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Price Hikes! Holy Hot Dogs!


-The-True-North-
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Wowsers,

 

Has anyone else noticed the massive price hikes?! I monitor my 2 up coming cruises, and the price never changes except once a month when the new "promos" change.

 

Well that changed, because I just looked at my 2 upcoming 2024 cruises and they both are up 100%. That's right, DOUBLE what we paid.

 

Anyone else noticed this?

 

I hope the new promotion is 50% off cruises because this is crazy.

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Double?  THe cruise that I paid $2100 for is currently selling for over $9000.  A newbie could shave a little off with the MNVV, but it is even too late for the PIF 10%.   One good thing--if for any reason people who booked long ago can't cruise, they should have no difficulty reselling their bookings!  I could sell my cruise for what I paid for both the cruise and the air and they buyer would still be getting a great deal!

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We booked a rockstar suite on the next two voyages we have booked. You cannot even get a Sea View for what we paid the Sea View is 20% more than we paid for the suite. It just shows that it pays to book early, know what you want, and the bargains are still out there. 

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For the price I paid for 12 nights in a Seriously Suite next September (the day the itineraries were released), you can't even get an XL terrace now. 

Here's hoping the price increase doesn't come with a quality decrease. We all knew it was too good to last during the first 1-2 years, but I'd rather pay more than feel like I might as well be on NCL w/r/t quality. 

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I just looked at my cruise the end of September next year. It has doubled for the Sea Terrace. A friend who said "oh let me think about it" when I booked when they were released is now kicking themselves. I'm hoping that in December they have a good sale like they did last year. Their precursor to Wave season.

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One thing that is interesting is the cruise I booked last April that I'm going on in less than a month (which has not shown as available for a while now) suddenly has a bunch of available cabins including Rockstar suites of just about every type.  So I'm a bit curious what happened there.  The class of Rockstar suite I booked isn't available so I can't "directly" compare but the suite that is the next step down in normal cost is over $6k more than what I paid.  (This is for the Singapore to Sydney repositioning so the fare wasn't "cheap" to begin with).

 

Maybe this makes one of the upgrades I bid on more likely to clear....  One can dream.

 

(I will note, though, that the repositioning at the end of 2024 is cheaper than what I paid.  They changed the itinerary to have one less stop and it's the west side of Australia, though, so maybe that's why it's cheaper.)

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3 hours ago, Tralfaz1138 said:

One thing that is interesting is the cruise I booked last April that I'm going on in less than a month (which has not shown as available for a while now) suddenly has a bunch of available cabins including Rockstar suites of just about every type.  So I'm a bit curious what happened there.  Sydney repositioning so the fare wasn't "cheap" to begin with).

 

 

VV has a bit of a bizarre (in my opinion) policy.  A gold Tier travel agent can "hold" a limited number of cabins, including rockstar suites for 30 days while attempting to sell them.  If they do not sell in that time, they revert to VV's inventory, but there is nothing stopping another agent from grabbing them.  That's why suites seem to be gone for ages and then suddenly show up.  True, there is a rare person who reserves a suite and then cancels or upgrades to a higher level suite.  I guess it is a way for top level agents to have time to contact clients about their wants for upcoming cruises, but most lines allow this sort of thing for 24-72 hours if at all.  Others require that a name be attached, then the reservation returns to inventory if there is no payment in 24 hours.  Hey, VV wants to be different....but different is not aways better.  

My own agent has posted stuff like "I have this available for 3 more days at this cost, grab it now or you won't see this pricing again even if the cabin is available."  Gotta give an agent credit for doing all they can within the rules, but sometimes the rules don't make sense.

 

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Yup, actually called today to see if we could reschedule our February VL cruise to one of the other sailings within a month window.   Cost to reschedule at the same catagory and itinerary was going to double the cost of the cruise.  Ouch

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12 hours ago, cantgetin said:

A gold Tier travel agent can "hold" a limited number of cabins, including rockstar suites for 30 days while attempting to sell them.  If they do not sell in that time, they revert to VV's inventory, but there is nothing stopping another agent from grabbing them.  That's why suites seem to be gone for ages and then suddenly show up.

 

I'd read about this, and the cruise I'm on didn't have the "lower end" suites available when I booked, but then a couple of aft suites and a corner suite showed up.  I assumed they were "released" by a travel agent and I called VV to change out my XL sea terrace for an aft suite since the same deal I booked under was still available then and it applied to suites.

 

But looking at the cruise I'm on at the VV site, it shows all but the pretty big and biggest terrace aft suites available, plus a few Mega.  So it just seems odd TA's would have been squatting on that many suites for that long.

 

It's also interesting the prices for the suites are so high.  There's less than a month before the cruise, it's a 2 week cruise and the embarkation is half way around the world for US people at least.  So it doesn't seem like the type of thing someone jumps on with short notice.

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12 hours ago, cantgetin said:

VV has a bit of a bizarre (in my opinion) policy.  A gold Tier travel agent can "hold" a limited number of cabins, including rockstar suites for 30 days while attempting to sell them.

 

I met one of the top 100 agents for Virgin on our first sailing.

They told me that in order to take advantage of how Virgin handles things, they changed their whole business plan. It's obviously very important to have a steady supply of MNVV deposits available.

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That's what surprised me.

 

For the past year, Prices only seemed to fluctuate months to month based on the new promotions. I.e The base rate would go up or down based off the new discount. So the Big Red number change was only ever +/- a couple hundred.

 

Recently however, I have noticed that prices are skyrocketing within the same month and promotion. I read someone was waiting till payday to book their cruise this month and it has now doubled since October 1.

 

Very surprised by this.

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It's supply and demand and raising money for new ships, or to pay off pandemic debt, especially for main cruise lines. I was spoiled by dirt-cheap fares and low-occupancy ships after restart, but perhaps a recession or war would dampen cruising, or when the older generation of cruises passes on (which wouldn't impact Virgin so much). What I do, especially as a solo, is to monitor prices and look for deals, especially on cruiseplum, which has sections for hot deals, last-minute deals, and solo deals, which is where I found the incredible deal for the Barcelona-Rome 9-night cruise next October, that sold out rather quickly, evidently because it was the result of a ship delay and other cruises getting canceled. There are still relative deals for shorter cruises out of London before it goes to Barcelona. The one I'll be on is quite ideal, because I'm bored by the Caribbean, the other European trips for Virgin aren't terribly impressive, since partying in Ibiza isn't my thing, and I want the most time on board Virgin to appreciate it all. 

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inflation has caught up to the cruise industry. Most if not all lines are raising prices. Some last minute deals might appear on some ships but, gone are the day's of  "I got this cruise on a steal" . 

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We had a VV Rep on one of our YouTube livestreams a few months ago and she made it clear that VV was underpriced during the 'introductory phase' to get people to try out the cruise line. A normal course of business and at the time they were not concerned at all about the profit margin, just get people on the ships to show what they are all about. 

 

She also made it clear to expect that the cruise fares would be 'corrected' in the near future, certainly by 2024, to get them more in line with the quality provided. She also referenced that the investors wanted to see the pricing more in line with the service provided. This was months before the new investors were announced.  You can't give away all your restaurants, serve higher quality food than most other cruise lines, and keep undercharging. Something has to give eventually. 

 

From the beginning VV has followed the Disney model which Tom brought with him from DCL. Absolute best pricing is on the day fares are released with a slow and steady increase as we get closer to sailing. I've mentioned in previous posts that our Thanksgiving cruise on Valiant next month was more than double the original fare when it finally sold out. We're seeing more cruise lines introduce this model, like Princess announced last week. 

 

Now we can expect that the introductory price will be higher than it has in the past and the end pricing will be higher than it has been in the past. VV is riding the 'best cruise line awards' that have been bestowed by many cruise trades including CC. That big discount that hit in August was an absolute fluke and something that we may not see again for a while. 

 

It's not just the new CEO making these changes, the changes have been in the works for some time now to course correct the fares.  Even an MNVV with only $300 off the cruise fare is not all that much of a savings when it comes to the new pricing structure for certain itineraries. 

 

Now it's just a matter of how much will the market bear on the pricing changes? When I first saw the Disney Wish pricing for 3 and 4 night cruises I thought they were insane. But the market has proved me wrong. 🙂 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, CruisingWalter said:

We had a VV Rep on one of our YouTube livestreams a few months ago and she made it clear that VV was underpriced during the 'introductory phase' to get people to try out the cruise line. A normal course of business and at the time they were not concerned at all about the profit margin, just get people on the ships to show what they are all about

 

This is interesting.  We had actually booked one of the earliest cruises on Virgin for April 2020 when they had Cuba as a port for two days.  I remember thinking they were on the expensive side when we booked that (and we ended up cancelling when Cuba was removed and it was changed to just Key West and Bimini).  Then Covid derailed their inaugural voyage anyway so I imagine they had to change gears for the pricing on the new introductory phase to just get people back out there when they were the "new kids on the block".

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Disney vs. Virgin is an interesting comparison - Disney provides a product that nobody else does. Sailing with Disney characters, Disney production shows, Disney fireworks... it's the Disney theme park style of experience that really can't be compared with anyone else.  

 

I'm not sure if Virgin offers enough different to really demand the high prices that Disney does. The most unique thing about them is the no-kids policy. I guess we will see although I'm not seeing really big price hikes on Virgin yet but I'm looking at the cheap rooms haha. 

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2 minutes ago, Travel-and-See said:

Disney vs. Virgin is an interesting comparison - Disney provides a product that nobody else does. Sailing with Disney characters, Disney production shows, Disney fireworks... it's the Disney theme park style of experience that really can't be compared with anyone else.  

 

I'm not sure if Virgin offers enough different to really demand the high prices that Disney does. The most unique thing about them is the no-kids policy. I guess we will see although I'm not seeing really big price hikes on Virgin yet but I'm looking at the cheap rooms haha. 

💯!

 

I love our experience on VV. And I will continue to book *IF* the price is right. Without a doubt, the food and access to all restaurants is a great perk that would persuade me to book VV over Celebrity. But if the cruise is 3x the price is that enough... NOPE!

 

I will happily pay high prices for premium things, but it has to be justified. Disney is justified. VV to me would not be at the current price price.  Like $7k CAD now for French Daze Ibiza Nights.... 🤯. Who the hell would pay that?!

 

We booked it for under $3k CAD a month ago.

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