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Price Descrepancies - UK residents please read


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I have been researching my future cruise and have come across some REALLY interesting information that is otherwise hidden.

I am an American that has been living in the UK for the last 15 years.  I am retired US Navy as well.  I have been sailing on Royal Caribbean for some time and have acquired the C&A level of Emerald.  Through my time in the UK I have noticed a lot of the “perks†that I was used to being American or a service member were non-existent.  Here is just another one:

I stumbled across the US version of the Royal Caribbean web site so I decided to do some research. 

I looked for a cruise as far out as I could find, Southern Caribbean for 2 people.  The result was 13 April, 2018, 9 nights Southern Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the seas in a Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (D3 #6546).  I went through the entire booking process up to the check-out page and stopped.  I stored this information.

I next went to the Royal Caribbean International web site and did the same from there.  I selected the exact same cruise and cabin with the only exception being that I applied my C&A discount to this booking.  I once again went as far as the check-out page and stopped.  I once again stored this information.

My results:  Royal Caribbean International gave me a price of GBP£ 2,448.00 after applying the C&A discount (which amounted to only about 3-4%).  At current exchange rates, that makes this cruise in the region of USD$ 3,200.00. 

The result of the US site search gave me a price of USD$ 2,376.00. 

Am I missing something here?  Am I paying extra because I live in the UK?  I have to add airfare to this as well which can cost almost that much again.  Royal Caribbean International doesn’t honour any military discounts either.

For the UK customers of Royal Caribbean International, beware of this price difference and discuss it with your TA, or whoever might help to get around it.  This can’t be right.

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It's not uncommon for companies to price they're products differently from region to region. For example, those from the UK pay substantially less for Walt Disney World tickets than those of us living in the U,S, I also know that there textbook I use runs about $175 here in the U,S,, but is sold in India for $30. It's capitalism at work: charge what the market will pay. Royal also runs different sales and promotions regionally. For instance, I've never seen a free drink package here but have heard of it being offered in the UK. You'll also notice that there refund rules are different.

 

I am surprised that they don't recognize your military service discount, though. I thought that one was universal.

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Bob - 

 

Disclaimer: This is *not* advice or a recommendation in any way.

 

I've never read the cruise contract (I'm confident I'm not in the minority), but I wonder what risks you'd assume or rights you'd forfeit if you booked a US rate and leveraged a friend or family member's US address.  Even if not practical, I'd be curious to know.

 

As a note without risk or deceit, I believe MEI can now book Royal Caribbean sailings for those in the UK, so you might contact them and seek some clarity.

 

BH

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Bob - 
 
Disclaimer: This is *not* advice or a recommendation in any way.
 
I've never read the cruise contract (I'm confident I'm not in the minority), but I wonder what risks you'd assume or rights you'd forfeit if you booked a US rate and leveraged a friend or family member's US address.  Even if not practical, I'd be curious to know.
 
As a note without risk or deceit, I believe MEI can now book Royal Caribbean sailings for those in the UK, so you might contact them and seek some clarity.
 
BH

 

Billy;

I had thought of having a US person book it for me as a gift, with me paying for it.  Just to see if it would work that way.  

 

re:MEI - I heard Matt mention on a 'scope about Annie (from UK) going through MEI for something.  I guess Matt has addressed that in a reply as it must be referring to a group cruise. I repeat your sentiment : "BLAST!"

 

Thanks for the help.

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My guess is that they would recognize the military discount...it's just that there is almost NEVER any kind of military discount on a cruise from RCI.

 

They do happen, but they are very rare !

I have contacted RCCL directly about a military discount.  Their criteria is:

 

"10% military discount on direct bookings, meaning when you booking directly with us through our call centre or online."

 

I have previously booked while onboard and was told that that was not a direct booking.  Also, once I transfer that booking to a TA (as I'm told I must do within 60 days) no further benefits can be granted by RCCL.  (and UK TAs are not very loose with the purse strings).

 

I'm still working this system to see if I can get it to work for me.

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Nice that they have a flat [Military] discount policy like that for UK bookings.  No such luck for us in the US.  I have NEVER received a military discount on a Royal cruise.  I received 1 on NCL a couple of years back and 1 on Carnival a LONG time ago.

 

I don't even bother checking for military discounts anymore since I now book directly through Club Royale.  Most likely the casino rate would be better than anything RCI would give me on a military discount anyway.

 

It's a shame, really....

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