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We are looking at the 17 day Encore cruise from Bali to Sydney, Dec 4 this year - V cat suites.  I had been tracking the pricing of the suites for some time and in late May the prices dropped on each category by A$1000 per person, plus US$500 onboard credit per suite.  At the moment there are heaps of suites still available according to the Seabourn website (over 60).  Also there is a longer cruise from Singapore that includes the 17 day one we are looking at, and that also has over 40 suites still available (different suite numbers to the ones showing on the 17 day cruise).  So my logic tells me that there are at least 100 suites currently available.  I understand that those with OB bookings may be allocated from this ??

 

The same cruise last  year did not sail full - I think around 540 pax (as per a post by a cruiser on that cruise).  We always select our own suite, and there are plenty still available that we would happily choose.  Our past cruises on Seabourn have been on more popular itineraries so we booked much earlier than this, but I have less understanding on Seabourn pricing patterns as sail date approaches for cruises with plenty of availability.  We don't mind booking now, but then I think why do that if there is a real likelihood of further price reductions.  It is a local cruise for us, so airfare planning is not a big issue.

 

Would love to hear when fellow Seabourn cruisers would book in this situation.

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We're in a not-dissimilar state. Next summer is a 'multiple of 5' birthday so we'd like to go away. The itineraries around that time of the year don't change too much from year to year at this point and we've been on the Seabourn mailing list long enough, and taken enough cruises off their sale mails to think it fairly likely those cruises will drop into our daily price range by this time next year. We know for instance where the same cruise is priced this year, we know where this year's was priced this time last year etc. Currently they are on offer for several thousand dollars more than this summer's sailings which are currently appearing  each week in our mailbox. 

 

Some people would book, wait for a reduction and then try to get their TA to price-match. Whether you can do that or not depends on your TA and where in the world you're living so it's not something we rely on. Also I don't think, even if you get the 'sale price' you get the extra goodies they throw into the sale, which are often worth an excursion or two. And finally, if we're wrong and the cruise never discounts to a level we feel we can afford it's cancel (and that too has its difficulties depending again on where you are) or push the holiday budget. We also usually book the flights and time off when we book the cruise, so it can be costly to make changes. 

 

So our way of dealing with cruise bookings is to keep an eye on Seabourn's offers and see where we think cruises may discount to, and be patient until one we want to take drops into our price range. If it doesn't, or we get a little greedy and miss it, we wait for another one. If we were absolutely set on one particular cruise, we'd book earlier and pay the extra for the certainty. So it depends a lot on just how much you want to be on this specific cruise and how sad you'll be if it sails without you. 

 

My take on this particular cruise is that we've done that itinerary twice over the years, both times just before Christmas, with Seabourn and Silversea, because both times it was nicely discounted. The trips over Christmas and New Year are always quite full, booked early and not discounted, we've always felt the trips just before the holidays sailed a bit empty and were often discounted. That's just my impression however. 

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:29 PM, rols said:

We're in a not-dissimilar state. Next summer is a 'multiple of 5' birthday so we'd like to go away. The itineraries around that time of the year don't change too much from year to year at this point and we've been on the Seabourn mailing list long enough, and taken enough cruises off their sale mails to think it fairly likely those cruises will drop into our daily price range by this time next year. We know for instance where the same cruise is priced this year, we know where this year's was priced this time last year etc. Currently they are on offer for several thousand dollars more than this summer's sailings which are currently appearing  each week in our mailbox. 

 

Some people would book, wait for a reduction and then try to get their TA to price-match. Whether you can do that or not depends on your TA and where in the world you're living so it's not something we rely on. Also I don't think, even if you get the 'sale price' you get the extra goodies they throw into the sale, which are often worth an excursion or two. And finally, if we're wrong and the cruise never discounts to a level we feel we can afford it's cancel (and that too has its difficulties depending again on where you are) or push the holiday budget. We also usually book the flights and time off when we book the cruise, so it can be costly to make changes. 

 

So our way of dealing with cruise bookings is to keep an eye on Seabourn's offers and see where we think cruises may discount to, and be patient until one we want to take drops into our price range. If it doesn't, or we get a little greedy and miss it, we wait for another one. If we were absolutely set on one particular cruise, we'd book earlier and pay the extra for the certainty. So it depends a lot on just how much you want to be on this specific cruise and how sad you'll be if it sails without you. 

 

My take on this particular cruise is that we've done that itinerary twice over the years, both times just before Christmas, with Seabourn and Silversea, because both times it was nicely discounted. The trips over Christmas and New Year are always quite full, booked early and not discounted, we've always felt the trips just before the holidays sailed a bit empty and were often discounted. That's just my impression however. 

Hi rols.  Thanks for your input.  I agree with you, I too believe that the cruises just leading up to Christmas offer better savings than say cruises in the Med.  Given that we don't have to travel far to meet this cruise we are happy to wait a bit longer and see what happens with the pricing.  I check the availability every so often on the Seabourn website and there still appears to by many many suites available, so I daresay we will wait a little longer and wait and see what happens with pricing.

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2 hours ago, candylover said:

Hi rols.  Thanks for your input.  I agree with you, I too believe that the cruises just leading up to Christmas offer better savings than say cruises in the Med.  Given that we don't have to travel far to meet this cruise we are happy to wait a bit longer and see what happens with the pricing.  I check the availability every so often on the Seabourn website and there still appears to by many many suites available, so I daresay we will wait a little longer and wait and see what happens with pricing.

I’m under the impression that many suites appearing “available” aren’t necessarily if there are a lot of guarantee bookings for unassigned cabins. Ie, you can choose a cabin but the net number actually available may be far fewer than shown.

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The route (and the reverse) is a challenge for many of the cruise lines as most Australians have done it before (some multiple times) so it's not as in demand from them as some other routes - and for guests from other markets there's the challenge of travelling to Bali and returning from Sydney close to the holidays - or continuing onto NZ

 

It was an 18 day cruise last year and we booked it at the end of September for A$6000 per passenger in a OB Veranda Suite, I believe that was the lowest published fare - I think it's got a wee way to go before it reaches optimal pricing

 

My understanding based on someone experience last year is that if you book it now at current pricing you will struggle to get a cash refund from Seabourn if the price drops - they will offer "upgrades" or OBC's but not a cash refund

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2 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

My understanding based on someone experience last year is that if you book it now at current pricing you will struggle to get a cash refund from Seabourn if the price drops - they will offer "upgrades" or OBC's but not a cash refund

 

Interesting you found that, where was the person based please? I am based in Australia and so is my TA though in another State. She has always managed to get Seabourn Australia to rebook me at the new price, as long as it is prior to final payment. If I had OBC from a prior promotion I will loose that but I decide whether the price is worth it.

 

Having said that I do know some TA's in Australia don't like to ask about the price reduction because it cuts into their commission. This happened to me early on in my cruising. In my case it was short sighted on their part because I never used them again, and I travel a lot.

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34 minutes ago, frantic36 said:

 

Interesting you found that, where was the person based please?

 

The decision was made in Australia

I believe it may have been after final payment date but am not 100% sure on that

I guess it comes down to whether people want to take that risk - if you are correct there's no risk

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Thanks to all who have responded.   My gut feeling is that prices will still go down a bit further and your comments Stickman seem to support this.  The OB price ATM is A$6998.  As we are local we have the luxury of being able to wait until September/October even later, to book this cruise.   So I will continue to check into the Seabourn site regularly to monitor suite availability.

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I would suggest you get that cruise booked now.

 

It's excellent value and traditionally a cheap cruise with people gearing up to Christmas and the new year. We had been looking at the equivalent cruise on Ovation and went to book it yesterday only to find the price had gone up from £3,600 to £4,300. It is no longer showing in the "suite deals" heading and I suspect is pricing as a V1 rather than an OB. The reality is it means you get a guaranteed V4 rather than an OB for the extra £700 / pax but I would rather have just gone OB and paid £1,400 less !

 

Your cruise is still listing as £3,800 but I can see it going up to around £4,500 at some point following the sister cruise on Ovation. Once increased it is unlikely to fall again. Our experience of the Christmas / New Year cruises last year was that they went mental the closer we got to sailing, hence we didn't cruise on Seabourn.

 

In your case I would get it booked. If there's is significant price drop (which there won't be) then haggle for a bit of OBC or a cabin upgrade.

 

You have been warned......

 

Henry :)

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4 hours ago, Able Seaman H said:

I\We had been looking at the equivalent cruise on Ovation and went to book it yesterday only to find the price had gone up from £3,600 to £4,300.

Which Ovation cruise are you talking about here Henry? They have a 19 day cruise from Dubai to Singapore which is still pretty cheap, as that cruise often is, there's not a whole lot to see honestly, I see the Veranda on that at $5000 currently. The one after that is a 14 day Singapore to Hong Kong cruise which is a little costly at $8,300, however that's over Christmas and New Year and those cruises are always costly. 

Last year, if I remember correctly, the cruise you wanted to be on which really went mad was one which covered Christmas and New Year and yes those do tend to be bad, the ones in the weeks preceding always seem quite empty and that's what the original poster was looking at, one which finishes before Christmas. 

 

For fun and games I'll keep track of this cruise and see where it goes. Currently I see Encore Dec 4-21 veranda at $4,299, no offers. I don't think it'll go lower than that, it may attract a suite upgrade around .. August perhaps? 

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24 minutes ago, rols said:

For fun and games I'll keep track of this cruise and see where it goes. Currently I see Encore Dec 4-21 veranda at $4,299, no offers. I don't think it'll go lower than that, it may attract a suite upgrade around .. August perhaps? 

 

So US$4299 equals approx A$6200 at the moment (although Candylover says it’s listimg @ A$6998 at the moment) - I’ll take that bet - I think it will go lower 

 

I can offer a Seabourn teddy as my stake...

 

 

 

Edited by Stickman1990
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We were looking at the Dec 2nd cruise on Ovation. It was £3,600 (GBP) then went up to £4,300 on the SB website when I called to book so we didn't. The longer cruise which incorporates Christmas and the New Year has remained at £9,995.

 

Basically they've removed OB and you have to book a V1 now at £700 more per person.

 

The cruise being discussed is still listed at £3,800 with the longer cruise that incorporates Christmas / New Year £10,495.

 

Per day the pre-Christmas cruises are good value for a number of reasons. Lots of sea days, time of year etc. The Christmas cruise on Ovation last year went crazy, it was more expensive than Antarctica !!!

 

What will happen with the OP's cruise is the fare will go up to £4,495 as a V1 booking but you will get an upgrade to V4 and $250 on board credit. In my humble opinion.

 

Either way if I was looking at it I would press the button at £3,800 and take a punt on the OB allocation. Worst ways use the £700 extra you'll have to pay if you leave it too long before booking to upgrade your OB allocation - but I suspect you'll get a decent enough cabin anyway.

 

Henry

Edited by Able Seaman H
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It is interesting to read all your input.    You are correct the cruise I am looking at ends prior to Christmas (Dec 21) in Sydney.  From what I read on a review post for this same cruise last year, it did not sail full (around 540 I think).  The prices here in Australia ATM are as follows:  OB A$6499 (this incidentally has come down in the last day or so, I think by around $400/$500).  V1 & V4 A$6998, V2 & V5 A$7398, V3 & V6 A$7798 (the V1-V6 prices all came down A$1000 p/p about 3 weeks ago).  All of these prices come with onboard credit of US$500 per suite.  From when I started monitoring this cruise closely, suite availability has remained very high.  Plenty of suites available and maybe even more available than what Seabourn are showing through their website - who knows??  Also there are plenty of suites on the 24 day cruise leaving Singapore late November (it is actually a B2B of the cruise I am looking at, plus the 7 days prior).  The suite numbers showing as available on this longer cruise are different numbers to those showing on the cruise I am interested in - so logically if the suites still available on the longer cruise would definitely be available on the shorter one. So by reckoning there are over 100 suites available for selection on the SB website at the moment (possibly more as they don't seem to list more than 10 suites as available for any particular V category on a specific deck level).  I will continue to observe but I think I am pretty content to sit tight for a while longer.  But it will certainly be interesting to see what happens with pricing.

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On 6/10/2019 at 8:05 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

My understanding based on someone experience last year is that if you book it now at current pricing you will struggle to get a cash refund from Seabourn if the price drops - they will offer "upgrades" or OBC's but not a cash refund

 

Stickman if you were referring  me as we were on the same sailing as you  there is a little more to your comments like getting a cash refund if the price drops etc etc

These are the facts of what happened with us

We did a cruise with Seabourn Dec 2017 and due to poor weather Seabourn gave everyone on that cruise a 10% discount of what they had paid towards another cruise which was not expected surprised everyone I talked to as Seabourn can not control the weather. I can not see any other cruise line offering that which is one of the reasons we like Seabourn. Also while we were on board this cruise we paid a future cruise deposit of AU$400 each  giving us 5% off another cruise

When we booked and paid the deposit for the cruise Bali to Sydney on 5th March 2018 I thought the price was a little high but with our discounts I was okay with the price

When the time came to pay the balance I saw that the price of the cruise had dropped about $4 thousand each from the original price we were quoted without our discounts so after a few phone calls through our TA Seabourn accepted we should pay the lower price than the price we were quoted originally in March. It was a bit hard to work out what I actually ended up in paying through all these discounts as I didn't know what the discount was for the poor weather discount along with the deposit I paid originally as I paid airfares at the time as I just got a finish price without spending a lot of time with our TA  of which I was happy with   Don't forget we had only paid a deposit not the full price which makes our case a little different than if we had paid in full in my opinion

I am looking at booking another cruise for March next year and quite happy to pay a deposit now as I know Seabourn will look after me if the price drops in the mean time

Hopes this helps you a little candylover

 

As a PS  I have always looked that if the price of the cruise goes up after I have paid in full I am not going to pay anymore money and if the price drops that is my bad luck as I can not have it both ways. I was happy with the price when I had booked otherwise I would never had booked in the first place

Edited by Thecat123
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Thecat123,  thanks for your detailed response.  We feel quite comfortable with the level the pricing is ATM for this cruise, and would happily book at the current prices.  It is just when we go online, as if to book,  and see the volume of suite availability (62 V cat suites showing ATM) we feel there is no downside to waiting a little.  Plus being local, organising a one way airfare to Bali is not a big drama. However if I do notice a sudden uptake of available suites I will certainly then book immediately.

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5 hours ago, candylover said:

Thecat123,  thanks for your detailed response.  We feel quite comfortable with the level the pricing is ATM for this cruise, and would happily book at the current prices.  It is just when we go online, as if to book,  and see the volume of suite availability (62 V cat suites showing ATM) we feel there is no downside to waiting a little.  Plus being local, organising a one way airfare to Bali is not a big drama. However if I do notice a sudden uptake of available suites I will certainly then book immediately.

By that time it will be too late and the price will have gone up.

 

just be careful. I'm always a bit sceptical when people discuss suite availability on here. The only people who really know are Seabourn themselves. Unallocated OB bookings (of which there are lots) could well muddy the waters. I'm also not sure Seabourn reduce fares until the ship sails full. They need to maintain a base price and encourage people to book early. They would rather sail with fewer people paying more money.

 

Ultimately there comes a point you don't see per day prices drop below and that cruise you're looking at is pretty much there. Book through a good travel agent and you'll get some discount on Seabourn's web pricing. If you have a future cruise voucher you also enjoy a bit of discount as well.

 

Henry

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20 hours ago, Able Seaman H said:

We were looking at the Dec 2nd cruise on Ovation. It was £3,600 (GBP) then went up to £4,300 on the SB website when I called to book so we didn't. The longer cruise which incorporates Christmas and the New Year has remained at £9,995.

 

Thanks for clarifying which it was Henry, much appreciated. 

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4 hours ago, Able Seaman H said:

By that time it will be too late and the price will have gone up.

 

just be careful. I'm always a bit sceptical when people discuss suite availability on here. The only people who really know are Seabourn themselves. Unallocated OB bookings (of which there are lots) could well muddy the waters. I'm also not sure Seabourn reduce fares until the ship sails full. They need to maintain a base price and encourage people to book early. They would rather sail with fewer people paying more money.

 

Ultimately there comes a point you don't see per day prices drop below and that cruise you're looking at is pretty much there. Book through a good travel agent and you'll get some discount on Seabourn's web pricing. If you have a future cruise voucher you also enjoy a bit of discount as well.

 

Henry

 

I think this is something to be aware of definitely. It could be very risky for Seabourn to keep cutting the costs as it would encourage more people to hold out for the cheaper fares. They may cut further or they may choose to encourage travel agents etc to experience Seabourn. 

 

Also your comment re how many cabins are actually available is accurate. I remember a couple of years ago we did a last minute booking and there seemed a few available but when we rang to check we found it wasn't as many as we thought due to the OB allocation not locked in yet.

 

I am sure there is still quite a few suites available because of the timing and this is an oft repeated transit cruise going from Indonesia to Australia...but the price and a US$500 OBC per suite is pretty good value. If we hadn't done this cruise before and be already booked elsewhere it would be tempting.

 

Julie

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On 6/13/2019 at 3:24 AM, Thecat123 said:

candylover enjoy you cruise

If you go to Komodo Island go to Pink Beach for a snorkel as a early tour, which is worth it, then go back to the ship to see the dragons in the afternoon

A little off topic - if Komodo Island is what is motivating you to take this itinerary, I remember hearing that it will be closed to tourists for the next year. I don’t know the details, but you may want to look into this.

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:55 AM, candylover said:

Thanks to all who have responded.   My gut feeling is that prices will still go down a bit further and your comments Stickman seem to support this.  The OB price ATM is A$6998.  As we are local we have the luxury of being able to wait until September/October even later, to book this cruise.   So I will continue to check into the Seabourn site regularly to monitor suite availability.

We are booked on this trip through a US TA and the price was $US3999 plus taxes of approx $600 and $500 OBC $US287.5 per night pp . The prices have risen by $US300 since booking in May 2019 . Your price is still very good at $A437.37/ $US300 per night  all up and i personally would look at booking at this rate as i can't see it getting any lower . ( I have been known to be wrong! )

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20 hours ago, Les Picantins said:

A little off topic - if Komodo Island is what is motivating you to take this itinerary, I remember hearing that it will be closed to tourists for the next year. I don’t know the details, but you may want to look into this.

Exactly our reason for this trip and its timing .

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Hello everyone.  Thanks for all of your input.  We have now booked on this cruise.  We booked a V5 as we generally prefer to choose our own suite.  Just as a point of interest - immediately prior to us placing our booking there were 10 V5 suites showing as available on Deck 7 (where we wanted to be).  Immediately after our booking there were still 10 suites showing.  The one we selected had of course been removed and a new one was now showing as available.  So at the moment there are clearly more suites available than Seabourn are showing on their website.  I do believe the price will go down a little more, but we are happy at the price we have booked.  Also we will be in a zero penalty stage for a while yet where we can cancel and rebook should we desire.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 11:24 AM, Thecat123 said:

candylover enjoy you cruise

If you go to Komodo Island go to Pink Beach for a snorkel as a early tour, which is worth it, then go back to the ship to see the dragons in the afternoon

 

Thecat123, thank you so much for your suggestion.  Pink Beach would certainly be something that my husband would enjoy greatly and will look at booking.  For me, I am not so confident in the water.

 

On 6/14/2019 at 2:26 PM, Les Picantins said:

A little off topic - if Komodo Island is what is motivating you to take this itinerary, I remember hearing that it will be closed to tourists for the next year. I don’t know the details, but you may want to look into this.

 

From what I understand the Indonesian Government plan on closing the island to tourists for one year from January 2020.  So our cruise will probably be one of the last to visit the island for some time.  

 

On 6/15/2019 at 11:05 AM, kowhairob said:

We are booked on this trip through a US TA and the price was $US3999 plus taxes of approx $600 and $500 OBC $US287.5 per night pp . The prices have risen by $US300 since booking in May 2019 . Your price is still very good at $A437.37/ $US300 per night  all up and i personally would look at booking at this rate as i can't see it getting any lower . ( I have been known to be wrong! )

 

Hopefully we will get to meet during this cruise.  Do you know if a roll call has been started??  I had a quick look but could not find one.  We paid A$435 each per night for a V5 that we selected.  This includes taxes etc.  Plus we get the US$500 OBC.  So overall very pleased and can't wait for December to roll around.

 

Again thanks to everyone for your thoughts and opinions.

 

 

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4 hours ago, candylover said:

 

 

 

Thecat123, thank you so much for your suggestion.  Pink Beach would certainly be something that my husband would enjoy greatly and will look at booking.  For me, I am not so confident in the water.

 

Quote

candylover Seabourn do this very well, they give you inflated rubber tubes which you hold onto and just float along the surface drifting with the tide. My wife did it and she will not see 65 again

 

 

 

 

Edited by Thecat123
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This cruise just showed up on the sale specials in my inbox today. The price remains (the one I see in USD) at 4,299 base however they're adding in the 3 category upgrade so V4s start there, V5s are the price of V2s etc. I can't instantly tell if that also gets OBC and the 300 minutes internet package, believe it does. 

So I think that's it for this one, the price will go no lower and these are the last goodies Seabourn are going to toss in the pot. 

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