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Our June 27 Alaska cruise, round trip from L.A. was cancelled.  At that time, I checked the 2021 Alaska cruises, and there were none from L.A.  My travel agent told me yesterday that they have been added.  There are four scheduled, and all of them have the mini suites and suites sold out.  Doesn't that seem a bit odd?  All the other cabin types are available.  I've been reading that cruise lines would have to slash fares to get people to book.  The fares on these Alaska cruises are not particularly good, yet all the suites and mini suites are gone.  Any thoughts about this?

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We were on the same cruise out of LA to Alaska on 27 June 2020, as you.  We've rebooked for 2021 (late July).  The ship they're using next year is the Sun Princess.  I think she's a sister ship of the Sea Princess that we sailed in Australia last year.  If that's a good assumption,  she has relatively few Suites and MiniSuites (but the Mini Suites are really nice).  So its possible that they were snapped up by folks anticipating Alaskan cruises being canceled this year.  I guess its possible Princess is holding them either for increased prices or to use as upsell bargains.   

 

FWIW, if Sun has same layout as Sea, we would NOT recommend a balcony.   They are the "cut out" type and small.  We hardly used ours sailing around Australia.   

 

Greg

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I was on the previous sailing as you, departing June 13. I too looked at the Sun Princess sailings out of LA for 2021 and was disappointed to see that suites on all 4 sailings were already sold out. 😞 

 

What is especially galling is that we had a great deal on a windows suite on the Grand and a simple balcony on the Sun costs more than what we were paying for the windows suite.

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I would recommend checking the Princess site maybe once a week. Sometimes travel agents buy blocks of rooms to sell. For whatever reason they occasionally open up again.  

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Costs in Alaska go up each year. Smaller ships are usually more expensive to cruise on.

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The Sun Princess sailings from LA in 2021 have been bookable for several months (since at least mid/late December).  The LA Alaska season is shorter next year with only the 4 departure dates (July 3rd, 17th, 31st and August 14th).  The mini suites and suites are sold out for all 4 sailings but your agent can request to waitlist specific categories on a specific sailing.

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3 hours ago, adstz said:

I would recommend checking the Princess site maybe once a week. Sometimes travel agents buy blocks of rooms to sell. For whatever reason they occasionally open up again.  

 

Princess does not hold back specific rooms # for travel agency group rate programs, the group rates are a discounted fare for selected categories and rooms are assigned from general inventory when booking.  Agency group rates are capacity controlled (only a certain # of rooms per sailing per agency/consortium) can be booked before the discount is withdrawn for a specific category/room type.  Not all categories are available in the travel agency group rate program.

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Thank  you all for your responses!  I appreciate them.

 

Greg, thank you for the info on the Sun/Sea ships.  I found some photos of the Sun, and, yes, the mini suite looks great; the balcony not so much.

 

Polmcs, I agree with you.  We had a great price/perks on the Golden.  I'm not sure the Sun is going to be a comparable experience.  It looks a bit dated.

 

Adstz, thank  you for the suggestion of checking the Princess site regularly.  Who knows?  Maybe something will pop up.

 

Kamloops50, good points about prices going up and smaller ships having higher fares.

 

AtlanticCruiser72, my TA sugested booking a balcony and getting on a wait list for a mini.  I didn't know there was a wait list available for sold out cabins.  We may try that.

 

This cruise was going to be our 50th anniversary celebratiion.  It was leaving on June 27, our anniversary, and we had cabin #627.  Also, Alaska was the first cruise we ever took.  We usually take cruises that are port intensive because I am a sight-seer at heart.  This one had/has 6 sea days, so we thought it would be a more relaxing vacation than our norm.  The extra sea days made the mini suite more desirable for us.  More room, a comfy sofa, a larger bathroom (and shower especially!) and a large deck to relax on.  Bit by bit, this anniversary cruise is falling apart.  We'll see what happens.  We're looking at other options, but so far we haven't come up with "the one." 

 

Again, thank you all for taking the time to give me information and suggestions! 

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Related to this topic is some interesting info on Alaska 2020 vs 21.  Our 7/25/20 trip got us a "free" upgrade to a mini.  When checking prices, the balcony price had dropped and the mini was then actually cheaper than our balcony.  We switched back and saved $800 pp (per person). That cruise was cancelled.

 

So on 4/28 we got two emails saying re-book for next year and get $150 pp credit. - so, with that credit, next year's 7/3 trip was within a couple of bucks of this years earlier, higher, pricing. I started to book, and realized that I needed my travel agent to get the credit for re-booking, so I stopped.  That was April 30th.  By May 1st,  the price for the same balcony cabin was up by $100 pp.

 

I am not sure if the agent can get the "old" pricing (I had taken a screen shot), but offering a credit and then raising the prices 3 days later seems a bit "unfortunate".

 

 

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CaliforniaDon, I hope you get the lower price. Yes, it is "unfortunate."  Cruise pricing is a mystery to me.  Another mystery--airline fares.

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1 hour ago, CaliforniaDon said:

Related to this topic is some interesting info on Alaska 2020 vs 21.  Our 7/25/20 trip got us a "free" upgrade to a mini.  When checking prices, the balcony price had dropped and the mini was then actually cheaper than our balcony.  We switched back and saved $800 pp (per person). That cruise was cancelled.

 

So on 4/28 we got two emails saying re-book for next year and get $150 pp credit. - so, with that credit, next year's 7/3 trip was within a couple of bucks of this years earlier, higher, pricing. I started to book, and realized that I needed my travel agent to get the credit for re-booking, so I stopped.  That was April 30th.  By May 1st,  the price for the same balcony cabin was up by $100 pp.

 

I am not sure if the agent can get the "old" pricing (I had taken a screen shot), but offering a credit and then raising the prices 3 days later seems a bit "unfortunate".

 

 

If you ever find a great price in the future and can't immediately get ahold of your agent, book the room. Your TA can transfer the booking to them.  Also, the $125 obc is tied to your captain circle account, so it will be credited no matter how you book.  Give your TA a big hug when you see them.  I am sure they will need it.

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3 hours ago, AutumnSky said:

Thank  you all for your responses!  I appreciate them.

 

Greg, thank you for the info on the Sun/Sea ships.  I found some photos of the Sun, and, yes, the mini suite looks great; the balcony not so much.

 

Polmcs, I agree with you.  We had a great price/perks on the Golden.  I'm not sure the Sun is going to be a comparable experience.  It looks a bit dated.

 

We got to sail on the Sun back in 2018 on an Oz-Fiji itinerary. Yes, the ship is a little dated, but that did not affect our cruise in any way and we were in a balcony cabin that cruise! 😉

 

A real teak wood full circle promenade deck and plentiful supplies of beers on tap more than made up for the metal balcony.

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1 hour ago, polmcs said:

We got to sail on the Sun back in 2018 on an Oz-Fiji itinerary. Yes, the ship is a little dated, but that did not affect our cruise in any way and we were in a balcony cabin that cruise! 😉

 

A real teak wood full circle promenade deck and plentiful supplies of beers on tap more than made up for the metal balcony.

I certainly didn't mean to imply, the Sea/Sun Princesses are bad ships.  We REALLY enjoyed Sea on our circumnavigation of Oz (including the draft beer options and wrap around promenade).   Just meant that we didn't think the balconies were worth the premium.   Plus (this is our 3rd trip to Alaska) we believe outside devks with 360 views are best places to view Alaskan scenes.

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Posted (edited)

We had our Golden Princess Alaska from LA canceled - we were bummed, it was going to be a special cruise for us. 

 

We booked the Sun Princess for next August when we were on the Star in January.  We were extremely disappointed in the offerings from LA next year.  We have our fingers crossed that as things shake out, perhaps they will reconsider only offering only four cruises from LA on their oldest ship.  Our main issue is not the age, but the balcony design.  We have become very used to booking Carib balconies on Grand Class ships.  

 

We may wait for better choices in 2022 -- besides that the ship isn't to our taste, the itinerary, time of year and price are all worse than what we had on the Golden.  ☹️

 

 

Edited by CRUZBUDS

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