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Drink Package Change (and other things)?


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I am travelling on the Mariner 10/18/19 and had the Deluxe Drink Package in my cart which was $52/person per day. When I went into my cart to purchase it a few days later, it said the option was no longer available. Now when you go to the cruise planner, the option is now called Deluxe Package Special Offer at $56/person per day. I don't see any difference in this package except for the name from the prior one and the price is higher. How does this become a "special offer" to put that in the title? Anyone know if this is just a RCCL tactic like always of if something is actually different?

 

I am getting so tired of the royal pricing for excursions and other packages changing like crazy and often times making it look like you're getting a sale price but you really aren't. Don't even get me started on the cabanas at CocoCay!! I have a 7-night cruise and had one in my cart for just over $400 and was waiting for my party to tell me if they wanted to do it. A few days later, the price is now $1299!! It's one thing to be offering a promo discount from the full price but these are priced differently based on sailing, ship, time of year, and the best of them all, how many are left. I hate knowing I could be paying $1299 and sitting next to someone who paid $400 for the same cabana!

 

For my 3-night Mariner cruise, it went from $383 to now $799! That is just crazy!!

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1. If don't like the way RCI does business, don't sail with them.

2. Buy whatever you want in the planner and if it goes down in price, cancel and re-book.

3. Try to ignore everything else.

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Royal uses dynamic pricing (price changes by demand, supply, or whim) - and putting an item on your cart does not "save" the price. Considering Royal allows you to cancel and get your money refunded on these things until really close to sail date, if a change in price would stop you from buying it then you should buy now.

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Not thinking the price would be saved, but annoyed about the cabana pricing. I know the other "excursions" are not priced that way.

 

Still confused on the drink package change - especially adding "special offer" to the name when it's not really a special offer at all!

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We are booked on Harmony.  I believe the on board price for the drink package is $60.  So $56 is indeed a discount.  You simply have to watch your cruise planner and when you see a price you like, grab it.   If it goes down you can repurchase.  If it doesn't you can still cancel with no penalty.  

This isn't new, dynamic pricing has been going on for years.  And it's not limited to Royal Caribbean.  I booked a hotel room earlier today for Sep.  I checked a few minutes later and the price had gone up.  Apparently the room I took out of inventory caused an increase.  Same with airline tickets.  I booked a flight a few days ago for next year and the price for the same flight is double today.  Oh yeah...car rentals can be like that too. 

If you want the drink package, buy it now at $56 and keep an eye on it as it may drop any day.  And if you think $56 is too high, then wait and see what happens and if it doesn't come down, don't buy one. 

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I'm well aware of how dynamic pricing works, especially for industries like car rentals, hotels, and even for the cruise fare itself. I've just never seen it that way for excursions (maybe it's because i've never booked a cabana). For example, if I book a tubing excursion, the price will fluctuate based on the tour operator potentially but is usually based on the promo RCCL is offering. 20% off, the price goes down. Remove the promo, the price goes up. Either way, the price doesn't skyrocket just because multiple people purchased it. I think it's ridiculous how much they jump the cabanas based on inventory. 

 

As for the drink package, I understand the concept that I can buy it and cancel if the price goes down and how all that works. It's not even the fact that the price went from $52 to $56. It's the game of getting rid of the current option so it looks like it's no longer available, and then replacing with something that is exactly the same and adding the words "special offer". It makes it look like you're getting some sort of special deal that you are not at all getting.  When it was in my cart at $52 it said "20% off onboard prices". Now with the $56 per day and the "special offer" it still says "20% off onboard prices". 

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22 minutes ago, AirMike said:

Still confused on the drink package change - especially adding "special offer" to the name when it's not really a special offer at all!

See #3 above.

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10 minutes ago, AirMike said:

As for the drink package, I understand the concept that I can buy it and cancel if the price goes down and how all that works. It's not even the fact that the price went from $52 to $56. It's the game of getting rid of the current option so it looks like it's no longer available, and then replacing with something that is exactly the same and adding the words "special offer". It makes it look like you're getting some sort of special deal that you are not at all getting.  When it was in my cart at $52 it said "20% off onboard prices". Now with the $56 per day and the "special offer" it still says "20% off onboard prices". 

 

You obviously don't drive a car or sleep on a mattress if these tactics bother you this much.

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8 minutes ago, Paelos said:

 

You obviously don't drive a car or sleep on a mattress if these tactics bother you this much.

 

I haven't been on these boards in a while since it just seemed like people couldn't wait to make negative and stupid comments when someone expressed their opinion. I see that hasn't changed much. If you enjoy paying higher prices for no reason at all - go at it. No reason I should want to.

 

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4 minutes ago, AirMike said:

 

I haven't been on these boards in a while since it just seemed like people couldn't wait to make negative and stupid comments when someone expressed their opinion. I see that hasn't changed much. If you enjoy paying higher prices for no reason at all - go at it. No reason I should want to.

 

 

It was a joke Mike. Anyway to answer your original question it's not different it's a marketing tactic. I was on the Mariner and the lowest I saw it get was $52 a person, known as the Buy One Get One 50% off thing. It'll come around again in plenty of time to rebook it and you should be fine. If you see it go lower, great! But I doubt it will because on those short cruises I'm betting people are hitting the packages hard, much like I was. Grey Goose and all that.

 

The answer is to check it every now and then for the first two weeks after you book, and then about 1-2 times a week leading up. You'll get a feel for the prices. Ignore the words and the marketing lingo, no reason to get hung up on that. It's fluff just like buying a car.

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53 minutes ago, AirMike said:

Not thinking the price would be saved, but annoyed about the cabana pricing. I know the other "excursions" are not priced that way.

 

Still confused on the drink package change - especially adding "special offer" to the name when it's not really a special offer at all!

 

It's special to Royal as they are making more money on the same package.  Save yourself some headaches and buy it now and chances are it'll go down in a few weeks.  Cancel and repurchase.

 

Last cruise I was on, I tracked the drink package price for months. It would change each week...$49/pp...then $45 pp....then $42 pp...back up to $49 pp. This cycle repeated over and over. I had just missed the $42 pp price so I bought it at $49, waited 3 weeks until it dropped to $42.  Cancelled and re-purchase.

 

For some, it's like a sporting event to get the best price. For others, just a major headache, especially if you don't have the time to constantly check.

 

EDIT: You still have 3 months to the cruise, expect a end-of-summer/labor day sale at some point.

Edited by HBE4
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2 hours ago, AirMike said:

As for the drink package, I understand the concept that I can buy it and cancel if the price goes down and how all that works. It's not even the fact that the price went from $52 to $56. It's the game of getting rid of the current option so it looks like it's no longer available, and then replacing with something that is exactly the same and adding the words "special offer". It makes it look like you're getting some sort of special deal that you are not at all getting.  When it was in my cart at $52 it said "20% off onboard prices". Now with the $56 per day and the "special offer" it still says "20% off onboard prices". 

 

My guess is they have different product IDs for the different price points so they just take one out of inventory and swap in the next.  As for the 20% off I've seen that too recently.  I think they may be playing with onboard pricing, or it's just marketing being marketing.  Essentially as far as I can tell, the actual percentage off is just some arbitrary number, so focus on the actual price more than the discount claim.

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Also, just to add to the drink package quirkiness, the Empress cruise I just booked for March has no drink packages of any kind in the cruise planner.  I contacted Royal and they said just give it a week or two and they'll eventually show up again.

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