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2021 transatlantic fares much higher and too many uncertanties


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On 6/6/2020 at 10:02 PM, Eric2005 said:

 

A Cunard rep. told me that they are considering three sittings.  

 

Although not running until November this year, in peak season - May to October - VIA Rail's Toronto - Vancouver train the Canadian is essentially a cruise train. (Considering the fares for a sleeping car cabin range from approximately $2500 to $5500 pp for four days it can't be considered basic transportation.) Three sittings are required in the restaurant cars, except for breakfast which is open seating. The dinner sittings are 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00. Not surprisingly, the most popular is 7:00.  Not being able to get one's preferred sitting is the biggest complaint from passengers.

 

 I can't see three sittings on Cunard being popular.

 

Getting back to the original topic of this thread, I did a fare comparison between two autumn crossings this year - which are likely to be cancelled - and the closest equivalent next year. The 2021 fares are approximately $200 and $300 lower for Britannia balcony and  $300 and $900 lower for Britannia Club. Princess Grill is  $1000 and $2300 lower and Queen's Grill is $280 and $2650 lower. These fares are in Canadian $, but they are normally set at 30% above the U.S. $ fares.

 

If it weren't for the advisories by our federal government and the travel insurance conditions I would be tempted to book something now.

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31 minutes ago, david,Mississauga said:

 I can't see three sittings on Cunard being popular.

I agree, I'd say it would be unworkable.

I'm sure things will need to change but I can't see 3 sittings being practical.

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17 minutes ago, Host Hattie said:

I agree, I'd say it would be unworkable.

I'm sure things will need to change but I can't see 3 sittings being practical.

 

Here's an off the wall thought for warmer climes etc

Expand the "Al Fresco" to become the whole deck for "Freestyle" Britannia Restaurant after 19.00 hours, and include/expand The Lido Alternative to two "Freestyle" wings, from 18.00 hours rather than the current one.

The current Britannia Restaurant setup remains as two fixed sittings.

 

Dress codes to remain.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PORT ROYAL
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I have re-booked for next year and the price was almost the same. I think less than £100 difference, I can't remember now. 

 

I have heard rumour of some changes to the service onboard, passenger number capping and other restrictions on types of passengers onboard, and if any of it comes to fruition, I will look to cancel. 

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8 hours ago, T5LHR said:

I have re-booked for next year and the price was almost the same. I think less than £100 difference, I can't remember now. 

 

I have heard rumour of some changes to the service onboard, passenger number capping and other restrictions on types of passengers onboard, and if any of it comes to fruition, I will look to cancel. 

 

Glad to hear that but I saw a big increase in trans-Atlantic fares.  The Cunard rep confirmed that.  

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10 hours ago, carlmm said:

 

Just to clarify further: The anti.social aspect you mention is only true for the freedom/anytime dining concept on other lines.

In the Cunard grills you have the same table with the same waiters and the same fellow guests for all three meals every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The tables is yours for the whole voyage, you can come and go during opening times as you please.

Thus you can have "the camaraderie of the same group every night" if you choose a table not just for two.. There is a small risk of getting table mates that are not interested in the social aspect but often people agree on a common time frame or meet before dinner.

The problem is that table mates might show up at different times.

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Never had that happen in the Grills.   Did have one Australian threesome eat in the Specialty Restaurant one evening.   They let us know they wouldn’t be at dinner that evening so we didn’t wait for them.   We  have always enjoyed our tables, some more than others, and found them a big part of the Cunard experience.

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On 6/8/2020 at 7:45 PM, Eric2005 said:

 

Glad to hear that but I saw a big increase in trans-Atlantic fares.  The Cunard rep confirmed that.  

 

I just checked the equivalent crossing to the one that I just cancelled (Sept 5 2021 vs Sept 4 2020), and the price is <$300CAD different (with the solo traveller premium). I haven't booked (I'm potentially loooking at a B2B instead) but just as another data point. 

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On 6/9/2020 at 12:45 AM, Eric2005 said:

 

Glad to hear that but I saw a big increase in trans-Atlantic fares.  The Cunard rep confirmed that.  

 

The Cunard rep confirmed what? That the sailings YOU were looking at had gone up in price? Or ALL transatlantic sailings had gone up by a "big" increase. 

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We had our Quebec to NY cruise cancelled, moved the booking to the same cruise for Oct 2021.  Same cabin, same category:  2020:  $1,600pp including gratuities and $150 OBC, 2021:  $2,200pp no gratuities, $177 OBC

Edited by avalon1025
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9 hours ago, avalon1025 said:

We had our Quebec to NY cruise cancelled, moved the booking to the same cruise for Oct 2021.  Same cabin, same category:  2020:  $1,600pp including gratuities and $150 OBC, 2021:  $2,200pp no gratuities, $177 OBC

And one less port. I booked Northern Lights instead. Done Canadian Cruise before on Princess. Not anxious to go to NY, even next year. 

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It's not just transatlantic cruises that have gone up. Our med cruise this year was cancelled,  my wife doesn't want to cruise again  until 2022 at earliest,  unless a vaccine. However I've been looking at cruises in 2021 to tempt her. Prices especially Grills have gone up at least 25%. Don't think you will get a reasonable price untill all the FCCs are out of the system. 

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22 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

It's not just transatlantic cruises that have gone up.

 

22 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

Prices especially Grills have gone up at least 25%.

I don't know this for sure but I would guess that 2021, assuming that cruising resumes, will be full of "take it or leave it" higher pricing. Short of a vaccine, ships are going to have to thin out the amount of people that are onboard and one way to do that is to carry less people overall and charge passengers a premium to make up for some of it. 

 

Cunard was already talking about the possibility of a third seating in Britannia. With the Grills, where tables are assigned and you choose your time, thats harder to do. Tacking on a 25% premium and sailing at half or 2/3rd capacity is a way to alleviate it. 

 

This also could be a right sizing to a certain degree for the industry. Airlines have already said they are going to come back smaller, more nimble, and with less capacity. Cruise lines could be following the same path-- less people and more expensive fares. Keep in mind, its only in the past 20-25 years that cruising became cheap and accessible to the masses. Prior to that cruising was for the most part very expensive and I would have to imagine most cruise lines wouldn't mind getting back to that. 

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Well I'm not paying those prices, especially if there are three dinner sittings.  That means the staff will be exhausted by the third when I want to dine and they'll rush us.  And then there are the masks and risk of quarantine.  Not worth it. I think travel in general is going to be very limited and not much fun for a long time.  

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On 6/13/2020 at 12:08 PM, princeton123211 said:

 

Prior to that cruising was for the most part very expensive and I would have to imagine most cruise lines wouldn't mind getting back to that. 

 

There would be huge over capacity if cruising became exclusive, how could they fill the mega ships and who would want to pay high fares for some of the older vessels (MSC, Carnival, etc.) that have been used and abused?

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3 hours ago, resistk said:

how could they fill the mega ships and who would want to pay high fares for some of the older vessels (MSC, Carnival, etc.) that have been used and abused?

Theres nothing stopping them from scrapping older tonnage and pricing newer ships at a premium. There is going to be significantly less demand in the cruise industry for a long time-- years. If they cant make money with older ships and theres no one to sell them on to, they'll scrap them. Companies like RCCL and Carnival aren't sentimental. I don't think it will swing hard in that direction but it very well could move towards it. 

 

Cunard has a newer fleet (if QE2 wasn't sold to Dubai and somehow found a way to make it from 2008 til now this surely would have been the end of her, and it would have been ugly). QM2 is about middle age based on her projected service life so she's safe. I wouldn't be surprised if Cunard turns around and says they are cancelling, deferring, or transferring the newbuild.

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On 6/9/2020 at 2:33 AM, PORT ROYAL said:

 

Here's an off the wall thought for warmer climes etc

Expand the "Al Fresco" to become the whole deck for "Freestyle" Britannia Restaurant after 19.00 hours, and include/expand The Lido Alternative to two "Freestyle" wings, from 18.00 hours rather than the current one.

The current Britannia Restaurant setup remains as two fixed sittings.

 

Dress codes to remain.

 

 

 

 

 

On the cruise we did in Feb - Syd to PNG and back - the weather was usually around 28C every day - no wind. The BEST meal we had was the Aussie BBQ on  the rear pool deck. We were up there swimming late afternoon, and then the setup around us and it looked good. So stayed for dinner - so I've dined on Cunard in a swimsuit, sarong and bare feet. It was awesome. 1/2 our table ended up being there impromptu. I love the warm nights of the tropics - there's a reason that Aussie is the home of  the BBQ - but having it at sea without insect was just amazing! 

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On 6/8/2020 at 9:05 AM, carlmm said:

In the Cunard grills you have the same table with the same waiters and the same fellow guests for all three meals every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The tables is yours for the whole voyage, you can come and go during opening times as you please.

Thus you can have "the camaraderie of the same group every night" if you choose a table not just for two.. There is a small risk of getting table mates that are not interested in the social aspect but often people agree on a common time frame or meet before dinner.

 

Only a few share tables in the Grills, many of the larger groups are family or business units.  Why would anyone pay triple fare to share a table with strangers?  But getting back to the triple service time in Britannia that might work if the ship was at 66% or less capacity otherwise the staff would be worn to a frazzle.  But I foresee another problem, if the passenger capacity is at 66%, then the bean coutners will cut the number of waiters and since service is already abysmally slow at times in the Britannia, it won't work.  Also what about lunch and breakfast?  Passengers are going to eat where?  The buffet?  The first dozen or so cruises will be a real mess.

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On 6/13/2020 at 12:08 PM, princeton123211 said:

 

I don't know this for sure but I would guess that 2021, assuming that cruising resumes, will be full of "take it or leave it" higher pricing. Short of a vaccine, ships are going to have to thin out the amount of people that are onboard and one way to do that is to carry less people overall and charge passengers a premium to make up for some of it. 

 

Cunard was already talking about the possibility of a third seating in Britannia. With the Grills, where tables are assigned and you choose your time, thats harder to do. Tacking on a 25% premium and sailing at half or 2/3rd capacity is a way to alleviate it. 

 

This also could be a right sizing to a certain degree for the industry. Airlines have already said they are going to come back smaller, more nimble, and with less capacity. Cruise lines could be following the same path-- less people and more expensive fares. Keep in mind, its only in the past 20-25 years that cruising became cheap and accessible to the masses. Prior to that cruising was for the most part very expensive and I would have to imagine most cruise lines wouldn't mind getting back to that. 

I believe you’ve nailed it - but the lines have put themselves in something of a box with massive expenditures on new builds:  mostly mega ships aimed at the budget-minded mass market.  There may have to be major restructurings - particularly since many ports may be rethinking their participation in the business as well.

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22 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

I believe you’ve nailed it - but the lines have put themselves in something of a box with massive expenditures on new builds:  mostly mega ships aimed at the budget-minded mass market.  There may have to be major restructurings - particularly since many ports may be rethinking their participation in the business as well.

 

Restructuring as in receiverships if they can';t make the payments on their megaships which cost $250m to $1b to construct.  You can't scrap them and stay business and you can't run them at a loss.

 

https://costaide.com/cruise-ship-building-cost/

 

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It's  hotels for us until cruising settles down, social distancing on a ship is just hard to envisage. Hotels have space for distancing 

 

Anyway just booked two autumn/winter sun holidays for late 2020 one in Portugal one Tenerife,  both 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel,  Michelin restaurants , both well under half price of a 2 week QG suite. Cruising at Grills level has increased in price far faster than land holidays.   Leaves a tidy sum for some nice wine, as long I  can get away with it. 

 

Waiting for 2022 brochures but expect even 2022 will be impacted by excessive FCC in the system and hence excessive prices . May be 2023 before we cruise again.

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Nobody is discussing the difficulty the cruiselines will face re-crewing their ships!!!! According to media there are still 40,000 crew still unable to get home. I am thinking that many here are simply naive about what this and many other things are going to mean to the Industry starting up again even in 2021, and if it doesn't start by then it is all over. The next big thing to hit the industry will be the need to "cold store" all these huge ships which are still running hot. 

Edited by bazzaw
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On 6/16/2020 at 1:14 PM, bazzaw said:

Nobody is discussing the difficulty the cruiselines will face re-crewing their ships!!!!

 

Also even if the ship is running with 50% PAX capacity, I don't think you can cut the crew by aywhere near that much.  How do you prevent COVID spread in the crew quarters down below? I think this is all posturing by the cruise lines until they get a vaccine that works.  Imagine running a cruise and boom another Diamond Princes catastrophe?  That will kill the industry.  CLIA really needs to give all this serious thought and not just rush to cruise on July 31 with the pandemic still going on.  The Spanish Flu in 1918 apparently spread via troop transports.

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