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ghstudio

Celebrity deals - a zero sum game

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We are going to cruise with friends....we booked two A1 cabins refundable at A2 prices (captain's club).

 

My friend booked with TA A.....$5110 plus two perks plus $625 OBC from the agency

 

We booked with TA B - $5034 plus two perks plus $575 (group rate).

 

Alternative offered by both...all four perks with no additional OBC.

 

At this point we have $1 more OBC.....

 

Not sure how to value the addition of two perks for us....we have classic drink package and gratuities....OBC's would be $300 and internet on 11 night cruise ? but we get a discount since we are elite plus.  I think it's essentially the same.

 

Note: all are better than celebrity which at the time offered $5110 plus two perks.  Today, it's less but with no perks which is terrible if you want a drink package.  If not, you are about a wash.

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Booking a cruise used to be so easy. Now you need a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the variables when trying to determine the best value.

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Totally agree. I used to enjoy planning our vacations, getting the best deals on airfare, hotels, rental cars, excursions...This year planning this cruise is just confusing. I am glad that my TA is looking out for me. 

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Posted (edited)

I worked in the auto industry,   We would go on strike.  The company had a figure that they would offer and would not exceed it. They would make the initial offer.  The Union would reject it.   They had to justify their existence.     We would sit out for weeks and the union would say this is the best we can do, take it.  It was no different that the original offer except the pie was cut different to make it look as if we were getting  more.   We were now out of money and wanted to go back to work and were “happy” about the great job the union did by getting the pie cut different 🙄☹️

 

As the OP posted the total package is about the same no matter how you cut the pie.  The difference is how you want it cut 

 

If you find a good TA that gives you great service stay with them, just   beware that some charge for any changes including  changing cabins in the same category 

 

We feel everyone has paid to cruise so why should any one get something extra because they are celebrating something 

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

Edited by miched

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This is why when Celebrity argues the perk is "free" it is bs and frustrating. And for example--to block "upgrading" from Premium to Premium Plus in bev is crazy

 

Nothing is free--the perk is baked into the more expensive pie. 

 

I do wonder about OBC from TAs... is it coming from a commission?  How much has one overpaid to get that cash back as OBC? We wonder that as we book with a big box that we get a cash card now (they used to do a more generous refundable OBC)

 

Celebrity used to send out a "thank you" email with a $100 OBC after a sailing. In the one we received last (been awhile) Celebrity excluded many things and did NOT exclude combing with sailings booked onboard/ our upcoming TA. Called to have that $100 OBC added and STILL Celebrity --despite admitting there was nothing in the language-- refused to apply it to our booking which had a measly $100 OBC for booking onboard. Claiming it wasn't combinable

 

In the end-- unless you catch a great sale-- the varying offers are as miched describe-- same pie, cut differently. 

 

I run the numbers on our bookings from time to time to see if they are worth re-rating..and find the math doesn't work on the  newest promotions etc. I do keep a spread sheet on past sailings and things we are looking at -- looking at per night costs. Sometimes we do well--sometimes we have grossly "overpaid" given its  a Celebrity product ... hence why we are now booking elsewhere

 

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

This is why when Celebrity argues the perk is "free" it is bs and frustrating. And for example--to block "upgrading" from Premium to Premium Plus in bev is crazy

 

Nothing is free--the perk is baked into the more expensive pie. 

 

I do wonder about OBC from TAs... is it coming from a commission?  How much has one overpaid to get that cash back as OBC? We wonder that as we book with a big box that we get a cash card now (they used to do a more generous refundable OBC)

 

Celebrity used to send out a "thank you" email with a $100 OBC after a sailing. In the one we received last (been awhile) Celebrity excluded many things and did NOT exclude combing with sailings booked onboard/ our upcoming TA. Called to have that $100 OBC added and STILL Celebrity --despite admitting there was nothing in the language-- refused to apply it to our booking which had a measly $100 OBC for booking onboard. Claiming it wasn't combinable

 

In the end-- unless you catch a great sale-- the varying offers are as miched describe-- same pie, cut differently. 

 

I run the numbers on our bookings from time to time to see if they are worth re-rating..and find the math doesn't work on the  newest promotions etc. I do keep a spread sheet on past sailings and things we are looking at -- looking at per night costs. Sometimes we do well--sometimes we have grossly "overpaid" given its  a Celebrity product ... hence why we are now booking elsewhere

 

Sorry, please refresh my memory as to any recent time(s) when X 'argues' that perks were free?

 

I believe that is what most of us who purchases goods and services here in the U.S. think of as Perks being 'free' as that is how they are, most often, touted in the media as being 'free' and the 'definition' transfers to any company or service who uses the word...

 

I, personally, think it is great that you have the time and desire to keep a spreadsheet on your sailings, yet not the vast majority of us do this as we look at sailings, their costs and decide in the moment if it is worth the value X has placed on the product. If so, we book, if not, we wait. No wasting time beyond that.

 

I do realize that 'value' has a very different feel and belief to each of us and therefore do not think that what I think is of value to me needs to be of value to others, with some exceptions of course.

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953

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1 minute ago, Bo1953 said:

Sorry, please refresh my memory as to any recent time(s) when X 'argues' that perks were free?

 

I believe that is what most of us who purchases goods and services here in the U.S. think of as Perks being 'free' as that is how they are, most often, touted in the media as being 'free' and the 'definition' transfers to any company or service who uses the word...

 

bon voyage

Hi Bo

Multiple posts here on CC have reported that Celebrity denied a pax to upgrade / alter a perk because it was a "free" perk. 

including recent discussion about Premium Plus bev package vs Premium

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Bo....While I agree with you intellectually, I have had many stockholder relations turn downs because of the "perks" included in the Celebrity fares.   

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2 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

Hi Bo

Multiple posts here on CC have reported that Celebrity denied a pax to upgrade / alter a perk because it was a "free" perk. 

including recent discussion about Premium Plus bev package vs Premium

While I understand the posit, it is generally a known fact that when passengers accepts a 'Perk' at booking on X, then it is not usually changeable.

 

I have not read the details on the P+ package, yet I would presume there are restrictions to its' purchase based on 'what I have read about here on CC and its' quite attractive pricing/value'.

 

So, I suggest that passengers who wish to have the P+ package go about changing their Classic to another Perk and then purchase the P+ package, that is a good workaround if it is such a deal to have or not. OR is the idea to not pay for it at all or get a refund for a better package at a lower rate?

 

Not sure if I would expect such an easy change unless there was a mistake in the system to allow me to book it, etc..

 

Cheers and bon voyage

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5 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

it is generally a known fact that when passengers accepts a 'Perk' at booking on X, then it is not usually changeable.

 

I'm not sure this is a generally known fact.....in fact, I believe it's incorrect.  We have changed perks a couple of times prior to the cruise at no charge and with no difficulty.  

 

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Just now, ghstudio said:

 

I'm not sure this is a generally known fact.....in fact, I believe it's incorrect.  We have changed perks a couple of times prior to the cruise at no charge and with no difficulty.  

 

My bad, I needed to indicate 'down grade' beverage packages without additional charge and no refunds, as a rule yet understand that some are able to do this.

 

Thank you and bon voyage

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This is always an interesting discussion and it is mostly semantics. And misleading marketing. Although called "perks" or "free perks", they are really options for bundled packages included in your cruise fare.  You are paying for these bundles.  Sometimes they are a good value, and sometimes not.  You can try to price the cabin bare bones if possible to see what you are actually paying without the added extras.  This is particularly important if you are at a Captains Club Loyalty Level like Elite that actually includes free perks such as WiFi minutes which is my preferred way to use the "perks" term.  Some would see that these loyalty perks themselves are not free but were earned by paying for a lot of previous cruises.

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It is frustrating these days to try to figure out what pricing hits your sweet spot and which does not, which things are combinable and which are not, and on and on.  The good part is you have more options than ever .  The bad part is you need a masters degree in finance to figure it all out😊.

 

I understand the part about the craziness of  perks being "free" (and to me, when the cruise line advertises them as 'included' that is the same as saying they are free).  I remember when the 4 perks suite pricing first came out, so many people here on CC argued that suite pricing was not really exorbitant as it included four free perks.  Huh?!  When you did the math the base price was still considerably higher than it was before that nonsense started on most of the suites I reviewed at the time.  People are so easily fooled by tricky marketing.

 

The most important part of analyzing pricing is to determine what value perks have to you.  If you drink little, have a lot of Elite+ internet minutes and don't need all-time access, etc., then the value of those perks isn't that important to you.  Would you have bought the 'free' perks anyway?  If not, then that needs to be considered in your evaluation.  So many options; so little time to analyze them all.

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22 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

This is always an interesting discussion and it is mostly semantics. And misleading marketing. Although called "perks" or "free perks", they are really options for bundled packages included in your cruise fare.  You are paying for these bundles.  Sometimes they are a good value, and sometimes not.  You can try to price the cabin bare bones if possible to see what you are actually paying without the added extras.  This is particularly important if you are at a Captains Club Loyalty Level like Elite that actually includes free perks such as WiFi minutes which is my preferred way to use the "perks" term.  Some would see that these loyalty perks themselves are not free but were earned by paying for a lot of previous cruises.

Explains it all quite concisely!

Booking  cruises used to be easier....I  can buy a car to my specifications online faster than booking a cruise these days!

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We haven’t thought the perks were ever free, bundled and often a good value but not free.

Last  year we booked a 15 night cruise for which there were no perks available.   This spring there was a change and all 4 perks were available.  We did the math:  daily gratuity $255 pp, Premium Bev pkg $1242 pp,  Wi-Fi $147 pp, OBC $150 total = $1764 pp.   

We would have paid the daily gratuity and  purchased the PBP and Wi-Fi the OBC will offset the extra gratuities we would have given to the Butler, Cabin Attendant, wait staff.  For us the $1764  was a amount we would have spent.  The extra cost to re-fare the Cruise was $1150 pp.  We saved $614  pp compared to what our cost to purchase.  A good value.  And the refundable OBC from our TA increased. 

 

i don’t see Celebrity’s bundled pricing any different than hotels that offer free wi-fi, free breakfast, free airport shuttles, free managers reception, etc.  These things aren’t free they are bundled into the room price. 

 

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They used to use the word "free" on the website which is misleading and actually not accurate.  I distinctly remember searching for cruises and different pricing and seeing them use "free" and thinking how is it free when I'm being charged another $400 per person?  I don't see it now, so  I think they've finally stopped using the term.  Which is good.  It's still a strange pricing strategy. I guess we just need to accept that the base fare you see will likely be several 100+ dollars more if you want something as little (or large) as a refundable deposit if you need to cancel.

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15 hours ago, ghstudio said:

We are going to cruise with friends....we booked two A1 cabins refundable at A2 prices (captain's club).

 

My friend booked with TA A.....$5110 plus two perks plus $625 OBC from the agency

 

We booked with TA B - $5034 plus two perks plus $575 (group rate).

 

 

 

OP - what was the rate on Celebrity's website for an A2 refundable?  Just curious if the TAs were $625/$575 less than the lines advertised price, or like I have seen on occasion, the TAs rate is $500 higher but offers $600 OBC (ie only $100 savings)

 

 

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TA A cabin price was identical to Celebrity's price $5110

 

TA B cabin price was a little lower because they offered a "group" rate.

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We just booked a cruise on the Constellation from Tampa in November/2020. The pricing was difficult to understand since we have not cruised on Celebrity for almost two years. The Celebrity vacation planner explained there was a non-refundable deposit price, a refundable deposit price and a refundable deposit price with two perks. Since I had booked a cruise over one year ago for January 2020 which included one perk and had a $50pp deposit which was refundable, I wanted to transfer that booking to our Connie cruise. Not possible anymore, according to our vacation planner. It's gotten very confusing to determine which price to go with especially on a cruise which is over a year away. 

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4 hours ago, Fogfog said:

Hi Bo

Multiple posts here on CC have reported that Celebrity denied a pax to upgrade / alter a perk because it was a "free" perk. 

including recent discussion about Premium Plus bev package vs Premium

NOTHING, is this world is "free"; I recall many years back when I ran a photography studio, future clients use to tell me that    so-and-so studio was offering free proofs with their package.  The marketing scheme is to include the price of developing the proof in the price of the package and then offer "free proofs".  They would think they're getting something for free but, in actuality, they are not. Same applies here!

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2 hours ago, Wanderlost said:

We just booked a cruise on the Constellation from Tampa in November/2020. The pricing was difficult to understand since we have not cruised on Celebrity for almost two years. The Celebrity vacation planner explained there was a non-refundable deposit price, a refundable deposit price and a refundable deposit price with two perks. Since I had booked a cruise over one year ago for January 2020 which included one perk and had a $50pp deposit which was refundable, I wanted to transfer that booking to our Connie cruise. Not possible anymore, according to our vacation planner. It's gotten very confusing to determine which price to go with especially on a cruise which is over a year away. 

perks, other than the extra OBC you get if you book on-board, are not transferable...you get whatever perks are offered on the cruise you are moving to.  Ditto with deposits....you are booking the new cruise so the $50 goes towards whatever the deposits are on the new cruise.

 

I think one of your problems is solved however....I believe that Celebrity is no longer offering any non-suite fares with perks on the new tampa cruises....you can just choose between refundable and non-refundable.   My advice...book though either my TA A or TA B who must remain nameless, but are large internet TAs.

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Don't understand why you can't transfer a previously booked cruise to another ship and date. I just spoke with my TA about to cancel a cruise and he reminded me that instead, I should just move it to another ship/date and them move it again when the new '21 schedules become available. 

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If you have an onboard booking bonus, you should always transfer it to retain the OBC for a future reservation.  If you cancel the reservation outright, that OBC bonus goes away.  However, if you booked with two perks and the new cruise is only offering one perk, then you don't get to transfer the two perks.  You also have to pay the current price for the new cruise.

 

It's a little more transparent if you've been booking suites because those all-in offers have been available for several years now for most cruises (though not all of them).

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2 hours ago, ghstudio said:

 

I think one of your problems is solved however....I believe that Celebrity is no longer offering any non-suite fares with perks on the new tampa cruises....you can just choose between refundable and non-refundable.   My advice...book though either my TA A or TA B who must remain nameless, but are large internet TAs.

 We booked one of the Tampa cruises last week with a refundable deposit and 2 perks from Celebrity (Classic Bev and WiFi)

then transferred to a TA who  added pre-paid gratuities and OBC. 

The refundable price on the website didn't  indicate perks  when I put a hold on the cabin.  The next morning in on the phone  the rep asked  if I wanted the booking with Sail Now price and Price Rate or Sail Now and  2 perks. The Sail Now (-$400) and Price Rate(-$660) is what showed when I but the cabin on hold.   We chose Sail Now and 2 perks.   We would have purchased the CBP at a cost of $1556 so giving up  the Price Rate discount was more that offset by the cost to purchase the beverage package, wi-fi was just a bonus.

 

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Posted (edited)

Really no different than most other things.  Want to buy a car? Dealer A wants $X but will give you $15K for your trade.  Dealer B wants $Y but will only give you $10K for your trade.  Both result in a balance owing of $35K. Different route same end result.

 

What I don’t like is booking a cruise then constantly watching the pricing in case a better deal comes along.  Too often a cruise price will go up and down 6 times in a year.... current cruise I’ve rebooked twice already.  Once to switch from CDN pricing to US, even with the exchange and credit card fees I saved about 10%.  Two weeks later noticed price had dropped by $350 US (perks the same for both).  I’m happy to have saved but as a loyal X customer you think there would be a better way?

 

oh well... first world problems.....

Edited by RickT

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