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Princess pricing - brochure vs elsewhere


Katie333

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Hey all,

 

I'm trying to understand some price variation I've been seeing and hope people have some insight. I'm looking into a Princess cruise for February 2010. In the brochure, the price for a balcony is $899 USD. I realize this is the starting fare for the lowest category + the extras like port fees, government fees etc. When I add that all in, it works out to $962 (not adding the fuel surcharge) for a BF room.

 

Everywhere I read, it says never pay brochure, but oddly I'm having a hard time getting a price that is equlivalent, never mind lower than said price.

 

I'm getting quotes that range from $1126 to $1300 USD for the same category, and I'm rather confused. Maybe I'm just looking too early?

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If this is your first cruise, I would suggest finding a TA who's a cruise specialist as they would know the in's and out's of finding a good price on a cruise. Often there's a "and up" rate which means that it can vary by date and cabin category, as well as other factors. Plus you may qualify for other special discounts. If you're just going into an online site, it will be hard to compare, as often the port taxes, etc. may not be included. You need a person to actually look into all that for you.

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I know that sounded like a newbie question, but this is our eighth cruise and I'm just a bit confounded because I've not experienced this before. We book online or with a TA and neither one can offer us a better price than I've quoted.

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Are you looking at a brochure that you rec'd through the mail? Most of the brochures I receive from Princess will quote the lowest rate on a grid and then there will be fine print that states it is only for a certain sailing date (usually just one date among many).

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Have you looked for an * or fine print? Sometimes the price on the grid is for 1 date only and others are priced different. Someone also mentioned that certain areas are cheaper now that prices have been lowered and other sources on line can't keep up with Princess site. I have had this happen many times. It is like roulette and the lottery combined. Good Luck!

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Hey all,

 

I'm trying to understand some price variation I've been seeing and hope people have some insight. I'm looking into a Princess cruise for February 2010. In the brochure, the price for a balcony is $899 USD. I realize this is the starting fare for the lowest category + the extras like port fees, government fees etc. When I add that all in, it works out to $962 (not adding the fuel surcharge) for a BF room.

 

Everywhere I read, it says never pay brochure, but oddly I'm having a hard time getting a price that is equlivalent, never mind lower than said price.

 

I'm getting quotes that range from $1126 to $1300 USD for the same category, and I'm rather confused. Maybe I'm just looking too early?

 

The prices on the Princess website are lower than posted.

 

When I price a cruise on some cruiseline sites the prices are lower.

 

Some sites like RCL , Celeb & NCL don't have any posted sites.

 

Most cruiselines have at least a 20% discount from their

 

posted prices.:cool::cool:

 

You can also use Princess "Travel Agent Locator" . If you don't have

 

internet call Princess and ask for the name of a TA near where you

 

live.:):)

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OK, I think most of the mystery has been solved.

 

This is an actual full brochure price which I found in the Princess 'Americas' cruise book. It's got all the cruises leaving from North American ports for the 2009-2010 season. We got it from the Future Cruise consultant on board the Coral Princess last week. I just checked the online downloadable (thanks Cruisin Chris) brochure and it still has the $899 starting price.

 

However, the 'starting' from price varies depending on the date, as has been mentioned here. This particular sailing (Caribbean Princess Feb 7/10 Southern) is one of MANY times this particular run is made. Apparently the November 2009 sailings are the ones available at that rate. Always read the fine print! ;) Thanks gang.

 

Unfortunately I can't compare the specific Princess site price for this cruise, because it auto converts the price to Canadian dollars and the Princess exchange rate is always terrible so it's hard to work backwards to get the USD equivalent (and I book in USD to save on the exchange rate).

 

I don't suppose anyone can check the Princess site for the Feb 7th sailing of the Caribbean Princess to see what the actual rate is?

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If you look at the brochure, the prices say "starting at" $899 or whatever. That is for the least expensive sail date within the year the brochure was published. There is usually only one date at that price and it's usually not a convenient date.

 

Never, ever go by the brochure rates. Most TAs will discount Princess' prices and will work to get you the very best price they can. Usually, there are specials and promos that the average person won't know about.

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Up to Nov 14, 2008 Princess used a US to Cdn $ at par. Effective Nov 15/08 they increased the Cdn prices by 25% to reflect the weaker Cdn $. If you have US $ and a US credit card it may be more beneficial for you to pay in US funds.

 

 

OK, I think most of the mystery has been solved.

 

This is an actual full brochure price which I found in the Princess 'Americas' cruise book. It's got all the cruises leaving from North American ports for the 2009-2010 season. We got it from the Future Cruise consultant on board the Coral Princess last week. I just checked the online downloadable (thanks Cruisin Chris) brochure and it still has the $899 starting price.

 

However, the 'starting' from price varies depending on the date, as has been mentioned here. This particular sailing (Caribbean Princess Feb 7/10 Southern) is one of MANY times this particular run is made. Apparently the November 2009 sailings are the ones available at that rate. Always read the fine print! ;) Thanks gang.

 

Unfortunately I can't compare the specific Princess site price for this cruise, because it auto converts the price to Canadian dollars and the Princess exchange rate is always terrible so it's hard to work backwards to get the USD equivalent (and I book in USD to save on the exchange rate).

 

I don't suppose anyone can check the Princess site for the Feb 7th sailing of the Caribbean Princess to see what the actual rate is?

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Cruise Lines used to publish the so-called "List" price (sort of like automobile MSRP's) in their brochures, so that they (and TA's) could show the actual market price as a huge discount - no-one ever paid that "List" price. I beleive Princess has gone away from this, I did see "List" prices (alongside the "Discount" price in recent Carnival Brochures.

 

The prices in the Princess brochures are now Early Booking Discount EBD prices at the time the brochures were published. Those were the actual going rate (Princess) at that time.

 

In comparing cruise fares: Ads will often "summarize" by advertising something like Alaska Cruises from $499. That does not mean ALL Alaska Cruises - when you research further you'll find that that specific fare is for the lowest (cheapest, lowest passenger deck, either way FWD or way AFT) cabin Category in the least popular (cheapest) sailing for that ship (like May or September for Alaska).

 

To do a cruise fare comparison, you have to compare advertised rates for the Same Ship, same sailing date, same Category Cabin. Princess.com breaks down the CruiseFare and the Port Fees & Taxes - you need to do same for competitors ads.

 

Travel Agents can put you in groups (you never see the actual Group) to get a less expensive group booking rate and various perks, and they often give Sailaway gifts, free Trip Insurance, or OnBoard Credit that they pay for out of their commission.

 

ken

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