Posted February 16th, 2017, 07:15 AM
You'll always get different terms between different countries on all transactions, not just those relating to cruises. Yep, with cruises that mostly favours Americans - but that's life.
Strictly-speaking "only applies to our American guests" is incorrect.
It only applies to those who book in North America.
So you can get the same terms as our American cousins if you book thro a US travel agent as we did a time or two decades ago.
But there are difficulties. And cons as well as pros.
Firstly a lot of US cruise lines (I don't know if that includes Celebrity) will now only accept bookings via US T/As for North American residents (residents, not nationals, so in law there are no racial inequality issues).
If you have a willing and reliable friend in North America you can use that address.
Alternatively, some US T/As don't give a damn about cruise line policy and book using their own address.
There's a risk that cruise lines will not accept bookings (or even deny boarding) from those circumventing their rules, but I've not heard of that happening.
Bookings via US agents are usually cheaper than in the UK, though that advantage has significantly diminished over the years - the savings weren't worth the grief last time we checked a couple of years back.
Bookings via US agents have the major advantage that your deposit is not lost if you cancel before final payment day. (that kinda ties in with the price-promises).
- your money isn't safeguarded if, for example the US T/A goes belly-up or runs off to the South Seas with your money. I don't think there are any safeguards equivalent to ABTA. So you need to pay at least a minimum part of the fare by credit card in order to get the card safeguards. On the other hand, credit card payments in the US aren't usually subject to a commission fee as is common with UK T/As altho most credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee.
- Fares quoted in the US are normally exclusive of
ort fees and taxes. By law all mandatory extras must be included in UK / EU quotes (daily service charges generally aren't strictly mandatory, the reason why cruise lines can get away with not including them in UK / EU quotations)
- Contracts are in USD, so how much it'll cost you in sterling is at the mercy of exchange rates.
There's no standing price-promise on UK ships (I think P&O have now dispensed with theirs, because folk realised it was so tied up in conditions that it was meaningless), so switching to UK ships won't make any difference.
Heads they win, tails you lose.
The only way to get (hopefully) the best price is to hold off and watch prices drop close to the sailing date.
But there's a big risk that your preferred cruise will sell-out or sometimes prices rise close to sailing date, air fares are usually higher close to date, and you won't get the cabin etc of your choice.
If you're flexible that's the way to go. If you are set on a particular cruise or a particular date you have to bite the bullet & pay the price.
Finally, bear in mind that if you were happy with the price you agreed that shouldn't change simply because others got a better deal. Difficult I know, but that's the attitude to take or it'll spoil your enjoyment.
Anyone who looks like their passport photo is too ill to travel (Will Kommen)