Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
CoolCruiser17

Huge price drop since booked... thoughts/advice?

Recommended Posts

Cruises that are not selling can drop really low close to sailing. I wanted a last minute getaway by myself this past spring. I watched the ncl cruises to Bermuda pricing everyday. I booked on a Monday and left on that Friday. 7 day cruise with no single supplement. Inside cabin sailaway. $250. I was happy. It is just the chances we take with booking early or last minute. Have my eye on a 14 night Caribbean cruise this fall that is not selling well at all. We will see!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been our experience if we check prices as we go along (we book about 6 months out as a rule) the prices go up. Yes, in some cases they may go down. Like 2 Wheels said, prices are like rollercoasters, up and down they go. Ask for a better deal, but if, again the representative says no can do, accept it and don't blame the cruise line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, KeithJenner said:

Or booking early can work as well.

 

There is no simple answer that covers all eventualities. Waiting until late can work, depending on your circumstances, but sometimes it doesn't. However, we have always found that booking a way out gives good pricing, and prices more often than not go up (sometimes significantly) from there.

 

It does depend a bit on the times that you are cruising. However, in my experience the sort of time that you booked seems to very often give the worst prices (but certainly not always). They have often been rising up to that point and then (depending on hope the ship is selling) then can fall back after final payment.

 

Like everything, look at the circumstances and use that to try to make the best decisions.

 

 

Of course waiting until later can result in having fewer choices about where your cabin is situated.  I think that is important.  

 

For my next cruise in September I started looking at the prices a year before to get a feeling for what I would pay.  I compared cruise lines and watched how the prices were trending.  That gave me the confidence to make my booking.  I locked in the airfare and the hotel in Venice pre-cruise.  If I had not done this I would be paying more. 

 

Once I retire I will be looking at some of the last minute deals that turn up, especially ones that leave from a port that I could reach by rail.  I won't be upset if I cannot get my favourite cabin.  

 

I once got an upgrade from a price drop.  Since the upgrade bidding system I am sure that sort of option is not available.  To the OP - I will join in with the others saying enjoy your cruise,  stop looking at prices!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 10:58 PM, JustaOreo said:

Actually......yes. 25% difference between fare paid and lower advertised fare when we called as OBC !!!

 

We were offered an upgrade first, but we had three staterooms and they couldn't accommodate, so we each received the 25%.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our Spirit cruise this past June, we booked about 10 or 11 months in advance. Much closer to cruise date, we saw prices had dropped by roughly $2000  total for our double occupancy cabin. We called and were offered a $500 OBC -- the 25% that others have alluded to. This was added to the $100 OBC we had as a perk when we booked the cruise and we kept all the other perks we had at booking.

 

Obviously $500 is not equal to the $2000 price drop and we would have preferred to pay the lower price, but I am a big planner and am not willing to wait until the last minute to book our cruise. Also air fare would have been much higher had we waited to book that, as someone else has already pointed out. 

 

Bottom line is, call and ask what they will offer. Once you are past final payment date, you are pretty much at their mercy. Take whatever you can get and enjoy your cruise!

 

Becky

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on suggestions many have made on CC, we contacted NCL because the price of our inside cabin, which included $50 OBC and the beverage package, had dropped slightly since we booked in June.

 

Upgraded to a balcony for $232 and kept the two perks.  Also received an additional $100 OBC, 100 minute internet pkg., specialty dining pkg., and $50 shore excursion credit.  We were glad we called.

 

We have learned so much from this website.  Thanks fellow cruisers for your suggestions. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2019 at 6:32 PM, margoula said:

Sailing out of NYC October 27 on Escape, obviously final payment has already been made.

 

I saw that our Mini Suite (Cat MA) price dropped $180.00 each for my husband and I.  I called NCL today asked if we could get something like maybe OBC without losing all our promos.

 

She said no OBC but I’ll see if I can get you an upgrade to a Mini Suite with a Large Balcony (Cat MA-M6).

 

She put me on hold for quite a while (had to check with a Supervisor), came back told me where it was and I accepted the upgrade, with all my existing promos.

 

You have nothing to lose by asking.

 

 

certainly it doesn't hurt to ask and especially if you do it in a nice way. The most important thing to remember though, is they are not obligated to offer anything and we all need to be prepared for the NO. I have gotten upgrades and OBC a few times, but normally do not bother, or in my case bother my TA If the discount is huge, like some appear to be, they, yes go for it!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, luckybecky said:

On our Spirit cruise this past June, we booked about 10 or 11 months in advance. Much closer to cruise date, we saw prices had dropped by roughly $2000  total for our double occupancy cabin. We called and were offered a $500 OBC -- the 25% that others have alluded to. This was added to the $100 OBC we had as a perk when we booked the cruise and we kept all the other perks we had at booking.

 

Obviously $500 is not equal to the $2000 price drop and we would have preferred to pay the lower price, but I am a big planner and am not willing to wait until the last minute to book our cruise. Also air fare would have been much higher had we waited to book that, as someone else has already pointed out. 

 

Bottom line is, call and ask what they will offer. Once you are past final payment date, you are pretty much at their mercy. Take whatever you can get and enjoy your cruise!

 

Becky

 

 

I thought it was BLUE TOOTH and not BLUE NOSE !  LOL !

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/27/2019 at 12:08 AM, CruisingNole said:

What other cruise lines have these ridiculous price drops like NCL? None of the other “big 3” cruise lines fluctuate by thousands of dollars for a basic balcony cabin since booking. This seems to be NCL price model. Overcharge Mr. and Mrs. “we play it safe with our vacations” and expect them to be too naive to realize they could have saved a boat load of money.

NCL is the only line I know of with huge price drops last minute. With the other lines, if a sailing is selling slowly, you'll see the declines three months out or so. NCL will keep the price artificially inflated and then dump cabins for cheap one week before sailing. The end result is huge variations between what passengers pay for the same product. When I sail NCL, I book two to seven days prior to sailing, sailaway rate only. I am fortunate to be able to sail last minute. I would never book an NCL cruise prior to final payment either. 

Edited by blcruising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, blcruising said:

NCL is the only line I know of with huge price drops last minute. With the other lines, if a sailing is selling slowly, you'll see the declines three months out or so. NCL will keep the price artificially inflated and then dump cabins for cheap one week before sailing. The end result is huge variations between what passengers pay for the same product. When I sail NCL, I book two to seven days prior to sailing, sailaway rate only. I am fortunate to be able to sail last minute. I would never book an NCL cruise prior to final payment either. 

 

Agreed, 1 week out or less sail away is the only thing I will book on NCL. Otherwise you're getting ripped. Royal and Carnival both typically get more (usually a LOT more) expensive as the sailing nears vs if you were to book 1 year in advance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2019 at 12:08 AM, CruisingNole said:

What other cruise lines have these ridiculous price drops like NCL? None of the other “big 3” cruise lines fluctuate by thousands of dollars for a basic balcony cabin since booking. This seems to be NCL price model. Overcharge Mr. and Mrs. “we play it safe with our vacations” and expect them to be too naive to realize they could have saved a boat load of money.

 

I have three young kids. Many vacations aren't as accommodating to five people as they are with four. When options are more limited (or increase significantly in price when you need more space), planning vacations early is important. Not everyone is in a situation where they can just wait until the last minute to find discounts on unused inventory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CruisingNole said:

 

Agreed, 1 week out or less sail away is the only thing I will book on NCL. Otherwise you're getting ripped. Royal and Carnival both typically get more (usually a LOT more) expensive as the sailing nears vs if you were to book 1 year in advance. 

As a newly retired educator, I find myself with the luxury of booking a cruise whenever I want instead of being tied to the school calendar.  So when you say you book last minute in the GTY category, do you then purchase a drink package once on board?  Or do you pay by the drink?   Same question about dining package?  Or did I misunderstand about the category selection?

Thanks!

Edited by Georgia_Peaches

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, richg35 said:

 

I have three young kids. Many vacations aren't as accommodating to five people as they are with four. When options are more limited (or increase significantly in price when you need more space), planning vacations early is important. Not everyone is in a situation where they can just wait until the last minute to find discounts on unused inventory.

 

Yeah can't relate on the kids and traveling with large numbers, but you and anybody shouldn't be punished by booking far out. Heck I booked around 75 days out so pretty close in and still saw this drop. Sounds like from my reading on prior posts and posts below as well as general reading NCL does this as standard practice. I am surprised it works and doesn't cause them uproar and pissed off people in the masses. I have some flexibility so if I ever travel NCL again I will most defiantly be like most others and book very last min otherwise I will likely just book other lines and not worry about it as I rarely see more than a $200-300 variance when booking 6 months out or less out on the other lines which is what I typical do.

 

1 hour ago, CruisingNole said:

 

Agreed, 1 week out or less sail away is the only thing I will book on NCL. Otherwise you're getting ripped. Royal and Carnival both typically get more (usually a LOT more) expensive as the sailing nears vs if you were to book 1 year in advance. 

 

1 hour ago, blcruising said:

NCL is the only line I know of with huge price drops last minute. With the other lines, if a sailing is selling slowly, you'll see the declines three months out or so. NCL will keep the price artificially inflated and then dump cabins for cheap one week before sailing. The end result is huge variations between what passengers pay for the same product. When I sail NCL, I book two to seven days prior to sailing, sailaway rate only. I am fortunate to be able to sail last minute. I would never book an NCL cruise prior to final payment either. 

Yeah lessoned learned from your posts and just general reading about this is if I book with NCL again in the future I need to just pick two separate cruise weeks (back to back weeks) and just book the best one out of the two somewhere in the 2-3 weeks out range and go with it. Clearly by this business practice of holding rates high just to dump them and reward last min bookings is what they are encouraging people to do so as they say, "if you can't beat em join em". haha In all likelihood I will just go back to what I know and book with my regular lines I have used without issues in the past. I booked NCL for this trip as I have seen lots of push recently for them with ads and figured I should at least try something new every once in a while.

 

4 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

As a newly retired educator, I find myself with the luxury of booking a cruise whenever I want instead of being tied to the school calendar.  So when you say you book last minute in the GTY category, do you then purchase a drink package once on board?  Or do you pay by the drink?   Same question about dining package?  Or did I misunderstand about the category selection?

Thanks!

I think they are talking about just booking a sailaway standard with no free at sea perks. With that said though I booked free at sea and am comparing the $1200 drop to booking the same free at sea package today. So same package and room just I would save $1200 by booking today.

Edited by CoolCruiser17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

As a newly retired educator, I find myself with the luxury of booking a cruise whenever I want instead of being tied to the school calendar.  So when you say you book last minute in the GTY category, do you then purchase a drink package once on board?  Or do you pay by the drink?   Same question about dining package?  Or did I misunderstand about the category selection?

Thanks!

 

I have found that when booking last minute, you can still save quite a bit of money by just paying per drink. But I also don't consume 20+ drinks per day like some folks do. Different strokes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

As a newly retired educator, I find myself with the luxury of booking a cruise whenever I want instead of being tied to the school calendar.  So when you say you book last minute in the GTY category, do you then purchase a drink package once on board?  Or do you pay by the drink?   Same question about dining package?  Or did I misunderstand about the category selection?

Thanks!

I never buy the package onboard and certainly don't pay their ridiculous onboard per drink prices. I usually grab some drinks at a bar in port. Sometimes the price differential between a last minute sailaway and a rate with perks is $100. Plus, of course, the 20% service charge. So for a seven day cruise, about $140 in service charges. So, for $240 I'd get the drink package. Anything more, I would probably forego.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you all determine if a cruise is selling well or not? Where can I find that information? Im watching a cruise that is almost at 60 days. No significant price changes yet. No increase and no decrease. I'm waiting to see what happens at 60 days. Airfare is not a concern. Is it on the NCL website or another website that you figure out if a sailing is selling well or not?  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, blueslily said:

How do you all determine if a cruise is selling well or not? Where can I find that information? Im watching a cruise that is almost at 60 days. No significant price changes yet. No increase and no decrease. I'm waiting to see what happens at 60 days. Airfare is not a concern. Is it on the NCL website or another website that you figure out if a sailing is selling well or not?  Thanks!

What cruise destination are you looking at ?

Is this a ship repositioning cruise ?

Ship is sailing full empty or ??? but it is sailing from A to B regardless

Could be the end of a season cruise and there is not much more that can be done except to offer a fire sale

at the last minute.

Maybe NCL has pulled all or most all of the bennies perks offers and killed any further sales interest in said cruise.

What was once a Past Guest Insider Offer is no longer there.

There are a few other websites to check availability but not if the ship is sold out just a presumption based on the

number of vacant cabins that are left.

These websites can't post them but can make an indirect reference to them:

Auto Club

Big Box Wholesale retailer

Travel Agency

There are others with patience and searching you will find them and can make your own evaluations.

NCL did have a policy of not allowing sales less than the fares that NCL is charging - BUT - the bennies

OBC and other small tokens offered by these outside agents are not something that is controlled by NCL.

 

Unless you have 4 stars on your sleeve and command the fleet you will never be able to see the BIG PICTURE !

But by golly you can come close to the conclusion of what is developing available direction and course of NCL.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

What cruise destination are you looking at ?

Is this a ship repositioning cruise ?

Ship is sailing full empty or ??? but it is sailing from A to B regardless

Could be the end of a season cruise and there is not much more that can be done except to offer a fire sale

at the last minute.

Maybe NCL has pulled all or most all of the bennies perks offers and killed any further sales interest in said cruise.

What was once a Past Guest Insider Offer is no longer there.

There are a few other websites to check availability but not if the ship is sold out just a presumption based on the

number of vacant cabins that are left.

These websites can't post them but can make an indirect reference to them:

Auto Club

Big Box Wholesale retailer

Travel Agency

There are others with patience and searching you will find them and can make your own evaluations.

NCL did have a policy of not allowing sales less than the fares that NCL is charging - BUT - the bennies

OBC and other small tokens offered by these outside agents are not something that is controlled by NCL.

 

Unless you have 4 stars on your sleeve and command the fleet you will never be able to see the BIG PICTURE !

But by golly you can come close to the conclusion of what is developing available direction and course of NCL.

 

 

 

Sorry, some of that response is confusing to me.  A couple posters on this thread said that their sailing was selling poor. My question was where did they locate that information. Im booking direct with NCL. All perks are still the same. Same offers we usually see on the website. No changes. 

 

Thank you. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, richg35 said:

 

I have three young kids. Many vacations aren't as accommodating to five people as they are with four. When options are more limited (or increase significantly in price when you need more space), planning vacations early is important. Not everyone is in a situation where they can just wait until the last minute to find discounts on unused inventory.

 

Yes, agree completely. Especially when you also have to book airfare. Air to Europe is crazy expensive already, and there is just no way we can do that last minute for a European cruise. We have only done one cruise on NCL, but now that I know this about their pricing structure, I am not sure they will be my first choice for a future cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, richg35 said:

 

I have three young kids. Many vacations aren't as accommodating to five people as they are with four. When options are more limited (or increase significantly in price when you need more space), planning vacations early is important. Not everyone is in a situation where they can just wait until the last minute to find discounts on unused inventory.

Let me also add NCL isn't the only line that does the last minute price drop. I know that Carnival does and Princess does it big time. I do not know about RCI or Celebrity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...