I have noticed! and I'm wondering if a family of four can still afford to go at those prices! I am considering waiting it out, because I just received an e-mail from TA for the Mercury/ Bermuda July 2005 and the prices are unbelievably low. For next summer maybe it's better to wait????
Here's a good example of RCI's price hike. The transatlantic sailing of the Brilliance that left Miami for Barcelona in April had balcony cabins for $900.00 per person including port taxes. If you check their website for the November crossing from Barcelona to Miami the cost is $1500.00 per person for the same category.
I think most of the cruise lines are boosting prices. They are sailing with full ships and have even stopped with the amenities for group bookings. They don't need groups to fill the ships any more. I'm actually looking at a land all inclusive and the price is what I would pay for a 7 day cruise. Although I like cruising, I won't cruise when it costs me so much. I'm used to paying right around $1000 for a balcony cabin including airfare and I just refuse to pay that for an inside cabin. Just not worth it to me. All inclusives are a much better deal at this time.
I would imagine most cruise lines will be boosting prices, given that the cost of fuel has gone up considerably in the last year. Unless they start making these things nuclear powered, fuel costs are going to continueto be a significant fixed cost for all lines - not just RCL.
Many ships are sailing empty, even during Spring Break! Alaska itineraries are still wide open and those ships aren't sold out like they usually are.
I think the cruise lines are anticipating too much demand for their product. I believe they'll start feeling the affects around the third quarter and we'll see prices more in line with what we're used to paying, or perhaps a $100 or so more, but definitely not the hundreds more we've seen lately.
We just booked an Alaska repo cruise. I was watching the price on RCL website. Last week it was $150.00 less. Prices started at 650.00 for 9 nights. I agree about the fuel costs causing the rates to go up.
I was checking prices on several of my favorite discount cruise sites, and not only noticed the higher fares for next year, but also that children's rates were not being discounted. Instead of coming up at close to half the adult price, they were charging full adult rates for a 9 year old child.
This was only happening with the Royal Caribbean cruises I checked on, as children's rates on Princess cruises were still coming up at their usual discounted price. Has anyone else run into this lately?
I think what they are doing is calculating an average. For example they are taking the 2 adults rates and 2 child rates, adding them together and them dividing them by 4. 900+900+600+600=3000.00
Average is $750 per person. I don't like it because I get excited thinking the adult rate is a lot lower than it really is!
The fuel price increases cannot be over emphasized in their impact on cruise line costs. I just saw the Royal Caribbean annual report and it said that the percentage fuel is of their total cost increased drastically last year. I do not have the report in front of me, but I believe it went from something in the area of 20% of total cost to just under 24%. Said another way, their fuel costs increased by 20%, just like it did for everyone else.
I would also venture to say that since 9/11 their costs for ship security, and the costs of port security passed along to them as berthing fees, must also have had big jumps.
Finally, I can't imagine the source for the comment that "many ships are sailing empty". None of my cruises in recent years have been anything but full or nearly full. Again, the Royal Caribbean annual report showed the highest ship fill-rates in the past four years. If price increases cause bookings to decline, we will see ship builds and retrofits end, and prices come down. As long as RCL has higher earnings year-over-year, ship fill-rates at historic highs, and more new first time cruisers joining the market than price-conscious ones leaving, prices will hold.
Actually, they are not averaging fares in the examples I am referring to. The fare is listed as $899.00 per person - 2 adults, 1 child (9). The fare is listed and priced out at that price per person. I know this wasn't the case a few months ago, when children were roughly 1/2 the price of an adult for all fares I checked out.
I need to call a travel agent and find out if they are doing the same thing when pricing over the phone as well.
Kenny, ok that's different from what I'm seeing. If you check prices for next June on RCI's website the children are still about 2/3 the cost. My kids are 5 and 7.
I really don't understand it, because this year I wanted to take Celebrity to Bermuda and it was way to expensive, $1400 adult price. Last week a travel agent ran a special for that exact cruise and it was $850 adult for 7 nights. How did they do that?
The initial prices are way way high. Are they going to come down?
I think I'm going to look into a land vacation as well for next year.
You know, I didn't even check the prices at Royalcaribbean.com. I was looking for something in April 2006, and came across the upgraded child prices. Maybe it's something to do with that month, although that is after Spring Break for everyone (which is why I was looking then). I will try to check for other months and see what comes up.
I'm with you on the higher prices. We might try Princess this time around, just because of the lower pricing, but other land based vacations are looking more appealing in comparison. I bet we could fly to Vegas and spend a week there for the same or less, at this point.
I checked a few fares for this year, and the children's rate was coming up discounted as usual. Then I checked the same cruise during January, February, and March of 2006 as well, with the same results. It appears that this is only happening during April 2006 cruises, which leads me to believe that it's some kind of database pricing glitch. I hope so, anyway.