Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
pokerpro5

Here is what I believe NCL's reopening pricing plan will be, once things get going again

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

I would imagine the perk based model has changed spending habits and many will gladly pay for offers with perks but if it's not included in their perks, they're not going to pay for anything on board.

Not really.

Many perks are not worth much unless you are going to use them.

There have been many.

2 hours free phone calls

$50 off overpriced excursions

Booze package, but charge you a service charge

60 minutes of internet, but charge you an activation fee

dining package, but charge you a service charge.

We all know that those service charges are not going to the servers or bartenders.

 

Its the perception, "Get all 5 Free"....except you must pay service charges for your free stuff.  

Compare MSC with NCL drinks. MSC $6.00 NCL $15+

I have an upcoming cruise that my beverage service charge is $1782.00   and thats for my free perk. Yes its $1782.00 !

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Not really.

Many perks are not worth much unless you are going to use them.

There have been many.

2 hours free phone calls

$50 off overpriced excursions

Booze package, but charge you a service charge

60 minutes of internet, but charge you an activation fee

dining package, but charge you a service charge.

We all know that those service charges are not going to the servers or bartenders.

 

Its the perception, "Get all 5 Free"....except you must pay service charges for your free stuff.  

Compare MSC with NCL drinks. MSC $6.00 NCL $15+

I have an upcoming cruise that my beverage service charge is $1782.00   and thats for my free perk. Yes its $1782.00 !

Steve

 

Now because you feel over charged on the free at sea perks, aren't you less like to spend additional money on board?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

Now because you feel over charged on the free at sea perks, aren't you less like to spend additional money on board?

I never spend anything on board.  I also dont use most of the perks.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

I would imagine the perk based model has changed spending habits and many will gladly pay for offers with perks but if it's not included in their perks, they're not going to pay for anything on board.

A significant spend of the perk inclusions  is the overall price of the cruise.    Some people talk themselves  into the "great deal"-  thinking it's only the extra charge of the gratuities.    These cruises can also be hundreds more compared to sail away rates.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2020 at 8:53 PM, pokerpro5 said:

 

 

 

Here's an example of an actual good deal:  On my last cruise, I got an inside cabin on deck 11 (very close to my first room, a balcony cabin) for $249 with the single supplement fee waived, plus one free-at-sea choice.

 

 

You still have not disclosed the details of this "deal'.   ????      Was it a casino offer?    What cruise are you referring to?    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Not really.

Many perks are not worth much unless you are going to use them.

There have been many.

2 hours free phone calls

$50 off overpriced excursions

Booze package, but charge you a service charge

60 minutes of internet, but charge you an activation fee

dining package, but charge you a service charge.

We all know that those service charges are not going to the servers or bartenders.

 

Its the perception, "Get all 5 Free"....except you must pay service charges for your free stuff.  

Compare MSC with NCL drinks. MSC $6.00 NCL $15+

I have an upcoming cruise that my beverage service charge is $1782.00   and thats for my free perk. Yes its $1782.00 !

Steve

That was the thing that shocked me about NCL.  It's like buying someone a present and then charging them to wrap it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, joeyancho said:

That was the thing that shocked me about NCL.  It's like buying someone a present and then charging them to wrap it. 

That's funny. 😁

steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

 

You still have not disclosed the details of this "deal'.   ????      Was it a casino offer?    What cruise are you referring to?    

 

NCL Escape

West Caribbean from Miami 7 days, November (not Thanksgiving)

$479 for balcony 

No single supplement charge (1 person was booked in room)

 

Not a casino offer

 

I said $249 earlier for an inside, but I was getting cruises confused.  That was a previous cruise where I got an inside.  This one I got a second balcony for $479 with no single supplement.

Edited by pokerpro5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Not really.

Many perks are not worth much unless you are going to use them.

There have been many.

2 hours free phone calls

$50 off overpriced excursions

Booze package, but charge you a service charge

60 minutes of internet, but charge you an activation fee

dining package, but charge you a service charge.

We all know that those service charges are not going to the servers or bartenders.

 

Its the perception, "Get all 5 Free"....except you must pay service charges for your free stuff.  

Compare MSC with NCL drinks. MSC $6.00 NCL $15+

I have an upcoming cruise that my beverage service charge is $1782.00   and thats for my free perk. Yes its $1782.00 !

Steve

 

Agree.  The "free drinks" package is a joke because they just jacked up the base price and charge you that BS mandatory "service charge" of 20% or whatever.  Fortunately I don't drink so I just decline it.

 

Also agree about the excursions.  Even with $50 off they're a terrible value, and you're stuck in a large group usually.  No thanks.  I do my own excursions.

 

The internet and the dining package are the only good "perks".  I'm usually able to get them to upgrade the internet package to unlimited for a reasonable upcharge.  Each ship has a different policy on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That was the thing that shocked me about NCL.  It's like buying someone a present and then charging them to wrap it. 

 

I’ve cruised a lot, but my rescheduled for dry dock, then rescheduled for Covid-19 POA cruise will be my first on NCL if we ever get to go. I was shocked when I learned I had to pay the gratuities on my “free” beverage package.

 

The price of the package was also stunning, but I suppose that’s so they can try to fool people with the “value” of a package that doesn’t even include water or specialty coffee and grab all those gratuities.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

Now because you feel over charged on the free at sea perks, aren't you less like to spend additional money on board?

Actually, when they added the fees to Haven bookings after all the other cuts was the nail in the coffin.

 

So for us, yes, zero spend onboard because we aren't booking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pokerpro5 said:

 

NCL Escape

West Caribbean from Miami 7 days, November (not Thanksgiving)

$479 for balcony 

No single supplement charge (1 person was booked in room)

 

Not a casino offer

 

I said $249 earlier for an inside, but I was getting cruises confused.  That was a previous cruise where I got an inside.  This one I got a second balcony for $479 with no single supplement.

Plus port charges, taxes ,fee's?  Total cost out the door?

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Plus port charges, taxes ,fee's?  Total cost out the door?

Steve

I had  multiple cruises like this all last year through sailing this year.   What hasn’t been mentioned-  the jackpot of NCL-  is the Cruise Next redemptions.    They have been double since last May on any cabin.      There were at least 3 times last year I had to prepay service charges to get the total over $500.     I’m also talking solo rates.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They definitely keep tinkering with things.  Recently dropped a night of specialty dining and dropped the $200 OBC and the three cruises I was watching then correspondingly dropped by $100 per person....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been extensively been studying the cruise industry pricing model over the years, especially NCL, and have an excellent record regarding predicting pricing trends.
 
Based upon my studies of the recent (pre-COVID-19) pricing scheme, as well as current prices, I have applied it to come up with a theory as to the way NCL will price cruises once everything restarts
 
Be aware this is only a theory and not based upon any inside information, but I would be surprised if the actual situation turns out to be vastly different from what I have deduced.
 
1) Prices will remain high for as long as a substantial amount of recently-issued FCC remains unspent.  NCL needs desperately cash right now, hence their very difficult (and intentionally slow) behavior regarding refunds.  However, they also need to survive going forward, so they do not want the FCC they issued to be used to snag cruise bargains.  If bargains are to be had, they want that to come from new money, rather than already-captive money.  Thus, prices will be continue to be fixed artificially high until they feel a sufficient amount of the FCC has been spent.  Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis when cruises pass final payment date, depending upon booking levels (see below).
 
2) Prices for suites and mini-suites (now called 'club suites') will remain similar to what you remember before.  If you're looking for a deep discount on a suite when cruising returns, you're going to be disappointed.  Suites are a premium product which the industry (not just NCL) has long resisted discounting, as they do not want to degrade the perceived value of the product.  Since suites do not make a large percentage of the ship, NCL will let these go unsold if they don't manage to fill up at "normal" prices, and then use the bidding upgrade process to fill them (again, see below).
 
3) Prices for inside/oceanview/balcony rooms will be fairly similar to what you remember, prior to final payment date.  NCL does not want to attract an entire ship full of bargain cruisers, as this affects them in two ways.  First, these people pay less fare, so NCL makes less money up front.  Second, these people tend to be frugal in general, and are the least desired customers.  A ship full of these type of people (I'm one of them, by the away) would be a disaster for NCL, and they would lose money.  Additionally, if they sell these rooms at a discount prior to final payment date, many people (including FCC users) will notice and re-price their cruise to the current bargain rates.  Therefore, even in a terrible market (which it will be), they will attempt to sell as many non-suite staterooms as possible at "normal" prices, and you will not see deep discounts.  The deep discounts will appear once the 50% cancellation penalty phase begins (90 days before cruising, based upon the pre-COVID19 policy).  Want to know how the discounts will happen?  Once again, see below.
 
4) The deep discounts will be on inside cabins only at first, and the upgrade bidding system will be utilized to fill all other cabin types, as much as possible.  The discounts will be tremendous, but you may have to wait a bit, as they will likely come in phases, starting at the 90-day mark prior to sailing.  They will keep discounting these rooms as much as possible until they start selling.  You might see some of these go for practically nothing.  If they are not getting enough bids for upgrades to oceanview and above on a particular ship, they will start pushing existing reservation holders on that ship to do upgrade bids (via e-mail solicitations).  If they still don't get enough upgrades to oceanview and/or balcony, then those prices will drop as well.  Keep in mind that this was already their existing pricing policy BEFORE COVID-19, but you will see it take place even more often as they struggle to get people on cruise ships again.
 
5) Unsold mini/club-suites and suites will be filled by upgrading balcony pasengers.  You will perhaps even see phone calls being made offering flat price upgrades if there are not enough bidding upgrades.  If you have a balcony room, you might want to throw a cheap upgrade bid in for fun.
 
 
So how can you best use this information to your advantage?  Glad you asked.
 
First off, DO NOT make a cash booking right now.  Seriously.  Don't.  Keep that credit card firmly in your wallet.  NCL is on very rough seas right now, and there's a chance they may sink.  If they survive, there will be PLENTY of opportunity to book later.
 
If you have an FCC, DO NOT book anything except for a suite right now.  If you do, you're almost 100% going to get a bad deal, even with the "20% discount" being offered.  Do not assume you're getting a good deal by comparing the previous price you paid to the one being offered now.  The markets are not at all comparable!  However, if you're booking a suite, then go ahead and book now if you have FCC, provided that the price you're paying isn't HIGHER than what you got it for initially.  If the price appears high, just wait.  It will come down to normal when most of the FCC gets spent.  Trust me.
 
If you have an FCC and want to cruise in an inside/oceanview/balcony, DO NOT BOOK NOW.  You will be getting a horrible deal compared to the open market, as described above.  There will be PLENTY of these rooms open on future cruises.  And when I say plenty, I mean P-L-E-N-T-Y!  They are going to immensely struggle to fill these rooms.  Therefore, wait until at least 90 days before your cruise, and then start price-watching.  Do not jump on the first good deal you see at that point.  Watch closely, and only book when it seems the prices are hitting bottom.
 
If you really want to gamble for a balcony room for the very best price, book a bargain INSIDE cabin as described above after the 90-day mark, and then try submitting a fairly cheap upgrade to a balcony.  Decent chance you'll get it.
 
Of course, before you do any of this, make sure flights are available and reasonably priced before locking yourself into a cruise in this fashion.
 
I will bump this thread when everything gets going again, and you'll see I was correct.
 
Happy booking!

I booked for 2/14/21 on a Black Friday special. A couple of weeks ago it was higher than I paid. Now it is down almost 20%. I called my PCC for a price adjustment. I was very surprised it went down. Your logic seems very solid.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, BonnieJeanne said:


I booked for 2/14/21 on a Black Friday special. A couple of weeks ago it was higher than I paid. Now it is down almost 20%. I called my PCC for a price adjustment. I was very surprised it went down. Your logic seems very solid.
 

 

Hi, if you don't have a suite, I would suggest cancelling entirely and booking November 16 (the 90 day mark).  It will NOT sell out (nobody wants to cruise now due to the coronavirus), and you will get a much better deal a month after final payment (the 50% penalty phase).

 

You will also protect yourself against losing money in the case that NCL collapses before then, which is a real possibility. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BonnieJeanne said:


I booked for 2/14/21 on a Black Friday special. A couple of weeks ago it was higher than I paid. Now it is down almost 20%. I called my PCC for a price adjustment. I was very surprised it went down. Your logic seems very solid.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Problem is,  logic isn't a perimeter,    Many factors go into the pricing,  and being this is a totally different situation,  I don't find the past will have much to do with future prices.    

 

There is no way to predict the future,  no matter what anyone proclaims.    🙂    I gave up a long time ago.   And can certainly can qualify as a very frequent cruiser.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Problem is,  logic isn't a perimeter,    Many factors go into the pricing,  and being this is a totally different situation,  I don't find the past will have much to do with future prices.    
 
There is no way to predict the future,  no matter what anyone proclaims.        I gave up a long time ago.   And can certainly can qualify as a very frequent cruiser.    

I’m going to risk the deposit and hope they don’t go out of business. Final payment due 10/17 so will decide then, meanwhile watching the price. Also considering what will happen to flight prices if I wait until last minute, and whether I’ll get dinner and show reservations in days and times I prefer by waiting.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2020 at 4:57 PM, mscdivina2016 said:

I never spend anything on board.  I also dont use most of the perks.

Steve

Then why do you not book the fare without the perks????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Problem is,  logic isn't a perimeter,    Many factors go into the pricing,  and being this is a totally different situation,  I don't find the past will have much to do with future prices.    

 

There is no way to predict the future,  no matter what anyone proclaims.    🙂    I gave up a long time ago.   And can certainly can qualify as a very frequent cruiser.    

 

There is just about zero chance that they sail at higher prices, given the MUCH reduced demand.

 

You are correct that the past will have little to do with future prices, given this unprecedented situation, but something predictable is the fact that it will be cheaper after final payment date -- perhaps dirt cheap.  There is zero chance that there's going to be incredible demand for cruising once this is all over.  The public is terrified of cruising, and given the "older" population which typically cruises, that's exactly the people who will be most vulnerable and afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2020 at 4:45 AM, pokerpro5 said:

I have been extensively been studying the cruise industry pricing model over the years, especially NCL, and have an excellent record regarding predicting pricing trends.

 

Based upon my studies of the recent (pre-COVID-19) pricing scheme, as well as current prices, I have applied it to come up with a theory as to the way NCL will price cruises once everything restarts

 

Be aware this is only a theory and not based upon any inside information, but I would be surprised if the actual situation turns out to be vastly different from what I have deduced.

 

1) Prices will remain high for as long as a substantial amount of recently-issued FCC remains unspent.  NCL needs desperately cash right now, hence their very difficult (and intentionally slow) behavior regarding refunds.  However, they also need to survive going forward, so they do not want the FCC they issued to be used to snag cruise bargains.  If bargains are to be had, they want that to come from new money, rather than already-captive money.  Thus, prices will be continue to be fixed artificially high until they feel a sufficient amount of the FCC has been spent.  Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis when cruises pass final payment date, depending upon booking levels (see below).

 

2) Prices for suites and mini-suites (now called 'club suites') will remain similar to what you remember before.  If you're looking for a deep discount on a suite when cruising returns, you're going to be disappointed.  Suites are a premium product which the industry (not just NCL) has long resisted discounting, as they do not want to degrade the perceived value of the product.  Since suites do not make a large percentage of the ship, NCL will let these go unsold if they don't manage to fill up at "normal" prices, and then use the bidding upgrade process to fill them (again, see below).

 

3) Prices for inside/oceanview/balcony rooms will be fairly similar to what you remember, prior to final payment date.  NCL does not want to attract an entire ship full of bargain cruisers, as this affects them in two ways.  First, these people pay less fare, so NCL makes less money up front.  Second, these people tend to be frugal in general, and are the least desired customers.  A ship full of these type of people (I'm one of them, by the away) would be a disaster for NCL, and they would lose money.  Additionally, if they sell these rooms at a discount prior to final payment date, many people (including FCC users) will notice and re-price their cruise to the current bargain rates.  Therefore, even in a terrible market (which it will be), they will attempt to sell as many non-suite staterooms as possible at "normal" prices, and you will not see deep discounts.  The deep discounts will appear once the 50% cancellation penalty phase begins (90 days before cruising, based upon the pre-COVID19 policy).  Want to know how the discounts will happen?  Once again, see below.

 

4) The deep discounts will be on inside cabins only at first, and the upgrade bidding system will be utilized to fill all other cabin types, as much as possible.  The discounts will be tremendous, but you may have to wait a bit, as they will likely come in phases, starting at the 90-day mark prior to sailing.  They will keep discounting these rooms as much as possible until they start selling.  You might see some of these go for practically nothing.  If they are not getting enough bids for upgrades to oceanview and above on a particular ship, they will start pushing existing reservation holders on that ship to do upgrade bids (via e-mail solicitations).  If they still don't get enough upgrades to oceanview and/or balcony, then those prices will drop as well.  Keep in mind that this was already their existing pricing policy BEFORE COVID-19, but you will see it take place even more often as they struggle to get people on cruise ships again.

 

5) Unsold mini/club-suites and suites will be filled by upgrading balcony pasengers.  You will perhaps even see phone calls being made offering flat price upgrades if there are not enough bidding upgrades.  If you have a balcony room, you might want to throw a cheap upgrade bid in for fun.

 

 

So how can you best use this information to your advantage?  Glad you asked.

 

First off, DO NOT make a cash booking right now.  Seriously.  Don't.  Keep that credit card firmly in your wallet.  NCL is on very rough seas right now, and there's a chance they may sink.  If they survive, there will be PLENTY of opportunity to book later.

 

If you have an FCC, DO NOT book anything except for a suite right now.  If you do, you're almost 100% going to get a bad deal, even with the "20% discount" being offered.  Do not assume you're getting a good deal by comparing the previous price you paid to the one being offered now.  The markets are not at all comparable!  However, if you're booking a suite, then go ahead and book now if you have FCC, provided that the price you're paying isn't HIGHER than what you got it for initially.  If the price appears high, just wait.  It will come down to normal when most of the FCC gets spent.  Trust me.

 

If you have an FCC and want to cruise in an inside/oceanview/balcony, DO NOT BOOK NOW.  You will be getting a horrible deal compared to the open market, as described above.  There will be PLENTY of these rooms open on future cruises.  And when I say plenty, I mean P-L-E-N-T-Y!  They are going to immensely struggle to fill these rooms.  Therefore, wait until at least 90 days before your cruise, and then start price-watching.  Do not jump on the first good deal you see at that point.  Watch closely, and only book when it seems the prices are hitting bottom.

 

If you really want to gamble for a balcony room for the very best price, book a bargain INSIDE cabin as described above after the 90-day mark, and then try submitting a fairly cheap upgrade to a balcony.  Decent chance you'll get it.

 

Of course, before you do any of this, make sure flights are available and reasonably priced before locking yourself into a cruise in this fashion.

 

I will bump this thread when everything gets going again, and you'll see I was correct.

 

Happy booking!

Very good, but you didn't mention pricing issues like bundling of promos.  NCL's price bundling with promos has pushed NCL out of competition for us.  We book early, frequently as soon as a cruise is released.   NCL only allows a no promo stripped down price closer to final payment.

We don't drink like fishes and hate paying the markup for promos we don't want.  Other cruise lines like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean provide more options.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Robinsoncruiseso said:

Then why do you not book the fare without the perks????

Because we drink too much.  We are not the customer you want to have a drink package. We are better of paying the "service charge" rather than tipping $1 a drink.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Because we drink too much.  We are not the customer you want to have a drink package. We are better of paying the "service charge" rather than tipping $1 a drink.

Steve

Gotcha, I though you said you did NOT use the perks.  We had the drink package on our last three cruises (MSC, Princess and NCL).  Originally it was $1800 (2 people) difference on the NCL for balcony with all the perks.  This is before adding the drink/dining gratuities.  We do not drink nearly that much.  Moved my booking into a group and got a mini suite for $200 more with the drinks and all.  So for $20 a day in gratuities it was worth it but I did find myself looking for reasons to drink.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, pokerpro5 said:

 

There is just about zero chance that they sail at higher prices, given the MUCH reduced demand.

 

You are correct that the past will have little to do with future prices, given this unprecedented situation, but something predictable is the fact that it will be cheaper after final payment date -- perhaps dirt cheap.  There is zero chance that there's going to be incredible demand for cruising once this is all over.  The public is terrified of cruising, and given the "older" population which typically cruises, that's exactly the people who will be most vulnerable and afraid.

 I would have to also say there is Zero chance that I can get my cruise cheaper than I already have it even after final payment, even 30 prior thanks to the 20%.

 Like I have said before. Point A to point A, I would agree. Point A to B to C is another thing.

Zero chance is missing too many parameters overall. Sure I may get a $1500 cruise with 48 hours notice for $500 leaving Copenhagen, but paying $3000 for airfare I could have gotten 2 months earlier for $900 makes the early booking the better deal.

B2B or longer, you risk not getting the same cabin.

Hotel accommodations can be difficult if you don't book well in advance. I have a cruise next year ending December 21st in Capetown next year, we are spending a week or more after, so being Xmas we need to book now.

steve

Share this post


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

Gotcha, I though you said you did NOT use the perks.  We had the drink package on our last three cruises (MSC, Princess and NCL).  Originally it was $1800 (2 people) difference on the NCL for balcony with all the perks.  This is before adding the drink/dining gratuities.  We do not drink nearly that much.  Moved my booking into a group and got a mini suite for $200 more with the drinks and all.  So for $20 a day in gratuities it was worth it but I did find myself looking for reasons to drink.  

I use the booze perk and that's about it,we don't look to drink, we just do, its not too much different at home either.. Even internet is no big deal as my phone package works all over the world.

Group cruises can be a good deal.

What would be a great perk for me......Laundry service! We are usually B2B+

We like MSC, we sail them often. We did one 2 months ago and have 2 more booked with them.

STeve

 

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • 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...