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Yet to be first timer trying to be first timer but with few questions


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Hello all,

 

I was looking around to see if I can have my first cruise sometime in late 2021 (hoping the whole COVID-19 thing is settled down then) and looked through some Royal Caribbean prices but found some puzzling pricing calculations.

 

Now, I've read a bit regarding how port fees, gratuities and taxes gets added on so additional prices get added on top of the advertised price per person but is it normal to have nearly 85% added on? On Royal Caribbean, it looked like cruise advertised as ~NZD2800pp jumped to ~NZD5200pp as the final price. Is that something that I should just expect to be the norm for cruises?

 

Would really appreciate if some experience cruiser could give some guidance to a neophyte.

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That wouldn't be coming from taxes. But aside from the price advertised per person, whereas the total covers everyone (so will be at least double), when you go through booking certain rooms may not be available, or you may choose a higher grade so that will increase the price.

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Thank you for that Big_M. I was trying to do 2 adults and 1 kid.

 

With price advertised as NZD2800 for balcony room, the total price suddenly jumped to 5200 each adult (so total NZD10400) and ~NZD1800 for the 2 year old. That's why I was taken aback a bit.

 

Just asked a travel agent here and he confirmed the price so something about this particular set up must have been adding extra cost or it's just normal for Royal Caribbean perhaps?

 

Anyway. Thank you very much.

Edited by gl0206
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3 hours ago, gl0206 said:

Just asked a travel agent here and he confirmed the price so something about this particular set up must have been adding extra cost or it's just normal for Royal Caribbean perhaps?

 

You didn't mention where the cruise was going or for how long.

 

I don't know about NZ, but Australian consumer law requires that the advertised price be the total sale price, with rare exceptions. Were you going through Royal directly?

Edited by SinbadThePorter
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4 hours ago, gl0206 said:

Hello all,

 

I was looking around to see if I can have my first cruise sometime in late 2021 (hoping the whole COVID-19 thing is settled down then) and looked through some Royal Caribbean prices but found some puzzling pricing calculations.

 

Now, I've read a bit regarding how port fees, gratuities and taxes gets added on so additional prices get added on top of the advertised price per person but is it normal to have nearly 85% added on? On Royal Caribbean, it looked like cruise advertised as ~NZD2800pp jumped to ~NZD5200pp as the final price. Is that something that I should just expect to be the norm for cruises?

 

Would really appreciate if some experience cruiser could give some guidance to a neophyte.

What is your country of origin? NZ?

 

In Australia and NZ    .fees ,gratuity,tax,port fees are included in the advertised price.

So if you are booking in ANZ the advertised price you see is the final price you pay.

 

With Royal Caribbean it’s a American ship and once you get on board it’s the Americans system.

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12 hours ago, gl0206 said:

Thank you for that Big_M. I was trying to do 2 adults and 1 kid.

 

With price advertised as NZD2800 for balcony room, the total price suddenly jumped to 5200 each adult (so total NZD10400) and ~NZD1800 for the 2 year old. That's why I was taken aback a bit.

 

Just asked a travel agent here and he confirmed the price so something about this particular set up must have been adding extra cost or it's just normal for Royal Caribbean perhaps?

 

Anyway. Thank you very much.

 

Yes, it's easy to be confused in that way. And especially as you mentioned that you were booking for 3, that often causes this 'situation' with RCL. 

 

To explain, each "type" of cabin e.g. balcony actually has say 10 grades within that type. There mostly isn't much practical difference between the grades; they're generally the same size with the same facilities. However, different grades are on different floors, and at different locations on the deck. e.g. a balcony on deck 10 in the middle section will typically be a different grade and cost more than a balcony towards the back on deck 4. 

 

More significantly for your situation, although the size won't change much and you may not be too fussed about the location at this point, the fact you need 3 berths comes in in two ways.

1) When they run specials (which would be advertised) these are mostly twin share only. So there may be a good price advertised for a balcony but if you're not booking for 2 you can't get it, and you can only get the regular pricing. (This is typically because it's sold as a guarantee meaning the cruise can put you in any e.g. balcony cabin it wishes, but as not all cabins accommodate 3+ people so it makes their job easier to not take these guarantee bookings for anything but two people). And the regular pricing is a lot dearer.

2) Although cabins are a similar size, not all cabins are fitted out with a fold out sofa or drop down bed for 3+ people. And with RCL the grades that accept 3+ people are higher priced grades. So even though you're in a similar location as another grade, and paying more for the 3rd person anyway, they still charge you more for the first 2 people as well because you have to be in that grade. Note the pricing between each grade is usually 100-200 difference.

 

Given the really large difference in price between advertised and what they booked, I'd say you were hit by point 1. And then because you went to a specific cabin grade, it most likely wasn't the base grade either, so then the price went up a bit further for the triple share cabin.

 

If you are so inclined you could probably check with the TA (or a different one if still advertised) and ask about the cost of just booking two of you - you'll probably be able to get the advertised price. And I suspect it will be a guarantee rather than you being able to choose your cabin location. Though of course that won't do anything to help with your child. 

 

Unfortunately RCL pricing is often like this and those travelling as 3+ often pay more. There are occasionally good deals for 3/4 pricing as well, but you'll have to check each sale regularly, and keep an eye out for any sales that mention families/children as sometimes the price is better for these. 

 

In short: it is fairly normal for RCL, it's not good, but if you are determined and happy to check every couple of weeks/join their mailing list you may find a better deal (but it may take 6 months, and isn't guaranteed).

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On that note, I just checked the RCL NZ website and they've just started a sale for this weekend, including "children from $19". Not sure which sailing you're looking at but I found a 29 Nov 2021 sailing with balconies advertised around $2800, and went through to pricing and got original price $11526, but now $6452 with the promo, so it is working like you'd expect.

 

I'm guessing you probably got your quote last weekend or so, before this sale started? If you are interested, i suggest getting it requoted now and you may find the price closer to what you expected!

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1 hour ago, gl0206 said:

Perfect. Thank you for all the in-depth explanation. I'll recheck with the TA. He gave me a price yesterday morning and quotes way higher. Perhaps he is working off old source.

 

Thank you very much.

If the price doesn't improve, I suggest you try another TA. Another point - I have found that prices from 'cruise specialist' TA's is much better than from a general TA. There are a few good cruise specialist TA's on line. Just google "Cruise deals NZ" or something similar and you will find a few. Check them all out.

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1 hour ago, gl0206 said:

Perfect. Thank you for all the in-depth explanation. I'll recheck with the TA. He gave me a price yesterday morning and quotes way higher. Perhaps he is working off old source.

 

Thank you very much.


I have found it useful to search the company website to get pricing, printing it all out. Include specific cabins, if you are interested in that.

 

Then discussing with my TA what was there and seeing if they can match or better. Have received better prices, and some extra OBC that way.


 

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Howdy everyone!! emo22.gif

 

Just a friendly emo34.gif  reminder concerning the Travel Agent Recommendations section in the Guidelines we all agreed to follow when registering for our free Cruise Critic memberships. This is the reason some posts in this thread had to be removed.

 

Please do not mention or even hint about any travel agent, agency, cruise line "personal cruise consultant" names, contact info, websites, etc. General discussions regarding the type of agency (brick & mortar vs. online) to be used to purchase a cruise are allowed, as long as no recommendations for any source of purchase are mentioned.

 

I sincerely hope this information will be helpful in the future and glad to have all of you aboard Cruise Critic! emo35.gif

 

Happy sails,

 

Host Kat emo32.gif

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