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Is there a better way to compare cruises??


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Some folks like the adventure of creating mock bookings to check prices and get out the door pricing. I am not one of those people.

 

Most large carriers post a cruise price that seems to be only a fraction of the actual final costs. For example, the base cruise price for my next cruise is roughly 40% of the final price.  I know there are a lot of buttons, knobs and levers you can press adding or subtracting upgrades, air, insurance, gratuities (which should be part of the base price), don't get me started on "Free at See" false advertising, or showing a price that next to free at see offers that does not include the offer -  so the question is not as strait forward as it may seem.

 

But, is there a site that does a better price of giving you the final price??

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1 hour ago, CrazyTrain2 said:

Some folks like the adventure of creating mock bookings to check prices and get out the door pricing. I am not one of those people.

 

Most large carriers post a cruise price that seems to be only a fraction of the actual final costs. For example, the base cruise price for my next cruise is roughly 40% of the final price.  I know there are a lot of buttons, knobs and levers you can press adding or subtracting upgrades, air, insurance, gratuities (which should be part of the base price), don't get me started on "Free at See" false advertising, or showing a price that next to free at see offers that does not include the offer -  so the question is not as strait forward as it may seem.

 

But, is there a site that does a better price of giving you the final price??

As you point out there are many options you may select which impact the actual final costs.  The best way to get to the final price is to work your way through those options.  You could also work with a real TA and I'm not referring to those big box TA like Xpedia, etc, but a real TA like the one I use.  

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1 hour ago, CrazyTrain2 said:

Some folks like the adventure of creating mock bookings to check prices and get out the door pricing. I am not one of those people.

 

Most large carriers post a cruise price that seems to be only a fraction of the actual final costs. For example, the base cruise price for my next cruise is roughly 40% of the final price.  I know there are a lot of buttons, knobs and levers you can press adding or subtracting upgrades, air, insurance, gratuities (which should be part of the base price), don't get me started on "Free at See" false advertising, or showing a price that next to free at see offers that does not include the offer -  so the question is not as strait forward as it may seem.

 

But, is there a site that does a better price of giving you the final price??

 

I feel your pain. They are posting partial information with no context and that can be confusing for someone who is just trying to make an informed decision.

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24 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

I feel your pain. They are posting partial information with no context and that can be confusing for someone who is just trying to make an informed decision.

Touché, But what if instead of actual prices they just put up a color coded system that you have no idea about your actual cruise charges or how much damage your credit card would take?  {your turn}

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8 minutes ago, CrazyTrain2 said:

Touché, But what if instead of actual prices they just put up a color coded system that you have no idea about your actual cruise charges or how much damage your credit card would take?  {your turn}

Crunch the numbers and toss them on a spreadsheet that will help make an informed decision 

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10 minutes ago, CrazyTrain2 said:

Touché, But what if instead of actual prices they just put up a color coded system that you have no idea about your actual cruise charges or how much damage your credit card would take?  {your turn}

 

It appears that we agree that BOTH methods are unhelpful.

 

We should then also agree that companies or individuals engaging in these methods are acting in bad faith and need to alter their unhelpful behavior. They think they are being helpful when, in reality, they are not.

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11 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

It appears that we agree that BOTH methods are unhelpful.

 

We should then also agree that companies or individuals engaging in these methods are acting in bad faith and need to alter their unhelpful behavior. They think they are being helpful when, in reality, they are not.

 

Not sure I agree with your premise sharky since I don't, but I did find using a good travel agent to be helpful information.  Perhaps focusing in on what is helpful rather than what might be unhelpful would be helpful.

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

As you point out there are many options you may select which impact the actual final costs.  The best way to get to the final price is to work your way through those options.  You could also work with a real TA and I'm not referring to those big box TA like Xpedia, etc, but a real TA like the one I use.  

We once had 3 cruises that fit our timeline and the itinerary we wanted after looking at the website of our TA. When we called him, we got the final price including all taxes, port fees, etc. The funny thing is that the one with the highest price on the website actually had the lowest price. Part of this was that it was on a cruise line that allowed him to discount, though he could not post that price on his website, but could quote it over the phone,

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12 hours ago, ontheweb said:

We once had 3 cruises that fit our timeline and the itinerary we wanted after looking at the website of our TA. When we called him, we got the final price including all taxes, port fees, etc. The funny thing is that the one with the highest price on the website actually had the lowest price. Part of this was that it was on a cruise line that allowed him to discount, though he could not post that price on his website, but could quote it over the phone,

You highlight an important fact that leads to many misunderstandings.  Too many assume that searching the web is the best way to determine the prices.  Many cruise lines prohibit TA from advertising any price other than what is on the cruise lines website.  Some cruise lines allow discounting by the TA while others don't. 

  

Some TA, prohibited from discounts offer a rebate instead.  A rebate differs from a discount in that a discount price is the price you pay while a rebate is a refund that is offered after the cruise is completed.  This forum forbids discussion of specific TA and their pricing.    

 

Customers that are the most price sensitive tend to book cheaper cabins where the effects of discounts/rebates are small.  A 10% discount on a $1000 cruise is $100.   A 10$ discount on a $10,000 cruise is $1000.  Which raises the question of whether it is worth the effort do do the research?

 

 

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2 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

..

 

Customers that are the most price sensitive tend to book cheaper cabins where the effects of discounts/rebates are small.  A 10% discount on a $1000 cruise is $100.   A 10$ discount on a $10,000 cruise is $1000.  Which raises the question of whether it is worth the effort do do the research?

 

 

 

Both are 10%, that is why percentages are percentages and not just hard numbers. :classic_smile:

 

With cruise only rates, packages, differences in OBC, refundable, non refundable, free this, free that.. the best thing to do is make your own notes. Write it down in a spreadsheet, a notebook and run the numbers.

 

We book with one US based travel agent most of the time because they are cheaper and have better conditions. We've booked through Dutch, British and US based companies over the years.

 

We now stick to one company/TA, we book through their website and one of the familiar names of their team will get in touch.

 

The one thing I haven't found yet is that wonderfull travel agent that is the cheapest, gives a ton of onboard credit and who keeps an eye on pricedrops, calls me up about those (rather not due to timezones LOL :classic_biggrin:) and gets me an upper suite for the price of an guarantee inside, with a big flower arrangement and the captain carrying my luggage. I know they excists! Because people rave about them, although in smaller ways then above of course.

 

What I don't believe is that such a personal TA is the cheapest at the bottom line.

 

I tend to think I am a Smart cruiser, by booking not with a too big or too small company, which gives me enough credit showed up front, has a user friendly site and good response to requests. The prices match the cruise line websites rates but with extra credit.

 

After booking I check a few times for a price drop through a mock booking and request a change to the booking, depending on the conditions.

 

That is my best practice experience. :classic_happy:

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