At cruise.com they all the time have deals with balconies for $750 sometimes less on certain ships. I can do Carnival Miracle -new ship March 29 -5 day cruise with a balcony $629 a person which includes port charges. Back in the fall they had a deal for Princess Grand -7 day cruise $699 a person balcony and the same rate for Carnival Legend which was an 8 day cruise. One left Dec. 14, one left Dec. 15 and if it had been my choice I would have went on either of those but got out-voted by my husband and friends. So anyway your deal is not as good as you think so no thanks.
Well, certainly no one is twisting anyone's arms to come along<G>... but when shopping ANY cruises one has to consider many factors which have an effect on the price. Not the least of which is time of year. For example cruises in early Dec., before the holidays are often the cheapest of the year. Why? Because it's more difficult for them to fill the ships. Less people are cruising before the holidays.
When the cruise lines find some sales are slow on certain sailings they discount the prices to fill the ships. So... when checking prices you have to compare apples to apples, not apples to grapes.
We shop all our CruiseMates Group Cruises with many different agencies to get the best PACKAGE deal we can put together for our readers. Are they ALWAYS the lowest price you can find anywhere? Nope. No one can make the claim of always having the lowest price. But... we're always confident we're offering GREAT value.
In the case of this Spirit cruise... It's in high season, in the winter months... and take the base price of $839 for a balcony cabin including all port and tax for 8 NIGHTS, then figure the value of the amenities included.... a complimentary group cocktail party, a free group photo, a free tote bag, and the $40/per person shipboard credit....and the actual cost of just the cruise is probably closer to $700.... for an 8 night cruise.
PLUS there's the fun of traveling with fellow CruiseMates and the other events we plan for onboard to make the cruise fun. Some will say that's worthless.. , but others will say it's priceless.
There's a considerable number of people on this cruise, and booked on other CruiseMates Group Cruises, who are repeaters from previous group cruises. That fact alone tells us we're offering good VALUE on our group cruises.
Our group cruises may not be for everyone. But for anyone that enjoys the comraderie of cruising with a group, and the social aspects involved in cruising with group, they sure are fun!
Cruisemate Spirit Cruise for 8 nights....................$839 dollars.
Shipboard credit on the cruise.................................$ 40 dollars.
Picture with Antlerhead.............................priceless!
Maurine.. that depends. What have you done, or what would you to do to earn that "free" cabin?
Of course, I guess my question would be.. what does it matter who's getting what, if you are getting what you considered to be a good price, and have a wonderful time?
It's really easy enough for anyone to start their own groups, and many do. And make a deal with their TA to get the value of any tour conductor berths that MIGHT be earned by the group, if enough cabins are sold.
There's even been articles on the CruiseMates site giving people tips on how to do this themselves. (Tour Conductor berths are actually the value of the berth, cruise only.. not including port chges/non commissionable fees, and govt. taxes).
Oddly perhaps, there's a lot of work done in making a group cruise successful. Simply getting people to book is just the start of things. Talk to anyone who has organized a group cruise, and you'll hear just how much work really is involved.
That said, our group cruise program is now set up so that the TA's keep the value of all the tour conductor berths earned by the group..... and we believe they take that into consideration when bidding on our groups.
There are some costs and a list of conditions and factors a TA has to agree to when bidding for our cruises. Just as no passengers are forced to book them, no TAs are forced to bid for our group cruises. So, when they do, we're assuming they factor everything , including a profit for their work, into their bids before submitting them.
Of course all of this wouldn't make any sense to those people who might think no one should make anything, and that even web sites like this should be not only be free for everyone, and supply tons of great information, but do so without having any advertising on them.
It simply doesn't matter to them who pays for all of it, as long as it's not them.