More of a queston about rising prices than a gripe
More of a cruise question than a cruise gripe.
Today one airline indicated it would charge for each bag checked in. Some say the price of airline tickets are going to keep on going up right along with the cost of jet fuel.
Assuming airfare becomes more expensive, I was wondering about the following
Are there passengers that won't go on a cruise, or will cut back on their cruising as a result of expensive airfare?
Are any of you rethinking your cruise plans, or cutting out cruises because of increasing airfare?
What is the cutoff point -- when the airfare alone is as much as the cruise, is more costly than a basic cruise, or does it matter to most of the cruising public at all?
What are the cruise lines going to do if anything to offset a potential decline in passengers? Has anyone heard anything? What types of things do you all suggest the cruise lines can do if the airfares increase in the future?
I do two cruises a year march and holloween. This year with the price of air going up and the price of cruises going up, i haven't booked either one yet. Until something gives either way, i just might give up cruiseing for a while. I cruise solo.
Like the previous post, I cruise solo most times. I prefer Carnival because I could book their lowest category (inside 1A) for 150% or less of the double occupate rate to book the next higher catergory (also inside).
I have noticed that Carnival is no longer selling Cat 1A cabins in the number that they did before. In the past, once the 10 or so Cat 1A cabins were booked on a ship Carnival would continue to offer Cat 1A rates on a guaranteed cabin basis which means you take what they give you for the lower Cat 1A rate.
Two things are at play here. One, after many many years, Carnival has recently lost to RCCL, their brilliant VP of sales (Vicki Freeman?). The change in command is at work with their decision to discourage this solo cabin affordability. The second is that Carnival is now (probably for reason 1) viewing Cat 1A Guarantee cabins that are booked by a solo cruiser as loss revenue.
The problem with this decision is that it is easier to get a solo traveller to purchase a last minute cruise. Solo cruisers tend to book more ship excursions and spend less time in their cabin thereby running up their sale and sign on drinks, bingo, casino, etc. They were one of the few cruiselines that offered this type of price break to solos. I guess the new powers-that-be do not feel that the higher sail & sign charges offset losing 50% of the cost of an inside cabin.
As a result of this new policy, while in the last 5 years or so, I took approximately 3 cruises each year, I will probably not be cruising as much and when I do, Carnival no longer has the incentive that always sent me sailing on their ships. With their new pricing policy, a 7 night cruise will cost a solo approximately $1,500 just for the cabin. (I have one last cruise booked for next week and for the last 3 months, the lowest cost for a solo has been $1,698, plus tax, fuel, port charges)
For $1,500 my vacation options are greatly increased and no one company or vacation style has an edge. I can do an all-inclusive solo on a tropical island for $1,500. I can do any of the mass market cruiselines for $1,500. I can combine my three cruises into one and do an amazing vacation to some far off exotic location like Africa, Turkey, China, etc.
I will sit back and see if they rethink their decision to eliminate Cat 1A cabins and the financial incentive they offer to solo cruisers. This is good timing for me because after so many cruises (15+), cruising has started to lose its shine to me and maybe it is time to expand my vacation/travel repertoire.
(cruzin' solo by design)
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
What promotions from the cruise industry would encourage passengers to cruise even with higher airfare and/or cruise costs?
Aggressive upgrade program
Price reduction for the basic cruise
Special promotions - such as discounted or free excursions
Free drinks and or free or reduced prices at specialty restaurants
On a personal note -- we were going to take a cruise this December as we have the past number of years. Airline travel is becoming so expensive for us that we are considering an all inclusive vacation to the Mayan area or Hawaii to defrost.
Honestly in response, and I am discussing this on my own thread re how tight money is...and it is going to get tighter I feel.
"Today one airline indicated it would charge for each bag checked in"
That will become the norm for all airlines or they will reduce the hold baggage allowance to a level so low, that you will no option but to pay an excess if you’re over say 18KG bag to place it in the hold.
The price of oil affects planes, cars, ships and what you pay back home for EVERYTHING including food and electricity.
How the lines deal with this is a different problem, and I am sure right now across the board rooms of the cruise lines they are discussing it as the number one issue, and not “how big can we make the next ship”. They are bricking it regarding how do we fill the ones we have, never mind building new ones in this economic environment.
Problem is, they were already working at bulk low or nil margin to fill bunks, but they could still make money in some areas, drink,, shore trips, ,gambling,,,,,mmm okay. But personally my feeling is, if global scenarios do not change,,,,,the day of the cheap cruise has gone. The price of oil to sail that ship has to be paid for, and that price comes from you and me.
I personally hope the price goes back on the cruise fare and no more relying on drinkers, gamblers etc to make up their profit, as that "loophole" is one that a lot of folks take advantage of...having paid litttle or nothing for the "cheap cruise and food",,,,,,,,, then spend NOTHING else to subsidise their cheap cruise fare.
And just an aside, three out of the top four posts on this thread have the same theme, plus Paul M's on other thread. People must be getting concerned as to what you will get for your buck in a years time.
Increased airline costs are coupled with increased CRUISE FARES. Just check them out against what you paid just a couple of years ago.
As a combination of these, we have cut our usual three cruises per year to zero! We simply can't afford any ship/line/accomodations combination that we would like at all.
With oil prices so high, and with ships burning as much as they do, I really don't see what "perks" the cruise lines could afford to offer (without going broke) that would lower total costs enough to get us back onboard. As I see it, the problem is beyond the control of the airlines, the cruise lines, and me. And the problem is oil prices.
I do have a fearless prediction, however. Remember that in addition to chargine $15 to check a bag, some airlines charge up to $75 for the SECOND bag. I beieve we are seing the beginning of the end of formal nights.
I'm thinking about it I live LA Calif I can drive to LAS VEGAS for fun I can drive to SAN DIEGO or SAN PEDRO or SAN FRANCISCO to go on a cruise and no air fare. A course I'm limited on where I can go but going on a cruise is not the end of the world. I like Las Vegas I met my wife there 30+ years ago I can save money and gamble some too and get a BETTER ROOM and eat at BETTER RESTAURANTS. So the airlines can do what they want.