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Cruising affordability


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Not just cruising, but lots of industries are seeing stupid inflation. As we took the emotional approach and over-regulated everything, we created many shortages by our own hand. Causing people to sit at home, collect unemployment, businesses to lose revenue while implementing costly unnecessary "safety" processes, etc etc doesn't just put our economy on pause. It causes a reset. Hopefully it will teach some people a lesson. But probably not.

 

Fortunately, cruising prices will likely level-off. The initial demand will likely be massive, especially if they can prove safe and complete operation. Once that dies off, I expect it to start leveling. If they are going to deny those unvaccinated (and/or unboostered) I can't see an outcome that continues to have high-priced sailings.

 

People will not give up their luxuries though. In the age of everyone being a victim, needing free this/that, needing higher wages, etc, we see no dip in luxuries, housing prices, etc. We are better off than we have ever been in many areas. Look at the business of Bernard Arnault, fluctuating around being the richest person in the world. There is little indication there that people are that money-conscious.

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It is impossible to predict precisely, but our society and economy are on the brink of a restructuring more profound and widespread than anything experienced since the New Deal of the 1930’s.  Our apparent shift away from fossil fuels alone will ripple through our entire economy - add to that, the efforts to equalize income while rebuilding our infrastructure are simply not going to happen without disruption.

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I have notice several posters stating they have not spent as much as they normally would during COVID because of the lock downs and not cruising and therefore; have saved more money which is available for cruising now.  What I have not seen is anyone post that they are having to take the RMD from their retirement account and along with their SS and pension they have more money than they need for their annual living expenses.  Fortunately, I am in this situation and it is what funds ourcruising and other trips.
 

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18 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

The frugality that I learned from my Grandparents and Parents is something that isn't going to suddenly disappear.  (Even if I win Ohio's Vax-a-Million Contest  😀.)  A large increase in the cruise cost/day (which is the standard that I use to compare cruise costs) will probably cause me not to immediately call my travel agent and say "Book it Mary"!  But, as with every cruise that I have ever taken, I will revert to my tried and true standard.  If I can afford it, if it is something I want to do, if it is something that I am able to do:  "Book it Mary!"  

 

I'm with you. Also hoping for the "vax a million" contest. While I have a large land trip booked for October, if we were to win "vax a million" I imagine I might book a second trip for this year and next year. But if cruising is overpriced, there are enough other vacation options to pass on it. A dollar is still worth a dollar, regardless of how many dollars you have. 

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5 hours ago, Mary229 said:

We have been cruising also but there are a few very long cruises that we have held off on.  It is hard to fit a 50+ day cruise  while working.  I have a dedicated "cruise fund" and cruises are only booked as that provides.  As others have said last year certainly beefed up that fund.  So now, for the very first time, I have two cruises booked. In the past it was one at a time and never terribly far in advance.  

 

I would call myself an advanced road trip traveller, not blinking an eye at driving cross continent, east to west, north to south or on the diagonal.  I have hiked it, luxury stayed, toured in-depth, visited most of the continental national park, etc...  A one week jaunt for me is a long weekend from my perspective and I have done quite a few this past 14 months.  The prices on land are escalating rapidly and are not the bargain many think they will find.    Hotels and other travel industries including museums and amusements are going to have to raise prices for the same crisis reasons the cruise lines are - new guidelines, to make up for lost revenue and retraining old and new employees.  Many companies lost their core employees during this time 

All depends on what happens with inflation I suspect.  Right now I think there is a lot of folks anxious to travel, this may subside in a year or so.  When I worked I was fortunate I could take off a month at a time, which we did.   My DH is 89, I am 74... so the best of our travel days are in the past but we will keep going as much as we can.  I am waiting to make a trip - not a cruise to Israel, have friends and family there.  Have to wait for Israel to open to tourists again. 

 

Happy travels to you. 

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Hardcore travelers/cruisers will start traveling again as soon as they can -- if they are not already.

 

However, casual travelers that I talk to (I am in the first group) seem more hesitant about travel overall and cruising in particular. I'm not so sure that once you get beyond those who have a "Cruise Critic" level love of cruising, you'll find as much demand at least in the short term.

 

Many travelers (non-cruisers) seem content to stick closer to home. They are renting large beach condos or houses and having family get-togethers. Or they are driving or RV-ing to destinations that lend themselves to this kind of exploration (e.g., national parks).

 

As for cruising, people at work that I mention cruising to will often say things like "Would you really cruise again after what happened with COVID?"  Or at best, "Seems kind of soon, not sure I'd consider a cruise in the next couple of years, at least."   (And these aren't people who are vaccine-hesitant or who don't want to mask. They are just concerned and have a certain impression of cruising that was certainly not enhanced since the events of 2020 and 2021...

 

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8 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

Many travelers (non-cruisers) seem content to stick closer to home. They are renting large beach condos or houses and having family get-togethers. Or they are driving or RV-ing to destinations that lend themselves to this kind of exploration (e.g., national parks).

100% agree.  I think they also may have long haul flight hesitancy. In another thread removing the PVSA is being discussed for cruising.  I could see a great boom for the cruise industry if they were allowed to do short US destinations only.  I am not weighing in on whether that will happen, just commenting

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2 hours ago, sanger727 said:

 

A dollar is still worth a dollar, regardless of how many dollars you have. 

Not really - if you compare the price of US postage today with that of a few years ago, or that of gasoline, or pretty much anything - the WORTH  of that dollar in real terms - meaning what you can get for it - is not constant.  People on fixed incomes - say based on corporate or government pensions  - are aware of that sort of change.

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I see that some of my posts were deleted, so I'll try to word things differently.

 

Before the pandemic hit, travel had become so cheap and easy that it was readily available to a big percentage of the world's population.  Popular destinations and attractions had started trying to figure out how to limit crowds.  Personally, I got involved in physical shoving matches with 2 different tour groups and lost both times.  It wasn't pleasant.  My wife and I were saying to ourselves that something was going to have to change.

 

So, now prices are up.  We're cheering.  Bring on the exclusivity that high prices will hopefully bring!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

Not really - if you compare the price of US postage today with that of a few years ago, or that of gasoline, or pretty much anything - the WORTH  of that dollar in real terms - meaning what you can get for it - is not constant.  People on fixed incomes - say based on corporate or government pensions  - are aware of that sort of change.

 

I don 't mean a dollar yesterday is worth the same as a dollar today. I'm saying a dollar today is worth the same regardless of whether you have $5,000 of them or $500,000 of them. 

 

What I mean by that is that I know a lot of people who are quite well off. But just because they have more doesn't mean that they will overpay for a product when demand artificially inflates price. 

Edited by sanger727
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Money is not everything.  After 2020 and 2021 not only did the pandemic teach me but I also had 3 younger siblings who developed potentially immediately deadly conditions, cancer and heart issues.  I will not let cost get in my way.  Mortality is real and for some of us it is likely much closer than for others.  

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18 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We had everything worked out for an October cruise out of Barbados until this morning when AA simply cancelled our flight!  I spent the next 6 hours looking at options,

 

I did a bit of investigating of air to Barbados for those cruises and was surprised at how difficult it was to get flights there.  At least, that was the case at the time I was looking.  Maybe things have improved?  But, from what you learned, maybe not.  

 

18 hours ago, Hlitner said:

And it is in this world where those addicted to travel (that would be me) has to learn new tricks to deal with the absolute mess, constantly changing rules, dealing with regulations of multiple countries (with changing restrictions on a daily basis), etc.   Over 45 years of extensive cruising and international travel has not prepared me (or anyone else) for the current situation.  When we finally are on a ship and stand on deck as the vessel moves away from the pier....I will have earned several stiff drinks (and intend to enjoy every darn drop).

 

You express very well what I am finding when I consider another trip.  And, I'll join you at the bar or at the rail with drink in hand when the ship sails!  

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What will interest us will be the price differences between the mass market lines like X, HAL, Princess, RCI etc., the premium lines, and the luxury lines.   This delta in price and value will probably determine our next cruise.  

 

We are more than willing to pay more money for what we perceive as being substantially more value.  This is not a time to be married to one cruise line.  I expect that there will be lots of competition once cruising has settled down.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Our apparent shift away from fossil fuels alone will ripple through our entire economy - add to that, the efforts to equalize income while rebuilding our infrastructure are simply not going to happen without disruption.

That shift won't help cruising.  Moving from traditional fuel sources will simply make prices hire.  I am ready for our president to do a reprise of Jimmy Carter and tell us we need to put on a sweater, embrace malaise and expect a diminished future.

4 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

However, casual travelers that I talk to (I am in the first group) seem more hesitant about travel overall and cruising in particular.

I am not sure about this.  Everything I hear is that travel is coming back super strong.  I think cruise availability is the biggest issue.  Time will tell.

 

4 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I think they also may have long haul flight hesitancy.

I believe this is more a function of flight availability.  I flew through Chicago last weekend and was amazed to see how few international flights were on the board relative to pre-COVID times.  The domestic flights seemed pretty much back to normal from what I could see.

 

1 hour ago, Mary229 said:

I will not let cost get in my way.  Mortality is real and for some of us it is likely much closer than for others.  

I totally agree with this sentiment for some.  I also think waiting at home for a deal may prove harder than one might think.

Edited by SelectSys
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7 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

It is impossible to predict precisely, but our society and economy are on the brink of a restructuring more profound and widespread than anything experienced since the New Deal of the 1930’s.  Our apparent shift away from fossil fuels alone will ripple through our entire economy - add to that, the efforts to equalize income while rebuilding our infrastructure are simply not going to happen without disruption.

 

Equalize income lol. It's quite apparent now, if it wasn't already, how and where you get your news. Our economy was quite strong even before all of this. Wages had risen for years due to multiple reasons. Now, in many areas, they are yet even higher. Many businesses can't even give away $15-$20/hr jobs now as people sit at home and collect unemployment. I'm not interested in hearing how our base pay jobs (at some of their highest wages ever) are "not livable". People managed on much lower wages, more recently than we care to remember.

 

I've been fortunate to be on 2 vacations in the past month. One was definitely sold out. The second I wasn't sure, but I can assure you it was no wasteland. I also had a real difficult time planning that second one due to the crazy demand and price for summer vacations. My point is, people and vacationing are doing just fine. Any price increases incurred to cruising by our own hand will level out to the market once we stop our own madness. However, if we do continue to over-regulate and cause more commodities to surge in price, you may be onto something.

 

If you want to talk about real shifts, talk about the massive blow we've done to small businesses while big businesses thrived and gained more power.

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We travel frequently. We are somewhat hesitant to cruise. It will be a while before we board another cruise ship.  Despite that, we are planning our next three land trips.

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Luckily, most of my currently booked cruises were booked either preCovid or during those few months after the first cancellations (April 2020) when deals were to be had. I went to Key West last month, booked the hotel in March when prices were still cheap. The price of my room would've been triple what I paid had I booked it in May. I wanted to visit Portland ME for a 4 day weekend at the end of July but the hotels are outside of what I'm willing to pay. I could book a cruise for that price ($1700 and up)! Airline tix are also up. I was thinking of going to Vegas once I ruled out Portland, and although the plane tix aren't terribly expensive, I know they are way more expensive than what they were pre COVID. I am choosing not to go to Vegas. I will be catching Amtrak to Boston for that weekend. I feel ok with the price of the hotel, likely because I don't know what it was pre COVID lol. But I am definitely using pre-COVID pricing (or is it pre-vaccine) as a barometer of what I'm willing to pay whether intentional or not even though I can technically afford it.

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Meh, some infotainment networks are working in overdrive to pump fear, doom & gloom and panic. The world is not ending and everything will work out but you wouldn't know that if all you watch is infotainment channels that are basically 24-hour echo-chambers of fear and perpetually push negativity to pump ratings. Outrage sells, even manufactured outrage. Based on bookings and demand, it appears the economy is poised for a huge rebound. Cruising included. Pent up demand is through the roof! Picking individual aspects that are temporarily upside-down, one could paint a picture of doom but that doesn't tell the whole story and ignores the big picture. Even all these FCC will eventually wash out and that should relive some pressure as well. Six months to a year from now, much of the hype and economic innuendo will have passed. The economic potential upside going into 2022 is much bigger than the temporary micro downsides of 2021 and yet and still, 2021 will be a success overall, when all things are considered. The economy is strong and its potential, even stronger. Full steam ahead!      

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21 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

Equalize income lol. It's quite apparent now, if it wasn't already, how and where you get your news. Our economy was quite strong even before all of this. Wages had risen for years due to multiple reasons. Now, in many areas, they are yet even higher. Many businesses can't even give away $15-$20/hr jobs now as people sit at home and collect unemployment. I'm not interested in hearing how our base pay jobs (at some of their highest wages ever) are "not livable". People managed on much lower wages, more recently than we care to remember.

 

You should pay attention to the spending plans being pushed by the administration and generally supported by both houses of Congress.

 

It’s got nothing to do with where I get my news.  I don’t like the news - but I am not inclined to ignore it because it is uncomfortable.

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20 hours ago, iancal said:

We travel frequently. We are somewhat hesitant to cruise. It will be a while before we board another cruise ship.  Despite that, we are planning our next three land trips.

Same here - August, January and March-April already in the works.  Cruising is too iffy, and the mass market lines will probably show significant additional decrease in entertainment, food and service quality - arising from staffing problems and efforts to hold down costs - to be able to offer tempting fares.  I am inclined to think that ANY future cruises (when and if) will be on likes of Oceania, Azamera, etc. and, of course, QM2 as a good way to get across the Atlantic.

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On 6/15/2021 at 1:24 PM, jtwind said:

So, now prices are up.  We're cheering.  Bring on the exclusivity that high prices will hopefully bring!

 

That's a very elitist attitude.  Travel expands our horizons, and IMO should be available to as many people as possible.

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13 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

That's a very elitist attitude.  Travel expands our horizons, and IMO should be available to as many people as possible.

 

A few months ago, there were some discussions on some of the Message Boards about what post-Covid cruising was going to be like and, if pricing were to increase--as it seems to now be doing--would we find ourselves back in the "'50's/early mid-late "60's when sailing on an ocean liner in First Class was perceived to be reserved for those who "could afford such".  True, Cabin and Tourist Class existed that allowed for a more inexpensive sailing.  The cruise companies of today have developed their product and has marketed that product as being not the same as First Class on Queen Mary, but a darned good 21st Century imitation of such a sailing experience.  

 

I argued at the time that the cruise companies may need to re-invent themselves in order to provide a cruise product that people can afford if prices get into the stratosphere rather than the type of cruise product that is currently available.  

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Travel in general, flying, and cruising used to be the province of the well off.  Seems like some want to go back to that.

 

We're headed that way with college education, I fear.

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9 minutes ago, Roz said:

Travel in general, flying, and cruising used to be the province of the well off.  Seems like some want to go back to that.

 

We're headed that way with college education, I fear.

 

Your concern is the same as mine.  Regarding a college education, I have been trying to do my part for many years to prevent that for those students who attend my Alma Mater.  

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

Travel in general, flying, and cruising used to be the province of the well off.  Seems like some want to go back to that.

 

We're headed that way with college education, I fear.

Perhaps the “college for everyone” model is not the best in the long run— for students or for the economy as a whole.  A several year technical or trade school can do a lot more for many individuals , while upgrading our work force.  Spending four years and many tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree without some notion of how that learning is to be applied is simply a costly long shot.   Countries with free, or close to free, higher education do not make it available for everyone - testing takes place at several levels - which essentially determine which students are fit for academic, or occupational, programs.

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