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JohnB 05-13-2009 08:55 AM

I have noticed a LARGE price differential betweeen Princess and RCL on one week Alaska cruises, with Princess being a lot cheaper. A mini-suite on Princess for one week is over $1000 per cabin cheaper than a similar accomodation of RCL. Cruises leave within a day of each other and the itinerary (roundtrip Seattle) is virtually identical. We are experienced (Platinum) Princess cruisers, have not been on RCL but the research suggests the level of quality is similar. My wife's sister picked RCL. I'm just curious why the Princess fares are so much lower, is Princess more aggressively discounting given the poor economy?

Jim C. 05-13-2009 10:50 AM

Compare the size of the ships John. Not sure with Princess ship you are discussing here, but they used to sail the smaller (and older) ships up in Alaska. RCI has a large ship with more and newer amenities, which they tend to price higher. Its the same elsewhere too. The larger/newer ships are more expensive to cruise on because people are willing to pay more for them.

Now, I could be all wet here. If you are not talking about the smaller Princess ships, then I can't explain it. (Other than the statement made by the CEO of RCI in that he "won't discount cruises to fill ships")

Cruise Fanatic 05-13-2009 10:55 AM

Welcome to Cruise-Chat. Without knowing which ships you are referring to it's hard to say for certain. However; Princess has more ships up in Alaska than RCI. Therefore; the amount of inventory is a factor. Class and age of ship can also be a factor.

Cruise Fanatic 05-13-2009 10:57 AM


Other than the statement made by the CEO of RCI in that he "won't discount cruises to fill ships")

Ha- ha-ha. Now that's funny!

JohnB 05-13-2009 11:19 AM

Actually the Princess ship is larger and newer, Golden Princess versus Rhapsody of the Sea.

If the CEO of RCI did in fact say he "won't discount cruises to fill ships", that sounds like a good clue even if not literally true all the time. And clearly Princess has more inventory to fill in the Alaska market, so perhaps more incentive to test the elasticity of demand.

Basically I'm curious if there is any kind of pattern that can make bargain hunting a bit easier and more certain. My email and snail mail is inundated with alleged "great deals".

penny3333 05-13-2009 11:35 AM

JohnB, it could be also that you are a Platinum with Princess. They discount to an extent for loyalty. Even without that as a factor, Princess has always been less expensive than Royal for any cruise that I've looked at. I guess it's because Princess doesn't have a rock wall? All I can suggest is comparison shop before booking. Heck, HAL is offering some similar cruise itineraries less than Princess, which is less than Royal (this was not for the Alaska itinerary). I hope that next year's fares will be competitive, too.

cmjb4ever 05-21-2009 04:29 AM

I've never sailed RCL, but I did sail Princess in Alaska. We were on the Regal Princess (since retired) and the boat was the downfall. Because it didn't have any enclosed pool or enclosed lounge decks, most of the lounge areas were off limits due to the cold, rainy weather, which is common in Alaska. If I had it to do over again, I would make sure that my boat had accomodations for weather that causes you to stay inside on the boat. If the princess ship has that, then it would be fine, I would think.

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