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WILL PRICES EVER COME DOWN?


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Its easy to go premium first class--normal folks just cannot stay as long.

 

two sayings from my colleagues in the market.

1) The cure for low prices is low prices and the cure for high prices is high prices--eg high prices will adjust for supply and demand imbalances, as will low prices. Therefore you try to seek the "sweet spot". .

2) A colleague once defined what "being real wealthy" was--You "own" your own Senator, or two house members. Think about that for a minute. And Lobbyists, etc.

 

 

Frankly, the goal of business is to make as much money as possible--or at least it used to be under capitalism.

 

If you have a good product you can get those high prices or if you basically have a monopoly you can get those high prices.

 

That why companies should have strategic pricing. I believe, and the jury is still out, that Celebrity erred in its high priced premium strategy--without changing the product. I have looked at high end smaller ships and the prices are very competitive with the new celebrity--but, also frankly, out of line with what I want to spend. I also looked a NCL which was much less, but frankly, again, not in line with what I want in a trip.

 

I also admit to being stubborn. So I likely will not pay the money for the new Celebrity--unless in the next year the prices come down, or the amenities and service improve. eg, laundry and dry cleaning included (with limits) , the internet becomes speed higher than they have now, add staff so longlines (like in passport turn in and pick up) are averted, and people feel pampered. Less institutional food and that for me means a real 1/2 pound  burger on board as a meal--as a snack a 1/4 pounder is more than good.

 

What I am thinking is Celebrity could do a big ship premium but throw some extras to the people paying.

The other side is if Celebrity is charging more but not increasing the pay of most of its staff, that's a no no. Even with grats included, I make sure I have an envelope for the cabin steward the day of boarding and an envelope when leaving. And being polite to the staff including servers  goes a long way to getting better service too. Its called being decent.

so this whole thing is a 2 way street.

 

Edited by HMR74
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Cruise lines were making a very satisfactory profit pre covid.

 

Debt from covid layup is not the customer's issue. That falls on the backs of the shareholders and those who hold the debt.  

 

GM did not increase the price of their vehicles pre bankruptcy. They could not.  Their only path was bankruptcy, re-organization, etc.  Debt holders and shareholders suffered.  Vehicles were priced to market, not to corporate debt loads.

 

Perhaps we will some debt free companies enter the market, buy up cruise line assets, and offer product at a reasonable and at a competitive price.

Edited by iancal
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13 minutes ago, zitsky said:

I paid $20,000 for a Viking Med Cruise including airfare (2 pax).  I can't imagine paying some of these prices even for a suite.

for what type of accommodation? 

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

for what type of accommodation? 

 

Veranda A / balcony cabin.  Not fancy but worth it.

Edited by zitsky
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12 minutes ago, zitsky said:

 

Veranda A / balcony cabin.  Not fancy but worth it.

If you feel it worth it, that is ALL that matters!!! Enjoy the cruise.

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1 hour ago, iancal said:

Cruise lines were making a very satisfactory profit pre covid.

 

Debt from covid layup is not the customer's issue. That falls on the backs of the shareholders and those who hold the debt.  

 

GM did not increase the price of their vehicles pre bankruptcy. They could not.  Their only path was bankruptcy, re-organization, etc.  Debt holders and shareholders suffered.  Vehicles were priced to market, not to corporate debt loads.

 

Perhaps we will some debt free companies enter the market, buy up cruise line assets, and offer product at a reasonable and at a competitive price.

pre covid RCL was showing  20% profit on sales. From memory the occupancy was around 95% overall  and that includes peak weeks where kids are in cabins and occupancy can be over 100%.

That's a good profit margin. On an ongoing basis the major cost going up will be for the health protocols, however another "cost" will be lower occupancy.

 

Cruise lines have a ton of fixed costs. Variable is energy and that depends on prices vs usage, and food which is dependent on usage and prices. IMHO we, at least in tee US are about to undergo much higher inflation. The cruise and airlines hedge oil prices.

 

But and I think I mentioned this earlier, if occupancy is down just 10%, almost all of those revenues decliens goes directly to affecting bottom line--eg, the staff is the same whether its 80 or 95% occupancy, the oil burned is the same, food cost  might be a bit less and booze consumption  and shore excursions and spa use go down and those are rather profitable.

 

enter the new AI strategy--make everybody pay for  booze and wifi. I buy the premium package knowing I might not fully use it but its easy for me and it makes the trip more enjoyable not thinking about it of having a 10 page print out of what my wife and I bought. By the indulge package and get 800 per cabin on 1 day cruise for OBC. Use it or lose it. More profits for cruise line(s) plural.

 

There is a method to their madness but the old concept of getting people on board for low cost hoping they will spend on board is being thrown away .

You all should look at not just RCL's financials but the others as they are pretty similar.

I did hat last year when I became concerned about the several deposits I had--I forgot the numbers but each of the  bigger cruise lines has sizable deposit liabilities, in essence we are a major source of funding for any of the cruise lines.

I just looked at Oceania and that was a 3000 deposit. to what would be 1800 on Celebrity.

When I looked I thought I saw the number 4 billion as a deposit total for Celebrity. Thats not chump change.

Think what 15 ships total, and all the cabins , its a lot of money for a long time.

Airlines and hotels do it too albeit shorter time periods.

 

Another profit center for cruises is cancellations inside the 90 days . But I bet you did not know that Amazons write off of gift cards  is measured in the billions each year. That's why they push them so much. And why cruise lines like the concept of OBC.

 

don't take it personally, its business.

 

I also saw statistics somewhere about profit by class of service--don't be shocked but there  is much more money in dollars and percentage profits  to be made on premium classes.  Which is why Aqua is good enough for me, including the more intimate dining room. The healthier food? Feh, as long as the kids think its good for me to spend the money there its ok if I spend their inheritance. Actually the kids are supportive of us--they bought us a cruise one year albeit a TA standalone. Then there airfare (RCL is in the broker business on this) and food and hotels at each end and we like to stay over at the end.

 

 

 

 

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We buy most of our cruises inside the final payment window and most often when we are in the middle of a land trip.  We switch our plans around and take a cruise.  More often in Europe than anywhere else.

 

IF the price is not right we simply do not bother with it.  We are not willing to pay above the odds for anything.

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7 minutes ago, iancal said:

We buy most of our cruises inside the final payment window and most often when we are in the middle of a land trip.  We switch our plans around and take a cruise.  More often in Europe than anywhere else.

 

IF the price is not right we simply do not bother with it.  We are not willing to pay above the odds for anything.

We are spending much more on our next cruise than we normally would.  The only reason though is because we decided to combine our refunded 2020 cruise and roll it into our 2021.  Basically we said let's use that exact amount and add it to this year and see what we can find.  Pricey yes, but for us worth it, as it is money we budgeted for but did not spend.  

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I hate the fact that I keep coming back to Celebrity to price out future cruises in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and keep ending up going elsewhere.   Now up to 6 sailings booked in the last 3 weeks, checked Celebrity on each one first and went elsewhere.  Today is another example:

February 2022, Solstice 12 day OZ/NZ.  AQ total for refundable fare: $8,537.22 USD

February 2022, Emerald Princess, 13 Day OZ/NZ, Mini suite total for refundable fare: $5527.00

 

Same perks (WIFI/Grats/Booze) + 1 night specialty dining on Princess.  1 day longer sailing, Mini suite vs. AQ.  $3000 less.  Not even a question. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, zitsky said:

I paid $20,000 for a Viking Med Cruise including airfare (2 pax).  I can't imagine paying some of these prices even for a suite.

 

I feel I got a bargain on Regency Silver Sea then for a 12 night concierge cabin with excursions,  included airfare (2 pax) and a one night pre-cruise, five star hotel with all transfers.

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As a point of reference, the recently released Equinox 2022-2023 cruises are not any more expensive than a similar one we had booked for 5/14/21 that we booked pre-COVID. And many were a little less,  at least for an S1. YMMV. 
 

mac_tlc

Edited by mac_tlc
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14 minutes ago, mac_tlc said:

As a point of reference, the recently released Equinox 2022-2023 cruises are not any more expensive than a similar one we had booked for 5/14/21 that we booked pre-COVID. And many were a little less,  at least for an S1. YMMV. 
 

mac_tlc

As you say, YMMV. Our 12 night March 2021 Equinox cruise that we L&S'd to March 2022 is now 50% more. 

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27 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

I feel I got a bargain on Regency Silver Sea then for a 12 night concierge cabin with excursions,  included airfare (2 pax) and a one night pre-cruise, five star hotel with all transfers.

Well we went ahead and booked an APEX Edge Villa, do I feel like we got a bargain, absolutely NOT!  Only reason we did so was because combined last years cruise with this one.  Won't regret it as it was a well thought out decision.  In the future, probably would not do it, though who the heck knows what prices on Celebrity will be like going forward.   

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2 hours ago, LGW59 said:

In the future, probably would not do it, though who the heck knows what prices on Celebrity will be like going forward.   

 

It doesn't matter what the future Celebrity prices will be because there are enough alternative cruise lines as good or better for the same price or less.  Even some at  a little higher price are a better quality and better value. Variety is the spice of life.

 

That is unless someone only considers cruising XX.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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On pricing, specifically the internet packages, I want streaming.

 

This is where it get complex. I cannot find the cost to see the upcharge just to pay for streaming, and I want the answer before I call them. .

 

Everybody gets the basic internet and classic drinks.

 

If I remember correctly, to upgrade the drinks from classic to Premium, it was $12 a day PP including taxes, and the entire streaming internet package  when on sale for 2 of us was less than 400 for a 16 day cruise.I remember sales 30-40 days out from cruise for under 300.

 

The base package is 30 a day PP to get to premium drinks that used to cost 12PP--that seems to be a 150% increase, but you get 200 of cabin OBC pp.So if you were going to use the OBC anyway, If I on a 14 day cruise pay $420 for the premium drinks upgrade, minus 200 for the credit, thats 220 divided by 14 or 15.71 for the upgrade to Premium,  another30% price increase.

 

Now if I go to indulge, which is the streaming internet upgrade, I pay another 30 PP per day to get that and get another 200pp in OBC you use or lose.So that's 220 just for the upgrade which also is more than I paid pp for a 16 day cruise for the streaming  package as a standalone deal.

 

So, to make an informed decision, since I cannot access the costs to upgrade internet and  drinks, can anybody tell me what that is.

 

I am already thinking the stand alone upgrades are 30% more than before.

I am afraid to see the  price of a scoop of gelato.

 

 

Now let me mention something. I was on Eclipse a little over a year ago. The internet I was told I was getting was the xcellerate full speed and I was not at all impressed  by the speed, even when in the Ilounge. I was getting 5 MPS Expected at least 25.

About a week ago I was reading about the "revolution" to both the Eclipse and Reflection. The article said the Reflection built in 2012 has the xcellerate and thus will not need it in the next dry dock work, however the  Eclipse built in 2010 needs to get the xcellerate.

 

Taking it at their word, I and everybody else paid for "xcellerate for 2" for a 16 day cruise and got the inferior old system. It would also mean anybody buying the Streaming on Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse or Silhouette before their revolutions paid for something they did not get. And the same for millennium class ships.

a) does anybody know what the current upgrade prices are for classic to premium and for base internet to streaming.

b) has anybody been on the ships using streaming for heavy usage, and seen a difference in speed pre revolution and post revolution adding xcellerate.

 

I am scheduled to be on reflection in April and May 2022, and I have been told there is a routine drydock just before my cruises, meaning no revolution, but I looked at schedules and the next 18 months of scheduled cruises have just 2 days open, and these are the 2 days before our TA cruise in April 2022--not much they can do with 2 days, so why not just extend our TA by the 2 days.

 

I just cannot get a straight answer on anything from Celebrity except when they say no to whatever I ask for.

 

However, once you get to check in  to the time we disembark at destination,  the experience is pretty good thanks to a great crew.

 

Thanks for any help on the questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by HMR74
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HMR74, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  He's got three shells and a pea.  Celebrity's Shell Game.

 

From Wikipedia,   (The shell game is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when a wager for money is made, it is almost always a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. In confidence trick slang, this swindle is referred to as a short-con because it is quick and easy to pull off.)

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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53 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

HMR74, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  He's got three shells and a pea.  Celebrity's Shell Game.

 

From Wikipedia,   (The shell game is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when a wager for money is made, it is almost always a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. In confidence trick slang, this swindle is referred to as a short-con because it is quick and easy to pull off.)

Fine: however, if I can reduce my cost, assuming I go on these cruses, I'd like to save the money and not worry about unused credit.

I have a back up plane which is less expensive on a er day basis and probably more upscale. and I am at 25 days already, why not go to a 33 day cruise. Only problem I am trying to iron out is the reflection takes the  southern route to the Med in April vs the Northern route in March for this other cruise. The alternative is just to fly to Europe and go on a cruise there.

 

I am beginning to like the smaller ships taking more time and spending a couple days in port for 3-5 ports.

Lots of options.

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1 hour ago, ChucktownSteve said:

HMR74, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  He's got three shells and a pea.  Celebrity's Shell Game.

 

From Wikipedia,   (The shell game is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when a wager for money is made, it is almost always a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. In confidence trick slang, this swindle is referred to as a short-con because it is quick and easy to pull off.)

Easy answer, it is a personal decision.

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10 hours ago, Fouremco said:

As you say, YMMV. Our 12 night March 2021 Equinox cruise that we L&S'd to March 2022 is now 50% more. 

As is our L&S’d January 2022 Apex. But the new Equinox release is outside the L&S window and FCC window. It’s a very small sample set but might indicate what. Will exist once they work thorough all those outstanding credits, etc. 

 

Wishful thinking maybe..... 

 

mac_tlc

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It is up to each purchaser to determine the value to them.

 

Celebrity trying to be mass premium is a laugh. The majority of the ship customers have been receiving downgraded product for years, ie a RCL product.

 

To pay a suite price, I would simply move to a premium cruise line and be done with it.

 

But then the old saying comes into play "there is a sucker born every minute".  Celebrity is counting on many suckers to buy their bull. 

 

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19 hours ago, ECCruise said:

I hate the fact that I keep coming back to Celebrity to price out future cruises in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and keep ending up going elsewhere.   Now up to 6 sailings booked in the last 3 weeks, checked Celebrity on each one first and went elsewhere.  Today is another example:

February 2022, Solstice 12 day OZ/NZ.  AQ total for refundable fare: $8,537.22 USD

February 2022, Emerald Princess, 13 Day OZ/NZ, Mini suite total for refundable fare: $5527.00

 

Same perks (WIFI/Grats/Booze) + 1 night specialty dining on Princess.  1 day longer sailing, Mini suite vs. AQ.  $3000 less.  Not even a question. 

 

 

Probably the Eclipse, but over $700 a day for 2 in AC is certainly not competitive.  Given those comparisons, I would book Princess every time.

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41 minutes ago, ABoatNerd said:

It is up to each purchaser to determine the value to them.

 

Celebrity trying to be mass premium is a laugh. The majority of the ship customers have been receiving downgraded product for years, ie a RCL product.

 

To pay a suite price, I would simply move to a premium cruise line and be done with it.

 

But then the old saying comes into play "there is a sucker born every minute".  Celebrity is counting on many suckers to buy their bull. 

 

and the attendant problem  is many folks have FCC for old prices of a cruise, or for 125% of a cruise, which does not nearly cover the new prices. So, do people salvage the FCC by paying in even more, or walk away and treat the amounts paid as a total loss.

 

I guess is depending on the spread of additional moneys needed , people will either yes or no.

 

I just told my wife that we are better off "eating" the 2 nrd's of 900 (that was in return for a price reduction of 900 so it was a good trade off-at the time and circumstances)  each we could use, but on 2 higher priced cruises,  and book ourselves on a premium line which will cost us net about the same but 8 days more cruising on a smaller ship and better ports and a suite sized cabin. Probably better food and ambiance. Definitely no kids.

 

However, I can keep the current Celebrity reservations essentially for free until the 90 day point (however, full payment is due 6 months before sailing on the premium line) . That for the Celebrity sailing is more than a year away and anything  might can, and will happen. Including lower price (a decent reduction is a longshot but come 10-11 months from now and if there are many Celebrity cabins open while other companies are heavily occupied, and people cancelling on celebrity , the game does change.

Celebrity has made the problem worse than it has to be. and they are Deaf to the problem, not a good way to deal with customers, some of whom sail more than a few times a year.

 

who does buy those 40k PP suites , or are they all comped?

 

 

Edited by HMR74
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7 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Probably the Eclipse, but over $700 a day for 2 in AC is certainly not competitive.  Given those comparisons, I would book Princess every time.

My bad.  Definitely Eclipse.  No idea why typed Solstice especially since we will be on it to start this trip in Hong Kong in January.

Felt I was being pretty liberal comparing AQ to Mini suite since size wise the Mini suite is comparable to Sky Suite in size (although obviously no Luminae access).  Sky Suite was even more insane as a comparison:  $12,117 vs $5525 (almost $7k, basically for Luminae and a Butler) and the Sky suite was a guarantee and there are lots of undesirable SSs on S class ships.

 

I truly hate to abandon what has been our cruise line of 1st choice for 2 decades, but we can be bought.  😉

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