The ignorant (me) one would like an opinion. 'Haven't been on a cruise since...well, let's just say the internet didn't exist then...so I don't know if fare discussions are allowed, or even considered bad form (like asking or telling one's annual income).
I purchased an oceanview cabin on the Summit 10/15 10-night cruise on SkyAuctions.com. I am over 55, do not yet have a cabin assignment but "will be contacted by a TA". I did not "bid" for this cabin, but purchased it with a guaranteeed
price including fare, port charges, government taxes and fees and a small SkyAuction processing fee.
(1) Is it considered de riguer to discuss pricing openly? If so, I will continue this thread. If not, would someone astute in such matters give me their e-mail so we may continue this subject privately. While I think I got a good deal, I keep hearing "caveat emptor"!
(2) Has anyone had experience with SkyAuction and, if so, what are your comments?
(3) Is a fare purchased in this manner upgradeable for an extra charge through Celebrity and, if so, how should I expect for it to be structured (i.e. a flat fee, difference in what I paid and Celebrities published fare, difference in Celebrity's Oceanview and Veranda published fares, etc.)?
I've thoroughly enjoyed monitoring your many and varied topics and learned much.
Cruisers are a committed (nay, addicted), gregarious and knowledgeable group!
Never used SkyAuction, so can't answer your specific questions.
However, after 27 cruises, I can say this about cruise pricing. Booking a cruise today is like booking a seat on a plane. Two hundred people on the same plane, all going from the same Point A to the same Point B, and no two passengers pay the same fare. Similarly with cruising, two thousand people on the same ship, many booked into the same category, and no two pay the same price.
For better or worse, there are lots of reasons for the disparity in pricing. The trick is to know what you want, then comparison shop prior to booking. Cruise-only agencies tend to quote lower prices than general travel agents. Get recommendations for competitive TA's. Ask the TA about special deals. If at all possible be flexibile since one week's difference on the calendar can mean the difference between peak pricing and steeply discounted pricing for the very same cabin on the very same ship.
Once you're satisfied that you've gotten a "fair" price, go with it. Then deal with the fact that no matter how great a deal you think you got, someone somewhere paid less than you did for the very same thing!
A word of warning - once onboard, avoid price torture. Run from anyone who asks what you paid or is too willing to tell you how much he/she paid for the cruise. On every cruise there's someone in the Presidential Suite who swears he paid half what you did for your minimal inside cabin below the water line!
I assume that if it's non-cancellable you can still get cancellation insurance. As for pricing, we use a TA that we know & trust, & she always gets us the exact cabin & seating that we want. She takes all coupons even after booking. It's worth whatever we pay & I think her prices are fair if not competitive. I have checked it against internet pricing & booking on board & it always holds up. It appears you may have booked a category guarantee but not a specific cabin... BTW The Summit 10 day trip was wonderful. We very much ennjoyed the ports & the ship. Enjoy your cruise.
A great way to avoid "price torture" is right here on this board. Just click on "Cruise Shopping" then "Cruise Quotes." You pick the cruise you want then agents compete to offer the lowest price. You can even enter a previous quote and ask agents to beat it.
Best of all, it's anonymous--you don't give your contact info. to agents unless you want to talk to them to get mroe info. and/or buy.
As someone in the travel industry if you book online you can not purchase cancellation insurance. No TA either can sell it to you - you can only purchase cancellation insuracne at time of booking for the product you purchased. All web companys such is skyauction, expedia, sell off etc etc ... can not sell you cancellation insuranace.
I would highly recomend finding a TA as for pricing a good TA should always following up to make sure the cruise line is not offering your cabin at a lower rate than you paid, and if they are offering it your TA should be having it adjusted and you should be getting a refund. I do this for my clients and most TA's do - it is not a gaurantee either, one more advantage booking with a TA is they can get a lot more for your money i.e. upgrades, and other perks. Also remember do not go to a TA and say I can get it for this much on line can you match - I would tell you "no I dont work for $5 per hour and I am sure you don't" as the Travel Industry is not lucrative as everyone thinks.
TA - This is incorrect. You can purchase cancellation insurance after booking, at anytime up until the cruise departure date.
I've purchased cancellation insurance after final payment was made via online trip insurance companies, ie Travelguard, Travelex, etc. As long as you cancel for covered reasons, ie sickness, family emergency, death of a family member, etc, your entire cruise price will be refunded. They also provide trip interruption insurance if you happen to miss the ship due to airline delays, etc.
i totally agree with you -----------booked my next cruise on line ---turned down their insurance and then went to insure my trip.com and got competetive rates from at least 12 companies and then booked the one i wanted and paid for it online