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Old May 27th, 2003, 07:13 PM
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Default Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

As a Canadian cruiser we're accustomed to the major cruise lines (Holland, Princess, Silverseas, Orient) giving our beleagered dollar a break on the exchange rate.
After reading so many rave
reviews about Celebrity we decided to give them a try and so, went on their web site to check prices. We inadvertently went straight into the "US resident" pricing and got a price of $1210 + $31.95 tx = $1241.95 pp (USD) for a Cat 6 stateroom. Once we realized our mistake, we went back and signed in as a "Canadian resident" The price for the same stateroom was $1879 + $50 tx = $1929 pp.(CDN) With a quick calculation, they have used an exchange rate of
1 USD = 1.55 CDN. Our TA verified the Canadian price as shown.

Since yesterday's rate was approx $1.37, we questioned our TA as to why Celebrity was charging Canadians $1.55 exchange rate. Even if they charged 40 cents on our dollar, the total price would be $1738 (or, $190pp less).

Our TA thought this was unfair as well, and so, pursued it with Customer Relations personnel (Steven & Robyn). They were not only unsympathetic, but suggested that her information was incorrect (figures above can be verified on their web site). Finally, they verified that they were, in fact, using $1.55 as a rate of exchange. They suggested she watch for upcoming promotions, or have us
purchase it on a US site where we can pay in US dollars.

We find Celebrity's response & attitude toward their Canadian customers to be totally unacceptable. Also we are sure that Canadian TA's will not be happy if their customers begin to purchase cruises on US based sites in order to assure a fair exchange rate on our dollar. Perhaps these same TA's will start to recommend other cruise lines over Celebrity.

PS: If you were booking a Cat 2 deluxe suite, the difference between .40 & .55 on our dollar would cost you $264 pp.

PSS: The IRS maybe interested in looking at the tax rate they are charging ($31.95 US on this particular cruise and $50 CDN if booked in Canada) Celebrity uses the $1.55 rate on the tax as well...who pockets the difference??As a Canadian cruiser we're accustomed to the major cruise lines (Holland, Princess, Silverseas, Orient) giving our beleagered dollar a break on the exchange rate.
After reading so many rave
reviews about Celebrity we decided to give them a try and so, went on their web site to check prices. We inadvertently went straight into the "US resident" pricing and got a price of $1210 + $31.95 tx = $1241.95 pp (USD) for a Cat 6 stateroom. Once we realized our mistake, we went back and signed in as a "Canadian resident" The price for the same stateroom was $1879 + $50 tx = $1929 pp.(CDN) With a quick calculation, they have used an exchange rate of
1 USD = 1.55 CDN. Our TA verified the Canadian price as shown.

Since yesterday's rate was approx $1.37, we questioned our TA as to why Celebrity was charging Canadians $1.55 exchange rate. Even if they charged 40 cents on our dollar, the total price would be $1738 (or, $190pp less).

Our TA thought this was unfair as well, and so, pursued it with Customer Relations personnel (Steven & Robyn). They were not only unsympathetic, but suggested that her information was incorrect (figures above can be verified on their web site). Finally, they verified that they were, in fact, using $1.55 as a rate of exchange. They suggested she watch for upcoming promotions, or have us
purchase it on a US site where we can pay in US dollars.

We find Celebrity's response & attitude toward their Canadian customers to be totally unacceptable. Also we are sure that Canadian TA's will not be happy if their customers begin to purchase cruises on US based sites in order to assure a fair exchange rate on our dollar. Perhaps these same TA's will start to recommend other cruise lines over Celebrity.

PS: If you were booking a Cat 2 deluxe suite, the difference between .40 & .55 on our dollar would cost you $264 pp.

PSS: The IRS maybe interested in looking at the tax rate they are charging ($31.95 US on this particular cruise and $50 CDN if booked in Canada) Celebrity uses the $1.55 rate on the tax as well...who pockets the difference??
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Old May 28th, 2003, 06:36 AM
lysolq
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

The only time you'll ever get a "fair" exchange rate is when dealing directly with a bank. Hotels, restaurants, retailers, car rental agencies and every other entity with which travelers come in common, always hose you on an exchange. Celebrity is no different than Hilton in that respect.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 07:03 AM
David Starkey
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

Reminder about Celebrity. Even though the parent company of Celebrity Cruises is Royal Caribbean( an American company) the majority shareholders and owners have always been shipping concerns mainly from Norway.

I have found that rates for many lines favor certain countries. For example P&O is way over priced for Americans, but British citizens get a much better rate.

I understand your concerns about Canadian rates, but Celebrity is still fairly priced when you consider the product they offer.(in my opinion).
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Old May 28th, 2003, 07:13 AM
Josie
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Default Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

In my view, what is unfair is that the rates don't change or adapt with the exchange rates. I would expect them to increase as required, so I expect a decrease when possible as well. We booked our Century cruise a few months ago when the exchange rate was where its been for the past several years. Over the past weeks, the exchange rate has changed significantly, in our favour, but the cruise fare is still the same. I am going to ask my TA to see what can be done - I'd be happy with an on-board credit or something just as a token of appreciation. For info - I checked the rates today and the US rate quoted for my cabin category is $910. Canadian rate is $1419. From my calculations, that's about $150 more than it should be, per person.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

The cruise lines do adjust their rates, but obviously not often enough to have caught the recent rise in the Canadian dollar.
I'd simply book the cruise in US dollars and pay the exchange rate my credit card co charges.

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Old May 28th, 2003, 10:22 AM
Josie
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Default Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

a good point Kuki - if we can do it directly from Canada. We normally have to go through a Canadian agent (and, frankly, this is a new issue with the recent change in exchange rates). I've written to my TA today - we'll see what she comes back with.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

C'mon Kuki,
In order to book a cruise in US dollars a person would have to go through an American Travel agency.(I just checked with our CDN TA who confirmed this!)
So are you ,(a Canadian, I think) suggesting we send all our cruise booking business across the border in order to insure a "fair" exchange rate.
Tsk,tsk....not very fair to our loyal, hard-working Canadian Agents!!!
Besides the point is about Celebrity's policy toward Canadian cruisers,not so much about how we have to find ways around their unfair practices.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

maringubob,

Remember that Celebrity is effectively a U. S. company, so they are converting the U. S. fare to Canadian currency based upon projections of the exchange rate at the time of final payment and accepting all risk associated with fluctuations in the exchange rate. If you book a cruise in U. S. dollars, OTOH, you assume such risks.

Right now, the value pf tje U. S. dollar on the world currency markets remains depressed due to perceived implications of the recent war in Iraq. It's fairly obvious that Celebrity Cruises is not willing to bet that the dollar will remain depressed for the next several months, especially now that the war is over.

Norm.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

David,

Reminder about Celebrity. Even though the parent company of Celebrity Cruises is Royal Caribbean( an American company) the majority shareholders and owners have always been shipping concerns mainly from Norway.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) actually is a [b] Liberian [/i] corporation, even though its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, reports its financial results in U. S. dollars, and serves primarily the U. S. and Canadian markets.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also does not have a majority shareholder. The two largest shareholders -- one Norwegian and the other Greek -- repsectively own about 25% and 22.5% of the outstanding shares.

Norm.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

maringubob,

I'm a fellow Canadian like you and that rate actually worked in my favour a few months ago. I found there rate at the time to be lower than the banks. I think its luck of the draw. My experience with celebrity is that there rates change over a long period of time. Our dollar, has only recently been going up and over time, if our dollar stays the same, I think celebrity will change it's rate. For now, find a good US travel agent.

Catherine
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Old May 28th, 2003, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

Josie,

In my view, what is unfair is that the rates don't change or adapt with the exchange rates. I would expect them to increase as required, so I expect a decrease when possible as well. We booked our Century cruise a few months ago when the exchange rate was where its been for the past several years. Over the past weeks, the exchange rate has changed significantly, in our favour, but the cruise fare is still the same. I am going to ask my TA to see what can be done - I'd be happy with an on-board credit or something just as a token of appreciation. For info - I checked the rates today and the US rate quoted for my cabin category is $910. Canadian rate is $1419. From my calculations, that's about $150 more than it should be, per person.

Since you are not paying for your entire cruise at the time of booking, the cruise lines have to calculate fares based upon projected exchange rates at the time of final payment. When an exchange rate drops out of the normal range due to unusual circumstances, history indicates that it reverts to normal when the unusual circumstances disappear. Thus, the projected exchange rates fluctuate far less than actual exchange rates and tend not to follow current movements.

Norm.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

Author: marigubob (netcache-2003.public.lawson.webtv.net)
Date: 05-28-03 11:12

C'mon Kuki,
In order to book a cruise in US dollars a person would have to go through an American Travel agency.(I just checked with our CDN TA who confirmed this!)
So are you ,(a Canadian, I think) suggesting we send all our cruise booking business across the border in order to insure a "fair" exchange rate.
Tsk,tsk....not very fair to our loyal, hard-working Canadian Agents!!!


Well to be honest I book all my cruises south of the border. I haven't found a Canadian TA who can beat the prices. Not saying they don't exist, but I haven't found them.

It seems a huge portion of Canadian agencies book through "Encore" cruises, and their pricing seems very average.

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Old June 10th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

Today, we are in the process of cancelling our booking for the Connie in December, through our Cdn. agent and Encore cruises, and re-booking same cruise with Encore (I believe) in U.S. $$. We will save about $250 Canadian. I'll let you know if any last minute snags come up. We told our agent we would be willing to book ourselves if Encore didn't want to do it this way.
For our July cruise, which is already fully paid, we are out of luck (have to pay cancellation penalties). I am sure the agents get a commission from Encore but I fail to see any benefit of dealing with them - even asked my agent in the past to go directly to Celebrity. She did. But if I don't ask, she'll always use Encore.
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Old June 11th, 2003, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

Josie,

If you're changing your booking, you might want to consider converting enough cash for the final payment to U. S. dollars now, while U. S. dollars still are cheap. With the end of the war in Iraq, it's likely that our "greenbacks" will return to normal valuation over the next several months.

Norm.
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Old June 11th, 2003, 07:42 PM
Josie
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminatory

True enough. Luckily, we have a US $$ account.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Celebrity's Canadian Pricing Discriminat

The key to this dilemma is "BOOK YOUR CRUISE IN THE USA'".

Many people have to shop around online and use connections on the boards to get the best price. If you want a deal then you have to go where the deals are. To me, price is the #1 factor in booking a cruise. So what is the problem???
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