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Just checked everything for my wife's cruise with friends.

NO shore excursions were better prices than already purchased (7 different excursions). In fact, one was MORE expensive than has been seen at any other time.

Classic soda package (originally $8.99 per day plus gratuity, previously purchased at $7.99 per day plus gratuity) was available for $6.49 per day plus gratuity. That's 28% off the original and almost 19% off best previous.

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The shore excursion prices I'm seeing on this "deep" sale are running up to 50% higher compared to last year's rates.  Since in 2021 we will be forced to take the ship excursion to get off the ship at all they seem to raising prices with their monopoly on excursions.

Not really seeing anything that grabs my attention enough to pull out my credit card.

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The refreshment beverage package is at it's best price for my Harmony of the Seas cruise next year right now. Some of the excursions look good pricewise too. However I'm waiting for my 125% cruise planner credit from my cancelled Oasis of the Seas cruise that would have been next month to show up. Don't know how long that's going to take.

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26 minutes ago, twangster said:

The shore excursion prices I'm seeing on this "deep" sale are running up to 50% higher compared to last year's rates.  Since in 2021 we will be forced to take the ship excursion to get off the ship at all they seem to raising prices with their monopoly on excursions.

Not really seeing anything that grabs my attention enough to pull out my credit card.

Do you think that all of 2021 sailings will not allow you to get off the ship unless their own excursion? I sail in Oct. 2021 and that answer will determine if I make any BF CP purchases or not?

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27 minutes ago, twangster said:

The shore excursion prices I'm seeing on this "deep" sale are running up to 50% higher compared to last year's rates.  Since in 2021 we will be forced to take the ship excursion to get off the ship at all they seem to raising prices with their monopoly on excursions.

Not really seeing anything that grabs my attention enough to pull out my credit card.

I noticed that as well. The DBP and UDP were no less than the previous sales for my (fingers crossed) 7 night Symphony cruise next August,  and a number of excursions were significantly higher. I had already booked most of my excursions during a previous sale, and I'm glad I did. I'm on a port-heavy cruise, so if I have to stay on the ship in Roatan, that's okay with me. I will just be happy to be cruising! 

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Nothing stands out on any of my sailings either.  All I did was grab the drink package for 2 sailings (later in 2021) in case what some of us suspect holds true (that those prices will jump once sailings resume).  They weren't a steal of a deal ($53/day and $46/day) but an amount that I would ok with paying for now. 

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5 minutes ago, USFFrank said:

The refreshment beverage package is at it's best price for my Harmony of the Seas cruise next year right now. Some of the excursions look good pricewise too. However I'm waiting for my 125% cruise planner credit from my cancelled Oasis of the Seas cruise that would have been next month to show up. Don't know how long that's going to take.

IIRC, refunds / FCC issues are still taking at least 30 days to be issued. If you're seeing a really good price on that right now, be ready to pull the trigger before the promo period ends.

Hate to be cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if no one expecting an FCC Cruise Planner cert actually has it delivered during this Cyber Week promo period. Royal needs cash in their coffers desperately, and why would they give up getting fresh real cash? If they issue those certificates right now, they're just losing out on whatever people would have bought in their Black Friday Frenzy.

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11 minutes ago, CJS2766 said:

Do you think that all of 2021 sailings will not allow you to get off the ship unless their own excursion? I sail in Oct. 2021 and that answer will determine if I make any BF CP purchases or not?

 One would think the way things are moving forward that by October, 2021 you would be able to get off the ship on your own. If things are going good, the restrictions can be lifted sooner, rather than later. It would be nice, but you just don't know right now. You could always cancel whatever you book. 

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8 minutes ago, CJS2766 said:

Do you think that all of 2021 sailings will not allow you to get off the ship unless their own excursion? I sail in Oct. 2021 and that answer will determine if I make any BF CP purchases or not?

I can only guess and try to project down the road.  

I'm disappointed Royal ignored the recommendations of the Healthy Sail Panel who offered that excursion pricing should be lowered to encourage compliance.  The decision to raise prices substantially can only be due to financial considerations trying to make up for lost revenue.  That makes me consider that they may also choose to retain this rule longer than necessary for the same purpose.  If they allow guests to book direct or self explore in the fall of 2021 they lose revenue. 

A vaccine is truly a game changer for vacation travel.  Best case scenario is wide and open availability late spring.  In the best case scenario it takes several months of data to prove a downward trend so that puts us into late summer as the earliest they could relax this rule as supported by the science ignoring their financial motivation.

However we know very large numbers in the US population have doubts about these vaccines.  Even if a disproportionate number of cruising types choose to get the vaccine, the trends in society could impact the numbers and graphs well into the fall causing them to remain elevated in some form.  That outcome may support Royal retaining the ship excursion rule as long as they can.  

Worst case scenario would be another fall and winter wave resulting from anti-vaxxers in sufficiently large numbers.  If there is another wave this time next year then the ship excursion rule could remain into the spring of 2022.  

What's unknown is the true impact that anti-vaxxers will have.  Is the media blowing them out of proportion or are there sufficiently large enough numbers of them to slow the declines and keep us in a prolonged elevated state?

Only time will tell.  

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5 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

IF anyone thinks they will see a sale or bargain after what RCG is going through financially, you better wake up and smell the coffee, which you are not getting for free. They lost so much business and are trying to play catch up. Cut them some slack.

The idea of cruising while bound or limited to ship excursions only is not appealing to me.  That's a personal choice, it might be fine for others.  If excursion pricing was reasonable I might have been swayed.  The vendors offering the same excursion direct have not raised their prices.  

In the Caribbean I've cruised enough that I could stay on the ship the whole time.  That doesn't appeal to me in places like Europe or Alaska.  

It's not so much about bargain hunting as it is a reasonable cost to cruise including all expenses incurred to vacation.  Their strategy will result in me avoiding cruises in 2021.  It's their business and they are free to run it as they choose to with or without consumers like me.

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14 minutes ago, twangster said:

The idea of cruising while bound or limited to ship excursions only is not appealing to me.  That's a personal choice, it might be fine for others.  If excursion pricing was reasonable I might have been swayed.  The vendors offering the same excursion direct have not raised their prices.  

In the Caribbean I've cruised enough that I could stay on the ship the whole time.  That doesn't appeal to me in places like Europe or Alaska.  

It's not so much about bargain hunting as it is a reasonable cost to cruise including all expenses incurred to vacation.  Their strategy will result in me avoiding cruises in 2021.  It's their business and they are free to run it as they choose to with or without consumers like me.

Exactly. They won't lose out on anything miniscule.

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5 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Nothing stands out on any of my sailings either.  All I did was grab the drink package for 2 sailings (later in 2021) in case what some of us suspect holds true (that those prices will jump once sailings resume).  They weren't a steal of a deal ($53/day and $46/day) but an amount that I would ok with paying for now. 

Oooh no... I guess I better consider making the DBP purchase sooner than later before they get greedy. Decisions, decisions...

We got the DBP a couple of months ago for 4/2021 Symphony for $44 (now it's $53)... 10/2021 Oasis is $46 (might have to grab that) and 2/2022 Odyssey is $50 (as @SpeedNoodles just mentioned)...

 

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I planned on getting the VOOM service for internet and for $9 more I went ahead and got "The Key" We'll see if it's worth it, but for such a small price, I figure I'd try it. Also, since I don't drink alcohol, the refreshment package is not at $18 vs $30 from the time I booked my Oct 2021 cruise. I've been monitoring prices pretty frequent. The Dining package never seems to change. Still $99 for the 3 night package. Coco Cay Beach Club is now at $78 vs the lowest that I had seen it ($125)

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1 hour ago, KJones said:

For my 11/22/21 Vision sailing, only 2 of the 10 excursions I might be interested in are priced lower than last week. No changes in Dining or Other Activities either.
Drink packages is tempting though!

DBP $40/d (previously $54)
Refreshment $18/d (previously $30)
Soda $6.50/d (previously $10 maybe?)

The same prices apply for our 12/2021 Anthem sailing. Given it's a 12 night sailing and we are 6 DBP and 4 soda packages in our party that's a healthy chunk of change we are saving... almost enough to cover the inflated shore excursion costs! 😆

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