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FlaMariner

Price Drop Strategy Help Needed

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Booked a Veranda (VD) for a fall TA and the price has dropped.  We are within the final payment window.

 

A Suite Guarantee is now within reach and is priced at $210pp more than what I paid for my VD.

 

Contacted TA and the word came back......"The promotion advertised is not available for existing guests so you would not be able to pay the difference at the price advertised and would have to pay the difference at the rate of your current promotion.  It would cost a couple of thousand more per person just to upgrade."

 

I replied with a request to note that I am interested in future upgrade offers.

 

Besides making the mistake of booking early, any suggestions on how to take advantage of the price drop? 

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Sounds like you are stuck, as you have to go through the TA you booked with.  If they cannot help you, no one can.

 

You might try asking on the roll call board for your cruise and see if anyone else is in the same situation and what they did and what the results were.  If they were able to get assistance from their TA, you might use this as a reason to retry your TA, pointing out the difference in results - they should get the message!

Edited by DaveOKC

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1 hour ago, FlaMariner said:

 

Besides making the mistake of booking early, any suggestions on how to take advantage of the price drop? 

Booking early isn't a mistake.   Cruise prices go up as well as down.  Would you have considered it a mistake had the price gone up?  Would you be contacting the T/A to get a price increase?

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13 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Booking early isn't a mistake.   Cruise prices go up as well as down.  Would you have considered it a mistake had the price gone up?  Would you be contacting the T/A to get a price increase?

Agree - I almost always book early , from 6-12 months prior.  I monitor the fares and when there is a price drop contact my TA/PCC and get an adjustment.  Booking early really helps in getting the cabin we want (if that is important to you).

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Hey RocketMan

 

It's a first world problem......

 

If prices went up, I'd be very happy.....and would hold tight and lay low.

 

Since prices went down, I'm asking to pay more to HAL to bump up my stateroom.  But was only asking and of course, as they did, HAL can price it as they wish.  And I can take it or leave it. That's fair.

 

Given we believe there is no bad stateroom on a HAL ship and given the really low rates I see on many cruises a couple of months from departure, I'm thinking we would be better off to stop booking early and go shopping closer to cruise time.  I used to panic about airfare but for kicks, went to flight ease and I can get across the pond for $352 two months out.  YMMV.

 

Smooth sailing........and I remain open to any tricks of the trade to snag an upgrade.

 

 

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Have your TA call back! We got a firm NO on any adjustments  when our cruise price dropped by a couple of thousand dollars after final payment. Our TA called back the next day and we were given credit for shore excursions, beverage cards, a cabin upgrade and $$ toward a future cruise. It can’t hurt and might help. 

 

Good Luck,

Denise

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10 minutes ago, FlaMariner said:

Given we believe there is no bad stateroom on a HAL ship and given the really low rates I see on many cruises a couple of months from departure, I'm thinking we would be better off to stop booking early and go shopping closer to cruise time.  I used to panic about airfare but for kicks, went to flight ease and I can get across the pond for $352 two months out.  YMMV.

 

 

I’m considering this strategy also. We are book on the Statendam for next September. It’s the repositioning Iberian Peninsula Cruise. The same cruise this year, one month out, still has plenty of cabins at half the price. It seems that this isn’t a cruise that sells out. If I wasn’t so chicken, I’d cancel now and wait until a couple months before the cruise to book. 

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Thanks Denise.....that's good to know.

 

Perhaps the strategy is to first drop the prices and they are telling everyone NO first to add new bookings....then the upgrades offers may start after the dust settles from that.

 

I'd really love to learn how the cruise ship software works to maximize their profit.  One of the great unanswered questions.

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Some cruises drop, some don't.  My South Pacific cruise only went up in price, and I booked it 2 years early.  My retired friends book last minute all the time.  I am stuck-I am not retired, and I can't go on vacation last minute.  I really need to plan at least 3 months out, and since I now go for a month or so, usually 6 months out.  Sometimes you are going somewhere it's difficult to get last minute airfare.  If you get a great price for an Australian cruise, but have to suffer in economy all the way there, can you deal with that?  Maybe the good hotels in the remote area you wanted to stay at after are gone.  It's all in what you can live with.  

Me, I have to book solo.  So I am not booking balconies any more-the single supplements kill me.  I usually book an MM guarantee.  But when the cruise starts having fire sale upgrades, that's when I pounce.  And I also monitor my cruise price the whole time.  My upcoming Panama canal cruise just dropped in price $150 and my TA got HAL to drop my price $500 (I still have no idea how she did that.)  

I don't live close enough to airports that I can pick up bargain airfares at the last minute.  But I do look forward to being retired so I do have the option of booking a cruise at the last minute.

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Denise is right: ask your TA to call back.  You may not be able to get a suite for $210pp extra, but you might get others.

 

For my parents' cruise last year on Princess, the price dropped after final payment.  Princess of course wouldn't refund, but instead upgraded them to higher categories of cabins.  Their friends were upgraded from an interior to a balcony.

 

Doesn't hurt to ask "what can you do."

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8 minutes ago, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

One question

Do TA get less commission if the price goes down on your invoice???

Yes.

 

However this is after final payment.  Cruise lines won't refare if pricing drops after final payment date, hence no impact on TA.  Usually upgrades are allowed as long as more money is collected from passengers, and more commissions to TA.

Edited by Selion

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Best way to get upsells - book cruises in the slow season and choose ships that by poor design have too many cabins in a certain category (such as Neptunes in the Vista class ships).

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6 hours ago, FlaMariner said:

Booked a Veranda (VD) for a fall TA and the price has dropped.  We are within the final payment window.

 

A Suite Guarantee is now within reach and is priced at $210pp more than what I paid for my VD.

 

Contacted TA and the word came back......"The promotion advertised is not available for existing guests so you would not be able to pay the difference at the price advertised and would have to pay the difference at the rate of your current promotion.  It would cost a couple of thousand more per person just to upgrade."

 

I replied with a request to note that I am interested in future upgrade offers.

 

Besides making the mistake of booking early, any suggestions on how to take advantage of the price drop? 

Be persistent. Make sure your TA is actually calling them. Call them yourself. Their sales people are always willing to talk, especially if you are a former HAL cruiser. The last time I had a similar issue it took six calls, and some additional emails, but they did relent. 

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Do you think the TA you use has an impact on this?

 

I use the one that has the 90 day list and use them because when I've compared prices, they alway win....but perhaps after booking, they are not as hands on?

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4 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Best way to get upsells - book cruises in the slow season and choose ships that by poor design have too many cabins in a certain category (such as Neptunes in the Vista class ships).

This is true. We always book Signature Suites and ALWAYS get up sell offers to Neptune Suites about a week out.  So far, we've never taken one but we have been tempted. I like the idea of knowing our cabin and if you take an up sell I think you take your chances on what NS cabin you will get. 

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9 hours ago, FlaMariner said:

Contacted TA and the word came back......"The promotion advertised is not available for existing guests so you would not be able to pay the difference at the price advertised and would have to pay the difference at the rate of your current promotion.  It would cost a couple of thousand more per person just to upgrade."

 

Is that your TA’s policy response or is it HAL’s?  It doesn’t fall in line with my experiences booking direct with a HAL PCC.

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If choice of cabin isn't important, then booking at the last minute works.  I prefer a certain cabin on each ship, except the two we haven't sailed yet.  Give us another year or two, and we'll be able to say we've cruised on every HAL ship.  Because I want a certain cabin, we normally book 12 months out; however, we have 4 cruises on hold for 2020 and beyond.  I check prices all the time, and we recently got a good reduction on our Christmas/New Year's cruises and kept the goodies HAL offered at the time of booking (a year ago).  Our PCC even added some more onboard credit which I didn't realize until I looked at my account.  I was pleasantly surprised (and thrilled, of course).

 

After final payment (coming up Sept. 22 and 29), I purposely won't check prices anymore.  For those who have gotten better fares after the fact, so to speak, I think that's wonderful.  I tried it once and was told I could do it, but I wouldn't keep the same cabin.  I would have to rebook and lose some money in the process.  It made no financial sense, IMO.

 

As to when to book, I don't think there a magic bullet.  There's something to be said for early and close-to-sailing booking.  It's all in what's important to the passenger, and each person must prioritize those choices for himself/herself.     

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Yes, I think using certain TAs absolutely matters. Although your TA is known for having very low prices, I think they specialize in selling unsold cabins at the last minute more than booking ahead. When I booked my 20 day Hawaii cruise, I checked with her on a price as it was a cruise I always wanted to do, but the price was very high and that was before booking as a single. Her agency had blocked off a bunch of cabins and so got me a super deal as a solo. I booked an inside guarantee, I was switched to an outside guarantee free since  I booked so early and I snagged an upsell to a balcony and wound up in a spa balcony. I pay a bit more, but she always let's me know about upsells, and gets me compensation in either shipboard credit or upgrades if there is a price drop. She's gotten me the best solo rates I've ever dreamed of-somehow now I get casino rates, even though I don't gamble. 

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I am one who books early, I book the exact cabin in the exact location that will make me happy, if the price drops, then I get the lower rate on the cabin I booked.  I don't feel booking early is a mistake either.....for me, I like my cabin in a certain area of the ship on a certain deck, so one reason I do book early.  

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I’ve found over time it Is best to book early with some perks.   I have been able to reface if price drops.   Watching after final payment, some times the price drops further but without perks like free grats.    So I prefer to plan ahead, pick a great cabin and watch the fares. Best of all worlds.  And lately a lot of prices have increased vastly to the point that after final payment they are the same as I got earlier but without any perks.   Of course on less popular cruises anything is possible, but  this years Japan circumnavigation only went up.  

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2 hours ago, bennybear said:

I’ve found over time it Is best to book early with some perks.   I have been able to reface if price drops.   Watching after final payment, some times the price drops further but without perks like free grats.    So I prefer to plan ahead, pick a great cabin and watch the fares. Best of all worlds.  And lately a lot of prices have increased vastly to the point that after final payment they are the same as I got earlier but without any perks.   Of course on less popular cruises anything is possible, but  this years Japan circumnavigation only went up.  

I agree with booking early for the same reasons as above. Also, when booking early, I have been able to take advantage of Amex offers, additional OBC if HAL decides to change the itinerary ( it happened 3 out of 6 cruises with HAL), and also take more time to shop for the best airfare.

 

That said, my best deals were on short notice, 2 to 4 weeks before sailing.

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Interesting about the schedule change. Our last one had one after final payment and nothing was done, even though it caused big changes for  excursions.   On our next cruise there have been two port changes with nothing. Only time we received anything was when everything changed except embarkation and debarkation ports. 

Wondering what others have Found?

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