Why do cruise brochures quote prices that about two people per cruise (out of 2,500) ever pay? why don't they qoute the prices we actually pay? I understand that they change rates almost daily based on how well cabins are selling, but when is the last time anyone halfway knolebeable paid more than half the brochure rate? I guess it is the lines way of just making us think we are getting a deal.
I don't understand that either. Apple Vacations is a popular land vacation provider; their brochure prices are much more realistic. Sometimes the price goes up, sometimes it goes down. I don't know why cruiselines can't do the same. I'm sure this question has been asked before and I'm curious to see what other posters have to say.
I don't understand it either. NOBODY pays the brochure rate! Or if they do they have been ripped off.
I would suppose the cruise lines have to put something in the brochure to give new customers some kind of idea of what the price is going to be. Because, in reality a person could actually cruise for that brochure price (but who would want to?). The brochure price becomes the "sucker" price. And you know the cruise line isn't going to tell you to find a better price through an agency. They will be happy to take your brouchure price money.
To some extent, this is a function of the market place. We all have seen the stickers on new car windows in auto showrooms. While few ever pay those prices (some do on luxury brands or mid range cars in great demand with low supply), they do serve a purpose... enabling the consumer to compare prices say between a Chrysler Sebring, Concorde and 300. It places the product in a particular slot. Then, of course, discounting on these vehicles, from the sticker prices, varies widely between different geographical locations... (in major metropolitan areas, where you may have a car dealer on every other block discounting is generally much stronger than in rural areas where the nearest dealer may be a long distance away) and other factors. Again, this is free market economics at work. We see the same marketing methods in stores with suggested retail prices on almost everything they sell.
Cruise lines follow the same marketing techniques. A cruise cabin is not a commodity and pricing is quite complex with lots of ancillary factors affecting the final price to the consumer. Pricing varies from one geographical location to another and from different sources in the same area. Price is also affected by service levels. Many consumers, particularly those purchasing top end accommodations and/or luxury brands demand a higher level of service than the individual who will surf the net for hours if not days to save $20 on a cabin. The former expects to pay a fair price for the service demanded while the latter does not. This affects pricing too. And there is lots more too.
I guess my point, in this belabored post, is that the "catalog" price does serve a purpose (albiet a comparative one and a "leveler") and helps to keep some kind of order in the marketplace just as it does in many other areas of commerce.
It DOES seem unrealistic but haven't we all stayed in hotel rooms where the "published rate" per night is WAY more than what we paid? Even though they are putting the "high end" in the brochure, at least it gives us a standard to go by and then we can "go buy" the discounted rate!
A source that I've found to be amazingly accurate as to real prices charged for cruises is www.cheap-cruises.com. They are not cheap cruises like the name would indicate, just more realistic than the brochure. Use the online booking engine to select the cruiseline, the ship, and the month. It will narrow down to a few cruises. Select your cruise and you can see what price they have for each cabin category for your cruise. If you paid a similar price, I wouldn't get too worked up over it. But keep reading these boards, there's lots of places to find rates. If after doing more homework, you feel you've paid too much, call them back and explain what you found. You may be able to get a price adjustment, a cabin upgrade or you may still be able to cancel.
I still use a TA to book. I know there are cheaper alternatives, but he's been so reliable. I know I'll always have my tickets. And he's hooked us up with some special perks on a few occasions. Reading these boards you'll find there are many ways people save on cruises. You could drive yourself crazy. However, you'll also read about some of scams people have run into using on-line cruise brokers too.
Sometimes, though rarely, a line will have a corporate special price on certain limited sailings of a given ship. Then, and only then, can your best price be at or at least near, brochure prices. The RIGHT TA can get you the best price and service, but TA's have become very line-specific. A TA with the right contacts to get you the best deal on one line may not have the contacts to do so on another line.
I once was in the car business and the above two poster are correct but I want to go one step further. When demand is down you discount as much as you have to inorder to sell cabins. But if you had a lower brochure rate you couldn't go up when demand was high. So you need to set the brochure fare high enough to cover the market when the demand for cabins is high.,
It has always been said in the car business you can come down after you state a price but you can't go up.