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tim c 08-23-2011 11:01 AM

Cruise prices
Is it me or has the prices gone up 10-20%? I was looking at cruises for next year and WOW!! I have really had some good deals over the last 10 years then.. We may have to slim down to 5 day cruiseing then the 7 day ones..

Cruise Fanatic 08-23-2011 11:18 AM

There are way too many variables to make a blanket statement like that. Time of year sailing, age of ship, class of ship, itinerary, demand and competition of other cruise lines out of a particular port, how far booking in advance, all affect the price. So it really depends. I see prices for a 7-night cruise next September starting under $400. That's not bad for a seven night cruise.

Dwayne 08-23-2011 11:52 AM

Well, I can say this. I've been booking Early Saver since they started it. I always get up-decks and OBC's to boot. Not this time. That is apparently due to the increasing demand for the Charleston cruises.


Jim C. 08-23-2011 06:27 PM

Dwayne- Maybe with the early saver price matching they don't figure they need to provide the upgrades too? I have not done a TBA cabin in a long time. Manly because to do so risked being put in a bad spot. I have had better luck with early saver and picking the cabin that is where I want to be.

In general I think the cruise prices have gone up but many because of the cost of fuel. They can only make so much back up with on board revenue. Actually I applaud Carnival for maintaining the lower costs as long as they have. Figuring that oil has gone from $25 a $107 while cruise prices have only gone up 10 to 20% makes me happy.

There are still some great deals to be had out there but you have to hunt for them.

tim c 08-23-2011 07:40 PM

Well the last cruise I booked was a 7 day in November.. We had a Ocean view.. I paid $349.00 What a deal (early saver) This year its above $410.00.. Fuel cost has been worked in.. Hey dwayne.. Will Carnival ever sail to bermuda from Charleston? that would be awesome oneday if they did...

Boneman 08-23-2011 08:02 PM

I would think you would have to take into account not only the fuel costs, but food. Have you seen now much food has gone up at the grocery? Wow!!! Still the best vacation bang for your buck!

Cruise Fanatic 08-24-2011 05:11 AM

There are some cruises leaving Charleston in September and October to Bermuda. These cruises are typical more expensive.

When you look at the breakdown of a cruise rate it isn't so much the cruise price that has changed, but taxes and fees. Carnival has a cruise in November 2012 where the breakdown has the cruise itself only $170 the rest is port charges, taxes and fees. I am thankful most of the cruise lines still have not added the fuel surcharge.

penny3333 08-24-2011 06:00 AM

I am indeed thankful for no fuel surcharge. The cruise lines are in between a rock and a hard place. The economy, not only here, is down the tubes. Fuel prices are totally ridiculous and food prices are sky high. We can attribute some of the rise in food to fuel as well. Air fare is absurd, too. All we can do is hunt for good deals, there are still some fantastic prices to be had, it's just finding them. $349 to $410 isn't all that bad. Our December cruise was $749 last year, $899 this year, still not a bad price. I loved the $329 7 day on the Valor year before last. I'll bet that will never happen again, however, I have seen some for under $400.

Cruise Fanatic is spot on, there are just too many variables. I'd still rather be cruising!

Jim C. 08-24-2011 09:33 AM

Penny- We were able to take advantage of that $329 Valor cruise also. I still can't believe we got on a 7 day cruise for so little.

People complain (and I am not talking about you Tim) about Carnival cutting costs and changing things, but these same people are the first ones to complain when the prices go up.

Cruise Fanatic 08-24-2011 10:59 AM

It's important to keep things in perspective and in comparisons it must be apples to apples. Most people don't do that. Which is why I said there's too many variables, you can't just make a blanket statement that prices have gone up. A $329 inside cabin on Carnival can't be compared to the $899 balcony on Princess. Both would be considered excellent prices for a seven day Caribbean cruise in their respective cabin categories and the respective cruise line. One in an inside cabin on a Mass-market cruise line, and the other in a balcony cabin on a Premium cruise line. Now, if you were to compare last year's price of the $329 inside cabin on Carnival to that same ship this year, same time, same cabin, and the price was $529 you might say "wow" prices have really gone up. But then there's still all the variables to consider. Are you booking exactly the same amount of days prior to the cruise, is the cruise line offering the exact promotions (past guest, resident,etc). Today for instance Carnival has a 72 hour sale, it can't be compared to someone who books the same ship and cabin after the 72 hour sale.

I'm sure I've gotten too technical, so here's the bottom line. If you want to book a cruise and the price sounds good then book it. Don't worry about what it was a year ago. It is what it is. If in your mind you're happy at the price then that's all that matters. Don't listen to what other passengers on the ship are bragging they got their cruise for, because they aren't adding in all the taxes and fees or they're lying. Personally, I think booking six-nine months out or more is best, but if you can drive to the port and wait for last minute sales then it may or may not work for you. Whatever you pay, the most important thing is you're happy and feel you're getting value. Happy Cruising.

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