line.  I do not have tons of money to throw away.  Value is important to me. 

 

MSC, I thought, had it right.  Price suites correctly, where the product is in demand and might sell out but some availability can be found.  In the case of NCL they upped the suite prices, in many cases doubling them.  So, less people booked them.  I know that is when I tried MSC.  

 

No, I do not want to book a balcony and then try for the bid.  I am an organized planner.   I like to

know exactly what I am buying.  For that reason I usually book early.  And book the suite I want.  

 

The losers are folks like me.  I cruised solo in an inside on Seaside in May.  I booked a year in advance. It was a little over $3,000.   So now, with the new model, if that same cruise costs me $5000 and the person next to me booked s balcony for $1,500 and bid $1,000 to updrade I am paying an inflated price.  

 

This to model is for people who like to play the game.  It is not for me.  I make no apologies.  But it has thing to do with being stuck up. 

 

First, I did not single any one person out, so I don't get why you are so defensive.  Second, I am entitled to my opinion.  I have never cruised on MSC, we have our first booked for October, so I really never frequented these forums until recently.  I have posted on occasion, but in reading this specific thread, as an outsider from NCL with 17 cruises with them, that is how many of the posts come of.  Again though, I did not single any individual or specific post, merely a general observation.  

 

Here is my take on it.  Everyone else does it, so why not cruise lines?

 

When I check into a hotel I ask the front desk if they have any suite upgrades they can offer me.  I booked a normal room, I didn't want to spend double a night on a suite.  But if the hotel has one available, and they offer it to me at a discounted rate that I feel is good value and affordable, why should I not ask and accept that price?  So what's the difference with cruise lines?  You are assuming they will inflate prices of rooms because of this new bidding system.  But the bidding system only comes in to play, if there is a room to bid on.  

 

On our October cruise, the Yacht Club has been sold out since May when we booked.  If I got a "bid up" email, I could bid $10,000 on a yacht club room, and it means nothing.  There is no availability.  If there are rooms available, and if they offer them, and if Joe Schmoe decides I can't afford full price for YC but I can afford $500 more pp, and if his bids wins and he scores a room for his family he could not otherwise afford...who cares?  Good for him and his family.  He scored a nice deal.  And he gets to experience something that they otherwise couldn't afford.  

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People need to consider that the economy is good for the past few years and demand is surging. That's why price is getting more and more expensive.

It's mostly demand supply. You can't blame the price surge solely on the bidding system. 

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3 hours ago, MrMike45 said:

 You are assuming they will inflate prices of rooms because of this new bidding system.  But the bidding system only comes in to play, if there is a room to bid on.

Sorry, NCL's current bidding system affects all levels of cabin's asking prices from day one, and NCL can now hold to that inflated pricing longer, regardless if the category isn't selling well.  The people who only want that specific type of cabin or are not willing to gamble on location are forced to pay that inflated price or not book.  NCL has a database of pending minimum bids to calculate total revenue to be absolutely sure they will never have net revenue less than if they sold the cabins outright without a bid system.  Inflated asking prices are pretty much key to a bidding systems basic operation - if net revenue has to remain the same, or hopefully be higher, someone has to pay more in order for someone else to pay less - paying "less" is the very lure of the bidding system itself.  Their best case theoretical scenario would be everyone pays more, but that doesn't seem to happen as I haven't heard of a sailing where absolutely no bids were won.  Sure, several people will win bids that get a cabin for less than that asking price, a few may even get it for below original pre bid system prices - but all at the expense of those who were forced to pay a premium, because the net revenue is going to be the same at the very least. 

 

I understand these cabin pricing forces have always been "naturally" at work in the background, but I just don't like a system that actively encourages offering of deals to some passengers at the expense of others.  And people need to realize this affects all cabin types that you can bid on, so ocean view and above.  It adversely affects anyone who wants a specific cabin class or location, encompassing those not willing to take a guarantee, even insides.  The only people who are definitely going to win in NCL's bidding system are the back up pool of those people happy with last minute heavily discounted guarantee insides that they use to fill the bottom empty cabins after the bids are awarded.

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On ‎5‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 4:51 PM, gadaboutgal said:

Just got an email from MSC :"MSC Cruises is excited to announce the launch of our new program, BID UP with MSC, designed to offer your clients the unique opportunity to upgrade their stateroom category. Through this program, MSC Cruises will offer guests the opportunity to bid for a higher stateroom category after their booking is paid in full. MSC Cruises will review the upgrade bid and decide whether to accept it."  

This is following in the footsteps of NCL's and Royal Caribbean's programs.  Will be interested to see how this works out for them.

Did MSC say when this goes into effect? I will be following the developments to see what impact this has on consumer loyalty and satisfaction. I'm sure MSC guests will weigh in on this once it's live.

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58 minutes ago, Até said:

Sorry, NCL's current bidding system affects all levels of cabin's asking prices from day one, and NCL can now hold to that inflated pricing longer, regardless if the category isn't selling well.  The people who only want that specific type of cabin or are not willing to gamble on location are forced to pay that inflated price or not book.  NCL has a database of pending minimum bids to calculate total revenue to be absolutely sure they will never have net revenue less than if they sold the cabins outright without a bid system.  Inflated asking prices are pretty much key to a bidding systems basic operation - if net revenue has to remain the same, or hopefully be higher, someone has to pay more in order for someone else to pay less - paying "less" is the very lure of the bidding system itself.  Their best case theoretical scenario would be everyone pays more, but that doesn't seem to happen as I haven't heard of a sailing where absolutely no bids were won.  Sure, several people will win bids that get a cabin for less than that asking price, a few may even get it for below original pre bid system prices - but all at the expense of those who were forced to pay a premium, because the net revenue is going to be the same at the very least. 

 

I understand these cabin pricing forces have always been "naturally" at work in the background, but I just don't like a system that actively encourages offering of deals to some passengers at the expense of others.  And people need to realize this affects all cabin types that you can bid on, so ocean view and above.  It adversely affects anyone who wants a specific cabin class or location, encompassing those not willing to take a guarantee, even insides.  The only people who are definitely going to win in NCL's bidding system are the back up pool of those people happy with last minute heavily discounted guarantee insides that they use to fill the bottom empty cabins after the bids are awarded.

 

Multiple disagreements with your statement.  

 

First, I have been on 17 NCL cruises, as I stated.  The price "inflation" is not due to the bidding system IMO.  It is due to A) popularity increase of cruises as a vacation over the last 10-15 years or so, as reflected by all the major cruise lines coming out with more and larger capacity ships.  B) those new and large capacity ships, with new attractions such as go karts or laser tag or virtual reality or whatever that now need to be paid for.  And C) all the "added free" perks that NCL gives, that really are not free.  They jack the baseline cruise fare price and call their drink package free.  Net result is same amount of income for the company, but the customer thinks they just got a great deal on the drink package.  

 

I do not believe that NCL holds back Haven rooms for bids in any way, shape or form.  Nor have I seen any proof of that, which I would be very interested in seeing and it might change my opinion.  They put on sale a cruise on the NCL Escape, which has 4400 passengers.  They send out the bid invites 120 days prior to sale date.  You can bid on any category of room above the one you have booked.  They are still taking reservations on all the Haven rooms.  Even if I put in a bid today on the last Haven room, but you call tomorrow and book at the advertised price, they are not going to tell you no, sorry it's sold out.  My bid will ultimately be rejected because of no vacancy.  

 

If I cannot afford the advertised price of a Haven/Yacht Club cabin, I will not book one.  I have seen the cruise price increase over the years since we have been cruising, but again, I do not believe this is due to the bidding system, but rather the cruise line industry economics as a whole.  Bigger, shiny newer ships, higher costs with more "pay-to-play" added charge activities.  I think the bidding system is a way for cruise lines to fill the more expensive rooms on their ships, and offers your average passenger a chance at upgrading at a cost they are comfortable with.  

Edited by MrMike45

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I believe that they are only offering the bid opportunity to certain customers via email at this time.

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54 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

... all the "added free" perks that NCL gives, that really are not free.  They jack the baseline cruise fare price and call their drink package free.  Net result is same amount of income for the company, but the customer thinks they just got a great deal on the drink package. 

So why would you think the bidding system is any different?

 

56 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

I do not believe that NCL holds back Haven rooms for bids in any way, shape or form.  Nor have I seen any proof of that, which I would be very interested in seeing and it might change my opinion.  They put on sale a cruise on the NCL Escape, which has 4400 passengers.  They send out the bid invites 120 days prior to sale date.

While I really didn't intend to get into it the games NCL, and also MSC, play with shown available inventory are perplexing.  Proof of holding back cabins would be near impossible to obtain, so everything here is conjecture based on by watching inventory trends on hundreds of sailings.  Read through the hundreds/thousands of NCL posts stating the category showed sold out, but I won a bid anyway.  Sorry, that's not all due to the trickle down effect.  Rather than ever show piles of unsold cabins or have last minute price drops NCL seems to have two strategies; 1) They will often just limit shown available inventory, this has been a common practice of several cruise lines that I can only see as an attempt to keep pricing high.  It becomes obvious when you see two cabins left, a week later they are gone but the next day one or maybe two more appear.  Weeks later those are gone but the original two are back, totally a ploy to stir urgency in booking now.  In reality they probably have 10 or 15 left.  2) Sometimes they even show categories as sold even when they aren't, this usually only happens with the suites that are more limited in number.  I can't remember how many times I've seen sold out high level categories well after final payment suddenly have more inventory.  Some people try to explain it as last minute cancellations or TA's giving up held blocks of cabins, it sure seems to happen a lot though and with surprisingly consistent patterns.  My personal opinion is some of these are artifacts from when someone cancels a bid that their system planned on accepting, if I had a booking with NCL I'd experiment with that.  They can do this because of the bidding system where they have guaranteed  minimum income as backup for those unsold cabins.  It's evidently more profitable to keep those inflated prices showing and they don't frequently let them drop.  But sometimes you do see price drops and I from what I can figure this is a sailing where their backup bidding is not strong, so there's two bidding hints if you're still sailing NCL. 

 

I'm not sure there's any correlation in waiting to opening the bidding system only after 120 days, for NCL meaning after final payment.  I've not been paying attention and thought NCL still started bidding at 80 days out.  I do wonder why that would be advantageous, all I can see is it possibly lets them keep prices more steady up to that point.  So any reaction to poor bidding system induced price drops would be after final payment, again all conjecture because unless you work in their system you will never know for sure.

 

1 hour ago, MrMike45 said:

Even if I put in a bid today on the last Haven room, but you call tomorrow and book at the advertised price, they are not going to tell you no, sorry it's sold out.  My bid will ultimately be rejected because of no vacancy.

The point is that the asking price a non-bidder has to pay to lock in their choice of cabin is always going to be higher because they will now always have a minimum back up bid from someone less discriminating about their cabin choice that will ensure that the basic required revenue level is achieved.  I realize this is a better financial option for the cruise line, so too could be a lot of things I'm sure they could come up with that passengers would find unacceptable.  It's directly putting people who want their cabin choice at odds with those that don't care.  Going back to your original statement about NCL's Free at Sea promotions, why do you think the only way you can get away from them is to book a guarantee cabin at a Sail Away rate?  If you can't see the same basic manipulation going on with that problem then I don't know what else to say.

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