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Old 01-14-2007, 09:09 AM
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I was just reading the February 2007 issue of Cruise Travel magazine and enjoyed a column about the origins of Caribbean cruising out of Miami. The article had photos of brochures for the old NCL Starward from 1968 which proudly listed pricing for a 7-day cruise starting at $195. The article also listed prices of the day for a 3-day cruise on the Sunward in 1966 starting at $59.

So let's compare those 40 year-old prices with today's dollars. I used an on-line inflation calculator which only goes to the year 2005. All prices are per person/double occupancy. Not sure if the old prices included port charges and taxes but I assume they didn't.

That $195 for a 7-day cruise in 1968 equates to $1079 in 2005 dollars. I just checked the Carnival website and I can get a 7-day cruise on the Triumph for $469.

That $59 3-day cruise in 1966 equals $346 in 2005 dollars. A 3-day cruise on the Sensation can be had today for $209. By the way, a 5-day cruise on the Holiday can be had for $199 on some sailings.

Although those early ships had more things included, such as sodas and all the food, they were also much smaller and cramped ships with much less to do. Most were converted from car ferries or smaller ocean liners. Booze still cost extra and buffets were small affairs on deck because the idea of large purpose-built buffet restaurants had yet to come to fruition. The dining room was the primary eating place for all meals and seating times were used for all meals and not just for dinner as is the typical case today.

I found the figures to be quite amazing. Cruising has always been a great vacation value but it is even more so today, even with all the extra charges that so many of us sometimes whine about.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:27 AM
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Very interesting, Dave;
this is one reason I don't mind all the selling that goes on today--I think it helps keep cruise prices down.
I have some 30 year old Princess brochures that bear out what you've said; I'm at work right now and don't have access to them, but when I get a chance, I'll post some comparisons here.
One of my first cruises was on the old Sun Princess, a converted ferry; it was small (17,000 grt), not much to do, and certainly not very fancy--but I really loved that ship!
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:41 AM
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Thanks, Dave. Our issue arrived yesterday, but I haven't gotten to that article yet.

f-mattox, I'd love to see those 30-year comparisons when you get a chance to post them.

I remember our first cruise, that we booked in 1989. Four nights, and we paid brochure price of $1,030 per person, but that also included airfare, 3 nights in a Disney hotel, and a rental car.

A much better deal including all of these components could probably be had today, after adjusting for inflation.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:00 AM
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Lisa,

The magazine also has a very good article by Theodore Scull which discusses the ongoing confusion about gross tonnage having nothing to do with how much a ship actually weighs.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:39 PM
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I wonder what a beer cost back then.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:38 PM
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O.K., here are some price comparisons, as promised;

8 day Inside Passage RT Vancouver, Island Princess (1), 1976
standard inside $855; standard outside $1045

7 day Inside Passage RT Seattle, Golden Princess, 2007
standard inside $999; standard outside $1098


7 day Mexican Riviera RT Los Angeles, Island Princess, 1975
standard inside $602; standard outside $742

7 day Mexican Riviera RT Los Angeles, Diamond Princess 2007
standard inside $699; standard outside $849


15 day Panama Canal, L.A. to San Juan, Island Princess 1976
standard inside $1515; standard outside $1860

15 day Panama Canal, L.A. to Ft. Lauderdale, Is.Pr.(2) 2007
standard inside $1899; standard outside $2199


There are volumes to be said about all this, especially when 30 years of inflation are factored in, but I'm just going to post without comment for now and kind of let it all sink in.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:43 PM
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Oh, and by the way, a 12oz. Bud was $1.25 and a pack of Marlboro was $1.50.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:31 AM
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That Bud equals $4.64 in 2007 money. The inside cabin that was $855 in 1976 for the 8 night cruise? $3175 in 2007 dollars.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:39 AM
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I found a more updated inflation calculator here.

It goes to the current year.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:20 AM
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f-mattox, thank you for posting all this great information. One question -- did the 1975 prices include air transportation or any other extras not included today?

Even so, it is still an amazing bargain today.
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