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WILL PRICES EVER COME DOWN?


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just checked, a 12 day Carribean on Equinox level 6 obstructed is 541 a day, vs 781 for Aqua. That 240 a day difference is what we paid for a 14 day cruise in Aqua just 18 months ago.

 

What I had canceled was 346 a day, and what I have booked is 640 a day.

 

basically doubled prices over  less than 2 years.  Nov 20 vs Spring 2022

 

The math is becoming compelling.

 

Sometimes you really have to think it out and write it out to see it.

Lift and Shift made out pretty good--anybody else, not so good.

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We are Elite on Celebrity but are becoming somewhat reluctant "Celebrity Refugees". A few additional data points. Not attempting to convince anyone of anything - just adding our experience to the conversation. 

 

The following prices are all adjusted for including tips, drinks, and wifi:

 

We sailed a 16 day TA in the MSC Yacht Club in September '19 for $280/pp/day. Head and shoulders better than Celebrity AQ in our opinion. Can't say how it compares to Celebrity suites.

 

We recently booked a 17 day Oceania Riviera TA in a PH1 suite (S1 or better) in March '22 for $306/pp/day - no drink pkg. but includes tips and wifi and specialty dining. We have been on that ship twice and we are among those that think it is great.

 

We recently booked a 15 day TA Enchanted Princess in a D4 (think Celebrity SV) TA in September '22  for $234/pp/day including drinks, wifi, tips. We will probably eat several nights in the specialty restaurants and that will add $15/pp/day for say 6 or 8 nights. 

 

We would like to try the Edge class but are not seeing comparable pricing on Celebrity any more other than (sometimes) last minute TAs.

 

We think the onboard experience FOR US is comparable on Princess and somewhat better on Oceania and MSC. Value proposition is just one factor for us. But given that there are other options with similar itineraries and an on board experience that we enjoy, that's where we are at right now. Of course, everyone must decide what is most important to them. 

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29 minutes ago, Croooser said:

We are Elite on Celebrity but are becoming somewhat reluctant "Celebrity Refugees". A few additional data points. Not attempting to convince anyone of anything - just adding our experience to the conversation. 

 

The following prices are all adjusted for including tips, drinks, and wifi:

 

We sailed a 16 day TA in the MSC Yacht Club in September '19 for $280/pp/day. Head and shoulders better than Celebrity AQ in our opinion. Can't say how it compares to Celebrity suites.

 

We recently booked a 17 day Oceania Riviera TA in a PH1 suite (S1 or better) in March '22 for $306/pp/day - no drink pkg. but includes tips and wifi and specialty dining. We have been on that ship twice and we are among those that think it is great.

 

We recently booked a 15 day TA Enchanted Princess in a D4 (think Celebrity SV) TA in September '22  for $234/pp/day including drinks, wifi, tips. We will probably eat several nights in the specialty restaurants and that will add $15/pp/day for say 6 or 8 nights. 

 

We would like to try the Edge class but are not seeing comparable pricing on Celebrity any more other than (sometimes) last minute TAs.

 

We think the onboard experience FOR US is comparable on Princess and somewhat better on Oceania and MSC. Value proposition is just one factor for us. But given that there are other options with similar itineraries and an on board experience that we enjoy, that's where we are at right now. Of course, everyone must decide what is most important to them. 

That is some pretty dang good $pp/day pricing you got!  Good on you.

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19 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

That is some pretty dang good $pp/day pricing you got!  Good on you.

I should have noted that those prices are net of discounts/OBC from TA.

 

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I was looking around other cruise companies this afternoon and came to the conclusion that was just discussed. Better perceived value elsewhere. And I am not talking small dollars here. eg, Royal serious for Princess in Jr Suites of 300sq ft. with upscale specialty restaurants for roughly same price per day as Aqua.

 

I am going to look at Norwegian , but first we have a booking on RCL with family late 2021 we need to consider. I think the Oasis series is great for kids.

 

The way its going I think we would like to lift and shift, and two small issues. 1) RCL  has not opened the Nov 2011 schedules yet (nor October) and2) Life and Shift follows the general rules, have to book by December 31, 2021 and cruse by May 5 or so.

 

There is another board for dress code--how about mask code and other restrictions which diminishes the "experience" . Few are really discussing that aspect. And that's not been discussed by CDC or cruise lines yet.There is no way I go for a week cruise with family where we wear a mask outside the cabin in almost all instances. And as I joked earlier here, MDR dinner will start at 4 and go to 11, and since the buffet is going to be difference the breakfasts and Lunches in places will be longer term too as the capacities in all dining areas will be less.

 

Excursions will be different from disembarking to getting back on--we all know the lines at the most important times  not to mention when they are tendered. Double the time for that. at least.

The fitness center and pools and bars. In time everything will return to normal but the restrictions IMHO are not well thought out

As I mentioned before if you looked at the documents for the vaccine Trials, they prove nothing. We do not know what the mid term and long-term side effects, we do not know the efficacy of any of the 3 so far. Why, the trial period was 2 months and its usually 3-5 years.  And now a question has been raised whether the vaccine will prevent someone from transmitting the virus. And a lot of hospital workers are willing to risk the virus vs the shot. That should tell us a lot.

 

So I do not think the problem is going away soon, although I think the restrictions should.

 

Anyway, when I go on vacation and now have to spend double what I spent before, I want and expect a close to perfect vacation. That means not being told I have just an hour for dinner so they can serve everybody, or I cannot  find seat at a bar (when I have the all inclusive drink package and upgraded to indulge or booked a suite and have it all (although with a suite you might have the separate retreat on upper deck, and private restaurants but even those places need to see turnover-including Blu).

My thought is to not cruise now due to all of this aforementioned,to and rethink how much I like Celebrity. I will lose use of my 1800 of what was a non refundable deposit but we are working within Celebrity rules and policies.

If this suspension continues much further there are all sorts of problems for Celebrity and other cruise lines, but then once we get into the second 12 months, that's March folks, what cruises will be left to lift and shift  to or use a 125% credit, unless they extend beyond the 12/31/2021 booking date and 5/5/2022 sailing date.

 

Lastly, if it turns out only Celebrity has the significant prices increase, and the customer only gets more of a one price deal to book, that does not define luxury. For those prices I do not want tired looking ships, or institutional looking meals . Celebrity has to play a few cards like even the MDR will have more upscale food

 

That's why suddenly Viking looks good.

This message is as much for Celebrity than anyone else, since they do not return my calls or e mails.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

I was looking around other cruise companies this afternoon and came to the conclusion that was just discussed. Better perceived value elsewhere. And I am not talking small dollars here. eg, Royal serious for Princess in Jr Suites of 300sq ft. with upscale specialty restaurants for roughly same price per day as Aqua.

 

I am going to look at Norwegian , but first we have a booking on RCL with family late 2021 we need to consider. I think the Oasis series is great for kids.

 

The way its going I think we would like to lift and shift, and two small issues. 1) RCL  has not opened the Nov 2011 schedules yet (nor October) and2) Life and Shift follows the general rules, have to book by December 31, 2021 and cruse by May 5 or so.

 

There is another board for dress code--how about mask code and other restrictions which diminishes the "experience" . Few are really discussing that aspect. And that's not been discussed by CDC or cruise lines yet.There is no way I go for a week cruise with family where we wear a mask outside the cabin in almost all instances. And as I joked earlier here, MDR dinner will start at 4 and go to 11, and since the buffet is going to be difference the breakfasts and Lunches in places will be longer term too as the capacities in all dining areas will be less.

 

Excursions will be different from disembarking to getting back on--we all know the lines at the most important times  not to mention when they are tendered. Double the time for that. at least.

The fitness center and pools and bars. In time everything will return to normal but the restrictions IMHO are not well thought out

As I mentioned before if you looked at the documents for the vaccine Trials, they prove nothing. We do not know what the mid term and long-term side effects, we do not know the efficacy of any of the 3 so far. Why, the trial period was 2 months and its usually 3-5 years.  And now a question has been raised whether the vaccine will prevent someone from transmitting the virus. And a lot of hospital workers are willing to risk the virus vs the shot. That should tell us a lot.

 

So I do not think the problem is going away soon, although I think the restrictions should.

 

Anyway, when I go on vacation and now have to spend double what I spent before, I want and expect a close to perfect vacation. That means not being told I have just an hour for dinner so they can serve everybody, or I cannot  find seat at a bar (when I have the all inclusive drink package and upgraded to indulge or booked a suite and have it all (although with a suite you might have the separate retreat on upper deck, and private restaurants but even those places need to see turnover-including Blu).

My thought is to not cruise now due to all of this aforementioned,to and rethink how much I like Celebrity. I will lose use of my 1800 of what was a non refundable deposit but we are working within Celebrity rules and policies.

If this suspension continues much further there are all sorts of problems for Celebrity and other cruise lines, but then once we get into the second 12 months, that's March folks, what cruises will be left to lift and shift  to or use a 125% credit, unless they extend beyond the 12/31/2021 booking date and 5/5/2022 sailing date.

 

Lastly, if it turns out only Celebrity has the significant prices increase, and the customer only gets more of a one price deal to book, that does not define luxury. For those prices I do not want tired looking ships, or institutional looking meals . Celebrity has to play a few cards like even the MDR will have more upscale food

 

That's why suddenly Viking looks good.

This message is as much for Celebrity than anyone else, since they do not return my calls or e mails.

 

 

You make some very good points.  

 

Princess "mini-suites" are excellent cabins and equate, if not better, than Celebrity "junior suites."  I find the service and food comparable between Celebrity and Princess, as well as the crews.  Both lines are upscale mass market, neither is luxury.  I would even give the edge to Princess for food since their Royal class buffets offer a large selection of international foods and their specialty restaurants are excellent (as are Celebrity's - we do not eat in the MDR).

 

We really can't directly compare prices today with those offered pre-pandemic.  Cruise lines have mortgaged their futures to stay afloat and they expect us future passengers to pay that bill.  Makes sense.  What I don't like is all the smoke and mirrors Celebrity is pushing trying to hide the increase in prices, treating past "guests" as if we are the dumbest people on the planet.  Cruise lines in general were well off pre-pandemic.  Prices were going up but that was do to demand versus availability.  Its time for Celebrity to be up-front with its customers/"guests."

 

Those "good times" are over at least for several years.  The "new normal" will be cruising with PPE, social distancing, increased health scrutiny, larger Sick Bays and increased medical personnel, and  higher prices for better trained crews and cleaning.  I can deal with that.  However, Celebrity appears to want to recapture the totality of their losses from cruising stoppage in a very short time.  Prices are out of whack for the delivered product and Celebrity is trying to hide that from its loyal passengers.  This potentially a recipe for financial disaster for a cruise line with good ships.  

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3 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

You make some very good points.  

 

Princess "mini-suites" are excellent cabins and equate, if not better, than Celebrity "junior suites."  I find the service and food comparable between Celebrity and Princess, as well as the crews.  Both lines are upscale mass market, neither is luxury.  I would even give the edge to Princess for food since their Royal class buffets offer a large selection of international foods and their specialty restaurants are excellent (as are Celebrity's - we do not eat in the MDR).

 

We really can't directly compare prices today with those offered pre-pandemic.  Cruise lines have mortgaged their futures to stay afloat and they expect us future passengers to pay that bill.  Makes sense.  What I don't like is all the smoke and mirrors Celebrity is pushing trying to hide the increase in prices, treating past "guests" as if we are the dumbest people on the planet.  Cruise lines in general were well off pre-pandemic.  Prices were going up but that was do to demand versus availability.  Its time for Celebrity to be up-front with its customers/"guests."

 

Those "good times" are over at least for several years.  The "new normal" will be cruising with PPE, social distancing, increased health scrutiny, larger Sick Bays and increased medical personnel, and  higher prices for better trained crews and cleaning.  I can deal with that.  However, Celebrity appears to want to recapture the totality of their losses from cruising stoppage in a very short time.  Prices are out of whack for the delivered product and Celebrity is trying to hide that from its loyal passengers.  This potentially a recipe for financial disaster for a cruise line with good ships.  

Let me just add to your good comments.

 

We have a global problem with the economy and debt, and stock and bond markets are richly valued. The business risk for the entire hospitality sector risk  is a major market selloff that endures. and people feeling "rich" today might not be feeling so free with money in 6 months to a year.

 

A lot of the travel business the past 5 years is due to the wealth factor. Between people young and having problems with their jobs or their own small business and then a market shake up, there will be a lot of capacity on ships. And that means lower prices.

 

Just when the cruise  lines  and  airlines have their backs to the wall.

 

Stop and think about a business sector that's been totally shut down for a year--how many could survive.

 

i used to get involved with business strategies way back and If I was an officer at a cruise line, or a board member, I would go after all the business I could drum up with prices at a level so I could be cash flow positive, not hugely positive, but more important to pick up market share from the others.

 

Unless of course, Celebrity wanted to reposition itself as true luxury in which cash higher prices do not mean higher luxury. But I think they are stuck with big ships and mass market base.

 

They could take the eclipse which is going in for revolution, and reduce the number of cabins to, I do not know, say 1000 from the 1440 or so, .Use a lower deck for the employees to give them better conditions and when they strip down the inside, make the balcony cabins a tad larger and the MDR more upscale regarding the food, or break up the  MDR to have3-5 specialty restaurants. Then they could charge higher prices and people would pay for it.

 

another idea ships are usually provisioned for the duration of the trip--change that so there is fresh provision local flavor. Eg, if traveling in Vietnam ,  and Thailand, have those local flavors, or fresh caught fish, or Argentinian beef.  a deep dish pizza or NY style thin. There are any ways to do that which would  be fun and exciting IMHO. Costly yes, but heck, that's why you can charge higher prices. and people if happy will flock to that.

 

They would still a nice sized ship with a lot of amenities but then they are truly upscale. and it would be a true niche.

 

My 2 cents worth.

 

BTW-32 years ago was my first cruise, on a  700  cabin Norwegian ship -what I remember was fantastic cold fruit soup, different each night,  as an appetizer each night. Our server, Winston, if he saw we were undecided about what to have for dinner would bring an extra  plate or two, of what we did not order,  for the 4 of us to taste. Needless to say he made us very happy and he was well rewarded.

 

Thats when you do not mind paying a bit higher price.

 

Another BTW--Celebrity and now some of the others, if they are including liquor packages, they are going to push away the non drinkers.  Remember Celebritys classic package was $50 a day  when on saleI know they have their stats of how much I drank--and everyone here probably, but there s still a budget or non drinking crowd that does not want to subsidize the others.

 

 

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HMR74 and Ride-The-Waves, your posts are excellent and spot on regarding the attitude of Celebrity.

 

Celebrity has been downgrading their product since about 2015. Their corporate attitude since this time has been to stiff the consumer, but then, it is the consumer who chooses to get stiffed. The new pricing scam is just another example of Celebrity arrogance.

 

I will wait and see what Celebrity offers on a consistent basis and measure them against their competitors and the premium lines, and that will take many years to determine. In the interim, myself and our travelling group, are ready to book numerous land trips, not a penny to the cruise lines.

 

Celebrity can charge what they like but that does not mean anyone has to purchase.

 

 

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so, whats the cause of this issue?

 

Pretty simple I think.

 

The people running all these businesses, not just cruise lines, do not really have a passion for building a company with a better product, but building their own wealth.

 

It's called true leadership.

 

RCL stock was 125 pre Covid, I think it dropped to  the high teens, and back to the 70's now.

Officers compensation mostly based on options on stock so they drive the stock price higher short term.

 

That's also why privately owned companies in general  (everything is "in general") do better.

Its absentee management, or management with their hands all over the place, making people accountable, making sure things are going right. level you want, you will do well whether you are in this case a Carnival (party booze cruise rep) a mid level or high level rep like HAL. But you have to be best in your own class.

 

If you build a better product for the price and amenity  level, market share will increase.

 

Look at how Viking has positioned itself.  and its perception in the market.

It has cut its prices, offers no charge air travel from US to Europe, and is privately owned.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, HMR74 said:

I was looking around other cruise companies this afternoon and came to the conclusion that was just discussed. Better perceived value elsewhere. And I am not talking small dollars here. eg, Royal serious for Princess in Jr Suites of 300sq ft. with upscale specialty restaurants for roughly same price per day as Aqua.

 

I am going to look at Norwegian , but first we have a booking on RCL with family late 2021 we need to consider. I think the Oasis series is great for kids.

 

The way its going I think we would like to lift and shift, and two small issues. 1) RCL  has not opened the Nov 2011 schedules yet (nor October) and2) Life and Shift follows the general rules, have to book by December 31, 2021 and cruse by May 5 or so.

 

There is another board for dress code--how about mask code and other restrictions which diminishes the "experience" . Few are really discussing that aspect. And that's not been discussed by CDC or cruise lines yet.There is no way I go for a week cruise with family where we wear a mask outside the cabin in almost all instances. And as I joked earlier here, MDR dinner will start at 4 and go to 11, and since the buffet is going to be difference the breakfasts and Lunches in places will be longer term too as the capacities in all dining areas will be less.

 

Excursions will be different from disembarking to getting back on--we all know the lines at the most important times  not to mention when they are tendered. Double the time for that. at least.

The fitness center and pools and bars. In time everything will return to normal but the restrictions IMHO are not well thought out

As I mentioned before if you looked at the documents for the vaccine Trials, they prove nothing. We do not know what the mid term and long-term side effects, we do not know the efficacy of any of the 3 so far. Why, the trial period was 2 months and its usually 3-5 years.  And now a question has been raised whether the vaccine will prevent someone from transmitting the virus. And a lot of hospital workers are willing to risk the virus vs the shot. That should tell us a lot.

 

So I do not think the problem is going away soon, although I think the restrictions should.

 

Anyway, when I go on vacation and now have to spend double what I spent before, I want and expect a close to perfect vacation. That means not being told I have just an hour for dinner so they can serve everybody, or I cannot  find seat at a bar (when I have the all inclusive drink package and upgraded to indulge or booked a suite and have it all (although with a suite you might have the separate retreat on upper deck, and private restaurants but even those places need to see turnover-including Blu).

My thought is to not cruise now due to all of this aforementioned,to and rethink how much I like Celebrity. I will lose use of my 1800 of what was a non refundable deposit but we are working within Celebrity rules and policies.

If this suspension continues much further there are all sorts of problems for Celebrity and other cruise lines, but then once we get into the second 12 months, that's March folks, what cruises will be left to lift and shift  to or use a 125% credit, unless they extend beyond the 12/31/2021 booking date and 5/5/2022 sailing date.

 

Lastly, if it turns out only Celebrity has the significant prices increase, and the customer only gets more of a one price deal to book, that does not define luxury. For those prices I do not want tired looking ships, or institutional looking meals . Celebrity has to play a few cards like even the MDR will have more upscale food

 

That's why suddenly Viking looks good.

This message is as much for Celebrity than anyone else, since they do not return my calls or e mails.

 

 

 

I've done two river cruises and one ocean on Viking.  I recommend them but even basic cabins can be expensive.  Also they have an older crowd and it can be low energy.   My husband enjoyed our cruise in Aqua and we may repeat that in late 2021.

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Agree that the primary focus of Celebrity pre-pandemic is greed and not customer satisfaction/loyalty.  Profit over brand loyalty.  And their management, Celebrity and RCG, either have not seen the light or just don't care and want to make as much money now until the brand folds.  For them it might be easier, and more personally profitable, to go into bankruptcy and sell off whatever is left.  RCG bet on the come with behemoth ships - more $$$ per mile sailed - and the pandemic has showed the folly of that policy.

 

Its not easy, nor inexpensive, to "redo" a cruise ship.  During construction cabins are modularized and slid into their respective slots.  Very difficult to expand and change the function of public areas.  Food preparation and service can always be improved but that also come with a cost.  On the Oasis class food service is abysmal.  The MDR is too noisy, the buffet area too small and too few specialty restaurants for the "guests" who do not use the MDR.  Plus traffic flow for the over 5,000 "guests" is horrible.  But then, the sole idea was greed - get as many on board as possible for maximum profit.

 

Pundits keep comparing cruising with the airlines.  Apples and oranges.  People who need to travel (for pleasure or work) will help the airlines recover - with a caveat.  Businesses have now become used to "zoom" meetings between offices and people working remotely so business travel will be slower to recover and giving tax breaks for the three-martini lunch won't help.  People do not need to cruise.  Its a vacation luxury.  Raising prices through "bait and switch" or "smoke and mirror" tactics catches the first customer but not the remainder.  Fool me once philosophy.  

 

Celebrity/RCG "management/leadership" has seriously dropped the ball.  Possibly they were spoiled by the good fast times of the last decade and cannot adjust.  Perhaps they are just incompetent.  Either way, both them and those of us they serve and who want to cruise to great ports on nice ships, are screwed.

 

Long time ago I participated in a senior level management seminar at Northwestern.  The thesis was not unlike what Celebrity is going through today.  One "problem" was designed round a racing team and the need to adjust as conditions changed.  It became very difficult once deep into a corrective solution to relook at the issue based on new data.  Participants became unwilling to change irrespective that new data made their accumulated plan invalid for the new conditions.  Celebrity and RCG appear to be on a similar treadmill still believing that what was a good practice in 2019 is valid for the years following 2020. The world has changed and a step-back adjustment is required.

 

The future of cruising may be with the "smaller" ships - this in the 1,000 passengerish category and less than 75,000 GWT.

 

In the meantime we have scheduled our next cruise on a new Princess Royal class ship.

 

 

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once again I am on phone with celebrity. I am venting frustration  now. 

 

About 3 weeks ago I called in to get the birthday credit and got it, except the agent said I had to pay in taxes and port fees and he said it was a new policy because they had to pay in port and taxes immediately.

 

So I let him charge the roughly  600 for the 2 cruises to my cc. The next AM I wake up and realize that for a 14 day cruise, all that needs to be paid in is the 900 per cabin. It says so when you on website as the cruise price is totaled and shows the 900 is required regardless of the cost.

I now have dealt with 3 agents at Celebrity that do not understand that.

 

So I called back  the next AM and was told that policy statement was wrong and they would issue credits for the 2 cruises.

 

As of last night the credits had not worked their way to my credit card.2 weeks plus. Charges get there right away.

 

So I called Celebrity 45 minutes ago and was told the credit  was issued to the front end of the b2b but no credit will be issued to the back end. That was after todays agent check with somebody who told her twice I had to pay for taxes and port fees

 

So after I raised y voice and calmed down, I explained to the lady agent to look at any booking and she would see there is a flat dollar amount required to be paid in. On the 4th try today I got the credit on the back end of the b2b.She asked if I intended to pay the tax and fees when the final payment came do--which I held myself from saying DUH.

 

I have not yet got into the battle of doing a lift and shift from my old cruises which were cancelled a week after I cancelled cause I knew the cruises were not going and I did not want to leave a 5 figure amount with Celebrity/RCL  for over a year (it actually would have been 16 months.

Right now my attitude is if they do not give me the lift and shift (my cruises are totally different as they are not offered in the future) with the cruise credits I had, I am done with Celebrity. They get to keep my 1800 deposit, but not get the additional high price --I will caulk it up as a lesson learned.

 

Having said all this I will say what I said before:

 

Once you go on the cruise, Celebrity is pretty good and that's due to the people on board. From the Captain on down. That exceeded expectation is offset the other way  by frustration with management and adm staff, and that includes the sharply higher prices and policies that are not truly 'Cruise With Confidence", and now people who do not know what they are doing.

 

Thanks, I got it off my chest

 

 

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Once on board the crews and experiences on most cruise lines are great.  Dealing with headquarters - not so great.  Have had similar experiences with Uniworld, Viking and Hurtigruten.  Once the home office has your $$$ it's "mostly thanks and good bye!"  The ship's crews are the ones that make the experience.  Our experience with Viking River was a classic.  Called 5 days before leaving the US for Europe and asked about river water levels and whether the ships were actually traveling or were buses being used to move passengers between ports.  Explained that I had read that our specific ship was landlocked and requested any updates from the company.  The rep snorted back asking where I heard that...  On CC - where else.  He was not a happy camper, but "promised" to keep me informed before we flew to Europe.  Never heard from him or Viking again.  We did make it to Bucharest and onto the ship and a nice cruise...

 

 

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if you can find the right person at a company, you have a chance.  And that's true outside of the Cruise business too.

 

I will also say this.

As I call in , the agents who are supposed to be our advocate by booking thru the cruise line, are not. They should be working for us, but simply order takers. Most cannot give advice on different cabins, etc, let alone be and advocate for discounts or lift and shift.

 

I am not sure how far the TA's go--I have never won on an issue.

It is tiring to get e mails about incentives, only to find out its not combine-able  with other offers, or secludes dates.

 

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28 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Once on board the crews and experiences on most cruise lines are great.  Dealing with headquarters - not so great.  Have had similar experiences with Uniworld, Viking and Hurtigruten.  Once the home office has your $$$ it's "mostly thanks and good bye!"  The ship's crews are the ones that make the experience.  Our experience with Viking River was a classic.  Called 5 days before leaving the US for Europe and asked about river water levels and whether the ships were actually traveling or were buses being used to move passengers between ports.  Explained that I had read that our specific ship was landlocked and requested any updates from the company.  The rep snorted back asking where I heard that...  On CC - where else.  He was not a happy camper, but "promised" to keep me informed before we flew to Europe.  Never heard from him or Viking again.  We did make it to Bucharest and onto the ship and a nice cruise...

 

 

 

So was the info from CC wrong?!  Your cruise went on as planned, yes?

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On 1/2/2021 at 10:27 AM, Ride-The-Waves said:

Celebrity is putting "lipstick on a pig" with all their obfuscation.  Selling the same pre-COVID cruise for higher $$$ and offering nothing additional.  Horrible way to keep loyal customers.  But then, maybe they don't want loyalty and prefer to tease new customers, who don't know the past, with higher prices.

 

We have sailed Celebrity for over 20 years.  Had some great cruises to include on the "R" ships now Azamara.  Last 4 years we have also branched out to Princess since their Royal class are very comparable to Solstice, maybe even better.  We recently booked a March 2022 TA on Sky Princess, a newish Royal, in a 400+ sq ft suite.  Similar accommodations on Celebrity were almost double.  And the difference in experiences expected is obviously much less than double - quite the same, in fact.

 

I can't envision sailing Celebrity at these ludicrous prices.  More lipstick still makes the ship the same pig.

 

We've sailed on the Regal, sister ship to the Sky, twice in one of those suites, once closer to mid ship and once on the aft.  The balconies on the mid ship suites are really awful, you have to climb over the table to get from side to the other, the one on the aft was the most amazing balcony we've ever had, big enough for a table and 4 chairs, 2 lounges, a couple small tables and still very roomy...just huge.  The suite itself in both cases is a lovely room and I would equate it to the CS on the S class of Celebrity, perhaps even a bit better.  We loved the accommodation even with the lousy balcony on the first sailing.  Princess has more entertainment options, which we enjoyed. However we found the specialty restaurant lacking in both service and food quality and the main dining room, albeit in the "Club Class Dining" pretty mediocre.  Our first cruise we had great service, the 2nd not so much and the food on both really very underwhelming.   

 

Don't get me wrong we enjoyed both trips but still prefer X, and are glad we have a few booked with them in 2022 before they sent the prices through the roof.  Will we cruise Princess again? We have about $2500 in FCC with them so probably, but I think we would opt for one of their older ships and hope that service and food is better with a smaller passenger load. 

Edited by Gracie115
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I believe that prices will remain high on all the mass market lines, including Celebrity, until the cruise lines have run the clock on the FCC's etc.

 

We view cruises simply as another travel option.  We compare fares to what we would spend on independent land trips, AI, and premium cruise lines.  

 

We intended to pick up either a late booking Med cruise or a late booking Canaries cruise last fall.  We flew to Athens and had a return ticket from London seven weeks later. Our options were wide open.  

 

We found the fares on both options  exceeded their value to us.  Instead we went to Cyprus for two weeks.  Had a wonderful time and did not miss cruising at all.   The only goal that the cruise lines will achieve by artificially hiking their fares is to loose us as customers.

Edited by iancal
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25 minutes ago, iancal said:

I believe that prices will remain high on all the mass market lines, including Celebrity, until the cruise lines have run the clock on the FCC's etc.

 

We view cruises simply as another travel option.  We compare fares to what we would spend on independent land trips, AI, and premium cruise lines.  

 

We intended to pick up either a late booking Med cruise or a late booking Canaries cruise last fall.  We flew to Athens and had a return ticket from London seven weeks later. Our options were wide open.  

 

We found the fares on both options  exceeded their value to us.  Instead we went to Cyprus for two weeks.  Had a wonderful time and did not miss cruising at all.   The only goal that the cruise lines will achieve by artificially hiking their fares is to loose us as customers.

all they have to do is eliminate all the lift and shift--that's the ones that are real costly to them where the same prices applies to a new cruise.

 

We have a Nov RCL cruise at Thanksgiving with family. There is no lift and shift to 2022 for 2 reasons--it only goes to may 22  and the Nov 22 cruises are not listed yet--but we do have the cruise with confidence deal--which is pretty worthless right now. However, the spring break similar cruise 4 months later , is 23% higher in comp price. It's just not a good time for us. Which is why we booked  Thanksgiving and paid a premium price for that, which was not as high as xmas new years a month later.

 

So the cruise lines have much more time to upset existing customers.

 

BTW-they were making pretty good money pre covid. something like 20% profit on revenues. They must profit greatly from cancellations inside the 90 days where the customers insurance kicks in and they keep the money and can resell the cabin.

 

Edited by HMR74
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We have travel destinations tentatively planned through to late fall  2022. We are not even shopping for cruises.  We have no intention of paying above the odds let alone playing the FCC mugs game in an artificial market.

 

If the cruise lines offer, what we believe, is a competitive travel option we will consider it.  If not, we have other equally good options that have more value to us.   We do not care one way or the other.  We certainly will not stay home.

Edited by iancal
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3 hours ago, iancal said:

We have travel destinations tentatively planned through to late fall  2022. We are not even shopping for cruises.  We have no intention of paying above the odds let alone playing the FCC mugs game in an artificial market.

 

If the cruise lines offer, what we believe, is a competitive travel option we will consider it.  If not, we have other equally good options that have more value to us.   We do not care one way or the other.  We certainly will not stay home.

 

Well anyone has that option to travel independently.  I did it before I started cruising.  I did UK, France, Germany, Spain etc that way.

 

I hope cruising comes back.  I enjoy it.

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Very interesting reading through this discussion, came here also looking to see if I was crazy as it seemed X prices don't make sense anymore as I am trying to book my next cruise. I am gen X and have had about 10 cruises all in Concierge to Celebrity suite range and to me it seems I just can't justify the price of Celebrity for what they offer anymore (even though I can afford it), I really like Celebrity except for the crappy waste over priced art shows but at current pricing I can't see us taking another Celebrity cruise, other lines simply offer better value.

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We now booking for 2022 and have received a standard suite on Sky Princess eastbound across the North Atlantic for early Spring that year.  Options for Fall 2022 include Princess again and others, but not Celebrity.  Oceania is offering full suites with everything included (to include specialty dining) for less than Celebrity with a better itinerary and longer cruise.  The way I see it is that Celebrity has screwed themselves out of their market and are no longer competitive.  Sad!

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I've never sailed on Princess but I see the same sort of price differences for future cruises.  My plan is to give Princess a try hopefully later this year on a Caribbean cruise to see if I like the product.  If it's a success, I'll probably be moving over to Princess.

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