Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Princess Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Default Cruise Prices?? Newbie Question

Hello...

We are first time crusiers-to-be and I've got the standard Carnival, RC and Princess books from the travel agent...

The Carnival ones seem REMARKABLY cheaper...but they also have a list price and a "super saver" price.

From my research, I think Princess would be a good/better fit for us than the other two but is it way more money or is there something I'm missing?

We're looking to cruise in July or August of 2008 so we're WAY ahead and most of the dates aren't even in the brochures yet. Is that an advantage? Can a travel agent book that far ahead?

Is it better to use a TA or book right through the cruise line?

Thanks in advance.....

Beth
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2007, 05:32 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default Re: Cruise Prices?? Newbie Question

Beth,

Quote:
Originally Posted by "You
Hello...

We are first time crusiers-to-be and I've got the standard Carnival, RC and Princess books from the travel agent...

The Carnival ones seem REMARKABLY cheaper...but they also have a list price and a "super saver" price.

From my research, I think Princess would be a good/better fit for us than the other two but is it way more money or is there something I'm missing?
Well, it's very important to realize that all cruise lines are NOT created equal. A "premium" cruise line like Celebrity, Holland America, or Princess will have much higher standards of service, etc., than a "mainstream" line such as Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, or Royal Caribbean International -- and I should add that the cruise lines within these categories are not necessarily created equal, either. Only you can decide whether the savings of a lesser product will compromise elements that would contribute in a material way to your enjoyment of your cruise. If your sense is that Princess is a better match for your personal style, though, I would recommend going with Pirncess. But first, you might want to check out Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Lines as they are in the same segment as Princess.

It's also important to understand that all of the major cruise lines use "demand pricing" just as the airline do. If you can travel in an off-peak period, you may well get a lower fare on a "better" line than the fares that a "lesser" line commands during the peak period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We're looking to cruise in July or August of 2008 so we're WAY ahead and most of the dates aren't even in the brochures yet. Is that an advantage? Can a travel agent book that far ahead?
The cruise lines are in the process of announcing itineraries for the 2008 European season and opening those cruises for booking. Lines that have not yet opened 2008 European itineraries for booking will open them for booking within the next month or so. Thus, this is a great time to start planning a cruise to Europe in 2008.

That said, I have to tell you that July and August is a great time to go to northern and western Europe (Baltic Sea, Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Arctic Circle, etc.) but the worst possible time to go to the Mediterranean, where heat and humidity tend to be quite oppressive during those months. Bear in mind that European cruises are very different than Caribbean cruises. Most European destinations are very rich in art, architecture, culture, history, and cuisine, so shore excursions tend to be "all day" events that leave the ship early in the morning and return late in the afternoon with lunch included. Also, many of the attractions are NOT air conditioned. Additionally, much of the significant art and architecture resides in churches and other houses of worship that have strict dress codes (basically, clothing must completely cover the shoulders, the knees, and everything in between, and women must cover their heads with hats or scarves while in the churches) so touring in "95/95" weather in that region is not exactly pleasant. Additionally, many Mediterranean countries shut down nearly completely and go on vacation, either to the mountains or to the sea, for the entire month of August, so you will find many facilities either closed or overly full at this time of year. If you want to go to the Mediterranean, I strongly recommend going there in May or early June, before the hot and humid season, or in late September, October, or November, when the weather is much better for touring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Is it better to use a TA or book right through the cruise line?
I recommend booking through a reputable travel agent near your home. A travel agent will be able to match the fares that the cruise line offers through direct sales, and the cruise lines still pay decent commissions so most travel agents also waive their normal charges for booking flights, hotels, etc., when they are in conjunction with a cruise. And that way, you will have somebody who is personally resposible for your reservations and your itinerary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thanks in advance.....
You're welcome. Have a great cruise!

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Napa, CA
Posts: 17
Default

The best way to book a cruise is like you are doing on the internet, but beware that "special prizes" seldom include taxes and port charges.. So ALWAYS get the final price before compairing. I have 19 Princess cruises and I did not book one of them from Pricess. I stay away from Carnavil only for thier drunken orgies reputation. Some say the have changed, but....
Steve
__________________
Cruising frees the soul
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2007, 08:14 AM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Default

Thanks for all the feedback! I've got a TA working on it for me for now and we'll see how we go from there.

Thanks again,

Beth
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2007, 12:31 PM
danacline's Avatar
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 275
Default

Beth,

One of the old adages is "never pay brochure price", but that may have changed now since cruise lines don't let agents sell for under a certain price any more (you used to be able to get an agent to kickback some of his commission to make the final price cheaper).

We are members of a travel club, and they've always been able to beat any other price I get, sometimes by a few dollars, sometimes by a lot more. If I didn't have them (since I know what I want), I would look for good online sites and go with one of them.

It helps if you do your searches well... I tend to use the search engine at VacationsToGo dot com. Their prices are accurate enough for comparisons between different ships, weeks, itineraries, etc. With the search engine, you could search on, say, Baltic in July and August 2008, and see just which ships sail there. You might further refine it, or dig deeper to investigate each sailing, the ship, deck plans, etc.

I like both Carnival and Princess, and have traveled with HAL three times but was not quite as impressed with them. Our next scheduled cruise is Carnival, which will bring me up to 3 on each line (my wife has similar numbers but one less HAL, plus one Disney).

Yes, they'll book that far ahead - last time I looked there were listings up to the end of 2008. But you typically can't book air until 6-9 months out if you book your own.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2007, 01:50 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Default

Hello...

I have looked at vacations to go before. Has anyone booked with them? Will my T. A. be able to find the same prices as on there? Since I've never cruised before I like the idea of dealing with a human. I book my own flights, etc usually but this is so new to me!

Beth
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,384
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkerbeth
Hello...

I have looked at vacations to go before. Has anyone booked with them? Will my T. A. be able to find the same prices as on there? Since I've never cruised before I like the idea of dealing with a human. I book my own flights, etc usually but this is so new to me!

Beth
Here's a link to an article I wrote about pricing policies that you might want to read.
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...upthephone.cfm

With current cruise line pricing policies simply surfing web sites is no longer going to allow you to find the best price available. It's going to take an e mail or phone call (direct contact).

Vacations to Go and many other similar web sites, have live agent who you can contact and talk to quite easily via their toll free telephone numbers. There are VERY FEW agencies where contact is strictly by e-mail, or booking on their web site.
__________________
C U @ C,
Kuki
CruiseMates' Staff Writer
- The Kuki Side of Cruising-
A new Blog post every Wednesday
http://www.cruisemates.com/blog/author/kuki/
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Beth,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I have looked at vacations to go before. Has anyone booked with them? Will my T. A. be able to find the same prices as on there? Since I've never cruised before I like the idea of dealing with a human. I book my own flights, etc usually but this is so new to me!
I always use a "brick and mortar" agency located directly behind the house at the end of my street, where I'm now with my third agent in nine years (the first died suddenly and the second transferred to another position within the company). I have not yet found a situation in which they did not match the fares that I found on the 'net. My current agent, who is the manager of the office, has told me that there's only one situation in which they would not be able to do so, and it's a little bit complicated. Basically, a few travel agencies reserve blocks of cabins for "group" cruises and then advertise those "group" cruises for sale to the general public, the "group" being those who book through that agency. If the fare go up after the agency reserves the block of space, the cruise line still honors the fare in effect when the agency reserved the block of space so that agency can continue to market that cruise at the lower price while cabins in the group's block of space remain unsold. Again, this is the exception rather than the rule.

Suffice it to say that I always use a travel agent with whom I can speak in person when booking cruises on my own. There's no reason to do otherwise. In fact, most travel agencies routinely waive their fees for booking hotels, flights, etc., when they book hotels and flights in conjunction with a cruise because the cruise lines still pay reasonable commissions to the travel agents.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old April 21st, 2007, 11:18 AM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Default

Thanks!

I'm going to go with the brick and mortar near me so that I have a person to go and talk to if I need to. They've emailed me with some decent looking offers and I think it will be okay. I can't WAIT!

I'll be around on the boards from now on while I et used to the idea of cruising.

Thanks again,

Beth
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old April 21st, 2007, 11:45 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Beth,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thanks!
You're welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I'll be around on the boards from now on while I et used to the idea of cruising.
Uh-ohhh! If you think that the idea of cruising will take that much "getting used to"... ah... somebody better put up some signs warning both other passengers and members of the crew not to stand between you and the "Onboard Booking" desk when you actually get onto the ship....

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old May 1st, 2007, 02:24 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 75
Default

If you are looking for a travel agency that has great prices try Costco Travel. They were a few hundred cheaper than the 4 or 5 other places that we looked, and when we saw that the price had dropped we called them and they gave us the new cheaper price.
__________________
Celebrity Mercury - Hawaii

Princess Golden - Meaxican Riviera Oct/Nov '07
Norwegian Star - Mexican Riviera Oct '06
Carnival Ecstasy - Catalina/Mexico April '02
Disney Wonder - 3 day Bahamas Nov '99
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old May 1st, 2007, 04:54 PM
jimt's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 201
Default

Try Cruise Compete and get several quotes.

Nile Romance Nile River 5/90
QE2 EB Transatlantic 8/95
Norwegian Crown Western Caribbean 4/97
Celebrity Zenith Panama Canal 04/98
Carnival Jubilee Southern Caribbean 03/99
Renaissance R3 Tahiti 11/99
Dawn Princess B2B Southern Caribbean 04/00
Norwegian Majesty Bermuda 09/00
Norwegian Wind Western Caribbean 12/03
Norwegian Spirit Southern Caribbean 12/03/04
Celebrity Horizon Western Caribbean 03/25/05
Coral Princess SB Alaska 6/18/05
Majesty of the Seas Bahamas 10/10/05
HAL Westerdam E-W Caribbean B2B 12/4/05 12/11/05
Celebrity Millennium Panama Canal & South America 12/24/05
Regal Princess South America around Cape Horn 3/9/06
MSC Lirica Southern Caribbean/Panama 4/11/06
Island Princess North Bound Alaska 5/15/06
Caribbean Princess 9/9/06 B2B E/W Caribbean
HAL Volendam 10/14/06 S. Caribbean
Star Princess 11/6/06 E. Caribbean
Celebrity Century 11/27/06 W. Caribbean
NCL Pearl 12/14/06 Dinner & Dance Cruise
Diamond Princess 1/27/07 Mexican Riviera
Carnival Spirit 2/27/07 Mexican Riviera
RCI Navigator 4/14/07 Miami to Southampton Transatlantic
__________________
40+ cruises


Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
2012, carnavil, costco, cruise, cruises, europe, phones, princess, qe2, transatlanticapril, travel

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another Newbie question Sparrow5181 Princess Cruise Lines 16 January 27th, 2011 07:38 AM
Newbie Question scrappygirl Tipping 5 September 24th, 2009 10:40 AM
Some Newbie Question raghu.romeo First-Time Cruisers 2 June 20th, 2009 12:41 PM
Newbie Question - cruise prices?? Tinkerbeth Carnival Cruise Lines 6 April 18th, 2007 08:13 AM
Newbie here with a question deamari Carnival Cruise Lines 9 September 20th, 2006 04:11 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:25 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1