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HOW CAN YOU GET BETTER PRICING ON HAL CRUISES


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Posted (edited)

We are finding that HAL cruises are more expensive than either Princess or Carnival cruises to  the same locations  . Are there ways to get better prices on HAL cruises ?

Edited by mcrcruiser
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1 hour ago, mcrcruiser said:

We are finding that HAL cruises are more expensive than either Princess or Carnival cruises to  the same locations  . Are there ways to get better prices on HAL cruises ?

Gamble a lot and get a casino discount.

 

Spend time shopping different travel agencies

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18 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Gamble a lot and get a casino discount.

 

Spend time shopping different travel agencies

I go to a web site where we get any where from 3 to 9 TAs bidding our cruises . As far as Casino betting ,I traveled Las Vegas on business for over 30 years  ,no one but the casinos win ultimately  .Knowing all the games intimately  ,cruise ships are the very worse of casino betting . In LAS Vegas you can get 20 times odds behind the pass line on a craps table where as on cruise ships they give a maximum of 2 times odds behind the pass line on the craps table  &  craps is the best odds game  if a person wants to gamble ,The other equal is backarat  .  all the games on ships are rigged to favor the casino heavily   .Thus I make money by keeping my money in my pocket 

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2 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

I go to a web site where we get any where from 3 to 9 TAs bidding our cruises . As far as Casino betting ,I traveled Las Vegas on business for over 30 years  ,no one but the casinos win ultimately  .Knowing all the games intimately  ,cruise ships are the very worse of casino betting . In LAS Vegas you can get 20 times odds behind the pass line on a craps table where as on cruise ships they give a maximum of 2 times odds behind the pass line on the craps table  &  craps is the best odds game  if a person wants to gamble ,The other equal is backarat  .  all the games on ships are rigged to favor the casino heavily   .Thus I make money by keeping my money in my pocket 

The Nieuw Statendam wasn't satisficed with the normal roulette odds so they added a 3rd ZERO to the layout - disguised as a HAL SHIP logo...As if the normal rack wasn't enough.....sigh

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Well, I'm a low roller and I'll take that "free" inside cabin on HAL any day, thanks very much!  And I love the greens on the wheel.

 

I have 30 Carnival cruises and feel they provide a very good cruise experience.  I'm just a bit bored with them.

 

I've always found service to be good.  The MDR meals on HAL have been only marginally better if at all (only 3 HAL sailings, so small sample size).  But I'm tired of Carnival's menus.

 

I do like HAL's ships.  My favorite class of Carnival ships are those in the Spirit class, which are much like HAL's designs.

 

If you're paying full fare, the reason to stick with HAL, to me, is just for the atmosphere.  I still cruise mainly for the ports, though.  The ship experience is just a plus.  Longer cruises on Carnival have a slightly older demographic.  Not every Carnival sailing is a Party-till-you-Puke event.  And I've seen plenty of inebriated oldsters on HAL.  I may have been on occasion!

 

OP,  have a look at MSC.  They aren't for everyone, but I really enjoyed the 3 sailings I took with them (consecutive cruises between Dec 2018 and Sept 2019).

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29 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

I go to a web site where we get any where from 3 to 9 TAs bidding our cruises . As far as Casino betting ,I traveled Las Vegas on business for over 30 years  ,no one but the casinos win ultimately  .Knowing all the games intimately  ,cruise ships are the very worse of casino betting . In LAS Vegas you can get 20 times odds behind the pass line on a craps table where as on cruise ships they give a maximum of 2 times odds behind the pass line on the craps table  &  craps is the best odds game  if a person wants to gamble ,The other equal is backarat  .  all the games on ships are rigged to favor the casino heavily   .Thus I make money by keeping my money in my pocket 

No doubt that ALL casinos heavily favor the house, thats why they are there.  The only way for the gambler to come out ahead In the Long Run, is to either get very lucky OR get enough in Comps to make up for the losses.  We have been able to save more on discounted or free cabins to more than make up for our losses. 

 

Of course, this will vary by how much you gamble, how much you lose, AND what type of cabin you are in.  For example, if you get a 20% casino discount on your cabin form the casino, if you book $1000 cabin you save $200, while if you book a suite for $8000 you save $1600.  So, this deal really depends.

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There are several ways to get discounted fares on HAL.

 

First, sign up for their emails and deals via email on their web page.  In 2011 we hadn't yet cruised on Holland America, but they sent me a list of discounted cruises.  We chose a 14 night Panama Canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale in an outside cabin for $700 per person + port fees.  Score!

 

DH and I are not big gamblers and play around $25 per day in the casino.  We now get Casino rates and have taken advantage of several cruises this way.

 

And the last suggestion is to book last minute, and by that I mean after final payment.  Always log into your HAL account when surfing for cruises, and when you see an itinerary you like, take a look at it as if you are going to book, and your real price will be in Your Summary.

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If I recall, you are looking at a very limited geographic area. 

 

I think you are just going to have to face the fact that HAL may be able to charge a higher per dium rate in that market. I can certainly appreciate why vs. Carnival. Not sure about Princess but perhaps Princess simply has more available cabins to move in that area. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Taters said:

There are several ways to get discounted fares on HAL.

 

First, sign up for their emails and deals via email on their web page.  In 2011 we hadn't yet cruised on Holland America, but they sent me a list of discounted cruises.  We chose a 14 night Panama Canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale in an outside cabin for $700 per person + port fees.  Score!

 

DH and I are not big gamblers and play around $25 per day in the casino.  We now get Casino rates and have taken advantage of several cruises this way.

 

And the last suggestion is to book last minute, and by that I mean after final payment.  Always log into your HAL account when surfing for cruises, and when you see an itinerary you like, take a look at it as if you are going to book, and your real price will be in Your Summary.

Even though  we have done many cruises I forgot about looking last minute . Thanks for reminding me .. Although  cabins may be limited on some sailings ,it is at ;east a try  . We no longer  fly .Those days if flying are behind us . We now go mostly for the ambiance of the ship ,the entertainment  food & service . That really gives my DW a true vacation 

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We sail only the Mexican Riviera , Hawaii ,West Cost  cruises & if Princess has a San Pedro to Alaska round trip  . If HAL  did a R/T from San Diego   to

South America  we would go  .No longer want the Panama Canal ;as we have done 2 full transits & one way flying we don't want  . We have done much flying in the past to catch cruise ships 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

If I recall, you are looking at a very limited geographic area. 

 

I think you are just going to have to face the fact that HAL may be able to charge a higher per dium rate in that market. I can certainly appreciate why vs. Carnival. Not sure about Princess but perhaps Princess simply has more available cabins to move in that area. 

 

 

When we compared 2019 Mexican Riviera cruise prices for VF  pr VE  Balcony categories  at $1600  to $1700 for the 7 night cruise to the recent prices  .The price points have done up  $400 to $500 + for the same cabin type . imo that is a substantial price increase far above inflation rates   .where as today we booked the same cruise on Carnival Panorama for $1600   .We just drove one hour more to get Carnival  & imo the food & service are very close to equal  .The cabins on Carnival are larger  ie 

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Over the years we have gotten some amazing deals on HAL cruises by booking last minute (inside the final payment period).  In some other cases you used to be able to find some good HAL deals if you booked far in advance.  Currently, the incredible amount of Future Cruise Credits (FCCs) that are out there because of all the COVID cancelations have really impacted on near term (the next 18 months) cruises of HAL and most other lines.  

 

I will admit that we have often gotten better deals on Princess then on HAL (we like both lines).  We do think the best way to get a great deal on either line is to use certain high volume cruise agencies that often are prohibited (because of cruise line agreements) from advertising their best deals.   I have long suggested that folks register an e-mail (you can set up a separate e-mail for just such a task) with multiple reputable high volume cruise agencies and then sign up for their special offer e-mails/news letters which is usually free.  

 

I should also mention that last minute (inside final payment periods) deals can sometimes be amazing!  But when one sees a great deal it is often necessary to book immediately as the best deals can disappear within hours.  The truth is that most folks (especially before they retire) are not in the position of being able to jump at last minute deals because of logistical complications with their normal day to day lives.  When  DW and I retired we sometimes felt like kids in a candy store as we could finally jump on some of these terrific deals.

 

Hank

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12 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Over the years we have gotten some amazing deals on HAL cruises by booking last minute (inside the final payment period).  In some other cases you used to be able to find some good HAL deals if you booked far in advance.  Currently, the incredible amount of Future Cruise Credits (FCCs) that are out there because of all the COVID cancelations have really impacted on near term (the next 18 months) cruises of HAL and most other lines.  

 

I will admit that we have often gotten better deals on Princess then on HAL (we like both lines).  We do think the best way to get a great deal on either line is to use certain high volume cruise agencies that often are prohibited (because of cruise line agreements) from advertising their best deals.   I have long suggested that folks register an e-mail (you can set up a separate e-mail for just such a task) with multiple reputable high volume cruise agencies and then sign up for their special offer e-mails/news letters which is usually free.  

 

I should also mention that last minute (inside final payment periods) deals can sometimes be amazing!  But when one sees a great deal it is often necessary to book immediately as the best deals can disappear within hours.  The truth is that most folks (especially before they retire) are not in the position of being able to jump at last minute deals because of logistical complications with their normal day to day lives.  When  DW and I retired we sometimes felt like kids in a candy store as we could finally jump on some of these terrific deals.

 

Hank

Hank  thanks for your input & interesting about  getting on e-mails lists from reputable high volume agencies   .We do know many in that category .We already get it from one such agency  plus we have cruises bid on  . The after final payment scenario  most times is the best  imo to decrease the prices especially id the ship did not sell well 

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8 minutes ago, sfaaa said:

Buy gift card that comes with bonus when available.

Yes we have seem them .Our only objection is lending the cruise lines  our money & there is no guarantee during these crazy covid times that one or more lines could go belly up  .Thus ,incurring a total loss .  This virus situation is far from over for the hospitality industry   .Today we noticed Marriott corp stock was down 8%  .All the cruise lines are carrying enormous debt loads  just to stay in business 

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45 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

But when one sees a great deal it is often necessary to book immediately as the best deals can disappear within hours.  The truth is that most folks (especially before they retire) are not in the position of being able to jump at last minute deals because of logistical complications with their normal day to day lives.

 

Ain't that the truth?  I can't wait until I can take advantage of the extra flexibility that retirement offers regarding last-minute travel plans!

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Posted (edited)

We may pay a premium for a specific ship however we will not pay a premium on a like for like buy on Princess, HAL, or Celebrity based solely based on cruise line.  

 

Last like for like cruise we booked Princess was the lowest, HAL was 20 percent more, Celebrity had a premium of 30 percent.  It is why we are not so called loyal to any one cruise line.

 

We booked Princess and had a fabulous cruise.  
 

We usually get better pricing by booking with our on line TA.  Even better pricing when we book inside the final payment window.   Paying above the odds simply encourages the cruise lines to keep the pricing high IMHO.

Edited by iancal
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Since the poster is from Northern San Diego County, I recommend checking RCI out of LA since they have started sailing again from LA and only do the Mexican Riviera (for now).

 

I've only taken 1 cruise on RCI but the service and food quality was comparable to HAL

 

-Paul

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23 minutes ago, kangforpres said:

Since the poster is from Northern San Diego County, I recommend checking RCI out of LA since they have started sailing again from LA and only do the Mexican Riviera (for now).

 

I've only taken 1 cruise on RCI but the service and food quality was comparable to HAL

 

-Paul

 

Paul-

I must disagree!  Albeit I have only been on three RCI cruises (all on their "smaller" ships in both the Caribbean and Med) and Five HAL cruises - NO COMPARISON ON SERVICE or FOOD QUALITY.  HAL beats RCI hands down in every area except pool parties and rock climbing.   DW said not to experiment with RCI again!  NO matter how much less expensive it might be 

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When it comes to the basics we see very little difference between HAL, Princess, and Celebrity.   

 

Certainly there are differences based on sailings...especially in food and entertainment.  Both of which are subjective.  We see more differences between ships in these fleets.

 

I know people rave about the service level on HAL.  It is excellent.  But we also think that it is equally  excellent on Princess and on Celebrity.  No difference from out perspective. 

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I think that in regard to food that HAL, Celebrity, and Princess are pretty much the same. My last cruise before Covid was on the Royal Princess and I have to say the entertainment options were far better than on HAL.

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6 hours ago, CNSJ said:

 

Paul-

I must disagree!  Albeit I have only been on three RCI cruises (all on their "smaller" ships in both the Caribbean and Med) and Five HAL cruises - NO COMPARISON ON SERVICE or FOOD QUALITY.  HAL beats RCI hands down in every area except pool parties and rock climbing.   DW said not to experiment with RCI again!  NO matter how much less expensive it might be 

We have had the opposite , We sailed on Anthem of the  Seas in 2017 to New England & Canada  from Bayonne NJ  . The food was the best we ever had at sea  & the entertainment was over the top shows  . A tremendous variety of food was available both in the standard restaurants & speciality restaurants   .The services all around where equal in all regards to HAL ,Celebrity  ,Princess 

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We did see the Navigator of the  Seas sailing 3 ,4 & 7 night sailings from San Pedro Ca . We may opt to doing the 4 night & then the 7 night B2B if we can get the same cabin after final payments as we can drive to that port easily 

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14 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

The Nieuw Statendam wasn't satisficed with the normal roulette odds so they added a 3rd ZERO to the layout - disguised as a HAL SHIP logo...As if the normal rack wasn't enough.....sigh

 

Seems totally in line with the smaller cabins and cabanas. Are there better odds if you bet on and it lands on the ship logo? Maybe win a free cruise? 

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1 hour ago, mcrcruiser said:

We did see the Navigator of the  Seas sailing 3 ,4 & 7 night sailings from San Pedro Ca . We may opt to doing the 4 night & then the 7 night B2B if we can get the same cabin after final payments as we can drive to that port easily 

 

Love the idea of a 10 night B2B! 

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