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ghstudio

Celebrity deals - a zero sum game

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So Celebrity has a curious marketing approach. For a cruise over a year from now, I can book with a non-refundable deposit, or I could pay $630 additional per person to reserve a cruise with a refundable deposit and some perks that I don’t want or need. I don’t drink enough alcohol to make the drinks “perk” worthwhile.

 

I told Celebrity to let me know when I can book with a refundable deposit and no perks. Meanwhile I will be looking at other cruise companies.

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1 hour ago, RickT said:

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.....

 I’ll take watching for  Celebrity  price drops over most airline fares once booked no chance of getting the lower fare they off the following week.

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6 hours ago, Pickels said:

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!

 

Not to get into politics but many people receive free stuff and make a life style off of it.

 

Years ago on a TV show the host was interviewing a group of 5 year olds and asked them what they wanted to do when they grew up.   One young girl said she wanted to draw.   The host said that is great, you want to be a artist.   She said no she want to draw, you know get that  check every month In the mail ( she didn’t know where it came from but it was free and they lived off of it)   Sad. 

 

The only job job a politician has is to get re-elected and they will do whatever it takes to get the votes.  

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, miched said:

Not to get into politics

Yes, please don't.

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3 hours ago, Jimbo59 said:

So Celebrity has a curious marketing approach. For a cruise over a year from now, I can book with a non-refundable deposit, or I could pay $630 additional per person to reserve a cruise with a refundable deposit and some perks that I don’t want or need. I don’t drink enough alcohol to make the drinks “perk” worthwhile.

 

I told Celebrity to let me know when I can book with a refundable deposit and no perks. Meanwhile I will be looking at other cruise companies.

You might want to check the Celebrity site tomorrow.....I have seen a couple of cruises today where no perks are offered and you just choose refundable or non-refundable.   Essentially, it's the refundable, no perks fare that folks have been asking for.

 

You have to select a cabin, select refundable and then wait to see the total.  They mysteriously deduct $'s from the fare shown earlier.  In my case, $5100 suddenly became $4100.  Confusing, but take a look and do a mock booking.... 

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13 hours ago, ghstudio said:

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.

 

If that was a group rate, it was pretty sad. The last group rate we got was almost three years ago, it was for an Aqua cabin on the Silhouette. The price through Celebrity was $3100 including two perks. We paid about $2750 for the same thing. We also got a wine tasting, and a slot tournament with cash prizes. There was over 100 people in the group and two reps from the travel agency. You could book Celebrity or RCL only, through them and still get the fcc perks plus whatever they offered.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

 

If that was a group rate, it was pretty sad. 

 

I suspect that it was just some $75 special offer that they rolled into the fare vs just giving an additional $75 OBC......again, the zero sum game.

 

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14 hours ago, RickT said:

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.....

Perhaps X should just set reasonable prices to begin with and reduce the number of games they play with their pricing.  Last cruise we had multiple revisions to our invoice. This system and constant repricing must drive a lot of traffic to their call centres and increase their customer service costs.

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23 minutes ago, bkbarrym said:

Perhaps X should just set reasonable prices to begin with and reduce the number of games they play with their pricing.  Last cruise we had multiple revisions to our invoice. This system and constant repricing must drive a lot of traffic to their call centres and increase their customer service costs.

 

I'm sure a great many more just "set it and forget it" not knowing that you can make such changes.  Our first cruise, I had no idea you could haggle on dining room prices because it's just not really something you experience in the real world.  Wasn't until I started coming to Cruise Critic that I learned such tips & tricks.

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On 8/21/2019 at 7:37 AM, Fogfog said:

 

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)

 

 

When we booked a cruise with a cash card perk (instead of refundable OBC), the card arrived in the mail very soon after the cruise ended. We drove to the big box (10 minutes from our house), went to the big box customer service desk, and they exchanged the card for actual cash. So we think the OBC is equally generous in either form.

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Just now, Caribbean Chris said:

 

When we booked a cruise with a cash card perk (instead of refundable OBC), the card arrived in the mail very soon after the cruise ended. We drove to the big box (10 minutes from our house), went to the big box customer service desk, and they exchanged the card for actual cash. So we think the OBC is equally generous in either form.

I may try that. The terms I thought said we had to spend there....

I'd prefer cash. TY for the suggestion

We get a nice cash benefit each yr due to spending and also with the credit card of the big box. 

 

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Just now, Fogfog said:

 

We get a nice cash benefit each yr due to spending and also with the credit card of the big box. 

 

 

Altogether, it really makes it worthwhile using them to book cruises. As a bonus, their credit card has no annual fee.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

Altogether, it really makes it worthwhile using them to book cruises. As a bonus, their credit card has no annual fee.


The 3% cash back on travel with their card, even if not booked through them, is also a great bonus.  I always check out their offer once we've selected a cruise, but have done better with our regular TA lately.  They are pretty good for all-inclusive resorts, though.

Edited by hiccups

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41 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

I may try that. The terms I thought said we had to spend there....

I'd prefer cash. TY for the suggestion

We get a nice cash benefit each yr due to spending and also with the credit card of the big box. 

 

That's my understanding too, but it really doesn't matter to us because we shop there regularly anyway.

 

If you want OBC instead of the cash card, book a Holland America cruise. We always get OBC when booking HAL and a cash card when booking Celebrity. There must be some logical explanation, but haven't read one yet.

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FYI....I just checked that "big box store" and their offer is: $5110 + 2 perks + $380 cash back

 

We have used them for some cruises, but find that other large TA's often offer better deals....see TA A or B in this thread's original post.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

That's my understanding too, but it really doesn't matter to us because we shop there regularly anyway.

 

If you want OBC instead of the cash card, book a Holland America cruise. We always get OBC when booking HAL and a cash card when booking Celebrity. There must be some logical explanation, but haven't read one yet.


I was shocked at how quickly I spent our last cash card--I even went to customer service to double check because I was sure there must have been some mistake!  That Vitamix road show gets me every time with a new accessory.  LOL.

Edited by hiccups

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Nothing is free. No matter how they bundle it, you are paying for those added perks or OBC. Only you can decide if a cruise price is good for you. As a luxury item, you can decide to book or not. Often if the price includes more perks, you may like the cruise more.  Many travel agencies will offer a cruise with or without a variety of perks. Some people like the options.  Some people prefer a basic price with paying for things as needed. Some people enjoy a more all inclusive experience.  Only you can decide what works for you. I never discuss how much I pay for any cruise. I book it when and if the price works for me. 

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