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Gordoncruickshank

Differing cruise prices between UK and US for 2022

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40 minutes ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

Would you consider booking in the US


I have booked with a US TA before now it just irks me that I should need to! 
 

 

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I agree. But uk just can’t match them for perks which always seems odd to me. I know we have other protections but if you have travel insurance you’re covered anyway. 
I also don’t know if it’s changed but with the us you can also change your room in the same category or take advantage of price drops - we high have never come my way!

 

just have to hope the dollar doesn’t tank!

Edited by hopeless holiday booker

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5 minutes ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

I agree. But uk just can’t match them for perks which always seems odd to me. I know we have other protections but if you have travel insurance you’re covered anyway. 
I also don’t know if it’s changed but with the us you can also change your room in the same category or take advantage of price drops - we high have never come my way!

 

Perk wise it's almost identical now. Celebrity are offering the Sail Your Way, Sail Plus and Sail All Included offers on both sides of the pond. The UK has slightly cheaper pricing for an identical product at the current exchange rate. 

As for the US big box TA's offering additional OBC you can find UK TA's offering cashback discounts also. 

Edited by Moby Jones

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1 hour ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

I've asked on board in the past and if you booked in the UK the booking goes to either to Celebrity UK or your UK TA.  


Definitely incorrect, I have assigned an onboard booking to a US TA when on a cruise booked thru’ a U.K. TA.

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For us it is now routine to check prices with both of our TA’s, one in the UK and one in the US. If we use the US agent we always go with the refundable deposit option. So slightly higher cost but inevitably cheaper than U.K. and always with a decent obc. Just booked a 2021 cruise and it was around £900 cheaper. So even with exchange rates it’s still worth doing. Plus, if the price drops before final payment our US TA will have it repriced. Another thing I like is that funds are paid directly to the cruise line and not held by the travel agent. 

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23 minutes ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

I agree. But uk just can’t match them for perks which always seems odd to me............

 

Not odd when you realise their business models.  US travel agents aren’t allowed to discount Celebrity price, so offer perks as an incentive to attract business.  In the U.K. travel agents are allowed to discount Celebrity UK prices - our U.K. TA discounts Celebrity U.K. prices by 11%.

 It is only in the last 6 months that the tide has changed in favour of booking via the US, since July 2016 the U.K. was always cheaper.

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2 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

 

Not odd when you realise their business models.  US travel agents aren’t allowed to discount Celebrity price, so offer perks as an incentive to attract business.  In the U.K. travel agents are allowed to discount Celebrity UK prices - our U.K. TA discounts Celebrity U.K. prices by 11%.

 It is only in the last 6 months that the tide has changed in favour of booking via the US, since July 2016 the U.K. was always cheaper.

 

The large ones do discount their block bookings. I've seen last minute deals cheaper with the largest US cruise TA than with Celebrity US direct. I once tried booking onboard but chose the US TA instead as they were cheaper than booking with Celebrity directly. When I queried this the 'block booking discount' was the excuse / reason X gave as to why they were more expensive. 

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Yes, Group Bookings are the exception which I have never found to be available in the U.K.  Don’t understand why when Celebrity offer minimum of 1 free cabin in 8 in the U.K.

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46 minutes ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

I know we have other protections but if you have travel insurance you’re covered anyway.
I also don’t know if it’s changed but with the us you can also change your room in the same category or take advantage of price drops - we high have never come my way!


I have written before on this forum that I think the ‘other protections’ is a red herring. I’ve been reading these boards for years now and have yet to read of a single instance where a European passenger obtained something that North Americans did not if something went wrong (because of our Consumer Protection Laws).  The very idea!

 

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9 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

Yes, Group Bookings are the exception which I have never found to be available in the U.K.  Don’t understand why when Celebrity offer minimum of 1 free cabin in 8 in the U.K.

 

A block booking is where a TA effectively purchases a large number of cabins and it's then left to them to sell them. If they don't manage to sell them all they can be offered at rock bottom rates very close to sail date. Less than booking with Celebrity directly. 

Not the same thing as a passenger with a group booking for a large party. 

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1 hour ago, Jossie1960 said:


Definitely incorrect, I have assigned an onboard booking to a US TA when on a cruise booked thru’ a U.K. TA.

 

Glad to hear it.  I tried on a summer cruise last year and they wouldn't so I didn't book, but pleased this is now an option.

 

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1 hour ago, Moby Jones said:

 

Perk wise it's almost identical now. Celebrity are offering the Sail Your Way, Sail Plus and Sail All Included offers on both sides of the pond. The UK has slightly cheaper pricing for an identical product at the current exchange rate. 

As for the US big box TA's offering additional OBC you can find UK TA's offering cashback discounts also. 

 

I just realised that I'm talking at cross purposes.  I book with a big box US company that at the moment is giving 4 perks and comparing it to the UK celebrity website and I also search a couple of other sites and they can't match.  I just booked a balcony on a cruise for feb 2021.  I got premium drinks, internet, gratuities, $300 on board credit plus an extra $300 as 10% back on onboard credit was being offered.  I have to say, best deal I have ever got so maybe I'm a bit biased at the moment!

Also, I do often get the TA's group booking price

Edited by hopeless holiday booker

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51 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

 

Not odd when you realise their business models.  US travel agents aren’t allowed to discount Celebrity price, so offer perks as an incentive to attract business.  In the U.K. travel agents are allowed to discount Celebrity UK prices - our U.K. TA discounts Celebrity U.K. prices by 11%.

 It is only in the last 6 months that the tide has changed in favour of booking via the US, since July 2016 the U.K. was always cheaper.

I don't think you're right as the exchange rate before 2015 was so good that you saved a lot by going to the US.  I'm not arguing as that's not my way it's just that I look a lot, like someone else said, you shouldn't have to.  I don't think we have the big box companies likes they do that do cruises.  But, on the other hand, I booked a last minute cruise this summer from Southampton to ireland and iceland and it was slightly cheaper here - so I booked it and it was fabulous😁

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It’s a bit of a minefield for us relatively new to cruising isn’t it? we’ve only been on one cruise and have a second booked for this August, I’ll admit to being a little nervous of using a US TA probably because of the exchange rates and do they all look out for price reductions for every customer they look after? Or do you have to chase them to do so? 
I booked direct with X for the upcoming cruise and I’m happy I can call them if I have a question, but have I missed out on a better deal - maybe? But I wouldn’t have a clue which US TA is a good one !!

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1 minute ago, Lolou127 said:

It’s a bit of a minefield for us relatively new to cruising isn’t it? we’ve only been on one cruise and have a second booked for this August, I’ll admit to being a little nervous of using a US TA probably because of the exchange rates and do they all look out for price reductions for every customer they look after? Or do you have to chase them to do so? 
I booked direct with X for the upcoming cruise and I’m happy I can call them if I have a question, but have I missed out on a better deal - maybe? But I wouldn’t have a clue which US TA is a good one !!

They do not look out for price reduction for you.  You have to look all the time.  Someone else should be able to answer the question about whether if you book directly with Celebrity UK they will honour a price drop I do not know.

To start off with, when booking your next cruise make sure you compare prices with UK travel agents.  That's an easy google find.   The prices change quite a lot with this perk and that which is why, when you book, you have to be happy with the price you pay and don't worry about what anybody else pays.

Also, when you're on board, and you meet some Americans or Brits, you can ask them who they used and then you increase your knowledge.

But most of all - just enjoy.

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18 hours ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

You may be able to help me. Can I transfer a cruise I book on board to the US TA?

 

 

You can transfer it to a US TA if the booking was in US$. You can book onboard and have the booking transferred to a US TA providing the booking is in dollars. You can book onboard in different currencies if you so wish i.e. multiple reservations in different currencies (I have done this previously).

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14 hours ago, Jossie1960 said:


Definitely incorrect, I have assigned an onboard booking to a US TA when on a cruise booked thru’ a U.K. TA.

 

 

Correct, providing you book your new cruise in US$, it doesn’t matter who your current cruise was booked with.

Edited by villauk

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1 minute ago, villauk said:

 

 

You can transfer it to a US TA if the booking was in US$. You can book onboard and have the booking transferred to a US TA providing the booking is in dollars. You can book onboard in different currencies if you so wish i.e. multiple reservations in different currencies (I have done this previously).

Thank you. So if I book in US$ on board I can transfer it to the US TA and still get the booking onboard benefits. I have now realised that, dependant on us actually doing the cruises we have booked, that we will be Zenith by the time we book this so I no longer need internet and beverage packages. Presumably I can do the booking without the perks or do they always follow suites?

 

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1 minute ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

Thank you. So if I book in US$ on board I can transfer it to the US TA and still get the booking onboard benefits. I have now realised that, dependant on us actually doing the cruises we have booked, that we will be Zenith by the time we book this so I no longer need internet and beverage packages. Presumably I can do the booking without the perks or do they always follow suites?

 

 

 

I find it easier to have the US TA’s information with me when I sort the booking onboard as the reps are not always ‘on the ball’. I tend to converse with my US TA first, getting all my included perks listed together with their pricing, and then check what they are offering me onboard (usually, just the extra OBC for booking onboard is the only difference). Once I have received the paperwork, I email my TA with the invoice numbers etc.  

 

I can’t answer regarding the included suite perks as we don’t sail in suites.

 

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6 minutes ago, villauk said:

 

 

Correct, providing you book your new cruise in US$, it doesn’t matter who you current cruise was booked with.

Thanks for this. It’s an important distinction. So pleased I look at these boards. Every day’s a school day😉

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14 hours ago, mickey89 said:

 

Not odd when you realise their business models.  US travel agents aren’t allowed to discount Celebrity price, so offer perks as an incentive to attract business.  In the U.K. travel agents are allowed to discount Celebrity UK prices - our U.K. TA discounts Celebrity U.K. prices by 11%.

 It is only in the last 6 months that the tide has changed in favour of booking via the US, since July 2016 the U.K. was always cheaper.

 

 

Yòu have to take into consideration the flexibility when booking in the US too - far more options of changing/altering the cruise or elements of it without penalties, unlike in the U.K. 

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:45 PM, hopeless holiday booker said:

Did you/can you book through the German site?

Update

i have had an email conversation with someone from the German site and they have given me their ta reference number to give to Celebrity on board so that is very doable. I also asked them about the pricing if we didn’t take the 4 perks (We should be zenith by then) and it looks like Celebrity will increase the price rather than reduce it as they are Are pushing the 4 perks as how they want to go in Germany. 
 

I think I am needing to find different agent in the us as I keep hearing about lots of obc, but I never see what I think was lots and they have not rushed back with the other quotes I asked for. Not great service so far. 
 

I tried the crowd who took over the Thomas Cook shops in the uk but I got the feeling that what I was getting as UK discount is in the ballpark. Meeting our UK ta on Monday but it looks like Celebrity are working on a future exchange rate of around $1.05 to the £ which I don’t see happening.

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What do you mean, as in what difference would it make what exchange rate they use?

5 minutes ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

Meeting our UK ta on Monday but it looks like Celebrity are working on a future exchange rate of around $1.05 to the £ which I don’t see happening.

 

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5 minutes ago, hopeless holiday booker said:

What do you mean, as in what difference would it make what exchange rate they use?

 

Most cruise prices are set in $s. When the sell in different currencies they have to rake a view on what they think the £ will be worth over the next 2 years and at the moment Celebrity are using what I feel is an unnaturally low rate. They obviously think the euro will be ok. 
 

I think it is a poor bet by Celebrity or Rccl, their masters. 

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1 minute ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

Most cruise prices are set in $s. When the sell in different currencies they have to rake a view on what they think the £ will be worth over the next 2 years and at the moment Celebrity are using what I feel is an unnaturally low rate. They obviously think the euro will be ok. 
 

I think it is a poor bet by Celebrity or Rccl, their masters. 


This is very interesting.  I am currently attempting to book in US $ onboard (awaiting the agency I used in the past to send me details of an Agent who deals with Celebrity) after discovering the significant difference.  First I contacted the UK Celebrity Agent I use, who has given excellent service. Bottom line, the difference (at an exchange rate of $1.30) is a staggering £700 on a one week Caribbean cruise on Apex!  The price in pounds was numerically greater than the dollar price (marginally) which suggests they may have some pricing at parity £ to dollar!! UK will not be getting this booking.

 

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