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mave r beck

Prices! Buyer Beware of "Best Price Guarantee"

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We booked a Japan intensive cruise early because of the price match guarantee that Azamara offers.  When we paid our final payment, we saw this cruise with our cabin type offered for 84% less.  Of course at that point the small print said we were out of luck because we had made final payment and price match was not honored then.  After four contacts with Azamara we still  had no satisfaction.  We took the cruise and enjoyed it, but Azamara lost a repeat customer.  My suggestion is do not book cruises early, wait until final payments are due.  That is when the best prices can be had.  I think that the 'price match guarantee' is a sales gimmick and not a true offer.  Has anyone ever benefited from the 'price match guarantee'?  I doubt it.  Our itinerary was Japan intensive and very good.  The Quest has better food than it had in January of 2018 when we last cruised with them.  Again, buyer beware.  We got burned, don't you!

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I was not able to benefit from the price match guarantee. When I have tried, the answer was always, “we are sorry this price is for new bookings only. You can cancel and rebook, but then you will loose your previous benefits”. We have also learned not to book many months, even years in advance with Azamara. 

Ivi

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Hi mave r beck,

I feel badly that you are angry you couldn't take advantage of our Best Price Guarantee (US & Canada). Please know there is no intentional trickery on our part. It is so stated on the webpage and within the Terms & Conditions that the BPG does not apply once Final Payment has been received.

Some travelers do wait until last minute to book, knowing that it is always a gamble there will be staterooms/suites available in the category they wish to cruise, and also a gamble that the price will drop due to such availability.

Here is a link to the webpage: https://www.azamara.com/plan/best-price-guarantee

 

"For a Request Submitted After Final Payment:

  1. No refund or Onboard Credit will be issued."

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In the UK we don’t have the best price guarantee, but if we book onboard we get one chance to change the booking if it is offered at a lower price before final payment. We have taken advantage of this and saved a good chunk of money, so it does happen - just not after final payments, as per the Ts & Cs.

You need to keep an eye on prices well before final payment, so you can take advantage of the BPG.  Alternatively wait until after final payment date to book, hoping it will be cheaper (some are, but not all) and that the cabin you want is available.

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2 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

In the UK we don’t have the best price guarantee, but if we book onboard we get one chance to change the booking if it is offered at a lower price before final payment. We have taken advantage of this and saved a good chunk of money, so it does happen - just not after final payments, as per the Ts & Cs.

You need to keep an eye on prices well before final payment, so you can take advantage of the BPG.  Alternatively wait until after final payment date to book, hoping it will be cheaper (some are, but not all) and that the cabin you want is available.

 

We usually book while on board and have been able to take advantage of a one off re-book at a lower price before final payment.

 

As we are a bit fussy about where we are located, we do tend to book early to choose our preferred area.

 

Heavily reduced prices after final payment are almost invariably "Guarantee" i.e. you do not get to choose your stateroom, so they are a no go for us.

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3 hours ago, mave r beck said:

We booked a Japan intensive cruise early because of the price match guarantee that Azamara offers.  When we paid our final payment, we saw this cruise with our cabin type offered for 84% less.  Of course at that point the small print said we were out of luck because we had made final payment and price match was not honored then.  After four contacts with Azamara we still  had no satisfaction.  We took the cruise and enjoyed it, but Azamara lost a repeat customer.  My suggestion is do not book cruises early, wait until final payments are due.  That is when the best prices can be had.  I think that the 'price match guarantee' is a sales gimmick and not a true offer.  Has anyone ever benefited from the 'price match guarantee'?  I doubt it.  Our itinerary was Japan intensive and very good.  The Quest has better food than it had in January of 2018 when we last cruised with them.  Again, buyer beware.  We got burned, don't you!

I disagree with your logic. After final payment and 4 months or less to go, many last minute discounts may be offered to fill cabins although I have never seen anything near a 84% drop in price. But if you were willing to pay the price at final payment what difference does it make what others may pay that took a gamble that you did not take. I am in the US and every cruise we have booked more than a year in advance has dropped in price prior to final payment and we got the lower price without cancelling or changing cabins or losing OBC. I do not know if we got the best price but I know I was willing to pay it and never felt cheated or taken advantage of. I do not see how you got burned or will not travel on AZ again if you enjoyed the cruise and probably paid what many others paid. All the cruise lines fares are constantly changing so if you find a cruise itinerary you are willing to pay for why lose sleep over it if a minority of passengers paid less.

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All cruise lines have reduced prices after the final payment window to fill cabins.  No cruise line will honor a price drop after final papas been made that I know of.  It’s a gamble we all take in order to get a cabin in a favorable location or preferred category.  The price guarantee is meant for price drops before final payment is made.  We’ve been able to take advantage of it.  We booked a cabin we wanted at full price when itineraries were released, and got the reduced fare when the price dropped.

I’m sorry you’re upset but it would have happened on any cruise line 

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Hi mave  r beck

Its swings and roundabouts with late bookings and you have to take everything into account .The T&C are quite clear about price match.

 

You dont say how you got to Japan but presumably  you booked your flights quite soon after you booked your cruise ,to get the best times , route and price from the USA .When the price of the cruise dropped did you look to see what the air fare would have been at that late date? I dont think you can isolate the cruise portion from the air travel and hotel part of the vacation, unless of course you live within an hours drive of the departure port.

 

In 2016 we booked an Xmas cruise on Azamara only 8 weeks before departure at an incredibly low price. However the airfare to Singapore was eye watering.Flight prices tend to increase nearer departure date .There were no reward flights available at that late date so we stumped up the cash. Probably if I had been able to go back in time and price up all the components of cruise and air fare either  six months or a year earlier there would not have been much in it and the prices would have been about the same.

 

Book early ,get the cabin you want and the cruise price is higher and flights are cheaper or book late and the cruise price is lower and the flights are more expensive. Take your choice.

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Posted (edited)

An option we work to now is book any flights where prices might go up (eg routes with limited carriers) then book the cruise about 4 months out.  I also research other cruiselines to see who else is sailing around that time so I have a potential alternative.  

 

This won’t work with “unique” itineraries that might sell out but will for all others. In Europe I’m going to wait until after final payment although I will have cruises in mind from much before then. I accept I’m fortunate for Europe as there are lots of options for flights.  I am not “cabin sensitive” so I am also lucky in that respect. 

 

It would help everyone if cruise pricing was more realistic from Day one as more people who like us and have been badly stung by price drops would commit earlier. I notice the airline I regularly use has got much better in smoothing out pricing, hopefully Azamara can as well. 

Edited by uktog

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On 10/1/2019 at 10:58 PM, laurieb said:

All cruise lines have reduced prices after the final payment window to fill cabins.  No cruise line will honor a price drop after final papas been made that I know of.  It’s a gamble we all take in order to get a cabin in a favorable location or preferred category.  The price guarantee is meant for price drops before final payment is made.  We’ve been able to take advantage of it.  We booked a cabin we wanted at full price when itineraries were released, and got the reduced fare when the price dropped.

I’m sorry you’re upset but it would have happened on any cruise line 

Not so. There are some cruise lines that will match after final payment.  We saved money on a competitor when the price dropped.  On one cruise, by the time we sailed, the price was $4000 less than when we originally booked.  Also, got a nice free upgrade. 

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Let us know the cruise line that lets you take advantage of decreases in price after final payment.   We would all like to take advantage of this.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/6/2019 at 10:38 PM, Redtravel said:

Not so. There are some cruise lines that will match after final payment.  We saved money on a competitor when the price dropped.  On one cruise, by the time we sailed, the price was $4000 less than when we originally booked.  Also, got a nice free upgrade. 

It's certainly not the norm to get price drops after final payment. I've never got one. Which cruiselines are you talking about just out of interest?

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

It's certainly not the norm to get price drops after final payment. I've never got one. Which cruiselines are you talking about just out of interest?

 

Phil 

Windstar

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You said "some cruiselines". Which others?  Or is Windstar the only one that you know of?  I've been on Star Breeze. Nice cruise, but it was a last minute and such a steal. 

 

Phil 

 

 

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On 10/1/2019 at 1:42 PM, BBMacLaird said:

Hi mave r beck,

I feel badly that you are angry you couldn't take advantage of our Best Price Guarantee (US & Canada). Please know there is no intentional trickery on our part. It is so stated on the webpage and within the Terms & Conditions that the BPG does not apply once Final Payment has been received.

Some travelers do wait until last minute to book, knowing that it is always a gamble there will be staterooms/suites available in the category they wish to cruise, and also a gamble that the price will drop due to such availability.

Here is a link to the webpage: https://www.azamara.com/plan/best-price-guarantee

 

"For a Request Submitted After Final Payment:

  1. No refund or Onboard Credit will be issued."

Maybe no "intentional trickery" on Azamara's part, but it is disingenuous to even suggest that some can get a better deal using terminology like "Best Price Guarantee."  Very poor public relations on Azamara's behalf.

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It goes both ways. You never hear a complaint when you book early,  the cruise sells well and the price goes up. I've had it both ways, won some and lost on a few. What has changed is the rediculous starting fares that Azamara and other cruise lines are asking. They almost beg for last minute fire sales.

 

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2 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

I wonder if the WINDSTAR price guarantee is in effect for the other NCL Lines?   I was thinking of trying Regent.

 

What?  Windstar has nothing to do with NCL - it is owned by Xanterra along with Vermont Bicycle Tours, Country Walkers, and many national park lodges.

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I don’t understand this complaint. The terms and conditions clearly state that the Best Price Guarantee doesn’t apply after final payment. Educate yourself if you book direct or get a good travel agent. Regardless, the opp has no case. 

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Sounds like WINDSTAR is a “one of” as no other lines have been mentioned offering a price guarantee after final payment.   Hope they don’t end of bankrupt as they did under the previous company, Ambassadors.   

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On 10/8/2019 at 5:42 AM, excitedofharpenden said:

It's certainly not the norm to get price drops after final payment. I've never got one. Which cruiselines are you talking about just out of interest?

 

Phil 

Regent honors price drops right until sailing  date IF you booked the cruise while on a previous voyage.  Your price can be modified until final payment date.  If it drops further after that, the difference is given as a shipboard credit.  You or your TA just need to watch the pricing and contact Regent to make the adjustments  as it is not automatically applied.  I have taken advantage of this more than once.

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8 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

Regent honors price drops right until sailing  date IF you booked the cruise while on a previous voyage.  Your price can be modified until final payment date.  If it drops further after that, the difference is given as a shipboard credit.  You or your TA just need to watch the pricing and contact Regent to make the adjustments  as it is not automatically applied.  I have taken advantage of this more than once.

Very different market and price point though. Regent are luxury.  Azamara are  premium, but very much owned and controlled by mass market. I’d say more now than ever before.  

 

Phil

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On 10/10/2019 at 9:32 PM, excitedofharpenden said:

Very different market and price point though. Regent are luxury.  Azamara are  premium, but very much owned and controlled by mass market. I’d say more now than ever before.  

 

Phil

What is the criteria for being considered “premium “ ?

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