Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
amber1002

WARNING TO UK POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS WANTING TO BOOK EARLY

Recommended Posts

We booked a grand suite in July 2018 and have now seen a drastic reduction in the cost plus Royal Caribbean are throwing in free grats and wi fi. 

Royal Caribbean will not do anything so we would recommend that you do not book until a couple of months before the sailing if you don’t want the same disappointment as us.

Customer service said we would have to cancel our booking and lose 50% as we are 56 days out before the cruise  and then rebook. Great idea as it would then have cost us far more!

Maybe US customers are not treated the same way and probably if you booked a future cruise on board this would not apply. We have found that on board prices are far higher than our TA would charge so we have never done this.

We are posting this to warn others and the moral of the story seems to be, at least with Royal Caribbean, book early and pay more.

Just wanted to put this out there. We are diamond members but this will be our last Royal Caribbean cruise. It has left a very bad taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

 ... Maybe US customers are not treated the same way and probably if you booked a future cruise on board this would not apply.  ...

 

US/Canadian customers would also be losing significant money if they cancelled at the 56 day mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same applies around the globe.  Welcome to the world of fire sales to liquidate inventory after final payment date.  Typical revenue maximization across all product markets. 

 

It’s not a new policy or practice.  

Edited by StolidCruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are missing the point, I was being sarcastic when I mentioned the 50% loss. I was well aware of it but was just pointing out that some idiot in there Guatemalan office thought this would be a way to get the latest offer. About as useful as a chocolate teapot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Diamond members you would know how RCI prices fluctuate?  

Book early and get the cabin you want: book late and risk a poor cabin or even the cruise being sold out.

Book early and secure the cheaper fights when they go on sale: book late and pay higher flight charges.

 

UK on board bookings now permit one price drop and one swap of ship/date without penalty.   I'm sure you could book on board to get this perk and then move the booking to your TA for them to apply the discount.  They all work off the same pricing screen so I'm not sure why the on board would be significantly higher (although I have found they always try and sell you the highest grade and most expensive category rather than the lowest)

USA bookings clearly say that no price drops after final payment so they would be in exactly the same boat at the 56 day mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I feel terrible for you. On a similar note, we had booked all of our upcoming MED cruise excursions a few months ago. Suddenly, noticed prices had dropped so we simply canceled all of them )but ONE that one didn't come down in price) and re-purchased at the better rates. However I know you can't get that back cruise wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, StolidCruiser said:

Same applies around the globe.  Welcome to the world of fire sales to liquidate inventory after final payment date.  Typical revenue maximization across all product markets. 

 

It’s not a new policy or practice.  

Well, more fool everybody for booking  early. Very expensive lesson to learn.

However, have travelled many times with Celebrity and Oceania and have never lost out in booking early. Have only experienced this with RC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, little britain said:

As Diamond members you would know how RCI prices fluctuate?  

Book early and get the cabin you want: book late and risk a poor cabin or even the cruise being sold out.

Book early and secure the cheaper fights when they go on sale: book late and pay higher flight charges.

 

UK on board bookings now permit one price drop and one swap of ship/date without penalty.   I'm sure you could book on board to get this perk and then move the booking to your TA for them to apply the discount.  They all work off the same pricing screen so I'm not sure why the on board would be significantly higher (although I have found they always try and sell you the highest grade and most expensive category rather than the lowest)

USA bookings clearly say that no price drops after final payment so they would be in exactly the same boat at the 56 day mark.

Yes, know about fluctuations but they are usually upwards in my 25 years cruising experience. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a case of a few hundred pounds, but this is a decrease of about 1500 pounds which is harder to accept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry this happened to you but as already pointed out it would have been the same for everyone anywhere in the world this close to the sailing.

 

As far as UK cruisers losing out by booking early this is not always the case. My parents booked onboard last Sept for a cruise this coming Sept, they paid the price at the time that was on the UK website and being charged by UK TAs. Last week I noticed a big price drop on their cruise. They called and have saved over £1000. They are singing the praises of the staff in Guatemala.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

Yes, know about fluctuations but they are usually upwards in my 25 years cruising experience. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a case of a few hundred pounds, but this is a decrease of about 1500 pounds which is harder to accept.

So, in 25 years of cruising you have booked early many times, and that decision paid off over and over again.  Since you saw prices rise as the cruise approached, so you know booking early saved you money many times.  In those 25 years, how many thousands of pounds did you save by booking early?  Add it up.  Now, just this once, there is slack demand for one category of suites on one cruise, and prices dropped on your category after final payment (So UK or non-UK, too late for price adjustment, so let’s leave the UK business out of it), and suddenly you are read to abandon your successes strategy and start booking late?  Really?  And you want everyone else to do so based on your one report of one category on one sailing one year?  Come on, take a deep breathe and realize, on balance, your booking strategy has been just fine.  If you like to plan ahead and get your pick of suites, continue book early, and after final payment only watch for upgrade opportunities.  And remember though this happened on Royal Caribbean, other cruiselines also discount unsold cabins after final payment, so if you look, you will see other cruiselines do the same to cruisers.  Or is who are not picky about dates or cabin type or cabin location or having time to plan flights and excursions and such, wait until the last minute, and catch whatever decent deals there may be; you sometimes will pay more than those who booked early and sometimes you will pay less....it is not a uniformly better strategy.

Edited by Starry Eyes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Presumably you were more or less happy with the price you booked at? It can be quite galling to note hefty price drops, but thats how this game goes. I have encountered cruisers who booked two days before departure, for an absurdly low price. My thoughts then were: "well done you for hanging on until the latest date - l couldnt risk not getting my cruise!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Starry Eyes said:

So, in 25 years of cruising you have booked early many times, and that decision paid off over and over again.  Since you saw prices rise as the cruise approached, so you know booking early saved you money many times.  In those 25 years, how many thousands of pounds did you save by booking early?  Add it up.  Now, just this once, there is slack demand for one category of suites on one cruise, and prices dropped on your category after final payment (So UK or non-UK, too late for price adjustment, so let’s leave the UK business out of it), and suddenly you are read to abandon your successes strategy and start booking late?  Really?  And you want everyone else to do so based on your one report of one category on one sailing one year?  Come on, take a deep breathe and realize, on balance, your booking strategy has been just fine.  If you like to plan ahead and get your pick of suites, continue book early, and after final payment only watch for upgrade opportunities.  And remember though this happened on Royal Caribbean, other cruiselines also discount unsold cabins after final payment, so if you look, you will see other cruiselines do the same to cruisers.  Or is who are not picky about dates or cabin type or cabin location or having time to plan flights and excursions and such, wait until the last minute, and catch whatever decent deals there may be; you sometimes will pay more than those who booked early and sometimes you will pay less....it is not a uniformly better strategy.

 

Well said.  Can we trademark this and re-post it with every subsequent “poor me, my cruise was discounted after final payment and I feel screwed”  rant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, StolidCruiser said:

 

Well said.  Can we trademark this and re-post it with every subsequent “poor me, my cruise was discounted after final payment and I feel screwed”  rant?

As I’ve said, I have not experienced a price drop after final payment and that is why I book early.  I’m very pleased that you can afford to loose $2000 dollars on anything you book but unfortunately I can’t. So put that in the I can’t afford to get screwed rant! May your wealth continue!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

As I’ve said, I have not experienced a price drop after final payment and that is why I book early.  I’m very pleased that you can afford to loose $2000 dollars on anything you book but unfortunately I can’t. So put that in the I can’t afford to get screwed rant! May your wealth continue!

But you haven't lost it, you already paid it so you could afford it, you just didn't get a bargain deal either.  That can happen after final payment and is why I try not to look once I've locked in and passed the point I can't change.  And are you absolutely certain it was $2,000?  Some "deals" get lost in the final math when it's TA or Royal math!  I'm also assuming the free WiFi and gratuities are from a TA, not Royal, so argue with the TA they should at least extend those perks to your booking.  I expect the TA may have committed to cabins they'll have to pay for if they don't sell them so they're trying to fill them however they can.  Royal doesn't offer free gratuities that I'm aware of unless that's specific to the UK?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your comments both positive and negative. Some new cruisers , wherever they live, may not have the knowledge about these fluctuations and may think booking early is like booking flights early, ie they go up nearer time of flight.  I just wanted to make newbies aware.

Seem to have ruffled a few feathers along the way. We are all entitled to our own opinion. No more Royal Caribbean for me, Celebrity and Oceania only from now on, much better cruise lines anyway. BUT THAT IS ONLY MY OPINION . MATTER CLOSED,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ShillyShally said:

But you haven't lost it, you already paid it so you could afford it, you just didn't get a bargain deal either.  That can happen after final payment and is why I try not to look once I've locked in and passed the point I can't change.  And are you absolutely certain it was $2,000?  Some "deals" get lost in the final math when it's TA or Royal math!  I'm also assuming the free WiFi and gratuities are from a TA, not Royal, so argue with the TA they should at least extend those perks to your booking.  I expect the TA may have committed to cabins they'll have to pay for if they don't sell them so they're trying to fill them however they can.  Royal doesn't offer free gratuities that I'm aware of unless that's specific to the UK?

Gratuities and wi fi were offered by Royal Caribbean not TA. Yes, I’m sure it was approx $2000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, amber1002 said:

Gratuities and wi fi were offered by Royal Caribbean not TA. Yes, I’m sure it was approx $2000.

I've never seen that here for US bookings but I haven't had reason to be checking lately unfortunately!  I too would hate missing that much savings, but it's always a crap-shoot, if you had waited hoping for the deal you see now it could have sold out or never happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No more Royal Caribbean for me, Celebrity and Oceania only from now on, much better cruise lines anyway.

 

Just be aware that Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are the same company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the warning but we are going to ignore your advice. If we don't book early we won't get a cabin, as we need an accessible cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

 Some new cruisers , wherever they live, may not have the knowledge about these fluctuations and may think booking early is like booking flights early, ie they go up nearer time of flight. 

Like cruises, some flights do go down in price closer to flight day - ironically about the same time, about 60 days out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

Thank you for all your comments both positive and negative. Some new cruisers , wherever they live, may not have the knowledge about these fluctuations and may think booking early is like booking flights early, ie they go up nearer time of flight.  I just wanted to make newbies aware.

Seem to have ruffled a few feathers along the way. We are all entitled to our own opinion. No more Royal Caribbean for me, Celebrity and Oceania only from now on, much better cruise lines anyway. BUT THAT IS ONLY MY OPINION . MATTER CLOSED,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrity has the same policy as Royal Caribbean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, amber1002 said:

Gratuities and wi fi were offered by Royal Caribbean not TA. Yes, I’m sure it was approx $2000.

 

Can you ask for an upgrade to an Owners Suite if there's one available?  I think I would keep pounding your TA in the hopes they might be sick of hearing from you and get Royal to offer you more like the free gratuities and wi fi.  Tell them you'll take your business elsewhere etc.  You'll escalate your complaint etc.  They may not do anything but it's worth a try.  

Edited by torpeedo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My cruise prices just keep going up until sold out. I always book first day available and check prices daily. I can only assume the OP is sailing on one of the larger ships as I've not seen this on the smaller ones.

 

5 years ago prices changed on an hourly basis and you could always lock in a better deal before final......those days are gone! My TA next week has been basically sold out since December and prices doubled 1 year after release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Celebrity Edge in Europe Sweepstakes
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...