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We loved our first Fred Olsen cruise and wondered about booking another, but our first for 10 days was in an outside cabin with a window for £899 to the Baltic capitals.

Which I think was a great deal.

 

They have a sale on for 10 days around Scotland in July which was £1299 for an inside cabin, but has dropped to £999 and with the royal code , it is at the same as we were before £899.

 

I like the itinerary but wondered if its worth waiting to see if it drops more, or with others experience, were we just lucky to get the deal we got previously.

 

I appreciate it's probably just pot luck, but thought I'd ask before I jumped.

 

Thanks Kenny 

 

 

 

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A very good deal. It could drop to a saver but these ones are usually pretty popular. Check how many cabins they have left of the ones you want
 

My next Fred cruise has dropped by 33% in the sale and I’m not happy. Won’t be booking early ever again.

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/4/2023 at 3:40 PM, Eglesbrech said:

A very good deal. It could drop to a saver but these ones are usually pretty popular. Check how many cabins they have left of the ones you want
 

My next Fred cruise has dropped by 33% in the sale and I’m not happy. Won’t be booking early ever again.

Have to agree.. after several Fred cruises now I am getting sick to death of seeing them fail to fill any ship and not just drop savers by 2 - 3 hundred (which kind of was compensated for those who did book early as they either got equiv OBC or Drinks or other perks) .

 

Problem now is the new norm regarding savers dropping in price is in the 500£ plus mark which says to me they are simply not pricing realistically in the first place and not filling enough rooms at the freedom prices or offers.

 

 

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16 hours ago, ighten said:

Have to agree.. after several Fred cruises now I am getting sick to death of seeing them fail to fill any ship and not just drop savers by 2 - 3 hundred (which kind of was compensated for those who did book early as they either got equiv OBC or Drinks or other perks) .

 

Problem now is the new norm regarding savers dropping in price is in the 500£ plus mark which says to me they are simply not pricing realistically in the first place and not filling enough rooms at the freedom prices or offers.

 

 

I would agree. It’s all too common for the prices to drop so more people will hold off until nearer the sail date to book.

 

I have been keeping an eye on a particular cruise and in the meantime another line has slashed the price for their cruise to the same ports and they are offering a balcony. Had the Fred price been more realistic I would have been booked with them before now.
 

Yes a bit of realism is required for the initial pricing, if there are constant last minute discounts as there appear to be at the moment. 

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Probably!  After being stung last year by booking early, we have decided that unless we’re interested in a very unusual itinerary, it’s better to wait until a few weeks prior to departure in order to secure the best deal.

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1 hour ago, kendadj said:

Had an email to say the sale ends today.  Will there be another sale to follow (like DFS) ? 😀

Yes we got a postcard saying it ends today.

 

I have taken a note of the sale prices on any cruises I was musing about to see what happens next.

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I wonder if free drinks and or obc will be offered. There is a cruise I am watching but will only book if they do an offer like previously where a terrace cabin was offered at the price of a superior outside. Fingers crossed 

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On 5/4/2023 at 3:40 PM, Eglesbrech said:

A very good deal. It could drop to a saver but these ones are usually pretty popular. Check how many cabins they have left of the ones you want
 

My next Fred cruise has dropped by 33% in the sale and I’m not happy. Won’t be booking early ever again.

I'm sorry, that's so unfair on you.  I can understand why you wouldn't want to travel with them again.

 

On 6/14/2023 at 2:13 PM, LandC said:

Probably!  After being stung last year by booking early, we have decided that unless we’re interested in a very unusual itinerary, it’s better to wait until a few weeks prior to departure in order to secure the best deal.

 

I think this pricing strategy has created a rod for their own back for Fred.  From visiting this forum its clear there is dissatisfaction with the policy and you're not the only ones adopting a wait and see policy.  Until they revise this policy this will just situation will repeat and repeat with cruises being advertised and people waiting for the last minute details.  It's far from ideal.

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21 hours ago, richard_london said:

I think this pricing strategy has created a rod for their own back for Fred.  From visiting this forum its clear there is dissatisfaction with the policy and you're not the only ones adopting a wait and see policy.  Until they revise this policy this will just situation will repeat and repeat with cruises being advertised and people waiting for the last minute details.  It's far from ideal.

Can't be good for the cruise company either, planning must go out of the window faced a few weeks prior to cruising to have little or no bookings, do they sail or not? 

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Looking at how they have had to change the June 100£ offer to a new July 200£ offer (though that in reality only effects 2 cruises) even the sales are not having that much impact.. The pricing is wrong right from the start..

 

If you take all the prices of the various scenic Scotlands original book price from the various ports for this summer the actual drop in price is an average of over 725£. Its actually  worse if you remove Southampton from the weighting as this was always sold a lot cheaper.

 

The problem for Fred seems to be they want to look like there akin to Saga whilst offering older ships and whilsts Saga only sells Balconys and is fully inclusive with the odd tour and transport thrown in. Granted Fred has better Itinerary at times but whoever is coming up with the initial pricing model really needs to go back to the drawing board.. There now seems little point at all in booking early compared to how other Cruise lines model the pricing where its more of a risk.

Edited by ighten
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Fred's launch and early prices are crazy - and even moreso for solos. I totally agree with many comments above that the strategy doesn't seem to be working.

I must say however that there have been major price cuts/late deals on all the lines sailing ex uk and indeed further afield this summer.

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On 6/22/2023 at 8:51 PM, Britboys said:

Fred's launch and early prices are crazy - and even moreso for solos. I totally agree with many comments above that the strategy doesn't seem to be working.

I must say however that there have been major price cuts/late deals on all the lines sailing ex uk and indeed further afield this summer.

Indeed.  I got an email from Fred offering second person goes half price on a choice of four cruises.  Having said I wouldn’t sail with them again I couldn’t resist the bargain so it’s fourteen nights to northern Norway and Spitsbergen.  The website is still selling the trip at £3000 more than I’ve paid for a superior suite.  It’s so unfair on those who book early.

Princess has recently reduced prices by a third on a trip I booked two years ago.  After a struggle they agreed to a “move over” to the new price.  Some people won’t have noticed or didn’t realise they could ask to move.  Again really unfair.

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Just looked on their web site at a cruise to the North Cape, freedom fare £1899 saver fare £899 and a banner ad giving £100 off if you quote July saver the catch, no fares available at £899. Well done Fred!!!

Edited by ovccruiser
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On 6/22/2023 at 8:51 PM, Britboys said:

Fred's launch and early prices are crazy - and even moreso for solos. I totally agree with many comments above that the strategy doesn't seem to be working.

In my case, the same.  The single supplement applied to solo cabins really does infuriate me.  The room is designated a single, it wouldn't be me occupying a double room on my own.  The fact they drop the supplement on some cruises and not others shows how very unfair it is.

 

But on a more general point, it's physically and mentally exhausting for anyone to have to track Fred.'s prices to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.  Cruising is meant to be relaxing.  I like to book a cruise as soon as they are announced to get the cabin I want and then not to have to worry about it (until payment day!). The whole Fred pricing strategy causes too much anxiety, stress and worry so at the moment I'm not considering their cruises right now until someone decides to do somehing about this strategy.

 

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1 hour ago, richard_london said:

 

In my case, the same.  The single supplement applied to solo cabins really does infuriate me.  The room is designated a single, it wouldn't be me occupying a double room on my own.  The fact they drop the supplement on some cruises and not others shows how very unfair it is.

 

But on a more general point, it's physically and mentally exhausting for anyone to have to track Fred.'s prices to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.  Cruising is meant to be relaxing.  I like to book a cruise as soon as they are announced to get the cabin I want and then not to have to worry about it (until payment day!). The whole Fred pricing strategy causes too much anxiety, stress and worry so at the moment I'm not considering their cruises right now until someone decides to do somehing about this strategy.

 

 

This is especially bad of FOCLs when they are sailing far from full. If they were on 90%-100% occupancy if would be easy to see why the bean counters would prefer not to allow a single passenger to occupy a double/twin cabin but... the present policy when ships are sailing with hundreds of empty cabins is creating a major barrier to booking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had been watching the Greenland trip closely as its now dropped more than 60% on some rooms and even more if you take the savers and use the LVRPL100 discount.. Its also quite noticeable if you blind book that first sitting is still available even as an add on to the saver price. So im guessing capacity is low.

 

I now have one early booked Azores trip next year booked but I'm seriously thinking of just loosing the deposit and re-booking it nearer the time.

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On 7/13/2023 at 3:39 PM, ighten said:

I had been watching the Greenland trip closely as its now dropped more than 60% on some rooms and even more if you take the savers and use the LVRPL100 discount.. Its also quite noticeable if you blind book that first sitting is still available even as an add on to the saver price. So im guessing capacity is low.

 

I now have one early booked Azores trip next year booked but I'm seriously thinking of just loosing the deposit and re-booking it nearer the time.

I had noticed that one drop. I suspect some others will too.

 

I haven’t booked anything for next year having been burned on price with the last few cruises with Fred. That said we don’t mind which dining seating we get while some really want first so pay for the early prices to secure it.


The code has now gone so I’m waiting with bated breathe to see what’s next!

 

Out of interest has anyone ever got a better price when phoning than the one which is advertised on the web?

 

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We received an Oceans email from Fred today offering second guest travels free discounts on cruises departing 18th September (Adriatic 26 nights), 26th September (America and Canada 34 nights) and 3rd October (Canada19 nights).  Also twin cabins available for solos with no single supplement.   It just goes to show that it doesn’t pay to book too far in advance.

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5 hours ago, LandC said:

We received an Oceans email from Fred today offering second guest travels free discounts on cruises departing 18th September (Adriatic 26 nights), 26th September (America and Canada 34 nights) and 3rd October (Canada19 nights).  Also twin cabins available for solos with no single supplement.   It just goes to show that it doesn’t pay to book too far in advance.

We got the email too. Good offer but it only applies to Saver fare and certain cabin grades. It doesn't include Terrace or Balcony cabins

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10 hours ago, ann141 said:

We got the email too. Good offer but it only applies to Saver fare and certain cabin grades. It doesn't include Terrace or Balcony cabins

Freedom and saver make little difference on Fred anyway if someone is booking this late. The early dining seems to go fairly quickly anyway (but can be found again if the £2pppd is paid), there are few shuttle ports and this near to sailing would mean 100% payment regardless of which type was booked

 

There is also very little difference in the cabins that are left this late so choosing one is moot.

 

It will however succeed in really annoying anyone who has paid the full price as the difference on this length of cruise could be thousands of pounds. The emails go out indiscriminately so someone who is booked will have received it, we received something similar last year for a cruise we had booked early.
 

While we all like a bargain Fred is now teaching passengers that it’s much better to wait until near the sail date to book unless you have very particular requirements for your cabin location.
 

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16 hours ago, LandC said:

We received an Oceans email from Fred today offering second guest travels free discounts on cruises departing 18th September (Adriatic 26 nights), 26th September (America and Canada 34 nights) and 3rd October (Canada19 nights).  Also twin cabins available for solos with no single supplement.   It just goes to show that it doesn’t pay to book too far in advance.

 

12 hours ago, ann141 said:

We got the email too. Good offer but it only applies to Saver fare and certain cabin grades. It doesn't include Terrace or Balcony cabins

 

We had the same email and looked to see what the minimum cost would be for a cabin with a balcony... (essential for us in our opinion to enjoy a long cruise when vast areas of the promenade deck on the ship is allocated and when the view of the sea from the upper decks if obscured by blackened glass.)  When we take an ocean cruise... we want to experience, feel and see the magnificence of the ocean and it's wildlife!

 

Forget about £1,899 per cabin... the cost quoted this morning for a cabin with a balcony was £11,598 + drinks + speciality dining + insurance + travel to & from the port + stay-over in Liverpool + Wi-Fi + gratuities + excursions and no doubt all manner of other things...  The basic price will over £600 per day per cabin... but with add-ons... we reckon that it's closer to £800 per day per balcony cabin. That's a lota-lota money.

 

Now the fact is that we've already booked a very similar cruise with SAGA (in a superior deluxe mid-ships cabin) at 25% less per day than the basis price FOCLs wants to charge us this morning... almost half after FOCLs' add-ons are taken into account.

 

We've no doubt that many of those folk who want a last minute deal with as much as you can eat for breakfast, lunch after-noon tea and dinner, the chance to have a dance, a show, a bit of entertainment and get off at the ports of call will be more than happy with a deal that works out less than £50 quid a day per person... it's hardly possible to buy a coach holiday in the UK or take a ferry from Dover to Calais at that price. Our feeling is good luck to those folk and we really do hope that they really enjoy their holiday.

 

Our personal concern is what will we get for our money is we buy the least expensive cabin with a balcony. Will FOCLs cater on the basis of a cruise costing less than £50 pppd or one costing more than £300 pppd for the same cruise, the same entertainment, the same excursions... and so on?

Bonheur's accounts show that FOCL's have had an average daily capacity of about 4,000 over the first six months of 2023 but have only been able to occupy about 2,760 of those berths: with an average of about 1,240 passenger places vacant ever day over the first six months (271 cruising days) of 2023.

 

It cost about  £118,000,000 to run the fleet for the first six months of 2023... and a back of an old envelope sum or two would suggest that the cost pppd of carrying a passenger was about £158 pppd.

 

Maybe we've got it totally utterly wrong but with the "offer" this morning it would seem to us that if we take the least expensive cabin with a balcony on board that we will be paying and extortionate amount of money... compared to folks snatching a real bargain at less than £50 a day and we would be paying far, far more than we would on a different (and in our opinion a vastly superior) cruise-line which offers an all-inclusive rate.

 

We're really delighted that FOCL's is offering (seemingly loss-making budget cruises) and that singles have a bit of a deal but, on the other hand, it's really sad that FOCL's are so bent on increasing loading rates and attempting to charge a "premium rate" for cabins on ships that in our opinion just don't offer a "premium" cruise experience... leaving once loyal folks like ourselves who once cruised with "Fred" up to four times a year to look elsewhere for a better offer.

 

 

Sadly... FOCL's are missing an opportunity.

 

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