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Old October 12th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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Default How often do prices drop?

We are booked on the Independance of the Seas for an 8 night caribbean cruise leaving on March 16th. The price of the cruise just dropped this past tuesday and recieved a check for $340.00. I was a litle suprised for the price drop as it is around spring break time and the early dinner time was full already...leading me to believe that the ship was getting full. What are the chances that the price drops even more? My opinion is the the chances are slim to none but I didnt really expect the first drop
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Old October 12th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Congratulations on the price drop!!!

Cruise pricing can be a mystery but it is based on supply and demand. Certain categories of cabins are more in demand than others. Low category insides and low category balconies are the most in demand because the cruise line can sell them with good lead in pricing. "Seven night cruise from $499".

Almost every ship that sails is full so they do whatever they can to fill it. If the cruise is selling well then the price won't drop and could go up. If they need to sell it out then you get a price drop. How often this happens is anyone's guess. Enjoy the rebated money and if you get more, great. If not then enjoy!!!!

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Mike
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Old October 12th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Cruise prices seem to change very often.

I always keep an eye on sales for cruises after I've booked, even if the price doesnt drop they might offer OBC, free upgrades, a bottle of wine etc. A simple phone call and you get it too
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Old October 12th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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First question I have to ask; why did you get a check? The final payment is not due until December 31st and making full payment before this is usually not advisable. Plus, you should ALWAYS use a credit card when making a purchase like this for several reasons. And if you booked through an agency, you always want to make sure that they did not charge your credit card - they should have the cruise line charge your credit card.

As for pricing going down, it can just go down because the sailing is not selling real well and they need to stimulate sales. Same thing the other way - if it's selling real well, then prices could go up. But it's always a good idea to book early because if they prices go down, you can usually get the lower rate provided final payment has not been made. If the prices go up, then you're protected against any increases, unless taxes or fuel supplements are involved.

I don't know where you live, but currently there is a special resident rate being offered on your cruise. So you might want to check it out and perhaps you're due for an even bigger refund. Keep your eyes open, anything can happen.

But I have to say, I'm concerned about the part of someone sending you a check. I've not heard that one before, so I would be curious to find out how you booked this.

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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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We wanted to book the cruise, but we really would not have the money until my wife received yearly bonus. We always use at least part of this money use toward a vacation. Problem is we really wanted to make sure we were able to book a balcony room. I Did have the money right now so a relative wrote a check to me for the price of the cruise (approx. 2,500) . I used the money to write in full to a travel agent who works for a travel angency. Thats why we got the refund check.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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That's right, I realized the only reason he would get a refund is if he had paid in full before the final payment is due...

Banshee...

In case you do not know, there will come a point, probably about 90 days before your sail date, when you will have a set price (there may be even more adjustments before then) but at that date - when "FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE" at that point the price will be locked in for you - and any further price changes will NOT result in any benefit for you.

That is - unless the cruise line or your agent decides to make up the difference somehow with an onboard credit just out of kindness (I have heard of this happening) - however, technically and contractually they will not owe you anything after that point.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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As I mentioned, it's always better to use a credit card when purchasing something of this nature for several reasons;

1) You want the cruise line to charge your credit card and not the agency. That way, should the agency get your money, then go out of business, they have your money and not the cruise line. So now you're out the money and out the cruise.

2) Should you have any problems with the charges, your credit card company can be of assistance with the disputed amounts.

3) Often, a credit card company offers extra protection in the form of travel or life insurance whenever travel is charged.

4) If you have a credit card that offers points, miles, or money back for purchases, a vacation can add up to alot.

I understand that some people don't have credit cards, in which case a check must be used. In that case, it's often a good idea to use a friend's or relative's credit card and send the check to them so you can still get the benefits of using a credit card.

If there are no other options available and a check must be used, then it's vitally imperative to make sure you get a confirmation from the cruise line to verify your reservation and that the amount you paid was given in full to the cruise line.

But I would still highly recommend only paying the deposit and then not paying the rest of it until final payment is due. Put the extra money in a savings account until it's time to make the payment. Otherwise, you're giving the agency your money and they may just keep it until final payment is due, so they're getting the use of your money for free.

Also, if you give the agency payment in full many months before it's due and the price changes, they may charge you a fee to cancel or to process a refund. Or they may not even provide the refund at all. They have all your money, so they may be less apt to want to part with it.

And lastly, keep in mind that you can make as many payments as you want towards your cruise. Once the deposit is made, you can make payments in any amount up until final payment is due.

I just read and hear too many stories about agencies taking money from clients and not sending it to the cruise line. Unfortunately, in every business there are those who look to take advantage of people. And while it's still highly advisable to use an agent because their services can be invaluable, it pays to be careful.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Pete
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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Excellent advice Pete....
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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I appreciate the advice and a check really was about the only option. Hopefully we wont burned. The travel agancy has been around for over 10 years and has good reviews so I'm somewhat confident that nothing "bad" will happen. Fingers crossed. As far as the reservation goes...I'm assuming that the number the travel agent gave me to log onto the RCI to see the cruise is what you are talking about. Is that correct?
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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As long as you have a booking number from the cruise line you are in good shape. Also, the fact that you already received one refund from the travel agency says a LOT for their honesty and credibility.

But that does not change the value of the advice offered (to other people who may read this post) by Pete up above.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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I agree with Paul in that it sounds like you're safe in this situation and should not encounter any problems.

As for the number they gave you, that should be your confirmation number from the cruise line and with that you can go onto the cruise line's website and verify your reservation and the information.

The agency should have provided you a copy of the confirmation the cruise line provided to them. If you did not get this, give them a call and ask them to send it to you. It's sent to them via an electronic document, so it's easy for them to forward a copy to your email address. Some agencies will only provide the confirmation from the cruise line, while other agencies will provide you two items; the confirmation from the cruise line as well as an invoice/confirmation from the agency.

Either way, you should always demand an confirmation from the cruise line and you should always verify it on the cruise line's website to insure all the information is correct. And if you notice any irregularities or errors, contact your agent immediately so they can correct them. You definitely do not want to wait until after the final payment due date. And if the agent wants to charge you for any changes, find another agent! (The only exception to this is if the cruise line is charging a fee for changes, but unless it's something like the Early Saver Fare offered by Carnival, almost always there should be no fee involved.)

Pete
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Old October 15th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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I also noticed that with RCI on Tuesdays there is usually a price change. Sometimes the price goes up and sometimes it goes down. I was able to catch the price below what I booked my cruise for. I called RCI and received a $400 ($200 per ticket) refund back to my credit card. I also noticed that "sometimes" but not always there is a price change on Saturdays too but more so on Tuesdays.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadog2 View Post
I also noticed that with RCI on Tuesdays there is usually a price change. Sometimes the price goes up and sometimes it goes down. I was able to catch the price below what I booked my cruise for. I called RCI and received a $400 ($200 per ticket) refund back to my credit card. I also noticed that "sometimes" but not always there is a price change on Saturdays too but more so on Tuesdays.
While Tuesdays are a good day for deals, it can be any day of the week. For example, today RCCL started a new deal. So check your rates. But this is also where it pays to use an agent; the public could not book this until today - we were able to book it yesterday. Also, after final payment has been made they won't offer any changes, but an agent often has tricks where they can get something for you.

As for you getting a refund back to your credit card, I'm assuming you made total payment before your final payment due date, which is not necessarily a good idea most of the time for a number of reasons. But still glad you got the discount.

Pete
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Old October 15th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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cruise planner: Yes my final payment was made before my final payment date. I also get advance notice from RCI before they go public. As I look at my upcoming cruise it is still higher than what I booked it for but you are correct it is good to check prices often you just might get a deal.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 12:30 AM
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cruise planner: Yes my final payment was made before my final payment date. I also get advance notice from RCI before they go public. As I look at my upcoming cruise it is still higher than what I booked it for but you are correct it is good to check prices often you just might get a deal.
Not to be nosy and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I'm just curious as to why you would want to make full payment before the final payment due date. Just wanted to see if perhaps I'm missing something.

Thanks.

Pete
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Old October 16th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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cruise planner, no you're not being nosy. I made my final payment before my due date simply because I had the money at the time. I charged the cruise to my card (to get the points) then I turn right around and make the payment to the card. What are the advantages of waiting to pay your cruise off before the due date. I have done both, waited and paid it in full.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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cruise planner, I just read your post (again) about agency's not making the full payment once you have made the full payment. Very good advice for sure. The credit card advice is good also. I usually handle the booking and maintenance of my cruise. Just easier for me that way.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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cruise planner, no you're not being nosy. I made my final payment before my due date simply because I had the money at the time. I charged the cruise to my card (to get the points) then I turn right around and make the payment to the card. What are the advantages of waiting to pay your cruise off before the due date. I have done both, waited and paid it in full.
The major reason for not paying the final payment before it's due is the interest you lose on your money. For me, I'll make deposits in a savings account and then when the final payment is due, I'll charge it to my credit card to get the points, then immediately pay the card off via electronic transfer from my savings account. I make a few extra dollars in interest and I don't allow the cruise line to use my money for free.

Second, some cruise lines are more willing than others to allow us to get a lower rate for those who have not made their payment in full when a special is advertised 'for new bookings only' when it's offered before the final payment due date.

Just some tricks of the trade.

But you should always use an agent if for no other reason that to assist should any problems arise. You'll pay the same and reputable agents will not charge any booking, change, or cancellation fees, so it makes sense to utilize their expertise. But if any problems occur, an agent has contacts not available to the average passenger, which can be invaluable.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not one to give my money to someone before it's time. I never know when something might happen and I need that money for an emergency right away. I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

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Old October 16th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Well I guess the element missing here for me is that I will lose on some interest. I have had my booking adjusted on several occasions even after my final payment has been made when the price dropped lower than what I booked it for. It's always good to have something in reserve case of emergency. What I lose in interest is sometimes made up in other ways. Admittedly though, sometimes I do take a hit on the interest. Will take a closer look at that thought for future cruises. As far as problems go, my past training as a RTA and a CTA still serves me. If it weren't for that yes always use a TA.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 10:50 PM
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I have had my booking adjusted on several occasions even after my final payment has been made when the price dropped lower than what I booked it for.
Yes, on some cruise lines that will work. But you won't find it on all cruise lines in all situations.

And even if I weren't an active agent, I would still always book with an agent because if I had any problems, I know they have contacts that are not available to me as a regular passenger. Their help can be invaluable should problems arise - otherwise, I'm up to my own devices and knowing what I know now, I would not want to fight the fight without help, that's for sure. I can't tell you how many times our corporation has save clients. It's always better to have a big company behind me that trying to fight the cruise lines by myself.

Of course, if you have never had any problems, then it's always a good thing.

Pete
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Old October 17th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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How well do I know about that. When my credentials were active and current I had to "approach" some cruise lines about problems on my clients behalf and with some of my own bookings too. I did enjoy the professional courtesies that were extended and contacts that I made. I still keep in touch with some of those contacts. My wife and I owned our own travel agency from 2001 -2008 and now that I've retired from my primary employment I may look into it again. I see by your page that you love to cruise too. 43 cruises and other travels too. That's great. DW and I do mostly cruises with other travels mixed in. We have 30 cruises with #31 due in December and #32 in Dec. of 2013. We are waiting for RCI to start booking the Sunshine class for 2014 to book that. Bruce
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