RCCI has become a lot more popular and are probably thinking that the demand is there enough to boost their prices. I'll sail Carnival or some other line that will take me to the same ports for less. JMO though...
Responding to the increase in cruise prices. I do not patronize RCL but noted the thread when I hit the RCL link my mistake.
My comment applies however, to most cruise lines!
I, and many other cruise patrons in my large office, have cut back on cruising and price is ONLY ONE of the reasons:
1) We will not patronize RCL nor Celebrity due to their price controlling behavior
2) We are looking at alternative vacations given the significant price increases in the cruise industry (ie taking our business now to land resorts with spas and golf)
3) The cruise product is increasingly being watered down to the lowest benchmark in ship board behavior, dress, service and food - to myself and my group the product is not sufficiently acceptable. We now find high end product on the land based resorts
Generally, the cruise industry is charging more money for a product offering they do not consistently deliver. Some lines, like Celebrity, have had real difficutly with this (saying premium but actually providing a mass experience with all manner of "riff raff" and large groups). I hear, Celebrity is making an attempt to return to their roots of a true premium experience, a different market from RCL.
I agree that the cruise lines are really counting on business increasing via the large number of Americans who have never cruised. The product they are offering is ("mass market", casual, fast, do what you want etc) which appeals to a segment of the market.
At the same time cruise lines are losing large numbers of patrons who are looking for a more classy, regulated product offering (ie former HAL and Celebrity patrons) where there is a consistent ship board experience. These increasing number of people are well to do and travel alot. These patrons now go to the high end resorts for spa and golf and particularly adult only venues (me and others in my office).
So, if you add in a price increase - people will make this value proposition:
You want me to pay more so I can get chair hogs, screaming kids, shorts in the dining room, waiting for dinner, longer waits on the ever larger ships
Some people will simply take their business elsewhere
I give the cruise industry credit for being innovative and offering new configurations.
Man did you hit the nail on the head.If everyone would wake up and take a break from cruising for just a few month's the whole picture would change. we normaly go 2-3 times a year but have cut back to 1 a year and will probably cut that out if these unreal rate's continue. Take a look at some of the web sites for prices on the cruises for spring 06. Unbelievable, I do not like Carnival but if RCL AND Celebrity do not get a little more in line that is where I will have to go. in some cases Celebrity is double Carnival.'s price. Having been on both there is not that much difference.
Dear "viet630" - I concur with the out of line RCL/Celebrity cruises and the general increase in fares overall. The cruise rates have increased due to normal supply/demand forces and the good economy.
Cruising used to be the best value vs land based - but not anymore.
For example, for our 25th wedding anniversary, we WERE considering a 14 day Celebrity total Panama cruise. But, for the same price, we can go to Europe and see London, take the chunnel to Paris etc. Alternatively, we are looking at the Arizona Biltmore resort etc.
I would never have done this - not cruised - but I will not be exploited by any business or industry period.
The RCL/Celebrity ban on discounting prices has guaranteed we will WILL NOT sail with them unless they change their policy - I am part of the backlash against cruising and RCL/Celebrity in particular.
Also, as I posted earlier, I am not enamoured of the "casual" ship board scene where everyone does what they want and no one controls it (experienced and heard enough of kids in the hot tub, running in the corridors, shorts and late arrivals for dinner etc). Gee, might this be RCL having to have a curfew now!
No thanks, the land resorts do enforce their environment and product offerings better than cruises and the excellent dining venues I go to on land do not allow tardy diners or casual dress.
I may simply move along to Crystal etc where the product offering is more to my liking, ONLY if it offers good value relative to the Arizona Biltmore for example.
My wife and I love Royal Caribbean, and plan to sail with them for many years to come. However, our next two cruises are with Disney and Princess, due to the higher prices Royal Caribbean has going on right now. Between higher fares and the set prices from all agents, we would just rather get more for our money by trying out some other lines. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so, and save money.
We chose to go with Princess because their comparable 7 night cruise was so much less. We were able to throw in a Disney 3 nighter as well. The funny thing is, both of these only come to $200 more than the Royal Caribbean 7 nighter we originally had in mind. Seems like the two for one special won us over this time.
We will most likely sail Royal Caribbean after that, perhaps on a Freedom Class ship by then.