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bodsfanclub

Dollar:Pound parity - will Cunard reduce drinks and merchandise prices?

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Haven't cruised since 2014 and not on Cunard to America since 2009. Back then I budgeted a cruise fare for our onboard spend (if the cruise was £2,000 each, I'd budget £2,000 for our combined drinks, photos, speciality dining, duty free and general shopping on board). I don't budget spending money for tips - I factor them into the price of the holiday when I book it as to me they are a non-negotiable must-pay part of the trip. Back then, the dollar to pound was between 1.40-1.50 and the price of a gin martini cocktail (my bellweather) in the Commodore was $9.95.

 

Prices have obviously increased. And the pound has slipped against the dollar. And I am wondering ...

 

We are doing 22 days QM2 Westbound TA, New York, Eastern Seaboard and Eastern TA next summer. We've looked at the cost of drinks, speciality dining etc and we think we are doing to need at least £3,500 spending money to cover it. But as the political uncertainty continues and the pound ever weakens - I wonder if any cruisers out there can remember similar times, and whether Cunard responded by softening the blow with slightly lower on board prices?

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25 minutes ago, bodsfanclub said:

Haven't cruised since 2014 and not on Cunard to America since 2009. Back then I budgeted a cruise fare for our onboard spend (if the cruise was £2,000 each, I'd budget £2,000 for our combined drinks, photos, speciality dining, duty free and general shopping on board). I don't budget spending money for tips - I factor them into the price of the holiday when I book it as to me they are a non-negotiable must-pay part of the trip. Back then, the dollar to pound was between 1.40-1.50 and the price of a gin martini cocktail (my bellweather) in the Commodore was $9.95.

 

Prices have obviously increased. And the pound has slipped against the dollar. And I am wondering ...

 

We are doing 22 days QM2 Westbound TA, New York, Eastern Seaboard and Eastern TA next summer. We've looked at the cost of drinks, speciality dining etc and we think we are doing to need at least £3,500 spending money to cover it. But as the political uncertainty continues and the pound ever weakens - I wonder if any cruisers out there can remember similar times, and whether Cunard responded by softening the blow with slightly lower on board prices?

Cunard charges for goods and services in USD, and I have never seen them adjust prices to reflect changes in the Pound Sterling, Euro or any other currency. It is possible that if you buy your passage in Pounds, they may make a adjustment to encourage you to book with them, but in the end they report their profits in USD and would have little incentive to reduce revenue and profit. 

 

As for what you buy I have a few suggestions. Photos are expensive and I limit my purchase to the boarding picture as a memento.  Duty free prices on board are not much of a bargain so I don't buy anything. 

 

In the end, you must decide if the holiday you are planning to take is worth the expense, and I would say 22 days on QM2 is a terrific one. 

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Posted (edited)

Not sure if Cunard has ever charged in GBP, but they belong to Carnival (US), they compete with mainly US based cruiselines, they charge you onboard in US$ so a drop because the GBP went weaker (or any other currency) will not happen.

 

 

Edited by Yoshikitty

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...and thankfully, they didn't put the prices UP when the GBP rose to over $1.50, a few years ago!

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£160 a day spending money seems a lot! I would consider taking some bottles of alcohol with you for the westbound crossing and paying corkage in the restaurant. Restock the items in New York. 

 

I wouldn't bother with the ship's photographers except for perhaps one or two souvenir photos. Get other guests to take your photos with your phone or camera.

 

I have found a lot of so-called duty free prices more expensive than UK high street prices.

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No they will not reduce onboard prices of drinks, speciality restaurants or anything else onboard but us as the consumer we can reduce our purchases of such items. When you take into account the very poor £ to $ exchange rate currently which makes for UK cruisers onboard Cunard drinks, restaurants and items in the shops very expensive. On our last cruise on QE there was no atmosphere around the ship after dinner as majority of bars excluding Queens Room and even though it was busy in there not all were ordering drinks.It will certainly make a difference to me on our roundtrip TA on November and we will be purchasing nowhere near as many drinks as we normally do when we are on a cruise. 

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6 hours ago, Yoshikitty said:

Not sure if Cunard has ever charged in GBP, but they belong to Carnival (US), they compete with mainly US based cruiselines, they charge you onboard in US$ so a drop because the GBP went weaker (or any other currency) will not happen.

 

 

They sometimes had on-board prices in £ but that was a long time ago on the QE2 when Cunard was a British company.  But even then the prices were sometimes in U.S.$. 

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We first cruised with Cunard on QE2 in 1997 and it was US$ for onboard prices and to my knowledge all Cunard ships have been the same since.

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4 hours ago, majortom10 said:

We first cruised with Cunard on QE2 in 1997 and it was US$ for onboard prices and to my knowledge all Cunard ships have been the same since.

 

The onboard prices were still in GBP in the early 2000s onboard the Caronia.

And service was included, no 15% added ...

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1 hour ago, carlmm said:

 

The onboard prices were still in GBP in the early 2000s onboard the Caronia.

And service was included, no 15% added ...

Carl, are you sure it was Caronia? I am under the impression that Caronia was withdrawn from service in 1967. I am confused. Can someone help me here?

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22 hours ago, majortom10 said:

On our last cruise on QE there was no atmosphere around the ship after dinner as majority of bars excluding Queens Room and even though it was busy in there not all were ordering drinks.It will certainly make a difference to me on our roundtrip TA on November and we will be purchasing nowhere near as many drinks as we normally do when we are on a cruise. 

 

Two years ago on the QV, on a couple of nights we actually found ourselves being the only 4 in the Commodore lounge at around 20:30 or so. We were on early sitting so we then went to the Commodore afterwards and at around 20:30 those that were there then left for second sitting. I can distinctly recall suddenly noticing there  was no one else in the place.

 

And as you say,  Cunard will not reduce their prices because they are selling say a drink for $10 (or whatever) so they want $10. If that costs you more pounds then that's not their problem.  To be fair, why would they ?

 

The trouble is, about 2 years ago the pound fell against the dollar and at the same time they whacked up the price of drinks, so hence that time we in the UK got hit twice.

 

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41 minutes ago, Host Hattie said:

The Vistafjord sailed as Caronia from 1999 to 2004.

Thank you Hattie. 

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1 hour ago, Host Hattie said:

The Vistafjord sailed as Caronia from 1999 to 2004.

Then went on to become Saga Ruby and has since been sold to be a floating hotel but never happened and went for scrap. We went on Caronia on one of her last cruises when she was actually owned by Saga and leased back to Cunard to fulfill her sold cruises.

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Cunard would only reduce drinks prices if they found that high drinks prices were harming profits in some way (fewer customers and/or selling fewer drinks) and the cost of offering promotions to attract people on board was more than the cost of reducing drink prices. If the ships are sailing full and their drinks revenue is acceptable to them then they won't make any changes.

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I do not think it would be a reasonable business decision to change prices based on the fluctuations in international currency exchange.  I imagine a large number of passengers would be quite upset, on both sides of the Atlantic, if prices had been raised to account for the strong pound in 2007 and 2008.

 

 

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