The last couple of years we (passengers) have been very fortunate to experience very low cruise prices.
The industry took a battering after 9/11, and the drop in travel. That along with a pretty substantial newbuild program combined to drive the cost of cruising down.
The industry has bounced back to the point many many ships are sailing full, and future bookings have gone through the roof. Check on sail dates for this coming summer, and you'll find many ships sold out already.
So, sadly... demand goes up... prices go up!
Can only hope that with the rise in prices we also see an end to the cost cutting measures and cutbacks that accompanied the lower prices.
The last couple of years my advice was wait until close to sailing date to book, for best prices. The way the industry is going now, I'd say by waiting, you could be left on the pier because the ship is sold out.
If you can find a price on a sailing that you think is reasonable, I'd book asap... because I do believe they are all going to be going up.
Yikes... I've noticed that too. The cruise I took in Oct (4 day) has gone up $150 per person for the same dates next year. I'm sure that had a lot to do with the fact that RCCL is no longer allowing TA's to discount for their clients. It is pushing me to book with other cruise lines. All you can do is choose your next trip with your wallet, but like Kuki said other cruise lines are doing well too. Cruising is getting more expensive in lots of ways (photos cost more, soda cards, etc). I just hope cruising remains to be the great value for your $$ it has been in the past few years. As of now the deals are still out there, you just may have to look a little harder.
I don't feel as though crusing is the best value for your $$. I think the all inclusive resorts are the best value. There are no additional fees or tipping to worry about. And there are a lot of good bargains out there for some really nice places. Seems like RCC should have kept this in mind. People just might resort back to the resorts because of their prices.
Supply and demand! It is amazing how quickly we forget the realities huh? When I booked the "Vision's inaugural Atlantic crossing in '98, I did it 16 months in advance. It sold out shortly thereafter! Am sure glad I booked all of my 2005 cruises early and looks like we all need to do the same with 2006.
Makes the hunt for "the deal" all the sweeter too ;>)
I agree, we sailed in November, and really enjoyed it, however, the bill when we left was outrageous with all the extra's we paid for on the ship. We also did an all-inclusive last year to Mexico, and it was great not having a bill delivered on the last day. I too, believe we will be going back with an all inclusive. With maybe an occassional "treat" cruise.
Majesty of the Seas 4/98
Bahia Principe - Mexico 11/02
Radiance of the Seas 11/04
Iberostar Quetzal - Mexico 11/06
The other cruiselines are upping their prices too. Honestly though from someone who has been cruising since 1990 the prices are still way way way cheaper than I used to spend. BUT the service and food was much better back then for the price and the sodas were included. SO here's hoping that when the prices go back up the extras become included and service rises..... I almost gave up booking for January on a last minute but finally got a decent deal although not on RCL. RCL did have some pretty good prices though. There are MUCH better prices for late 2005. It seems we will have to book way in advance from now on..... Debbie
I'll never give up cruising no matter how much it costs! I've done the all inclusives and it is nice to have EVERYTHING included but you stay in the same place all the time. I LOVE waking up in a different place everyday, there's nothing better to me. No I don't want to have to pay a small fortune to enjoy a cruise but that's the kind of vacation we like so we would pay, we'll just have to save a little more. Just my $.02
I have well over 20 cruises under my belt and here is my take on the situation....
The cruise lines publish what they believe is "market rate" prices well in advance of a sailing date. Then they watch the bookings and prices will fluctuate depending on how much response they get.
We just got home from the Dec 13th sailing on Briliance. The cabin we booked was originally priced at $1,600 per person. As the sailing date got closer, prices started moving down in order to fill up the ship. Our Travel Agent kept adjusting our pirce and we ended up paying $1,099 per person by the time we actually sailed.
I would definitely book a cruise now - regardless of published price. Just keep an eye on the pricing and call your TA every time you see the price dip. They will be able to re-adjust to the lower price.
This is a game the airlines have been playing for years. Prices on flights change almost daily, and I guess the cruise lines are doing the same thing.
And everyone else. I'm sorry I just can not and will not pay these kind of prices for cruise. I don't care where you wake up to every other day......it isn't even all that long to stay to enjoy the port.....so why pay all that?
The last price I got for sailing July for party of 3 was well over $8,000.00 for that price I might as well to to Hawaii and stay put and enjoy it all........
Fortunately I booked 2 cruises last year before the dramatic increases. I've been looking for another cruise for spring break 2005, but the prices are way above last year. At those prices, I agree, cruising is no longer the best vacation for the dollar for families. For example, I've been surprised to find a number of cabins where he 3rd and 4th in a cabin pay more than the first two. At these rates, for our family vacations, I'll be looking for something that isn't so much person (e.g. hotel rooms have minimal increases for 4 people in a room).
WOW Sis! Where do you shop. We're booked during April Vacation week for three people with a balcony and it cost us $3100. $8000, that's crazy! There are deals out there, you just have to shop around. I agree with "rkamen" book now and see what happens, they give you plenty of time to change your mind without a penalty.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
Explorer of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas
Adventure of the Seas
Serenade of the Seas
Navigator of the Seas
No, where did you shop? I went through TA and I also called RCC myself and TA was a little less then RCC. I also have the brochure with the prices on it. The price is well over $8,000 for 3 people J.S. Voyager......9 day cruise.
Was just on VOS. Booked about one year in advance and paid $2100 for 4 of us in an Atruim room. Inquired about booking another cruise while on board and they wanted over $5500 for 4 in the summer but I'd get $100 shipboard credit. So I'll book with Carnival since the price is more reasonable.
Since prices have pretty much doubled...does anyone know of another cruise line that is as nice as RCC? Also, are prices lower at one time of the year then the other? I noticed that in July prices are very high. Last sailed was in October and prices were lower. Is there a time when the price goes down as in October on?
Yes do know another as nice to include both Celebrity and Holland.Your best pricing will be inthe fall and the best of these times will be the 2 weeks from thanksgiving to Xmas and many times the best will be coming back on xmas day.The other great time is the first week after the new yrs cruise. Am speaking from experience having taken some 30 cruises mostly in the caribbean.Great deal being offered on celebrity zenith however prices have gone up not double if you do your homework
Have been on 5 different ships and liked them all.Each has its own charm.As for the larger ones only been on Millinnium which is first class.Their specialty restaurant The Olympic has been selected by many as the finest of all mainstream lines It is decorated in artifacts from the Olympic which was the sister ship to the Titanic.The spa areas on these ships is to die for.Will be going on Zenith in 2 weeks and my last trip was 1996 and it was great.My preferance for smaller ship is that you get to meet more people that you see more than once during the cruise.Also getting on and off the ship includind ports appears to go much more smoothly just because of sheer numbers.Whatever you decide you will not go wrong with Celebrity however RCL has a good following and appeals more to families and those with kids.Either way it beats staying at home.My opinion is that food is better on Celebrity and Rcl has the better entertainment and Holland has the best service but an older group.
Where are some of these resorts. I might like to check them out for a family vacation. Would love to take my daughter and her boyfriend around Christmas next year, but just can't afford to for 4 of us.