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O's 2024 pricing is ridiculous!


julia
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4 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

I don't see different prices for the same cabin on the website. They have SM with air or SM without air. That's it.

 

Every line has loyalty perks or other perks, but they are not on the website.

 

For years people called oLife pricing opaque. Now they simplified the pricing with only 2 options, but people still call it opaque.. 

 

Unreal.

Alas.  It's *not* a case of "That's it".   Yes, O did simplify published their options with SimplyMORE.

 

What I and others are calling "opaque" are the unpublished ("silent") sales with "combinablity restrictions".  And there are *lots* of silent sales.

 

I'll give you an example from booking my first O cruise.  Being a new cruise line to me, I called O directly, intending to switch the booking to my then regular TA.  I booked a silent sale offer with a very spiffy price.  My non-Oceania-savy TA said, "Oh!  As 'Oceania partners' we can give you pre-paid gratuities under the Oceania Cruises Amenity Program on top of that".  Adding the OCAAP perk failed with a "not combinable" error message.  The TA then forced the PPG, which cancelled the silent sale offer, raising the fare by 60%.  That's "opaque". 

Edited by Snaefell3
Untangling tangled quotation marks
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3 minutes ago, Snaefell3 said:

Alas.  It's *not* a case of "That's it".   Yes, O did simplify published their options with SimplyMORE.

 

What I and others are calling "opaque" are the unpublished ("silent") sales with "combinablity restrictions".  And there are *lots* of silent sales.

 

I'll give you an example from booking my first O cruise.  Being a new cruise line to me, I called O directly, intending to switch the booking to my then regular TA.  I booked a silent sale offer with a very spiffy price.  My non-Oceania-savy TA said, "Oh!  As 'Oceania partners' we can give you pre-paid gratuities under the Oceania Cruises Amenity Program on top of that".  Adding the OCAAP perk failed with a "not combinable" error message.  The TA then forced the PPG, which cancelled the silent sale offer, raising the fare by 60%.  That's "opaque". 

 

I believe all lines do it. There are published rates, and some partners can give you some discounts or rebates. really depends on your TA.

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12 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

I believe all lines do it. There are published rates, and some partners can give you some discounts or rebates. really depends on your TA.

Oceania's silent sale offer for my cabin did not show on their website.  I don't know whether TAs see all, some, or none of these silent sales, or even if just some TAs.  But when my "Oceania partner" TA went to repair the damage, she could not find a fare quotation anywhere close to the fare I had booked the day before.

 

And AFAIK, only NCL brands play the "not combinable" layer of obfuscation.  Princess tried that recently with "you can have Military or Shareholder OBC, but not both",  but went back to having them combinable within 6(?) weeks?

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5 minutes ago, Snaefell3 said:

Oceania's silent sale offer for my cabin did not show on their website.  I don't know whether TAs see all, some, or none of these silent sales, or even if just some TAs.  But when my "Oceania partner" TA went to repair the damage, she could not find a fare quotation anywhere close to the fare I had booked the day before.

 

And AFAIK, only NCL brands play the "not combinable" layer of obfuscation.  Princess tried that recently with "you can have Military or Shareholder OBC, but not both",  but went back to having them combinable within 6(?) weeks?

 

Well, I cannot speak for all lines, but here is my experience with couple recent bookings.

 

I asked SB for the extra 5% club discount. Their response was: "you currently have a promotion of 15 percent off and is not combinable with the club discount of 5 percent".

 

SS provides 5% on board discount, but only if you book D2D, not P2P. Furthermore, to get your nights counted towards status, you have to book D2D. If you book P2P, it's like you never took that cruise for the status purpose. Furthermore, some D2D sailings don't include flights (so why you even call them D2D?)

 

Every line has its own nuances and "shticks". No line is truly transparent in its pricing.

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30 minutes ago, Abby0651 said:

the best reason to not book Oceania is that they lied about FCC

and so far we have seen no good faith plans of Oceania to make cruise more enjoyable as replacement for being prisoner 9 days at sea

 

Your “prisoner” comment seems a little extreme. 

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4 minutes ago, RD64 said:

Your “prisoner” comment seems a little extreme. 


I’m sure 99% of the world population would be very happy to be in a prison like this. But some people are never happy. Just remember how fortunate we are to be able to cruise on those wonderful ships.

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41 minutes ago, smj said:

We dont have any future Oceania cruises booked. The prices do seem a bit high. We dont drink and I dislike their excursions so other trips seem a much better value.

What *used* to be a very positive feature of Oceania is gone:

 

- We almost always plan private excursions.  (I think we've gone on 2 "cruise line" excursions *ever*.)  We'll do something alone, or sometimes we might do something like charter a large catamaran and invite a few other passengers to join us.)

So haviing "excursions included" has *always* been a total waste for us.

Note:  It's not *only* "wanting something private".  I need to stop and rest frequently.  That doesn't work well with a group, to put it mildly.  Either we'll hold up others or just get left behind.  Bad choice, so we avoid the situation.

 

- Also, we don't drink much.  And when we do, it's usually "fine wine", and that is never on any "included wine list".  So we either bring our own wine (when allowed and practical) or we purchase some of the nicer bottles on the list of bottles.  Sometimes there's nothing we care for, or what we do care for is astronomically priced, so... less wine for us.

We've been known to get "wild and crazy" and have a sail-away cocktail occasionally. 😉

 

- And as for included plane fare or credits, we always use awards.  Thus far, that is truly *always*, including both cruise or vacations.  Full stop.

 

So "bundling" is not going to be a "plus" for us, especially the new price point!  😡

 

We *loved* the food and the general level of service on Oceania, plus the general "vibe" of the ship (especially the Riviera) and the passengers.

It was a good fit.

 

We have a lot of memories and photos/videos.....

... and we may be aging out of some of this extended travel (not to mention general global issues 😱 ), so perhaps we were able to enjoy a sweet spot for our cruises and other global travel.

That's not clear yet, alas.

 

GC

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GeezerCouple: you must be reading my mind as I agree 100% with everything you said about your style of cruising not being compatible with SM. I just completed my 6th O cruise, starting with them in 2006. It was my last one. It was a good run, but I'm moving on to other lines that are a better fit. I am also pulling away from cruising and going on more land trips and safaris.  I'll monitor Oceania for them dropping SM in the future if it turns out to be a bust.

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13 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

What *used* to be a very positive feature of Oceania is gone:

 

- We almost always plan private excursions.  (I think we've gone on 2 "cruise line" excursions *ever*.)  We'll do something alone, or sometimes we might do something like charter a large catamaran and invite a few other passengers to join us.)

So haviing "excursions included" has *always* been a total waste for us.

Note:  It's not *only* "wanting something private".  I need to stop and rest frequently.  That doesn't work well with a group, to put it mildly.  Either we'll hold up others or just get left behind.  Bad choice, so we avoid the situation.

 

- Also, we don't drink much.  And when we do, it's usually "fine wine", and that is never on any "included wine list".  So we either bring our own wine (when allowed and practical) or we purchase some of the nicer bottles on the list of bottles.  Sometimes there's nothing we care for, or what we do care for is astronomically priced, so... less wine for us.

We've been known to get "wild and crazy" and have a sail-away cocktail occasionally. 😉

 

- And as for included plane fare or credits, we always use awards.  Thus far, that is truly *always*, including both cruise or vacations.  Full stop.

 

So "bundling" is not going to be a "plus" for us, especially the new price point!  😡

 

We *loved* the food and the general level of service on Oceania, plus the general "vibe" of the ship (especially the Riviera) and the passengers.

It was a good fit.

 

We have a lot of memories and photos/videos.....

... and we may be aging out of some of this extended travel (not to mention general global issues 😱 ), so perhaps we were able to enjoy a sweet spot for our cruises and other global travel.

That's not clear yet, alas.

 

GC


What really matters is not what’s included or not, but the overall value. All premium lines include now drinks, and some include excursions. We checked all premium and luxury companies for 2025, and O still provides the best value to us.

 

A small correction - excursions are not included only credit. So with say $400 credit, you can take two small group excursions from O that are supposed to be pretty good, and still book the rest with private operators.

 

And taking air credit is always a good option, this is what we always do. Nothing changed here.

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45 minutes ago, susiesan said:

GeezerCouple: you must be reading my mind as I agree 100% with everything you said about your style of cruising not being compatible with SM. I just completed my 6th O cruise, starting with them in 2006. It was my last one. It was a good run, but I'm moving on to other lines that are a better fit. I am also pulling away from cruising and going on more land trips and safaris.  I'll monitor Oceania for them dropping SM in the future if it turns out to be a bust.

 

Even considering we don't drink and prefer private tours over ship excursions, we are booked on two SS cruises for the next 12 months. Why? Because the combination of the itinerary, the price and the overall value made sense. And we are also booked on SB for the exactly the same reason.

 

We will continue going on case by case basis. Never say never. When someone says "this was my last one", my first question would be - what's your alternative?

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1 hour ago, susiesan said:

GeezerCouple: you must be reading my mind as I agree 100% with everything you said about your style of cruising not being compatible with SM. I just completed my 6th O cruise, starting with them in 2006. It was my last one. It was a good run, but I'm moving on to other lines that are a better fit. I am also pulling away from cruising and going on more land trips and safaris.  I'll monitor Oceania for them dropping SM in the future if it turns out to be a bust.

Susiesan, which other (cruise) lines are you looking at? Which (non-safari) land tour companies? Thx!

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7 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Well, I cannot speak for all lines, but here is my experience with couple recent bookings.

 

I asked SB for the extra 5% club discount. Their response was: "you currently have a promotion of 15 percent off and is not combinable with the club discount of 5 percent".

 

SS provides 5% on board discount, but only if you book D2D, not P2P. Furthermore, to get your nights counted towards status, you have to book D2D. If you book P2P, it's like you never took that cruise for the status purpose. Furthermore, some D2D sailings don't include flights (so why you even call them D2D?)

 

Every line has its own nuances and "shticks". No line is truly transparent in its pricing.

Pls explain D2D and P2P. Thx!

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6 minutes ago, PhD-iva said:

Pls explain D2D and P2P. Thx!

 

D2D = Door to Door. Includes flights in economy with option to upgrade to business, plus all transfers.

P2P = Port to Port. No flights or transfers, but significantly cheaper, with 15% non refundable deposit. 

 

P2P can be a great value if you don't mind to provide a non refundable deposit (ours is insured automatically by our credit card cancellation policy).

 

Their pricing is a lot more complicated than O actually, but we take some time to learn the pricing of every cruise line and make the best of it.

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11 hours ago, PhD-iva said:

Susiesan, which other (cruise) lines are you looking at? Which (non-safari) land tour companies? Thx!

I have one more cruise on deposit, Azamara Croatia Intensive for Sept. 2024. I may or may not take it. 

The other cruise line I might consider is Windstar.

 

If I was going to do a land tour I'd look at Gate 1 and Overseas Adventure Travel. OAT has a lot of tours that have women groups only and no supplement for singles. When I do land trips I don't take tours, I put my own itinerary together. The last land trip I did in 2019 was in Japan, one week on Kyushu then one week in South Korea. WE travelled by train and bus. I've also been doing National Park road trips here in the US. I'm considering Smoky Mountain NP for spring 2024.

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1 minute ago, susiesan said:

I have one more cruise on deposit, Azamara Croatia Intensive for Sept. 2024. I may or may not take it. 

The other cruise line I might consider is Windstar.

 

If I was going to do a land tour I'd look at Gate 1 and Overseas Adventure Travel. OAT has a lot of tours that have women groups only and no supplement for singles. When I do land trips I don't take tours, I put my own itinerary together. The last land trip I did in 2019 was in Japan, one week on Kyushu then one week in South Korea. WE travelled by train and bus. I've also been doing National Park road trips here in the US. I'm considering Smoky Mountain NP for spring 2024.

Thx Susiesan!

OAT has some poor reviews when things go wrong. A similar/related company is Grand Circle Tours, which is a budget cruise line. Hit or miss….

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54 minutes ago, PhD-iva said:

Thx Susiesan!

OAT has some poor reviews when things go wrong. A similar/related company is Grand Circle Tours, which is a budget cruise line. Hit or miss….

We have used Overseas Adventure Travel and they were fabulous!   I think all tour groups (or any business) will have some bad reviews.  Lots of complaints here when things go wrong on Oceania! It all comes down to doing research and deciding what works for you. 

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1 hour ago, susiesan said:

I have one more cruise on deposit, Azamara Croatia Intensive for Sept. 2024. I may or may not take it. 

The other cruise line I might consider is Windstar.

 

If I was going to do a land tour I'd look at Gate 1 and Overseas Adventure Travel. OAT has a lot of tours that have women groups only and no supplement for singles. When I do land trips I don't take tours, I put my own itinerary together. The last land trip I did in 2019 was in Japan, one week on Kyushu then one week in South Korea. WE travelled by train and bus. I've also been doing National Park road trips here in the US. I'm considering Smoky Mountain NP for spring 2024.

 

I looked at Windstar. The ships look nice, good itineraries, but the prices are comparable to O, and they don't include WiFi, drinks or excursions. Even if you like private tours, the O credit can still be used to book OE tours and save some money.

 

So if the price is the main factor to look for another line, not sure if Windstar is really a solution. 

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2 hours ago, PhD-iva said:

Thx Susiesan!

OAT has some poor reviews when things go wrong. A similar/related company is Grand Circle Tours, which is a budget cruise line. Hit or miss….

My husband and I did a 12 day land tour of Vietnam and then a 13 day tour of Thailand with Gate 1 in November 2023.  Our tour guides were excellent, can’t say enough good things about them.  We saw and did so much and both tour guides made sure everything went smoothly.  Our guides also set up extra tours for us that we asked for and were not part of our itinerary and they made it happen.  We are going with Gate 1 at the end of this November to Chile, Argentina (Patagonia) and Brazil.   Looking forward to it and expecting 🤞🏻to have another excellent tour.  

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33 minutes ago, Copper2031 said:

  We are going with Gate 1 at the end of this November to Chile, Argentina (Patagonia) and Brazil.   Looking forward to it and expecting 🤞🏻to have another excellent tour.  

I've been looking at that same Gate 1 tour for late 2024 or early 2025. It depends on if I can get J award tix to South America that coincide with the dates. I have friends who didd that tour with them and they loved it.

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1 minute ago, susiesan said:

I've been looking at that same Gate 1 tour for late 2024 or early 2025. It depends on if I can get J award tix to South America that coincide with the dates. I have friends who didd that tour with them and they loved it.

Thank you Susiesan! That’s good to hear.  We choose early December because that’s summer for Patagonia and it won’t be very warm but it also won’t be very cold. It may be windy.  

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I will comment as a frequent cruiser whose resume includes having been on 17 cruise lines with our O Vista booking (March 2024) being our 18th line.  Why so many lines?  We like to joke that we are "equal opportunity cruisers" but the truth is we do like variety and also routinely shop around (among several favored high volume cruise agencies) for the best value (not price....but value!).  We booked the Vista because our 35 day cruise offered a decent "value" and we wanted to try one of "O's" new vessels (we are not fans of the R ships).

 

Yes, prices have increased for cruises and most air!  Princes have also increased for just about everything else so this is not a surprise.  But there are still some good deals out there for folks who shop around, take advantage or promotions, use decent agencies that offer extra incentives such as generous OBCs, etc.  For folks that are wedded to 1 or 2 cruise lines, certain category cabins, etc. they are limiting their own ability to seek out better value for their money.  One reason we had never previously booked O was that we thought O offered a very poor value when compared to some of their competition (we even explained this to one O rep).  

 

What is happening with cruise pricing is enough to drive me to drink (hopefully with a drink package).  Consider that we recently cruised on the brand new Explora Journey 1 (an amazing product) for less than $400 per person day.  If we were to now book a future cruise on that line the cost would likely be about $700+ per person day or a 75% increase!  Truly nutz (especially considering their itineraries) although the cuisine on that line is, by far, the finest we have ever experienced in 50 years at sea.  As a comparison, we have a 2025 Seabourn booking for $437 per person/day.  At the moment, Seabourn remains our favorite overall cruise line (although we do have future bookings with O, Princess, and Silverseas).   Keep in mind that Seabourn is truly an all-inclusive line (does not include excursions) and one can spend a month on SB, drink and eat all you please, and walk off with an onboard account of zero.  

 

We have long suggested that cruisers and travelers shop around and keep an open mind about different brands, itineraries, timing, etc.  It is those of us who are flexible with our planning and thoughts that have the best chance of snagging the best deals.

 

Hank

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