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WILL PRICES EVER COME DOWN?


elaineb
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12 minutes ago, WonderMan3 said:

It’s the old game of who’s gonna blink first. If cruisers want prices to come down then they need to hold out and not pay these outrageous rates. If that means you have to wait until close in to book so you get a sale and not get your ideal cabin or maybe miss a season of cruising because the cruise line holds firm then that may be what is needed.

All you say is true, for some.  I do not consider it a blink first though, are the rates higher, yes somewhat, but I do not think outrageously so.  I am pleased with what I have booked for 2021 and 2022.  I'll continue to watch what I have booked, and if price goes down I will contact Celebrity.  Though that said, I'd not have booked if I were not comfortable with what I am paying.

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It is an interesting time and it will be interesting to see when pricing reverts to normal -

 

1. there is uncertainty about when things will start.

2.  It is unclear what conditions will be in place about vaccine requirements

3. there are a lot of credits out there

4.  Number of available cabins could be dependent on continuously revised health guidelines that vary by country

5.  There could be restrictions on which nationalities can travel where

 

This list is just to illustrate some of the possible pricing uncertainty variables - and if I could solve for those variables I’d be chief revenue officer somewhere.  My guess would be to watch what happens to the price 60 to 75 days before the sailing.

 

I would like to take a cruise in September - I was lurking earlier this year on the roll call in the off chance it did not cancel.  The price for the cruise has been steady for a number of years but is about double normal right now.  My guess is it will either hit my bingo card in May or June or something is structurally keeping the price higher than normal.  It is not unusual to have weird pricing going on in disrupted markets but things are usually mean reverting.

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I don’t think today’s pricing is going to be reflective of future pricing. They know they have customers trapped in the fcc rebook cycle as cruise after cruise gets cancelled. This will artificially inflate demand. They also don’t know when they will sail again and at what capacity. This artificially reduces supply. They really don’t have much reason to make pricing competitive to fill ships when they aren’t sure that they want to fill the ships anyway. My guess is that at this point they prefer to maximize revenue per room rather than rooms sold in the event they can’t sell all the rooms due to capacity restrictions. But this is not forever and eventually the scale will tip back to selling rooms at a discount to fill all the rooms and increase on board spending.

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No email from X.... perhaps I need to check my spam folder as most “sale” emails from X are simply a rehash of regular pricing.  10% off may make a couple cruises I am looking at attractive.

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Many cruises are up to double what the cancelled cruise pricing was.   I have 8 future reservations and the average prevailing rate is 99% higher than my current bookings.  Differences range from 48% to 154%.   Granted I religiously track prices and get bev pkg and wifi as loyalty perks so 3 of my bookings are senior rates and one group rate.  I have taken OBC and tips into account so I'm comparing apples to apples with pricing.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, RickT said:

No email from X.... perhaps I need to check my spam folder as most “sale” emails from X are simply a rehash of regular pricing.  10% off may make a couple cruises I am looking at attractive.

 

You don't need the email.   T&C says it is for all CC members.  Classic and Select 5%,  Elite and higher 10%.   I didn't get it to work on the web site by adding my CC number so you may need to call your travel provider.   Book by Jan 31.  Sailings July 1 - Dec 31 2021.   T&C also say Eclipse Jan-April 2022.

Edited by wrk2cruise
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Has anyone booked with the 5%-10% discount?  The reason I’m asking is when I enter my Captains Club number the cruise pricing reflects my discount however the option to add the Elevate package no longer appears and the option to prepay gratuities shows up.  I have never received the email and am wondering if this is simply a website issue or if perhaps the discount comes with strings?

 

I’m going to call tomorrow but as we know the answer I receive from a rep may or may not be correct 😋

Edited by RickT
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8 minutes ago, RickT said:

Has anyone booked with the 5%-10% discount?  The reason I’m asking is when I enter my Captains Club number the cruise pricing reflects my discount however the option to add the Elevate package no longer appears and the option to prepay gratuities shows up.  I have never received the email and am wondering if this is simply a website issue or if perhaps the discount comes with strings?

 

I’m going to call tomorrow but as we know the answer I receive from a rep may or may not be correct 😋

I can't even get on their website today.  Well I can get on it but can't do anything further once I do.

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RickT, I did a dummy booking and it took me all the way through.

Although I am in Canada I book on the USA site.

(10% discount as Elite, refundable deposit on 9n Med, Connie, 25/10/21, a cruise I have been booked on in OV for well over a year)

Cheers, h 🥂

 

image.thumb.png.35184699d3c2faa686a7b2eae49a31e2.png

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The cruise industry estimates 2020 losses at $20billion, $10 billion in the US alone, and that is not over.  Add in the new costs of sailing, to included expanded cleaning, fewer passengers to comply with social distancing, higher port fees (COVID-related), higher insurance costs, increased crew costs, and yes, I expect the price of cruising to increase.  That means we will be paying higher prices for similar cruises as before the pandemic.  Will sales occur?  Sure - just as always.  Will cruise lines package them as great bargains?  Yep!  Will we go?  Yep!  However, some may be sailing in a less expensive cabin and forgoing on board activities and purchases and fewer tours or eating fewer meals in special restaurants.  What I don't like is Celebrity's obfuscation of these increased costs into the "All Inclusive" pricing to imply one is getting a bargain where most of the pricing is related to recouping losses and hiding the increased costs.  I know its marketing and that Celebrity pretends its customers are dumb and don't notice...  However, we are not dumb and Celebrity should be fair and level with us on the reasons for the higher prices.

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I booked a 12 day cruise to Iceland on another cruise line for literally 1/2 the cost.   Similar itinerary but I’m spending 5200 for 2 instead of 9500.

 

I like Celebrity but for a cruise for the ports they are priced way too high for me.

Edited by bunnyette
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15 hours ago, RickT said:

Has anyone booked with the 5%-10% discount?  The reason I’m asking is when I enter my Captains Club number the cruise pricing reflects my discount however the option to add the Elevate package no longer appears and the option to prepay gratuities shows up.  I have never received the email and am wondering if this is simply a website issue or if perhaps the discount comes with strings?

 

I’m going to call tomorrow but as we know the answer I receive from a rep may or may not be correct 😋

I think it’s a website problem,,,,I got the same thing when I tried to book a cruise on Thursday....showed the CC discount but not the AI and asked me to tick the box re Grats.

 

I rang and booked the cruise with all the bells and whistles inc CC cabin price upgrade and she sorted the FCC to use for the deposit.

 

As a Select member I got the 5% CC discount.

Edited by JeanieC,Aston
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14 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

The cruise industry estimates 2020 losses at $20billion, $10 billion in the US alone, and that is not over.  Add in the new costs of sailing, to included expanded cleaning, fewer passengers to comply with social distancing, higher port fees (COVID-related), higher insurance costs, increased crew costs, and yes, I expect the price of cruising to increase.  That means we will be paying higher prices for similar cruises as before the pandemic.  Will sales occur?  Sure - just as always.  Will cruise lines package them as great bargains?  Yep!  Will we go?  Yep!  However, some may be sailing in a less expensive cabin and forgoing on board activities and purchases and fewer tours or eating fewer meals in special restaurants.  What I don't like is Celebrity's obfuscation of these increased costs into the "All Inclusive" pricing to imply one is getting a bargain where most of the pricing is related to recouping losses and hiding the increased costs.  I know its marketing and that Celebrity pretends its customers are dumb and don't notice...  However, we are not dumb and Celebrity should be fair and level with us on the reasons for the higher prices.

Ride-The-Waves, excellent post.

 

In the end it is very simple, buy what you want which includes each persons individual assessment of pricing.

 

I am not interested if Celebrity's high prices continue or not - if they price at a level I, I deem, acceptable they would be considered. Celebrity has not had my business in years due to their excessive pricing and constant lowering of on board product. Nothing I have seen thus far would incline me to purchase a Celebrity product.

 

I believe Celebrity is the most arrogant of the main cruise lines and it shows in their marketing and other approaches to business, and yes, like you said, Celebrity does view many of their customers as dumb and obedient.

 

The reason for their higher prices is because Celebrity believes there are many lemmings out there who believe their bull, and apparently there are.

 

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I sincerely hope that the prices do moderate, since at their current levels we have zero interest in sailing =X=.

Celebrity has always been our first choice (and with 30+ sailings with them, things must have been acceptable a lot of the time).  We've enjoyed lots of wonderful times on their ships and paid what we felt were fair prices.

 

However, looking at the 11 sailings we have booked (5 in the last 3 days), we find that only 2 are with Celebrity (and booked a good while ago).  4 are with Azamara (where we find a much better experience for, currently, not that much more money) and 5 are with NCL (at considerably lower pricing as well as, in several instances, much better itineraries).  We have sailed with both of those lines multiple times so we don't expect any surprises.

 

I shake my head when I find an itinerary that may be of interest and see prices that are, frankly, insane.  Like over $17,000 for a very vanilla Canada/NE sailing in a S1.  $1400 per day?  AQ, $9200 and approaching $800 per day.

 

I guess if we were desperate to get back on a ship (we aren't) we might close our eyes and accept that kind of pricing.  Nah, actually we wouldn't.  We would look elsewhere.

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On 12/18/2020 at 3:17 PM, elaineb said:

What are your thoughts on the above.  They seem to be pushing that there will never be any sales and the price is the price (all inclusive).  But does anyone see these outrageous prices coming down in the future?

I think prices will drop some.  I think the main reason for higher prices right now is a  pent up demand to get back sailing.  Once that is achieved, then there will be competition for cruising dollars.  We have one cruise booked and that is all we will book at the current price points.  

 

If Celebrity can convince the next generation of the sailing public to pay the higher prices, then we might be sailing less.

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

...What I don't like is Celebrity's obfuscation of these increased costs into the "All Inclusive" pricing to imply one is getting a bargain where most of the pricing is related to recouping losses and hiding the increased costs.  I know its marketing and that Celebrity pretends its customers are dumb and don't notice... 

What I saw on the "Always Included" (subtle difference from "all inclusive") was that Celebrity knew that the prices were going to be crazy for a while, until the industry settles to whatever equilibrium point it eventually reaches. Their marketing was to make us feel like we were getting something extra for the additional cost, hence including items for which an additional charge is traditional.

 

It's still a marketing gimmick that presumes we aren't going to compare prices versus what is included to determine worth - or at least presumes that our evaluation will be that the extra cost is worth it for new included items and to allay the pent-up frustration of cruise addicts being kept on land.

Edited by ExArkie
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3 hours ago, ExArkie said:

What I saw on the "Always Included" (subtle difference from "all inclusive") was that Celebrity knew that the prices were going to be crazy for a while, until the industry settles to whatever equilibrium point it eventually reaches. Their marketing was to make us feel like we were getting something extra for the additional cost, hence including items for which an additional charge is traditional.

 

It's still a marketing gimmick that presumes we aren't going to compare prices versus what is included to determine worth - or at least presumes that our evaluation will be that the extra cost is worth it for new included items and to allay the pent-up frustration of cruise addicts being kept on land.

 

The ala carte pricing of the extras are also being set higher which furthers the illusion that you are getting more.  For example, I noticed that the WiFi packages for our sailing have gone way up.

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2 minutes ago, mahdnc said:

 

The ala carte pricing of the extras are also being set higher which furthers the illusion that you are getting more.  For example, I noticed that the WiFi packages for our sailing have gone way up.

They are not doing anything the other lines aren't.  Very similar pricing across the board, and for NCL, a very similar cruise that we have on Celebrity for April 2021 is actually more $ in the comparable suite category.  

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I think it will simply be a matter of supply and demand.  If people will pay the exorbitant current prices, then they will stay.  If not they won't.  When the whole new suite idea with the Retreat and Luminae and perks and all began, they raised the prices substantially.  I thought it would never work.  I was wrong.  No matter how high the suite prices they are always sold out on every sailing I have been on (or planned).   Whether that will hold true for cruising in general only time will tell.  

 

One of my concerns is less with the price and more for the quality you receive for that price.  They are bleeding money this year.  They need to recoup it somehow.  If they can't do it with price, then I think we will start to see cost cutting here, there and everywhere.  I don't think it will be obvious to the infrequent sailors, or newbies.  But I think those of us who have been Celebrity loyalists will notice the death by a thousand cuts as the saying goes.  I would love to be wrong, but we'll see.

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For kicks and giggles, did a pretend Celebrity Edge cruise search today.  7 night Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2021, Puerto Rico, Tortola & St Maarten, Royal Suite $23,023, for 2 passengers!!  For perspective on pricing, we currently have booked an APEX 12 night, Aug 28 - Sept 9, 2021, Barcelona, Greek Isles, Turkey, Malta $23,231 (we decided to combine funds we had allocated for costs of two cruises that we had cancelled).

 

Will prices come down, who the heck knows!  Will they survive, who the heck knows.  Looked at NCL a bit as well and compared similar cruises in similar suites, they are very similar, if not more, than Celebrity.

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Hmmm.  Supply and demand.  I have a 2022 cruise and my cabin class is sold out.  Otherwise I would compare prices and let you know if the price was higher or lower.  Probably higher.  I did book a 2021 cruise on the Pacific Princess for a very good price.

Edited by NMTraveller
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23 hours ago, Doubt It said:

I believe Celebrity is the most arrogant of the main cruise lines and it shows in their marketing and other approaches to business, and yes, like you said, Celebrity does view many of their customers as dumb and obedient.

 

 

 

I am guessing you don't consider Disney a main cruise line, but wow the greed there is ridiculous, Disney = greed. They price there cruises like a luxury brand and give you an RCCL level experience. Coming over to Celebrity after numerous substantial price increases and lowering the onboard product on Disney, it was nice to have better service, fuller experience, and a lower price even on the Edge. So it could be a lot worse than it is. 

 

I do understand prices going up now, but I think that will be short term when lines find people won't pay it post pandemic for many reasons, like decreased income and concerns about cruising in general topping the list. They do need to somehow cover their losses for however long they don't sale. It is surprising that more lines haven't gone under.

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Will prices ever come down?

Ask this question again about a year after cruise lines resume more normal operations and they have a huge amount of excess cabin capacity and are competing with each other for a much more limited passenger base.  This will occur after the refund back log and L&S is used up.  The market for cruising other than for us fanatics has taken a major black-eye and it will take years to recover to pre-pandemic levels if ever.  Yes if you wait just a bit and don't play the game right now you will be rewarded with much lower prices.  You can put that in the bank!

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