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Price rise???!!!!


ann141
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After lots of people feeling that Fred s cruise are overpriced, I noticed this morning that the prices for early next year have increased and saver fares unavailable. I don't know if it's a blip or wonder if the prices have been increased and then there will be a free drinks offer or similar. I was hoping that prices would get lower not higher!

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1 minute ago, tiggertom said:

Just looking at the price of Around the world in 80 days, and it hasn’t increased much compared to the price it went on sale at in  March 2021 🤷‍♀️

I have mainly been looking at the January cruises to the canaries and the one to Cyprus. Not sure why they have removed the Saver option as well as increased the price of the freedom fare? I will wait a few more weeks or months before booking or may end up booking a winter cruise with Saga or P and O

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1 hour ago, ann141 said:

I have mainly been looking at the January cruises to the canaries and the one to Cyprus. Not sure why they have removed the Saver option as well as increased the price of the freedom fare? I will wait a few more weeks or months before booking

 

We find that FOCLs prices are some of the most confusing and opaque in the industry. We find that checking them out is like being on a mad roller-coaster. However, in this case, like the boy who called 'wolf'  FOCLs may have done themselves in!

 

For instance... the 3 Jan cruise 'Winter Warmth Cruse in the Canaries' which is now listed with a starting price of £1,599, started at £1,799 for a saver fare last May. It's true that the saver fare has gone... but the freedom fare is now £200 less than the saver fare had been. The saver fare with its onerous restrictions seems to have been ditched. The original price has been very heavily discounted.

 

And the 17 January cruise "Mediterranean Islands with Cyprus" is now selling at from £2,099 compared with from £2,399 last May. Again... the freedom fare is now £300 less than the saver fare had been and the saver fare with its onerous restrictions seems to have been ditched. The original price has been very heavily discounted.

 

All of the long cruises seem to start at the same price.

 

Currently FOCLs is having to take the Bolette out of service for two months because it can't afford to run it with so few bookings, in early November this year the only FOCLs, ship cruising with be the Balmoral, the Company has a shed-load of debt, no Chairman and has made a considerable loss over the first six months of this year. 

 

It may be that FOCLs are now discounting but their pricing policy and 'offers' over the years has confused so many people for so long that, it's become difficult to see when prices are lowered.

 

Goodness know what FOCLs prices will do in the next few weeks or months... perhaps that's why the company is having to spend millions on taking the Bolette out of service for a couple of because it can sell enough cruises to economically sail.

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2 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

Goodness know what FOCLs prices will do in the next few weeks or months... perhaps that's why the company is having to spend millions on taking the Bolette out of service for a couple of because it can sell enough cruises to economically sail.

 This will make more sense if "months" is inserted at the beginning of the last line.🤣

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2 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

We find that FOCLs prices are some of the most confusing and opaque in the industry. We find that checking them out is like being on a mad roller-coaster. However, in this case, like the boy who called 'wolf'  FOCLs may have done themselves in!

 

For instance... the 3 Jan cruise 'Winter Warmth Cruse in the Canaries' which is now listed with a starting price of £1,599, started at £1,799 for a saver fare last May. It's true that the saver fare has gone... but the freedom fare is now £200 less than the saver fare had been. The saver fare with its onerous restrictions seems to have been ditched. The original price has been very heavily discounted.

 

And the 17 January cruise "Mediterranean Islands with Cyprus" is now selling at from £2,099 compared with from £2,399 last May. Again... the freedom fare is now £300 less than the saver fare had been and the saver fare with its onerous restrictions seems to have been ditched. The original price has been very heavily discounted.

 

All of the long cruises seem to start at the same price.

 

Currently FOCLs is having to take the Bolette out of service for two months because it can't afford to run it with so few bookings, in early November this year the only FOCLs, ship cruising with be the Balmoral, the Company has a shed-load of debt, no Chairman and has made a considerable loss over the first six months of this year. 

 

It may be that FOCLs are now discounting but their pricing policy and 'offers' over the years has confused so many people for so long that, it's become difficult to see when prices are lowered.

 

Goodness know what FOCLs prices will do in the next few weeks or months... perhaps that's why the company is having to spend millions on taking the Bolette out of service for a couple of because it can sell enough cruises to economically sail.

Thank you. I have only been observing prices for a month or two so wasn't aware of the original prices, just what they were on sale for within the last couple of months  

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On 9/1/2022 at 1:45 PM, ann141 said:

After lots of people feeling that Fred s cruise are overpriced, I noticed this morning that the prices for early next year have increased and saver fares unavailable. I don't know if it's a blip or wonder if the prices have been increased and then there will be a free drinks offer or similar. I was hoping that prices would get lower not higher!

Free drinks offer is back which helps explain the price rise a week or so before the offer.

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 So in short, the 3 Jan cruise 'Winter Warmth Cruse in the Canaries...

 

A cruise that started with a price "from" + drinks of £2,149 last May, went down in price and then increased in price to a "from" price + drinks of £1,949 and  is now £1,599 with a free drinks package... so a de facto price reduction of about £550.

 

What a roller-coaster and what a shame for those people who booked early... some of whom must feel that they've been done.

 

But why has the price tumbled? Can't FOCLs sell this cruise on the Bolette? Is the Bolette going to be cancelled after Christmas in the same way as it has been cancelled in most of October/November/December?

 

FOCLs just has to sort out its pricing strategy!

Edited by twotravellersLondon
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31 minutes ago, ann141 said:

Free drinks offer is back which helps explain the price rise a week or so before the offer.

 

I was thinking much the same as you, that another offer may come on, but well predicted Ann.  The Cyprus cruise you mentioned and the around South America are on a free door to door transfer rather than free drinks though.  I see single offers are out as well (presumably an alternative), but not sure if it is a worthwhile singles offer.  I have seen loads of singles saying they are totally priced out, so a lot of potential passengers lost there.  Some of those cruises early next year are ones which have been re routed via Southampton rather than Tilbury (or I think Dover), so may well have lost a number of previous bookings as with a change of embarkation/disembarkation port, those people would have had a right to a full refund (and compensation as well if it was not necessary).

 

Adding perks rather than really big price reductions seem to be the order of the day for cruise lines.  I see that P&O have brought back the really big OBC's  on cruises.    

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30 minutes ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 So in short, the 3 Jan cruise 'Winter Warmth Cruse in the Canaries...

 

A cruise that started with a price "from" + drinks of £2,149 last May, went down in price and then increased in price to a "from" price + drinks of £1,949 and  is now £1599 with a free drinks package... so a de facto price reduction of about £550.

 

What a roller-coaster and what a shame for those people who booked early... some of whom must feel that they've been done.

 

But why has the price tumbled? Can't FOCLs sell this cruise on the Bolette? Is the Bolette going to be cancelled after Christmas in the same way as it has been cancelled in October/November?

 

FOCLs just has to sort out its pricing strategy!

 

There are good offers on all cruises at present.  An approximate 25% is not that much - there have always been some last minute price reductions.  We booked an Ambassador cruise with more than 50% reduction on the original price price in the summer and some people who booked a while after us, got a bigger reduction than that.  Fred does seem to have limited the amount he is prepared to reduce a cruise by, though, yes he has decided to take the ship out of service rather than reduce some pre Christmas cruises any more.  However, he has also said they will be working on the ship, rather than leave that work until a later date when he could presumably have lost more by taking a ship out then.  Not everyone would have wanted the drinks pack either.

 

Edited by tring
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17 hours ago, ann141 said:

Free drinks offer is back which helps explain the price rise a week or so before the offer.

 

We suspect that years ago a three-for-two 'offer' was also made shortly after there had been an across-the-board price increase... or dynamic pricing adjustment... as it may be called in the trade. We certainly received three estimates for different cabins on the same cruise and while we were looking at these in detail and in the queue for the future sales desk again... the cabin that we had been looking at and had decided to choose had increase in price by about £1,000. "Dynamic" or "Traumatic" or what!

 

However, Fred Olsen Jun. is not the man who will have decided on whether there should a January 2023 "Price Rise???!!!!" or not.

 

Fred Olsen Jun. has gone: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. He resigned as a director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Limited on 4 July 2022. The termination of his appointment as a director was authenticated by the appropriate company officer. The notice of termination of the director appointment of "Olsen Junior, Thomas Fredrik." was received by Companies House for filing in electronic format on 11 July 2022. Fred Jun also resigned as a director of First Olsen (Holdings) Limited, on 4 July 2022. That company acts as a holding company for the Fred. Olsen cruise business... including those companies which lease ships to FOCLs. It's those companies that will have people to change prices and offers.

So the recent decisions on pricing and taking the Bolette out of service for two months this autumn or to alter offers and prices in January 2023 is not down to Fred Jun personally but to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Limited, First Olsen (Holdings) Limited or one of their Norwegian parent companies. It's one of those companies which will have made or expedited these commercial decisions. And so too will be the decision to manipulate the offer by increasing or decreasing cruise prices and adding or removing offers on things like drinks packages... those detailed cruise by cruise decisions most probably came down to the folk at Ipswich who operate, what they call, a "dynamic pricing strategy." (They will play the market to achieve the highest price that they can.)

 

Bonheur, is the Norwegian based "ultimate parent company" and early last year it was optimistic. Early in 2021 Bonheur were reported in the financial press as anticipating that the cruise sector would be back to pre-covid levels by this summer. In January of this year FOCLs were boasting bumper sales. 

However by the time that the 2Q results, covering April-May-June this year were released, the cruise sector had made a loss in those three months of NOK 108,000,000... about £9.35 million (compared with a profit of NOK 70,000,000... about £6.06 million for the same period in 2019). In addition, this year the cruise sector had a debt of NOK 1,087,000,000... about £94.12 million (No debt in 2019) these are enormous figures considering that the 2019 pre-covid annual profit was about £3.5 million. It will take quite a few hundred quid on an awful lot of cruise sales to make up for that and it's hard to see that it won't impact on prices.

 

However, just to put FOCL's second quarter results into context... Carnival, which controls almost 50% of global cruise capacity, increased revenue by nearly 50% in 2Q compared with the previous three months, Carnival's occupancy levels increased from 54% to 69% across the fleet. These were Carnival's the best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic. (FOCLs stated occupancy rate was 73% for the ships in service... about 52% for the entire fleet)  SAGAs cruise bookings for 2022 are above pre-pandemic levels and some cruises are virtually running full. In the second quarter, Royal Caribbean were seeing occupancy levels rise from 59% to over 82% with some cruises at 100%.  Norwegian was reporting 65%. So in a cruising world where in July 2022 over 380 cruise ships were back in operation compared to 242 in January, almost 600,000 berths were available compared to only 434,000 in January... it really looks as if FOCLs has a real problem in trying to juggle the price of a cruise with the amount of people it can entice on board.

 

In an ideal world, we want a degree of certainty that the price of the cruise package that we pay when we book won't be undercut by later price reductions or offers that aren't applied to our booking... we have a number of all-inclusive cruises booked... all with the guarantee that we will be compensated if the price is reduced.

 

We also want trust that what we eventually get onboard is of a high standard and is what we consider as value for money. We do not want to return to a much-loved cruise-vessel to find that the kitchen has been deskilled, the menu has been hollowed out, food is delivered luke-warm, poorly cooked or badly presented compared to what we've experienced previously. We don't want to see the same old act, the same old show or some lack-lustre imitation of what we had on a previously cruise. We don't want to find that the prices of excursions have become stratospheric. As we don't drink enough to justify the expense, we never buy a drinks package but we certainly don't want to pay for premium drinks and find that we're served the far inferior house-brands so diluted with iced water that's it's impossible to ascertain if the measure is correct or even if the spirit is the right brand. And we certainly don't want to see our on-board accounts inflated by needlessly petty additions.

 

So, as far as we're concerned, there's far more to be considered that simply whether the cruise price goes up or down or another offer is added or removed. We plan our calendar carefully and so it's a bit of a pain if FOCLs advertises cruises one day and cancels them the next... we may well have missed out on other things that we would have liked to have done. We're willing to cruise less, and to pay more so that we can do what we'll really find exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable. Our personal view of a cruise is that it should be an exceptionally rewarding experience... rather than just another week or two floating around with the odd 'interesting' port to wander into and have a drink by a pavement cafe... although that can be fun and we've enjoyed many such an experience before or after excursions. To quote what may well have been the last public statement of Fred Jun. in his role as Chairman which appeared in the foreword of the "Worldwide Sailings 2023-2024"  which we received in May, "For us it's all about the overall experience - the joy of the journey."

 

We fully accept that other people may have different ideas but as far as FOCLs is concerned not even the price changes and offers were enough to attract sufficient people onboard the Bolette to avoid a very significant operating loss in late October, November and early December this year. In common with many other people we fully appreciate that the cost of cruising will increases due to fuel costs, environmental regulations and lots of other things... and as a result many people may cruise less and choose their cruises more carefully. However the days of ships cruising at low occupancy rates and carrying many passengers at less that cost price are, very sadly and as many people already recognise, likely to be over. 

 

So anyone who wants to navigate through the FOCLs price rises, price falls, offers, final offers etc and if the ships sail... there's no reason why they shouldn't take advantage of what may be a never-to-be-repeated bargain! 

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I am hoping that the winter cruises on Bolette won't be cancelled as we have just booked on the Escape to the Canaries on 3 January.We are not particularly loyal to any one cruise company and  mainly choose cruises based on the Itinerary though the price is a factor too.I wanted a warm destination cruise in January sailing from the UK.My preferred option was for the sailing on Borealis from Liverpool as it is easier to get to than Southampton from where we live.However the price for a Terrace cabin on Bolette dropped by a lot today so we decided to book that.Disappointing for others who may have booked at a higher price but still revenue for Fred.I won't look at the prices now that we have booked but am pleased with the price we have paid.

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1 hour ago, ann141 said:

I am hoping that the winter cruises on Bolette won't be cancelled as we have just booked on the Escape to the Canaries on 3 January.We are not particularly loyal to any one cruise company and  mainly choose cruises based on the Itinerary though the price is a factor too.I wanted a warm destination cruise in January sailing from the UK.My preferred option was for the sailing on Borealis from Liverpool as it is easier to get to than Southampton from where we live.However the price for a Terrace cabin on Bolette dropped by a lot today so we decided to book that.Disappointing for others who may have booked at a higher price but still revenue for Fred.I won't look at the prices now that we have booked but am pleased with the price we have paid.

 

Really pleased that you've found a cruise that you like at a price you're happy to pay. We've had many very happy cruises with Fred in the past and hope that you enjoy the Bolette in January.

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