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Why purchase anything in the cruise planner right now?


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Why purchase anything in the cruise planner right now? I feel optimistic that the Oasis and others sail this Dec. I have all of our excursions and other items already purchased in the cruise planner. Some are great prices, not at $18 DBP prices, but still pretty darn good. Here's the rub: I also feel positive that RCG will cancel those sailings and re-release them for bookings (the same sailings) to enforce the reduced capacity. 

For our Alaska sailings, I purchase excursions as soon as they hit the planner as I know the ones we like DO sell out. So, I don't have any problem buying those, but this is a little different.

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I disagree.  I don't see Royal canceling existing bookings in the US beyond the CSO.  If the ship is sailing from US it's sailing with booked guests even if some ports are modified.

Unless the CDC extends the CSO, they won't reduce capacity.  No need to.

The concept of reduced capacity was a concept to allow sailings in a time when vaccines didn't exist.  

Then it became a concept to attempt to gain CDC approval.  That hasn't worked.

With CWC some guests with cold feet have cancelled so sailing at full capacity is the least of the worries.  

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31 minutes ago, twangster said:

I disagree.  I don't see Royal canceling existing bookings in the US beyond the CSO.  If the ship is sailing from US it's sailing with booked guests even if some ports are modified.

Unless the CDC extends the CSO, they won't reduce capacity.  No need to.

The concept of reduced capacity was a concept to allow sailings in a time when vaccines didn't exist.  

Then it became a concept to attempt to gain CDC approval.  That hasn't worked.

With CWC some guests with cold feet have cancelled so sailing at full capacity is the least of the worries.  

I agree, if we have not achieved "herd immunity" by November it will only be because some people chose not to vaccinate.  At some point, we will need to decide as a society how to deal with that situation.  I don't think those that do vaccinate should be held back from resuming a normal life by those who don't.

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I check the cruise planner for our Med cruise practically every day but have yet to buy anything. Partly, I got stung by Royal taking over 3 months to refund my CP purchases from our L&Sed Allure cruise (and only then after @michelleintervened on my behalf), which has made me very hesitant to pull the trigger for this one until we know for sure if it's actually going to go.

The other issue is the prices. UDP has been toing and froing between 194 and 216 dollars since this time last year. That's crazy money. The 3-night DP has not budged an iota from 124 all this time. Excursions too have gone up and down but always within clearly defined parameters of never more than about 20 dollars and since we've been to all the ports several times I'd need some deep discounting to entice me to get the credit card out.

However, at least with the current slight glimmer of hope it's becoming a more enjoyable daily experience as I feel I can almost look forward to sailing rather than it being a chore I feel compelled to do just because I'm a cruise nut.

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I've been watching cruise planner and purchasing as prices allow. Unfortunately, the prices for my cruises haven't been very attractive lately, but I'll book the items when the prices improve. (or in some cases I book them at a high price and watch for a price drop)

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For my summer 2021 sailings (knowing almost for sure that they will get cancelled), I have been leaving my CP items in there on purpose because I want the 125% cruise planner OBC for my Norway sailing next July 2022.  I know I will spend a lot on excursions for that sailings, so I will take all the extra I can get. 

I see it as a short term investment.  And don't listen to me, I am not a good influence. 😉

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So here’s my experience: had a May 2020 Symphony. Took the 125% on board credit which came to $1835. We had purchased CocoCay beach club, DBP and UDP. That was it. 
 

Applied it to an October 2020 Symphony and was able to purchase all with a nice chunk left over. Cancelled so.....

Applied to May 2021 Symphony and was able to add 2 excursions with about $300 left over. Cancelled so....

Applied to October 2021 Symphony and I’m finding that extra 25% is being eaten up quickly. 
 

Bottom line: prices are up. If you have a 125% OBC apply it sooner rather than later because it appears your dollar is not going as far as it used too. If you’re wavering on purchasing, I’d sure as heck get the stuff you know you want. 
 

When our Odyssey for this October out of Rome was cancelled, I cancelled all my CP stuff before they announced and all $2,138.66 was on my next month’s cc statement as a credit. Refunds are coming much faster. 
 

 

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@Jill and @Lovetocruise2002 I share your sentiment, buying something in the CP right now, seems like a good way to price lock, if you're able to. Assuming that when things return to normal the supply and demand factors kick in, it seems quite likely to see exponential increases in prices of everything across the board, so it is a good short-term investment now, simply to get the lowest price you think you'll be able to. From a cash flow perspective, of course it hurts, but play the long-game 🙂 

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I've done a fair amount of cruise planner shopping and exchanging recently. 

Recently on 4/15 I cancelled some excursions that were posted to my Amex on 4/22.  Visa takes a few days longer IME.  

At the moment I'm BAU with respect to the cruise planner.  I track items of interest and book them if I see good pricing I like.  Then I keep checking for new price drops.  

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28 minutes ago, twangster said:

I've done a fair amount of cruise planner shopping and exchanging recently. 

Recently on 4/15 I cancelled some excursions that were posted to my Amex on 4/22.  Visa takes a few days longer IME.  

At the moment I'm BAU with respect to the cruise planner.  I track items of interest and book them if I see good pricing I like.  Then I keep checking for new price drops.  

Book what you want ASAP to secure things you want, if you are comfortable with the price. Check back when there are sales and rebook if the price drops. Bonus if you rebook and pay less, but it's still a win if it doesn't and you were happy with the original price. At least that's my strategy.

 

Happy Cruising!

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2 hours ago, wordell1 said:

I agree, if we have not achieved "herd immunity" by November it will only be because some people chose not to vaccinate.  At some point, we will need to decide as a society how to deal with that situation.  I don't think those that do vaccinate should be held back from resuming a normal life by those who don't.

Remember, a lot of people (some estimate 40-50%) have had COVID. Not everyone needs to get a vaccine in order to have immunity - and achieve herd immunity. I don't get a flu vaccine if I have already had the flu. 

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I see it as a short term investment.  And don't listen to me, I am not a good influence. 😉

I professional cruise financial advisor recommended this investment diversification strategy:

15% in cruise deposits

55% in final payments

20% in cruise planner purchases

10% in casino

If casino money is played correctly it will cover the other 90%

YMMV

 

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28 minutes ago, HBCcruiser said:

Remember, a lot of people (some estimate 40-50%) have had COVID. Not everyone needs to get a vaccine in order to have immunity - and achieve herd immunity. I don't get a flu vaccine if I have already had the flu. 

The problem with that being the variants that have become dominant here and in other countries. There is growing scientific evidence, based on the ongoing tracing of study participants, that people who got infected with OG Covid have very limited protection from the variants, whereas at least the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are showing strong protection from UK, South Africa, and New York variants; possibly the others from Brazil and now India, but not enough evidence to say for sure. Not clear yet if the J&J and/or AZ vaccines also confer this broader immune protection.

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17 minutes ago, AlmondFarmer said:

I professional cruise financial advisor recommended this investment diversification strategy:

15% in cruise deposits

55% in final payments

20% in cruise planner purchases

10% in casino

If casino money is played correctly it will cover the other 90%

YMMV

 

This sounds like a 2022 target date fund!

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12 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

The problem with that being the variants that have become dominant here and in other countries. There is growing scientific evidence, based on the ongoing tracing of study participants, that people who got infected with OG Covid have very limited protection from the variants, whereas at least the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are showing strong protection from UK, South Africa, and New York variants; possibly the others from Brazil and now India, but not enough evidence to say for sure. Not clear yet if the J&J and/or AZ vaccines also confer this broader immune protection.

 

Different variants have become the dominant variant several times in the USA. It's just only recently that we've been told to fear them.  

 

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I bought our drink package for our November cruise simply because, aside from the $18 intern special, it was the best price I have seen in a loooonnnngggg time and I didn't want to miss out on that price. I haven't seen it go that low since, so I think it was the right call. I haven't purchased our excursions yet, but if they are the right price, I will book them. 

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We purchased Excursions for our cruises later this year at the end of last year and beginning of this year when the pricing was very low. In part I believe the low price was an enticement to lay down some money for RCCL to hold. Now we have booked one for August out of Nassau and am waiting for the pricing cycle to hit the lower side. Even that said, we have noticed that the bottom end cost for the excursions has crept upward which may be due to the possibility that we will get to cruise. We will see as we get closer to June and July if the pricing skyrockets up to make up for the closures this past year and a half.

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I've purchased excursions for my June Celebrity Millennium cruise and my July Adventure cruise.  I hope we are allowed on shore without excursions (if so I'll cancel) but I don't believe that will be the case during the summer.

I've got some holiday sailings and I'm treating them like any other.  I think we'll be allowed to go ashore as normal by then.

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I received my money back on all Cruise Planner purchases for my cancelled June 2021 cruises in 2 weeks.  I did a Lift & Shift to June 2022.  I repurchased the Thrill Park Cabana as soon as it appeared in the Cruise Planner and less than a week later it increased in price by $300.  Be aware that any purchases you make for Coco Cay now have a 12% tax added to them.

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