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Rebooking Cruise fare and a sold-out room category?


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Our next cruise will be over Easter in 2022. We are staying in a jr suite and they are currently sold out. I'm wondering if it is worth it to attempt rebooking for a lower fare? No more inventory exists, so why would Royal lower the price? 

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57 minutes ago, foxrunner said:

Our next cruise will be over Easter in 2022. We are staying in a jr suite and they are currently sold out. I'm wondering if it is worth it to attempt rebooking for a lower fare? No more inventory exists, so why would Royal lower the price? 

While it is not always 100% reliable, it is, in general, true that if other cabin categories on your sailing go down in price (or up in price), yours probably did, too.  That is why I always track the prices for all or most of the cabin categories so that I can start to look for a price drop in my category, even if it sells out (and they usually do).  Of course, that doesn't help you now....but for future reference, it never hurts to take a snip of the current prices when you book and then check the overall trend periodically.  If you think there could be a price drop in your category, you can always call and ask.  It never hurts.  Bottom line....just b/c your cabin category is sold out does NOT mean that you cannot get a price drop, if it is applicable.

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9 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

What criteria do they use to rebook a sold out category? If the category above yours is cheaper than what you paid?

There’s no criteria per say. It’s what @WAAAYTOOO just explained. I track all suite categories and generally when one category goes down, the rest do as well, including the sold out ones. At that point, my TA checks with Royal to see if there is a drop and if there is, then my price is adjusted.

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16 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

What criteria do they use to rebook a sold out category? If the category above yours is cheaper than what you paid?

The only criteria that really matters is whether or not you are past final payment.  In BC (Before COVID) days, once you are past final payment it is next to impossible to reprice your cruise and save money.  Your price would have to drop enough to cover your cancellation penalty which never, ever happens.  But since CWC, it is possible to reprice after final payment if your price drops and still save money.  Other than that, there really isn't any criteria...just whether or not your category has dropped in price.

As Sabrina said, you have to watch the categories adjacent to yours - both above and below - to see if they are trending up or down.  If they are changing, chances are yours is, too....and even though it may be sold out, you can still get a price adjustment !

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

What criteria do they use to rebook a sold out category? If the category above yours is cheaper than what you paid?

The way it was described to me by a supposedly higher level Crown snd Anchor representative is that the semi automated pricing system which Royal uses has prices for all cabin categories on each ship. 
If sold out, a category cannot be viewed online, even by a travel agent. The system still has a price for every category and when calling to check for a price drop, the price used is what the cabin category would be priced if you let your room go and it was returned to inventory. 

Instead of you or your agent call to check for a price drop one can employ another method.

1. Cancel your sold out category reservation.

2. Relentlessly hit refresh button on cabin search for the same sail date.

3. Get lucky and find the same room upon it returning to inventory.

4. Rebook the room, hopefully at a lower price.

YMMV

 

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47 minutes ago, AlmondFarmer said:

If sold out, a category cannot be viewed online, even by a travel agent.

Not entirely accurate.  Unless the entire sailing itself is closed (no categories are open for booking) a TA can still see the current price of any sold out category.  What is not obvious to the TA are any potential discounts...so what the agent will see is a retail price (retail = original price without any discounts) per person...but that's really enough information to know whether the final price will truly be higher or lower than what the client paid.  What a TA cannot see is whether there would be any additional savings through pricing discounts.  If the current online retail price for the room is lower than the original retail price that the client paid, then there is a possibility that there could be a repricing option for the client.  A lot would depend on what kind of discounts were included in the original booking. 

Let's say the client originally paid $500 PP retail for the room and the current online retail is $400 PP.  At first glance, that would appear to be a savings for the client BUT if the client originally got a Diamond Plus balcony discount and a resident special rate and maybe a military discount but the new online retail price would not include any of those except for maybe the D+ balcony then repricing would not result in an overall reduction in fare.  The agent would not know if Royal is offering any of those optional discounts unless they call Royal and ask.  So there is some valuable information available to the agent online but usually not enough information to make a reprice/don't reprice decision without calling. Normally, if you reprice a booking you do not necessarily get any of the "special" discounts of the original booking.  Things like balcony discounts will almost always transfer over to the repricing but things like casino discounts, special resident rates or military/first responder rates won't.

Then there is the complication of computing the 60% off the second passenger (or whatever the going "sale" happens to be) but that's waaaytooo complex to try and explain even if I understood it, which I don't.  So bottom line....the TA will have some information on a closed out category but most likely not enough information to reprice the booking without calling.  Trust me, most often, the price of a room - sold out or otherwise - is higher, not lower.  Every so often you will get a price reduction (I got one recently on my Hawaii-Vancouver transPacific) but they are fairly rare, especially if you got a really good discount on your original booking.

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

What a TA cannot see is whether there would be any additional savings through pricing discounts.

This is why my agent always calls to see if the final price is lower (upon my request) They may have an indication that final price will be lower without calling. My agent claims she can’t see booked category prices. (Could be due to applicable discounts/promotions adjusting final price) 

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