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WILL PRICES EVER COME DOWN?


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31 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

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.  😉

I was to be on APEX TA in May 2020, total cost in S3 Sky Suite, including Celebrity air was $9800 and included $300 OBC.  Today the April 30, 2022 TA on APEX is $12,558 including $800 OBC but NOT including air, which I would guess to be be $900 or so.  This is roughly $4K more than the exact same cruise one year ago!!

Edited by LGW59
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18 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

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.  😉

ECCruise, indeed. Loyalty does not pay with Celebrity and then add in their abandonment of non-suite class, removal of public space (especially the Sky Lounge) and downgrading and higher and higher prices over many years = declining reasons to patronize this company.

 

Move upwards to the premium lines if you wish to spend this type of $ and get a real resort, equal, pretty much full access experience.

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8 minutes ago, ABoatNerd said:

ECCruise, indeed. Loyalty does not pay with Celebrity and then add in their abandonment of non-suite class, removal of public space (especially the Sky Lounge) and downgrading and higher and higher prices over many years = declining reasons to patronize this company.

 

Move upwards to the premium lines if you wish to spend this type of $ and get a real resort, equal, pretty much full access experience.

Yep.  We have had more sailings scheduled and taken with Azamara and Oceania than with Celebrity recently.  Simply refuse to pay prices on =X= that approach those lines with nowhere near (for us) the same experience.

And in the final analysis, that is sad since we have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 enjoyable days sailing with them.

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I expect that when cruising starts up again there will be some, like us, who are so anxious to cruise that we won't focus as much on the price.  Also, Celebrity is including more things like gratuities and drinks in the price so you really have to compare.  You  may be paying for something you don't want, but I think the goal is to move more towards all inclusive which simplifies it for Celebrity and helps easy the burden on their loyalty programs.

 

So, yeah, prices will likely be high for some time to come.

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3 minutes ago, tserface said:

I expect that when cruising starts up again there will be some, like us, who are so anxious to cruise that we won't focus as much on the price.  Also, Celebrity is including more things like gratuities and drinks in the price so you really have to compare.  You  may be paying for something you don't want, but I think the goal is to move more towards all inclusive which simplifies it for Celebrity and helps easy the burden on their loyalty programs.

 

So, yeah, prices will likely be high for some time to come.

Very much agree here.  Prices are def much higher, though as you point out, Celebrity has included more and amped up the OBC as well.  If one does not like then just don't book it, but I am sticking with Celebrity, tried and true for me especially considering the limited number of cruises I take in any given year.

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14 minutes ago, tserface said:

You  may be paying for something you don't want, but I think the goal is to move more towards all inclusive which simplifies it for Celebrity and helps easy the burden on their loyalty programs.

 

So, yeah, prices will likely be high for some time to come.

 

tserface,  I don't believe =XX= is doing it to simplify it for themselves.  IMO I suspect it's about the all mighty $$$s coupled with the smoke and mirrors so the financially challenged cruiser won't be able to determine the real cost.

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This is from the October RCL management quarterly report: I underlined what I think is important to us here. They said as of Sept 30, 2021, prices are down slightly year to year. Makes you wonder

 

My RCL trip for Nov 2021 -the same Spring  break trip is 25% more.  Apples to Apples. And there are not that many cabins available on Oasis on either trip.

 

I bet and I others here are in that 4th Q 2020 group except I cancelled in early August (when the important port on my cruise said they would not accept cruises til at least Jan 1 2021-and had Celebrity cancelled that cruise when that became known I would have qualified for a refund on my NRD deposit-which is why most cruise lines do not cancel when they should) ) and anybody as of 9/30/20 with a 2020 booking would have had to make final payment by Oct 2--that's a gutsy move to have that much money tied up.

 

 

 

2021 Outlook- Update on Bookings

Booking activity for the first half of 2021 is aligned with the Company's anticipated staggered resumption of cruises. The cumulative booked position for sailings in the second half of 2021 is within historical ranges with prices that are down slightly year-over-year when including the negative yield impact of bookings made with future cruise credits ("FCCs") and about flat when excluding them. Since our last business update, more than 65% of the 2021 bookings are new and the rest are due to the redemption of FCCs and the "Lift & Shift" program. The Company continues to provide guests who were booked on a suspended sailing with the option to request a refund, to receive an FCC, or to "lift and shift" their booking to the following year.

As of September 30, 2020, the Company had $1.8 billion in customer deposits of which approximately 50% are FCCs and $180 million correspond to fourth quarter 2020 sailings. Approximately 50% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

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5 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

This is from the October RCL management quarterly report: I underlined what I think is important to us here. They said as of Sept 30, 2021, prices are down slightly year to year. Makes you wonder

 

My RCL trip for Nov 2021 -the same Spring  break trip is 25% more.  Apples to Apples. And there are not that many cabins available on Oasis on either trip.

 

I bet and I others here are in that 4th Q 2020 group except I cancelled in early August (when the important port on my cruise said they would not accept cruises til at least Jan 1 2021-and had Celebrity cancelled that cruise when that became known I would have qualified for a refund on my NRD deposit-which is why most cruise lines do not cancel when they should) ) and anybody as of 9/30/20 with a 2020 booking would have had to make final payment by Oct 2--that's a gutsy move to have that much money tied up.

 

 

 

2021 Outlook- Update on Bookings

Booking activity for the first half of 2021 is aligned with the Company's anticipated staggered resumption of cruises. The cumulative booked position for sailings in the second half of 2021 is within historical ranges with prices that are down slightly year-over-year when including the negative yield impact of bookings made with future cruise credits ("FCCs") and about flat when excluding them. Since our last business update, more than 65% of the 2021 bookings are new and the rest are due to the redemption of FCCs and the "Lift & Shift" program. The Company continues to provide guests who were booked on a suspended sailing with the option to request a refund, to receive an FCC, or to "lift and shift" their booking to the following year.

As of September 30, 2020, the Company had $1.8 billion in customer deposits of which approximately 50% are FCCs and $180 million correspond to fourth quarter 2020 sailings. Approximately 50% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

It is pretty clear that prices are increasing, we can all go back and look at what he had booked and compare to what we are booking now, for similar cruises.  Some of us (me) decided to take a full refund, some selected FCC and/or L&S.  It is what it is already, make the decision and move on.  I've booked two future cruises, one late summer 2021 and one late spring 2022.  I did this knowing full well the price was higher, but it was my decision.  If I had decided to not book a future cruise, I'd of just not done so and would not bellyache about it.  Why cause yourself so much stress about this.

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I'm seeing lots of comparisons for suites.  Not so many for Aqua or balcony cabins.  I'd like the perks of Aqua without the price of a suite.  I don't want to eat in the buffet every day. 

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11 minutes ago, zitsky said:

I'm seeing lots of comparisons for suites.  Not so many for Aqua or balcony cabins.  I'd like the perks of Aqua without the price of a suite.  I don't want to eat in the buffet every day. 

I never eat at the buffet but for breakfast and lunch, it does provide some of the best entertainment on board.  Grab a cup of coffee or a cool beverage, grab a chair, sit back and enjoy the show!

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my wife knows I cannot stand the buffett, not for the food but for the tumult. Blu used to be open for lunch but cost cutting got rid of that.

 

On Soltice ships I have enjoyed sitting at the Oceanview bar in the PM, reading or surfing the internet, listen to music, looking at open ocean and a drink as well as sneaking back in the OC for a snack --3PM not busy at all there then.

 

Aqua was never suites except for Reflection, right?

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7 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

Blu used to be open for lunch but cost cutting got rid of that.

 

I don't believe Blu was ever open regularly for lunch.  I know they host a special lunch there for upper suites/Zenith members on some cruises.   Are you thinking about Luminae which on introduction was to serve lunch every day (port days included) and shortly after introduction was reduced to sea days only?

 

8 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

Aqua was never suites except for Reflection, right?

 

Correct Reflection was the only ship which had the AS category, basically S2 room with Blu access and the cool shower jets.   The concept just didn't support the upcharge they tried to get.  We consistently would do a "W" suite GTY and get assigned a AS cabin.

 

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

I If I had decided to not book a future cruise, I'd of just not done so and would not bellyache about it.  Why cause yourself so much stress about this.

 

Y'all have be told! 🤣

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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3 hours ago, tserface said:

I expect that when cruising starts up again there will be some, like us, who are so anxious to cruise that we won't focus as much on the price.  Also, Celebrity is including more things like gratuities and drinks in the price so you really have to compare.  You  may be paying for something you don't want, but I think the goal is to move more towards all inclusive which simplifies it for Celebrity and helps easy the burden on their loyalty programs.

 

So, yeah, prices will likely be high for some time to come.

 

Thanks so much for your post tserface.  We will not pay for inclusive as we do not drink nor do we buy stuff. So all inclusive lines are off side.

That is why we really like the escorted land tours where you get great accommodation and local food experiences and then everything else is on your own dime.  Also have used customized escorted land tours as well (ie Rio) OMG, what a great experience. The customized land tours are where we are going and specialty cruise lines, no mass cruise lines.

 

If, if we cruise again, it will be a la cart only configuration. 

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Celebrity is still mired in the old "put lipstick on a pig" syndrome.  Dress it up, increase the price, and call it "luxury."   Not for us.  We like Celebrity but not at a 30-50 percent markup.  Makes no sense when there are others offering better quality and the same or lower prices.

Edited by Ride-The-Waves
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14 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Celebrity is still mired in the old "put lipstick on a pig" syndrome.  Dress it up, increase the price, and call it "luxury."   Not for us.  We like Celebrity but not at a 30-50 percent markup.  Makes no sense when there are others offering better quality and the same or lower prices.

 

Just thinking "out loud" here (and thinking about whats a taboo subject) :

 

with all that's been discussed here, I am thinking about shorting RCL stock, although I think they all have a problem with future occupancy levels (but what if a chunk of Celebrity frequent customers go to Princess due to price) . And I do not think the higher price strategy at Celebrity will help occupancy--(airlines are still operating at 30-35% of pre covid levels so low prices are not the answer either).

 

People in big numbers are going to have to want to cruise. Or Fly or stay in hotels or go to restaurants or theatre--In other words its a big problem. And businesses cannot afford to alienate customers.

 

RCL stock was at 140 pre covid, dropped to 20, up to 50  now 72 with the vaccine news. I almost bought the stock 2-3 years ago  to get the extra discount, but I learned that discount was not combinable.

I also think that RCL's  Oasis ships (and other lines large ships) are going to have major issues with occupancy going forward.

 

Not a big fan of the Carnival lineup (not ready for HAL) or NCL itself _and I think NCL owns Oceania which I like.

 

They all have horrid balance sheets, but then again, a good portion of the other stocks in the market have horrid balance sheets.

 

So who is best in class in cruising now ahead of a restart, not just from a product but financially. If none of them can make money and have bad balance sheets due to being closed down for a year, , the question of survival of the sector remains.

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1 hour ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Celebrity is still mired in the old "put lipstick on a pig" syndrome.  Dress it up, increase the price, and call it "luxury."   Not for us.  We like Celebrity but not at a 30-50 percent markup.  Makes no sense when there are others offering better quality and the same or lower prices.

 

You're correct about the lipstick.  You can't call your ships luxury with passenger ratios over 2.25- 2.5 per each crew member.  Oceania Marina, Azamara Pursuit, Crystal Serenity, Silversea Silver Spirit and Regency Mariner are all around 1.5-1.6 ratio.  Plus Azamara and Oceania are premium not luxury lines.

 

Then there's the quality of food.  Have you seen the sample menus on the luxury lines compared to Celebrity's?  Regency has whole lobster every night, caviar, scallops and Alaskan King Crab!  In the meat department it's all USDA Prime and Dry-Aged at least 28 days.

 

In a chef presentation a few years ago on one of my Celebrity cruises, he admitted they use the lowest grades of meat in the dining room and reserve the prime cuts for the paying specialty restaurants.  I knew that before he told me. You can tell from the meats in the buffets and main dining room.  They're all soaked in  heavy sauces to cover the lack of quality cut. You don't have to do that with good beef.

 

<slapping palm to forehead.>  What were they thinking?

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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<slapping palm to forehead.>  What were they thinking?

LOL

 

That's why I said earlier they need a new VP of Pricing Strategy and Management. All they changed has been pricing and AI which also increased prices back door. No talk about any improvements.

 

When I called Oceana I asked about the beverage package and the agent there said I would be getting great wines and beers included , so if I am more heavily oriented to wine,  rather than buying a package just pay for regular liquor as I go. They actually helped guide me thru it.

 

There are better value alternatives for less cost, the same cost and even more cost.

 

You get what you pay for if you really research it.

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I'm trying to do price comparisons.  Waiting for quotes from Regent and Silver Sea.  X tells you right away.  I don't understand the hate for X.  If something is priced too high, don't do it.

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20 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Yep.  We have had more sailings scheduled and taken with Azamara and Oceania than with Celebrity recently.  Simply refuse to pay prices on =X= that approach those lines with nowhere near (for us) the same experience.

And in the final analysis, that is sad since we have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 enjoyable days sailing with them.

We too have booked two more O cruises, including our first TA.  Here's the good news: Having been prompted by the recent thread about 2022/2023 Equinox being released, I checked out the Christmas/NYE sailing.  It's far cheaper per night (68%) than January 2022 voyages with a refundable deposit.  We booked it.

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22 minutes ago, zitsky said:

I'm trying to do price comparisons.  Waiting for quotes from Regent and Silver Sea.  X tells you right away.  I don't understand the hate for X.  If something is priced too high, don't do it.

Why the hate?  Because we have been fairly loyal to them for the last 20 years and the new prices are, quite frankly, a rip off.

So yes, we can "not do it," (and have multiple times in the last few weeks) but when they play you for an idiot for trying to get those ridiculous prices, it stings.

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I think some of these lines are great if you book suites.  I looked at an Azamara cruise with almost the same type of balcony cabin at more than double the price of X.  I guess I'm paying for service.

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This thread has certainly opened my eyes to looking at alternative. I found a TA from Rio to Barcelona on Norwegian Star, and I was excited about that till I looked at reviews of the ship.

 

 

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You aren't going to be able to compare prices to years past. It's just not realistic in today's environment. 

 

Out of curiosity, I was watching 3 cruises on 3 different lines. 10+ days over Christmas 2021 was my only real requirement. All cabins are standard level cabins, midship, one deck above the lowest possible deck and aside from any special TA deals, extra OBC, etc. As people who purchase drinks and WiFi anyway, the winner is pretty clear. This scenario isn't really specific to these holiday sailings either. I would say Royal Caribbean is the absurd player here with that cruise on Vision OTS. 

 

Vision of the Seas    Celebrity Equinox    Enchanted Princess 
10 night    11 night    10 night
Dec 24 2021   Dec 22 2021   Dec 20 2021
$5,064 base   $6,103 base   $6,238 base 
         
$1,400 drinks/WiFi   Grats/Drinks/WiFi   Grats/Drinks/WiFi
$290 grats        
         
$6,754   $6,103   $6,238
$337 pp/pd   $277 pp/pd   $311 pp/pd
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