Our Allure CruiseMates Cruise starts at $779. Central Park balconies for $949! See below!
Cruise Line Price Quotes?
Oh, the things you have to do to get a discount these days. Right now Royal Caribbean is offering what appears to be a very worthwhile sale for their loyalty club members; the Crown and Anchor Society. You can go online and log into the special members area and find a list of savings coupons good for as much as $125 per member for specific sail dates on certain ships. You can also claim a $200 shipboard credit on any cruise that sails after May 1st, 2011, as long as you book it by June 30th.
Oh, but you have to belong to the loyalty program, look up your loyalty club number and remember your username and password, print out a special offer document and get it signed and documented by Royal Caribbean, and you must have it all done before June 30th. But that isn't a problem, is it?
That much is challenging but at least the rules are somewhat clear, but here is something that isn't. You have to be sure you are looking at the correct price for the cruise you want to book. Several cruise lines have taken to listing wholly inaccurate prices for many cruise sail dates on their own web sites.
I just spent about 30 minutes laboring under the illusion that prices had dropped as low as $749 for cruises on Oasis and Allure of the Seas as early as December 2010. That is exactly what it says on the RoyalCaribbean.com web site in the search results. Try looking up Oasis or Allure cruises to the Caribbean sailing on "any date". It lists several dates; including Dec. 26, 2010 through August 7, 2011, starting at $749 for inside and $999 for balconies.
Here is the link I followed - the fourth entry down. Allure of the Seas Price Quotes.
Much to my surprise, it wasn't until I actually clicked on the specific date of December 26, 2010 that I saw the cruise is actually selling for $2299 inside and $2699 for a balcony cabin. In fact, NONE of the dates listed are actually selling at the listed price of $749, but you don't know that unless you click on the link that says "more 2011 dates." Then you see the price does not actually drop as low as that original quote until the autumn of 2011, well after the span of dates listed in the original quote.
It looks as if Royal Caribbean is intentionally making it hard to find the correct price for the cruise of your choice. What is the harm in this practice? If you are looking for a quick way to compare prices there is a good chance you will be misled and end up in a situation you didn't expect.
I can only imagine how many people phone the cruise line every day only to be told the price displayed by the web site is not correct. If you are shopping for a cruise they now have you on the phone - right where they want you to finalize that sale. I think that is sometimes called bait and switch.
If you were calling to claim a shipboard credit because you saw a much lower advertised price than what you paid then chances are they phrase it a different way - that you made a mistake in your search and it is up to you to hang up, go back to the web site and start over.
After a humiliating encounter like that most people probably just give up looking for price drops.
I just hope someone calls Royal Caribbean after reading this newsletter and claims a shipboard credit based on the fact that YOUR sail date is being advertised at a far lower price than what you paid. Be sure to do it within 48 hours so you can claim the 110% best price guarantee under the new Royal Caribbean best price guarantee program.
If you paid $2699 for a balcony on the Dec. 26 cruise on Allure this morning, you could claim the difference of $1699 plus the 10% premium under the new 110% best price guarantee (an additional $169).
Now - we all know you will be denied, because the guarantee is only good for "valid" advertised prices - misprints and misquotes are excluded. Isn't that ironic? They give us inaccurate prices on their own web site while at the same time telling us such inaccurate price quotes are not acceptable.
Or if all of this is just too much trouble then just read on...
If you are NOT a member of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society you can still get the same price as you would have gotten after all of the discounts listed above without even going to the Royal Caribbean web site. Just book our CruiseMates' Allure of the Seas group cruise sailing October 2, 2011.
It starts at just $779 (inside) with balcony cabins as low as $949 per person. Everyone gets a $100 shipboard credit per cabin. That drops the effective price as low as $899 per person for a balcony cabin and that is equal to the best deal you can currently find for any sail date on Allure or Oasis even with all of the current Crown and Anchor member discounts -- at least as far as I can tell.
Go here for more details on the CruiseMates Allure of the Seas group cruise.
Care to discuss this topic in our forums? Cruise Line Web site Pricing
new feature articles
Carnival Responds To "The Deceitful PVP" Blog
Who would have ever thought that within two days of my last Blog about “Deceit in a phone call from my Carnival Personal
Cruise Lines' Doing BP's Dirty Work?
Two obscure maritime laws have come under scrutiny since the BP Oil Rig disaster. First is the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), second is the Jones Act.
Join CruiseMates on Norwegian Epic
Join the first CruiseMates group cruise with a culinary theme, Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates to sail on Norwegian Epic, October 30, 2010
Voyages to Antiquity Cruise Report
We had high praise for this new cruise line's business model. Now that we've sailed on it, let's put the promise into perspective.
Classical Music Theme Cruise
Symphonic Voyages features full orchestra, special guests and immersion in a classical music theme cruise.
Read about CruiseMates
NEW YORK TIMES:
"Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exceptions is CruiseMates."
"The Web's best site for articles, advice, or chatting with Cruise People. Self-financed and run independently of the industry, so their opinions are impartial"
NEW CRUISEMATES CRUISES!
Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates
Join Chef Matt Sigel's on Norwegian Epic, Halloween Cruise, Oct 30, 2010
Travel from Miami to Costa Maya, Roatan Honduras and Cozumel - 7-days
Let's Get Lei'd 5.0
We're doing yet again - for the fifth time (because these cruises do so well) - We are going to Hawaii on a Princess ship, this time the mega-Sapphire Princess. We sail from Los Angeles and return to the same. Eight days at sea and five beautiful ports of call - four of them in Hawaii, plus Ensenada. February 26, 2011.
Allure of the Seas
Join your CruiseMates on the newest world's biggest cruise ship on October 2nd, 2011, on the sister ship to Oasis of the Seas slated to debut in early December of 2010. We have great prices and plenty of onboard fun in store for you!