We have been watching the prices bouncing around on the Pride for our cruise date in March. There have been quite a few changes, up & down, esp. for 3rd/4th person per cabin rates in the past few days. Question: our final pymt. date is coming up. We are wondering if the ship has as solid a booking as they had hoped for that time. Or is it not filling up as well as they thought? (Any of you in the "know" on this?) We must cruise on a very tight budget & though we will try, I know we will not be happy campers if the prices drop again after our final pymt. date. Our friends have already experienced a slight drop of $24 pp & could not get this latest adjustment from our T/A. There have been many complaints on this sight from people who experienced problems when their final pymt. was in & the rates on their cruises dropped - sometimes considerably after the Sept. ll disaster. It sounded like some people got the new prices; some tried everything & did not. What is our best defense (if there is one!)?
Uh, oh. I see another family member asked a similar question just a few days ago. (Sorry!) I want to add to mine, though. The prices we have seen posted are not advertised as "specials - for new bookings only", but they well may be considered that way by the cruiseline. I don't think the T/A involved told our friends that the the cruiseline wouldn't give him the latest lower price, just that he could (or would) not adjust it. I believe he just figured (probably correctly) that our friends would stick w/the deal since there are others involved w/our group & if they cancel & rebook they will screw everything up that we have in place. Since it is only around $24 pp in this particular case, they will most likely live w/it. But I think this T/A may have lost some customers that are beginning to cruise more & more.
Unfortunately, with the price fluctuations we have seen on the Pride (& I'm sure this is true on other ships) I am sure the T/A realized his customers had to act IMMEDIATELY to get the new price, & might not have a whole heck of a lot of time to shop for a new agent to rebook them, as prices would no doubt jump up again in a day or so. (They did, too.) There have been periods where the price stays the same for a couple of weeks; then all of a sudden there's another change - up or down - that could last a day, several days, or a couple of wks. I do feel sorry for the entire travel industry & know backs are against the wall. But somehow I feel that this whole thing will end up going AGAINST the consumer in the long run & many of the price guarantees will disappear forever. Hope I'm WRONG!
MLB.. we, unfortunately ran into the same problem on our CruiseMates Group New Year's cruise.
When setting up our group, we were guaranteed that we our rates would be adjusted if the prices came down. Unfortunately, this guarantee only applied up until final payment was due.
After final payment were made, Princess did have a limited number of cabins available that they discounted considerably.. but stipulated that these prices were for new bookings only.
We failed in our attempts with Princess to get any discounts, or onboard credits, or upgrades as some form of compensation for our group.
Some cruise lines, do not stipulate "new bookings only" when they discount, in which case I would expect the discount to apply.
And CERTAINLY if the discounting came before final payments were due, I would demand the lower price be applied to our booking,
A dumb question: If the cruise price goes UP, does one get stuck with the increase, (a) after booking confirmation is received, or (b) after making final payment, or are the original quotes generally honored?
I'm sure not an authority, but most T/As say your price will not increase once you have paid your deposit & as long as you pay your full balance at the specified time. Having said that, there is somestimes fine print in the back of cruiseline brochures about price increases in certain situations. I have never seen anything about price DECREASES though. Only the T/As or their agencies promise this.I've never known of anyone who has had their's increased for any reason after paying a deposit. I think the "fine print" is there in case of special situations- fuel, labor or port costs. Sept. ll didn't seem cause any prices to go up. Certainly they couldn't do that w/people afraid to even cruise. But if you'll notice, there were a lot more airline fees insituted for "extra security", etc. The cruiselines would be committing suicide to increase their prices near sailing date to paid customers. Of course you could use the argument that the same goes for price decreases. But for the good will of the customers, and in order to be able to speculate on how full their ship will be, they need to have people book early. They wouldn't do it if they were in danger of paying more later on. This issue usually goes in favor of the passengers. Due to recent events things are changing fast, though. Also, I don't think your question is "dumb". We all learn as we go, & since so many aspects of cruising change rapidly lately, it's always good to ask, check, & double check. And even then, you never know sometimes!
we had paid months ago for our new years cruise and when I saw prices dropping I called my TA, she called HAL and we got a $572 reduction credited back to our AMEX, also got a reduction of $1200 on a March cruise also with HAL......jean
The events of Sept 11 have convinced me that booking and purchasing within 30-60 days of sailing is the way to go if you are worried about paying more than the guy next to you at dinner.
In May 2001, for the first time we booked a cruise far ahead of sailing for December 9. Final Payment was due on Sept 19. We Cancelled. The price of the cruise plummetted through October and November. We ended up going on another cruise in November for 2 weeks , balcony cabin, 800.00 each total! it was the best trip we have ever had. We booked 4 weeks in advance, had out choice of cabins and saved enough to go on another cruise.
We could get no assurance that we would get any discounts that happened or even an upgrade if we made our final payment in Spetember.
I understand that people want to be sure they get what they want. I pick out 3 cruises that we would be happy with and then wait until the prices start to drop.Chances are, unless it is at Christmas, that all the sailings will not sell out. You may not always get exactly what you want and if that is not acceptable then you will likely have to pay a premium for the peace of mind.
We travel on a budget and love cruising to the point we are obsessed now and if I can save enough to plan my next voyage I am a very happy camper.
I just wanted to add that we had a similar situation. We had booked on the Carnival Victory months in advance (very budget minded!!!), and the prices dropped quite a bit after the events of Sept. 11. I called my travel agent and she worked with Carnival to get us upgraded to a wonderful cabin with balcony. We didn't save any money, but what a treat to end up with that great room. Its always worth asking. Good Luck, Kara