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julia

Perspective on cruise prices

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So, I recently booked the Eurodam, and as I was entering this cruise into my "cruising spreadsheet", I couldn't help but do a quick comparison of this EXACT itinerary.... 17 YEARS AGO!  What struck me was the price of the two cruises... comparing "suites to suites', the difference was only $214. However, the SS suite on HAL is much nicer than any Princess mini!

Comparison:

April, 2002 -  Star Princess (new ship), Mini Suite, 2 Adults, 7 night Mexican Riviera, R/T San Diego, no perks (they didn't exist back then!) = $2507

June 2019 - HAL Eurodam, SS Suite, 2 adults, 7 night Mexican Riviera, R/T San Diego, no perks (and that's fine) = $2721

I find this interesting.... especially since the onboard experience has increased exponentially.

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Posted (edited)

Amazing, this is the result of much bigger ships, tons  more inventory and a lot more competition for the cruising dollar. I remember our standard veranda cabin on RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas for a 7nt RT Caribbean cruise from Galveston in 2002 was about $1200pp about the same as today on HAL from FLL.

Edited by terrydtx

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Cruising offers the most bang for the bucks, IMO.  In 1975 DH and I cruised on Sitmar, our first cruise, seven-day Caribbean for $1200 per person in an ocean view category cabin, which had bunk beds.  This Christmas, I'll pay $1500 for 7 days in a VB, almost identical cruise.  An increase of only $300 after 44 years is incredible.  Plus, that first cruise was in late May, not exactly high demand, while a Christmas cruise is considered super high demand.  If no one thinks that's a bargain, then compare new car prices in 1975 vs. 2019.  Wow!  Cruising definitely wins all the way around.  

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Thanks for the posting.  It's an example of economies of scale at work.  You should expect large companies to become more efficient over time.  The cruise industry is no different than many other industries.  I know I paid more to buy air fare tickets 30 years ago than today.  I also find most furniture, clothing and many other consumer goods much cheaper today than 30 years ago.

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Posted (edited)

Our shopping indicates that some cruise routes have increased pricing over the past several years.  Med is one.  On the other hand one can still find late booking Alaska route outside cabins for under $400.   Not much change in these prices over the past several years.

 

We think that the product today is different than the product 20 years ago.   Vastly different in some respects.  Quality has definitely been reduced.    The price may be the same but we feel that we are getting less for our money. So much so that we have been taking a hard look at the premium lines like O and Az based on value, not price.

 

Cruising is different from other trips we take, whether it be AI's or our favourite independent travel.  They are so different to us that we cannot even say that cruising is the best travel value.  Indeed, lately independent travel has proved to be the better option from a per diem perspective.  But cost is not a necessarily a fair yardstick when comparing different modes of vacation travel.

Edited by iancal

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1 hour ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Cruising offers the most bang for the bucks, IMO.  In 1975 DH and I cruised on Sitmar, our first cruise, seven-day Caribbean for $1200 per person in an ocean view category cabin, which had bunk beds.  This Christmas, I'll pay $1500 for 7 days in a VB, almost identical cruise.  An increase of only $300 after 44 years is incredible.  Plus, that first cruise was in late May, not exactly high demand, while a Christmas cruise is considered super high demand.  If no one thinks that's a bargain, then compare new car prices in 1975 vs. 2019.  Wow!  Cruising definitely wins all the way around.  

Ah - but you are comparing apple to oranges.  In 1975, that price included round trip airfare, a much smaller ship and the world class service of Sitmar.  

 

To get the same type of cruise experience as Sitmar, one would need to book one of luxury lines - Oceania, Azamara, Viking Ocean - and then the price would not be $1500 a person.

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Posted (edited)

We have found huge price increases in the Med in particular.  Also Japan was our highest.  These cruises appear to be starting high and going higher!  

I think there was a large cut back in number of ships in the Med a few years ago which has resulted in higher prices.seven years ago we had a per day cost of well under $100 Canadian per person.   And we got an inexpensive upgrade to a Neptune!   Those days are long gone, now we are looking at well over 250$ per day for a basic balcony. Same place and dates, both HAL. 

 

I think they they have moved all the ships to Alaska! 

Edited by bennybear

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

Ah - but you are comparing apple to oranges.  In 1975, that price included round trip airfare, a much smaller ship and the world class service of Sitmar.  

 

To get the same type of cruise experience as Sitmar, one would need to book one of luxury lines - Oceania, Azamara, Viking Ocean - and then the price would not be $1500 a person.

 

 

I would add Silversea  to the list of luxury lines and also compare them and their pricing

 

 

.image.png.a20672180daed3e4225fa07a436797d4.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, sail7seas said:

 

 

I would add Silversea  to the list of luxury lines and also compare them and their pricing

 

 

.image.png.a20672180daed3e4225fa07a436797d4.png

 

 

 

 

Yes, Silversea would be on the list. I should have written my answer better and said my short list was examples only of luxury cruise lines.

Edited by Homosassa

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1 hour ago, cbr663 said:

Thanks for the posting.  It's an example of economies of scale at work.  You should expect large companies to become more efficient over time.  The cruise industry is no different than many other industries.  I know I paid more to buy air fare tickets 30 years ago than today.  I also find most furniture, clothing and many other consumer goods much cheaper today than 30 years ago.

One needs to note that  while the base price has been low, ( to attract bargain hunters) the game is that they , the  lines have adopted dozens of add on fees and expenses.:    gratuities,  special meals, shore Ex, ships services,  all sorts of  add on's that easily double the apparent base fare.       Look at the LUX lines who are all inclusive and you see big changes that are really refelective of the costs you might pay on  lower products.

 The cruise lines do their best to hide the real costs to get a captive market on board   Base fare is only the start not totally the whole picture.

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1 hour ago, iancal said:

Our shopping indicates that some cruise routes have increased pricing over the past several years.  Med is one.  On the other hand one can still find late booking Alaska route outside cabins for under $400.   Not much change in these prices over the past several years.

 

We think that the product today is different than the product 20 years ago.   Vastly different in some respects.  Quality has definitely been reduced.    The price may be the same but we feel that we are getting less for our money. So much so that we have been taking a hard look at the premium lines like O and Az based on value, not price.

 

Cruising is different from other trips we take, whether it be AI's or our favourite independent travel.  They are so different to us that we cannot even say that cruising is the best travel value.  Indeed, lately independent travel has proved to be the better option from a per diem perspective.  But cost is not a necessarily a fair yardstick when comparing different modes of vacation travel.

You may well find your  cheap $400 fare  last min  running over $1000 by the time you add all the little fees and  add ons.   The $400 is like a worm on a hook  to a fish to bite.....

You are right  the premium lines like Oceania  many times are not much more than the mass market discount lines but offer   much more quality and experience

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Would agree that Sitmar was in a class by itself at that time (1975) because we had room stewards who sat outside our cabin and only served 2-3 cabins.  When we wanted anything, we just opened the door and requested it.

 

I don't recall whether air was added to our fare on Sitmar or not, but I still believe cruising is a bargain.  Others may disagree.  

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14 hours ago, julia said:

 

Comparison:

April, 2002 -  Star Princess (new ship), Mini Suite, 2 Adults, 7 night Mexican Riviera, R/T San Diego, no perks (they didn't exist back then!) = $2507

June 2019 - HAL Eurodam, SS Suite, 2 adults, 7 night Mexican Riviera, R/T San Diego, no perks (and that's fine) = $2721

 

 

Are you sure this is correct?  We'll be on the Eurodam out of Seattle in Alaska this summer.  I don't believe that the Eurodam is doing a Mexican Riviera San Diego itinerary.

 

That said, is it possible that tips were less expensive? Now almost $15/pp pd.  Maybe port and tax charges were less?  (now $500/cabin).  Were more items included then?, so that cruise lines make up for the reduced based fare by charging for so many add ons?  (think of airlines charging for food and luggage so base fares only tell half the story).

 

Also, how do you compare the dates that you booked?  If you book one 14-30 days prior and the other 6 months in advance, that will certainly affect pricing.

 

Smooth sailing... 

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34 minutes ago, SunNFunCruzer said:

 

Are you sure this is correct?  We'll be on the Eurodam out of Seattle in Alaska this summer.  I don't believe that the Eurodam is doing a Mexican Riviera San Diego itinerary.

 

That said, is it possible that tips were less expensive? Now almost $15/pp pd.  Maybe port and tax charges were less?  (now $500/cabin).  Were more items included then?, so that cruise lines make up for the reduced based fare by charging for so many add ons?  (think of airlines charging for food and luggage so base fares only tell half the story).

 

Also, how do you compare the dates that you booked?  If you book one 14-30 days prior and the other 6 months in advance, that will certainly affect pricing.

 

Smooth sailing... 

It's totally correct, and that is the price at booking for a NOVEMBER sailing.  Both cruises I mention were booked in advance.  My point being....  yes, many (if not most) sailings have increased dramatically, but some have remained very consistent. 

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1 hour ago, julia said:

It's totally correct, and that is the price at booking for a NOVEMBER sailing.  Both cruises I mention were booked in advance.  My point being....  yes, many (if not most) sailings have increased dramatically, but some have remained very consistent. 

 

Oh, when you said : "  April, 2002 -  Star Princess, June 2019 - HAL Eurodam  "

 

I thought you were saying you sailed Princess in April, 2002 and HAL in June, 2019 (how could anyone know what you meant?).  In any case, I stand by the fact that booking timing matters now (as I assume it mattered then).

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3 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Would agree that Sitmar was in a class by itself at that time (1975) because we had room stewards who sat outside our cabin and only served 2-3 cabins.  When we wanted anything, we just opened the door and requested it.

 

I don't recall whether air was added to our fare on Sitmar or not, but I still believe cruising is a bargain.  Others may disagree.  

 

Not only was the  Sitmar cabin steward always there, but when we cruised with our then 18 month old daughter, he asked if he could come into our room to play with her. He missed his children.

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21 hours ago, cbr663 said:

 I also find most furniture, clothing and many other consumer goods much cheaper today than 30 years ago.

True, mostly because very little of it is made here in the U.S. anymore.    

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One factor missing in this analysis is the value of money.  $2,500 in 2002 is valued at over $3,600 in today's dollars.

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29 minutes ago, doublebzz said:

One factor missing in this analysis is the value of money.  $2,500 in 2002 is valued at over $3,600 in today's dollars.

Yes, that is a very good point!

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17 hours ago, Homosassa said:

 

Not only was the  Sitmar cabin steward always there, but when we cruised with our then 18 month old daughter, he asked if he could come into our room to play with her. He missed his children.

How sweet and sad at the same time.  The service on that ship was the best we've ever had.  

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I am slowly coming to the conclusion that for many itineraries,  when all costs are considered, the premium cruise lines such as O, Az, etc. offer better value for our money based on our preferences.   

 

We  actually find some of the the mass market pricing, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, etc. to be quite high on certain itineraries given what they are actually offering.  We  do not base this  on what they offered 20 years ago, but on their current standards.  We find that there is a significant difference between then and now.  Constant change in the industry in one of the reasons why we are only loyal to the next cruise line that we are booked on.

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2 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

How sweet and sad at the same time.  The service on that ship was the best we've ever had.  

 

Cruising with a child at the time meant there would be very few on board ship.

 

I didn't know that the whole crew (including the captain, cruise director, and lowest ranked deck hand) knew a "baby" was going to be on board.  

 

It wasn't just the cabin steward that wanted time with her. When the person running the early morning buffet on deck for early risers (all meals were still set times in the MDR) realize we were going to be up at the buffet because our daughter had us up early, he must have mentioned it to the hotel director. The hotel director was waiting for us on the third morning and said he had a big request of us.  Would we permit him to take our daughter to the crew mess for breakfast because so many of the crew were missing their families? Everyday after that one, he or another officer was waiting for her and off they would go. She was returned to us an hour and a half later (usually  with food smeared on her face and clutching a sweet roll) by an officer (once the captain and she left jelly on his uniform) and I would be given a full report on what she had eaten, thanked, and verified that she could go to the mess the next morning (it was a two week cruise).

 

This type of thing happened throughout the cruise.  When it was time to debark, a hand written note from the Captain was left in our cabin thanking us for sharing our daughter.

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