I priced a Royal Carribbean cruise for my family of 5 about a month ago. I had planned to book it in July of this year for next March 2013. I got an e mail from Royal Carribbean saying they were having a big sale. I went online yesterday to see what the savings would be if I booked the cruise now. Imagine my surprise when the sale price ended up being $600 more than the price I was originally quoted. Can anyone explain to me what happened and will prices come back down again ? Is this how cruises work? Thanks.
Hello AnneJeff, Welcome to Cruise Addict's.
What a bummer about that price. Six hundred is a lot of money. Of course, I don't really know what happened, but I can speculate.
First off, it's entirely possible that the actual price of the cruise did go up more than $600 since your first quote. And that this price does reflect a sale. Cruise prices do climb, sometimes drastically, as you get closer to the date. Always book as soon as possible.
Second thought: are you certain your original quote included everything that the current quote does? It's not unusual for some sites to quote the price, but leave off the port charges, or the government taxes, transfers etc. Other sites include it all. Or did you perhaps, look on line for the price and only take note of the price as if first came up on the screen, often those other charges aren't shown until you get a little farther into the booking process.
Third idea: Are you certain you were being quoted the exact same category of cabin? Even if both quotes were for verandah cabins, there are considerable differences among them, depending on location. If the lower priced category is sold out, you end up paying for the higher price category.
Will the price come down? There's no saying, it's possible, but lower prices nearer to sailing date, just aren't all that common anymore.
One more thing, if you really want this particular cruise (this particular ship, week, itinerary) then you'd be much better off to book it now, even at the higher price. It will do you no good to wait and hope for the price to go down. And it is far more likely to go up. And the category level you want may fill, or the particular cabin you want may be gone. If you book now, and the price goes down, you can get your price lowered to match. (Provided it is before final payment). If it goes up, you have locked in today's "lower" price. Even if you are unsure about going, if you book now, you can get a full refund of our deposit if you cancel before final payment date.
One caveat: Be absolutely certain to ask you travel agent:
1. Do they allow price drops (if the price drops, do they give you the lower price) and
2. Do they charge any additional fee for cancellations (I'm referring a charge over and above what the cruise lines all charge for canceling after final payment).
If they don't allow price drops, and if they have their own cancellation fee, find another travel agent.
It is possible that you will see fluctations in pricing. It depends on what promotions are being offered.
If you are still planning on going next year, it wouldn't hurt to take advantage of the Wow sale. With having 5 people booking, the 50 percent deposit is a nice perk. If prices go down between the time you book and then, keep your eye on it and ask for an adjustment (as long as the promo isn't for new bookings). Be sure to use a TA that will go to bat for you.