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Why Are These Cruises So expensive?

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49 minutes ago, 70KToM said:

After doing the math, this didn't seem particularly expensive for a balcony cabin. You have to keep in mind:

 

  • The price is per cabin, not person
  • Tips are included
  • Soda, water, and basic tea and coffee are included
  • Wifi is included (I need to work usually, so $250-400 is pretty normal for an unlimited plan, and that's only for ONE of us, this cruise will give us free access for all devices)
  • All specialty restaurants are included (usually ends up costing us another $150-200)
  • Alcoholic drinks are cheaper. Compare a $5 beer on Virgin to $8 on Royal Caribbean
  • Currently I'm getting $200 in room credit too; that will cover all of our alcohol consumption for five nights

 

 

 

The $5 includes tip too. With the auto grat on RC a beer is $9.42

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45 minutes ago, hotsauce126 said:

 

The $5 includes tip too. With the auto grat on RC a beer is $9.42

Can you even get a beer at a bar, with tip, for $5.00?...

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Yeah I feel like $5 is perfectly reasonably, especially with the tip included. $9 for a cocktail is less than I pay anywhere in my neighborhood as well! 

 

BTW: I just posted a demographic survey, would love for everyone to participate.

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The never-ending discussion how things are "free" and/or a better deal if they are rolled up into the fare. Virgin's average cruise starts at about $1000pp for 4 nights. That absolutely is about double (or more) what you can get on another line.

 

The real "reason" the price is so high is because they are trying to drive a perception of higher value. Marketing tricks like cutting out annoying costs like "gratuities" will cause many people to hold a higher perception of value even though it's only about $100 in reality. Obviously, there are other factors too that drive a higher perception, like their dining options, appearance, etc.

 

My upcoming 5-night cruise will cost me about $500 for the fare, gratuities, and internet. So try again that "this is why the price is higher". I can even buy specialty dinners each night, and drink package, and it would still be cheaper. People are absolutely obsessed with "included" things, and will pay more for them, thinking they are saving. That is why the price is higher.

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They start at $725 from what I can see. That's $225 more than what you're paying.  Pay for WiFi, Specialty Dinners, Soft Drinks and Gratuities and you're easily spending $225 for those 4 nights. 

 

For 5 nights they're starting at $825. $325 more than what you're paying. There you might be able to save money vs. VV, but you'll still come close if you pay for WiFi, Specialty Dinners, Soft Drinks and Gratuities.  

 

It's really easy to spend $300+ in 5 nights on the same things that are included with VV. 3 Specialty meals alone can run $300 for 2 people.

 

 

4 nights vv.JPG

5 nights vv.JPG

Edited by creativegenius

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18 hours ago, creativegenius said:

They start at $725 from what I can see. That's $225 more than what you're paying.  Pay for WiFi, Specialty Dinners, Soft Drinks and Gratuities and you're easily spending $225 for those 4 nights. 

 

For 5 nights they're starting at $825. $325 more than what you're paying. There you might be able to save money vs. VV, but you'll still come close if you pay for WiFi, Specialty Dinners, Soft Drinks and Gratuities.  

 

It's really easy to spend $300+ in 5 nights on the same things that are included with VV. 3 Specialty meals alone can run $300 for 2 people.

 

 

4 nights vv.JPG

5 nights vv.JPG

 

Don't forget that price there doesn't include taxes and fees at about $100-$150 PP, my other fare included that. Also that $750 fare isn't even available anymore. I also didn't add that I upgraded my room's location. So what are we talking about, a $450 price difference to a fare that doesn't exist? My total onboard spending is rarely even half of that.

 

If someone really wanted to prove a point, you could make a configuration that costs more than what Virgin offers. However, by and large, it is a poor argument that Virgin is some sort of savings. You could go on Carnival or Royal and book a 4 night cruise around $250pp before fees. This doesn't mean Virgin is a bad buy. It looks like a fine product with a solid experience. A savings, it is not.

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If you're looking for bargain basement Carnival pricing Virgin Voyages is probably not for you.  They are not trying to be the price leader by any stretch, and that is not the clientele they are trying to attract.  They are offering a different & unique product which they feel warrants the higher yields.  If they can sustain those higher yields remains to be seen.  The short cruise market out of South Florida is a tough one, and highly competitive.  Disney of course can achieve sustained higher yields, but Virgin doesn't quite have the brand power that Disney does.  I think losing Cuba as a port was a big hit to them, and would have certainly helped them achieve those higher yields.  Virgin does have "value-adds" built into the pricing which helps to prevent the "nickel & dime" phenomenon that so many other lines achieve extraordinarily well.  Virgin will likely appeal to those cruisers who want a more inclusive experience and are willing to pay for it.  Not to mention an experience that is adult-oriented and more geared towards the non-cruiser who doesn't want the typical Carnival/Royal/NCL amusement park at sea experience .       

Edited by eroller

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Here is the thing, the cruise industry is VERY competitive. VERY. No cruise company will be in business long if they don't offer a value proposition. If ships are not full, prices will drop. I might hold judgment until maybe they have their first cruise and we can get some true feedback. 

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2 minutes ago, ano said:

Here is the thing, the cruise industry is VERY competitive. VERY. No cruise company will be in business long if they don't offer a value proposition. If ships are not full, prices will drop. I might hold judgment until maybe they have their first cruise and we can get some true feedback. 

 

 

I'm guessing before Virgin lowers prices (if they even have to), they will add incentives to spark bookings.  They have already done some incentives like the bar credit.  They are operating under the premise of a niche line (being adult-only) and are priced accordingly.  Like I mentioned earlier if it's sustainable remains to be seen.  They really need to deliver at a high and consistent level to maintain the higher yields.  Word of mouth spreads quickly. On a more simple level, people need to like the ship (the hardware).  If they find it lacking or uncomfortable, it will be difficult to sustain higher yields no matter how good the software is.     

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As you know there is a bit of a virus problem going on in the cruise industry today. Recently Frank del Rio (CEO of NCL) said that he was totally opposed to dropping prices to keep ships filled and was going to use other incentives.  LOL Yeah, we'll see if that works.  By the way, did you notice that NCL's revenue was down Y-over-y for Q4?  And this was BEFORE the Coronavirus was really having any effect.  

 

Anyway, we will see what happens is Carnival and Royal decide to drop prices and NCL says NO.  Since its so competitive, prices can vary, but the value must be there.

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1 hour ago, ano said:

As you know there is a bit of a virus problem going on in the cruise industry today. Recently Frank del Rio (CEO of NCL) said that he was totally opposed to dropping prices to keep ships filled and was going to use other incentives.  LOL Yeah, we'll see if that works.  By the way, did you notice that NCL's revenue was down Y-over-y for Q4?  And this was BEFORE the Coronavirus was really having any effect.  

 

Anyway, we will see what happens is Carnival and Royal decide to drop prices and NCL says NO.  Since its so competitive, prices can vary, but the value must be there.

 

 

Absolutely cruise pricing is dynamic, and the realities are often different than what the cruise lines executives like to tout to their shareholders.  

 

The virus is a huge concern that may become an even bigger problem now that its spread to Italy.  China has limited cruise exposure, but even with that limited exposure the bad publicity has tarnished the cruise industry.  Bookings have slowed down across the board along with an increase in cancelations not even related to China.  Should the situation escalate all cruise lines will be scrambling for business.  Not to mention an impact to the entire travel industry and beyond.  Lets hope it can be contained.    

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Pricing appears to be changing.  I’ve been watching a 5 night cruise in October.....looking at an XL Sea Terrace or the Seriously Suite.  The XL terrace was $2500 per cabin and is now $1875.  The seriously suite was $3900 and is now $2975.  That’s a pretty big difference.  The Cuba loss was a huge loss.  I would’ve been booked months ago if Cuba was in the mix.  I’ve been waiting to see how things look as I’ve been quite torn on some of the ships features, and am glad I waited as things seem to be changing a bit price wise.  Also I know it’s hurricane season and perhaps some of these aren’t selling well and they needed to drop the price.  

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1 hour ago, jakebloke said:

Pricing appears to be changing.  I’ve been watching a 5 night cruise in October.....looking at an XL Sea Terrace or the Seriously Suite.  

 

Yesterday was the day stuff got real for the US stock market, and cruise stocks, in terms of COVID-19. Even CCL's stock had been holding up okay until Italy happened. Double whammy for Virgin with Cuba, as I imagine people are cancelling cruises across all dates and lines now. Room/suite prices on Virgin had definitely been up prior to this.

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2 hours ago, jakebloke said:

Pricing appears to be changing.  

 

Thanks for the heads up. Our August sailing dropped by about $400/cabin for the Sea Terrace.  We had originally booked Cuba, but then switched to the Mayan Sol when the White House screwed that up. Will have to see if they will honor the new price or if they would make us cancel and re-book.  

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6 hours ago, creativegenius said:

 

Thanks for the heads up. Our August sailing dropped by about $400/cabin for the Sea Terrace.  We had originally booked Cuba, but then switched to the Mayan Sol when the White House screwed that up. Will have to see if they will honor the new price or if they would make us cancel and re-book.  

 

Man mine in August is still more expensive than it was when I booked it

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7 minutes ago, hotsauce126 said:

 

Man mine in August is still more expensive than it was when I booked it

 

It was about $2100 when we booked. Now it's showing at $1725

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17 hours ago, eroller said:

I'm guessing before Virgin lowers prices (if they even have to), they will add incentives to spark bookings. 

Prices have already been dropping, and they haven't even sold their first drink yet. That old supply-and-demand part is hard to overcome.  

 

I feel bad for Virgin. As luck would have it, this wasn't the best time to launch a new cruise line. 

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6 minutes ago, ano said:

Prices have already been dropping, and they haven't even sold their first drink yet. That old supply-and-demand part is hard to overcome.  

 

I feel bad for Virgin. As luck would have it, this wasn't the best time to launch a new cruise line. 

 

And they just left from Italy ...

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26 minutes ago, ano said:

Prices have already been dropping, and they haven't even sold their first drink yet. That old supply-and-demand part is hard to overcome.  

 

I feel bad for Virgin. As luck would have it, this wasn't the best time to launch a new cruise line. 

 

 

Nope.  Very bad timing.  Things can get much much worse should this virus spread to Europe and the US.  Cruising will essentially come to a halt, as will most travel so airlines and hotels will also suffer.  Some might not even survive if we are talking about an extended period.  Lets hope for a vaccine and fast.  

 

Just today MSC MERAVIGLIA was turned away from Jamaica.  A crew member had the flu.  Hysteria will also play a role, and unfortunately the cruise industry is already suffering from a very tarnished reputation.  DIAMOND PRINCESS was making headlines for weeks.  They don't need anymore bad publicity or people will start avoiding ships like the plague.  

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8 minutes ago, eroller said:

They don't need anymore bad publicity or people will start avoiding ships like the plague.  

Interesting choice of words.

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Probably the worst month to launch a cruise line since the infamous poop cruise or the 2008 market crash

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Has anyone already booked tried to see if they will honor price drops without having to cancel and re-book?

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27 minutes ago, rebeccac said:

Has anyone already booked tried to see if they will honor price drops without having to cancel and re-book?

I would go ahead and call. Sailor services would have to tell you if they can adjust the price or not. Hopefully you won't need to re-book, but if you need to, you don't want to lose out on the on-board credit.  I don't remember what the pre-sale promotion was, but re-booking would remove that (if you have it), and move you to the current promotion.

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Prices are back up to what they were.  That was a short lived sale.  

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