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NCL practically giving away cruises for free

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1 hour ago, ray98 said:

That certainly isn't the case and that is coming from someone who books 90% last minute discounted type cruises.  We live within driving distance of several ports and are flexible with our vacation time. 

 

 

NCL has rarely popped up on our radar for the past few years.  This year is unique, the cancellation of the Cuba itineraries has saturated the short cruise market.  The supply is greater than the demand.

 

 

Yes, the Cuba situation certainly impacted many cruise lines and they were forced to lower rates to attract passengers.  You may be correct that this year is more pronounced and, in the prior couple of years, the price drops were not as great.  Admittedly, I may not be as objective as I should in my assessment of the situation because I am extremely frustrated with NCL right now.  Time to step back, I suppose.

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One can get a 6 or 8 day out of Singapore right now for $399 sailaway insider.  Has nothing to do with Cuba, cruises do not go to Hong Kong either.

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13 hours ago, stormynow said:

We cruise once a month and love 3 or 4 day cruises.

Can't wait for the day when we can cruise once a month...gotta wait for DH to retire and then all bets are off!

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1 hour ago, Budget Queen said:

There are last minute price dumps every week.   No predictability.  Most people are not flexible enough to go with this strategy-   Unless they are accepting of not going.    Even living in Florida is not really flexible enough.   You really need to be available for any cruise- world wide.   I am and certainly have gotten very low rates.     As soon as you have limits. Then booking when the price is reasonable for you may be the best option.  

I agree completely.  I book when I can sail and when I like the price.  If prices drop further after final payment, I look for opportunities to upgrade for a song (or once for free, perhaps).  It can be hard to catch the price nadir, but as long as I was comfortable with my booking price, I try to look at further drops as upgrade opportunities, not as mistakes.  Admittedly, that can be hard to do, but I try.  

 

This year is different with the Cuba cancellations.  I think changing Sky and Sun drink marketing might be having an impact, too.  It likely will wash out.  I’d hate to think somebody is planning their long term booking strategy based on this fall’s pricing pattern.

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1 hour ago, mugtech said:

One can get a 6 or 8 day out of Singapore right now for $399 sailaway insider.  Has nothing to do with Cuba, cruises do not go to Hong Kong either.

That is a very nice rate, yet it is double the price per night for some 5 nighters out of Florida (I paid $129 for 5 night sailaway oceanview solo).  So, there is still some basis for us to believe Cuba has had an impact.  The deals are exceptional right now.

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To do sensible comparisons you need to include tax and any perk gratuities charged, base fares don't really tell you what a cruise really costs.

 

Taxes can vary between a few $10's into the $100's for Panama, Alaska, Suez.... 

 

Could go one stage further and net PPPD all in less any OBC. 

 

Seeing some decent rates UK/EU where adding perks(drinks+dinner) can be cheaper especially on sailaway options. 

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I think very small changes in demand can have a massive impact on availability, the cruise industry overpriced, demand drops as people look at other options land and lines or regulars paid up and cruise a bit less, leaving capacity to sell. 

 

Some cruises are still getting good money. 

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Just got another reduction of price on RCI 9 days out of Hong Kong 2/24/20.  Total savings for 2 in a balcony this week is now $1,150.  Final payment 6 weeks away.  Might have something to do with the cruise leaving Monday from Hong Kong, flying in Sunday could be a mess based on current activities there.  RCI also selling 4 day cruises out of Florida for $168 pp inside.  Undoubtedly the Cuba canceling hurt all cruise lines out of Florida.  RCI resurrected two old ships to do Cuba this year, sending one of them to NYC and Canada next spring as an extra ship out of NYC all summer.  Cheap cruises should be available for a while.

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18 hours ago, Bluewake said:

   

Unless you have strong feelings about a particular cruise or cabin what is the incentive to book an NCL cruise early?  NCL's practice over the past 3-4 years seems to be to start out high and lower as time goes on and ships don't fill.  We have one final NCL cruise booked and the price for that cruise has steadily dropped, twice significantly.   Furthermore, NCL also changed the itinerary after the final payment deadline which certainly is their right but, I believe, was something the cruise line knew was going to happen and deliberately waited to implement.  However, because we received an adjustment (moved to a slightly higher category cabin) the first time there was a drop, we were ineligible for a second adjustment.  Okay, I understand that is the policy.   However,  Florida residents (or anyone else) who are flexible about rooms and travel dates would be far better off waiting to book.  Sure, it's possible  that not all cruises will drop and some cabin categories may be closed out but the savings can be substantial if you are able to wait to book.  Is this really the business model NCL wants to pursue?   I have no plans to cruise on NCL after this next one but, if I did again consider NCL, I would wait until the last minute.  Of course, I do realize that not everyone is fortunate to have the sort of flexibility that allows them to wait like that but I'd  suggest to anyone who does to hold off booking.

All true. I've sailed NCL 6 times over the past few years. I've never booked a cruise more than 10 days before sailing. Their pricing model is just like you describe. They'll start out way overpriced and end up dumping cabins a week before. As more of us figure this out, they'll have lots of unsold inventory which could cause prices to fall further in advance of the cruise. I'm planning to cruise NCL in November,but won't book anything until a week or so before.

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18 hours ago, Starry Eyes said:

That is this fall’s pattern, especially with short cruises.  The market was dramatically and suddenly impacted by the change in the Cuba policy.  And more recently Freeport had to be removed from itineraries.  And schools are in sessions and it is peak hurricane season, so many do not see this as an ideal time to cruise.  That’s OK, I’ll go.  

 

For now, they want to fill the ships.  Sailing with empty berths is just not profitable.

 

Will the pricing pattern be the same next year?  Or next summer.  Possible, but I doubt it.  Cruise lines are apt to adjust as will cruisers.  

 

As a consumer, it is hard to know when prices will stop falling.  You know that...you pulled the trigger asking for your one time adjustment after final payment...then watched prices drop further:  Mine did a bit, too, but I was still happy with my deal.  And sometimes you think there is plenty of availability, so prices will surely fall more, then suddenly a lot of  cabins disappear and prices go way up or while meta categories are marked sold out.  If you really want to go, waiting can be risk, too, as other people may beat you to it.

This has been NCLs policy for at least two years. Overpriced in advance, cabin dumping at the last minute.

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6 hours ago, ray98 said:

That certainly isn't the case and that is coming from someone who books 90% last minute discounted type cruises.  We live within driving distance of several ports and are flexible with our vacation time. 

 

 

NCL has rarely popped up on our radar for the past few years.  This year is unique, the cancellation of the Cuba itineraries has saturated the short cruise market.  The supply is greater than the demand.

Wow! You're missing out. Lots of last minute cruise deals over the past two years. Multiple ports, multiple ships.

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We have just booked the Sun for an unbelievable inside GTY 5 night cruise for $129 and that INCLUDES the Ultimate Adult Beverage Package promo code BEVPK1.  Last month it was $129 but without the drink package so that was a recent addition.  We do not know what that includes since after 9/23 the beverage package changed for the Star and the Sun.  (Anybody know what the change is?  I assume they just dropped the amount from $15 allowed drink price to something lower.) Tips are $99 person extra and taxes are around $150.  So the total is $758 for two.  In terms of pricing if you are fixed on your cruise dates and ship do not wait and book as early as possible with an agent that will watch the price for you and will rebook if the price comes down.  We did the Panama Canal on NCL last February and the price went up and never came down to what we paid 18 months in advance.

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On October 5, 2019 at 9:36 AM, blcruising said:

All true. I've sailed NCL 6 times over the past few years. I've never booked a cruise more than 10 days before sailing. Their pricing model is just like you describe. They'll start out way overpriced and end up dumping cabins a week before. As more of us figure this out, they'll have lots of unsold inventory which could cause prices to fall further in advance of the cruise. I'm planning to cruise NCL in November,but won't book anything until a week or so before.

 

Your seeing prices drop even comparing 3-4 weeks out versus 10 days?

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Just saw a price alert for a seven-day western Caribbean out of Miami on the Escape sailing on 12/7/2019.  $1699 pp in a H5, H6, H7 or H9 Haven.  For the Haven, those prices are reallllly low!  Particularly on the Escape!

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6 minutes ago, need2cruisesoon said:

 

Your seeing prices drop even comparing 3-4 weeks out versus 10 days?

Yes. Lowest prices 3 to 10 days prior to sailing for sailaway rates. The 16 day Panama canal on Joy that left yesterday was down to $499. There is a 12 day on Joy coming up at $419. 14 day Southern Caribbean from NYC on Dawn at $799....this one should go even lower. Lots of 4 and 5 day cruises at $129.

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3 minutes ago, blcruising said:

Yes. Lowest prices 3 to 10 days prior to sailing for sailaway rates. The 16 day Panama canal on Joy that left yesterday was down to $499. There is a 12 day on Joy coming up at $419. 14 day Southern Caribbean from NYC on Dawn at $799....this one should go even lower. Lots of 4 and 5 day cruises at $129.

 

Perfect, I learned the hard way last year and booked Bliss PC and prices dropped like a rock after final payment plus they changed a bunch of ports so yes I will wait just like the other smart ones here...

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1 hour ago, richandcindy said:

We have just booked the Sun for an unbelievable inside GTY 5 night cruise for $129 and that INCLUDES the Ultimate Adult Beverage Package promo code BEVPK1.  Last month it was $129 but without the drink package so that was a recent addition.  We do not know what that includes since after 9/23 the beverage package changed for the Star and the Sun.  (Anybody know what the change is?  I assume they just dropped the amount from $15 allowed drink price to something lower.) Tips are $99 person extra and taxes are around $150.  So the total is $758 for two.  In terms of pricing if you are fixed on your cruise dates and ship do not wait and book as early as possible with an agent that will watch the price for you and will rebook if the price comes down.  We did the Panama Canal on NCL last February and the price went up and never came down to what we paid 18 months in advance.

So, they're basically paying you to cruise with them? Awesome deal!

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