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Some have commented to me direclty on how RCCL is handling the Non-refundable dilemma and some have even started to jump ship as RCCL is now shifting all of their OBC, etc. incentives more towards Non-refundable pricing scheme. With this new WOW sale, (uh huh!) RCCL has unleashed and some have seen what has been behind door # 2! I can only sum it up as either you are TOTALLY onboard "in the belly of the beast" and reap the "so-called" benefits (OBC, etc.) or deal with what you are dealt with in the Refundable world. My suggestion to those who are not too happy with RCCL's "shovel off to Buffalo", (putting it nicely as my mom would say), is to deal with a TA who can get you a better deal with OBC, etc. instead of booking directly with RCCL.  Some individuals on this board have given recommendations of great TA's that they have dealt with OR as your last resort, there is always Carnival, Norwegian, etc...etc. As Popeye would say, "That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands n'more!" image.png.3cec75e01231361d73f612074db36b10.png

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I have to agree with you on this. I just tried another mock booking with an Incognito mode tab, and it's the same as before -- No direct booking of J3/J4 class Jr. Suites available, only Guarantee rate. And last I checked, a Guarantee rate room is supposed to be less expensive than a direct room booking, but... well, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves...

My latest reprice rate, from March 29, 2018; direct booking for J4 room 7238 on Anthem, includes $125 OBC

  • $2,351.00 NRD base fare
  • $   366.40 port fees & taxes
  • $2,717.40 total

Current offer for a Guarantee Rate JS room, with only $100 OBC, for the same sailing on Anthem

  • $2,677.00 NRD base fare
  • $   343.94 port fees & taxes
  • $3,020.94 total

I mean... really? I know prices go up the closer you get to a cruise date, and yes it's "only" six months away from sail date, but... This is all of one month after I last repriced, and it's for a class of room that's supposed to be less expensive to book to begin with.

SMH

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Royal is a business and for years people caused havoc by making bookings and then canceling or moving at 91 days out.  This was especially the case for NextCruise bookings where extra OBC was secured and it was common for people to move a booking three or four times, usually just before the 91 day final payment due date each time.  They ended up sailing sometimes  years after the original booking.

This created a volume of cabins all becoming available around the 90 day mark which impacted the ability to sell them in the final few months before  sail date.  The void created a sales dilemma often resulting in them having to dump cabins at cheap rates simply trying to fill the ships in a relatively short window.

There are two sides to this story. 

From a customer perspective it was great. Play the game and take advantage of a very generous policy that quite frankly didn't exist on other lines.

From a business perspective (lest we forget RCI is a for profit business) it was causing them to miss revenue potential.  No business likes to miss revenue potential.

As a business minded person I appreciate why they needed to change.  As a customer I may not like it, but I was used to it on another line.

Not be brash but if you want to leave over it, I say go.  Lower demand may lower prices for folks like me who are staying.  They are having record sales at the moment so that is unlikely but I can always dream and I appreciate your sacrifice for my potential benefit. 

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

I have to agree with you on this. I just tried another mock booking with an Incognito mode tab, and it's the same as before -- No direct booking of J3/J4 class Jr. Suites available, only Guarantee rate. And last I checked, a Guarantee rate room is supposed to be less expensive than a direct room booking, but... well, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves...

My latest reprice rate, from March 29, 2018; direct booking for J4 room 7238 on Anthem, includes $125 OBC

  • $2,351.00 NRD base fare
  • $   366.40 port fees & taxes
  • $2,717.40 total

Current offer for a Guarantee Rate JS room, with only $100 OBC, for the same sailing on Anthem

  • $2,677.00 NRD base fare
  • $   343.94 port fees & taxes
  • $3,020.94 total

I mean... really? I know prices go up the closer you get to a cruise date, and yes it's "only" six months away from sail date, but... This is all of one month after I last repriced, and it's for a class of room that's supposed to be less expensive to book to begin with.

SMH

What I love is how the base fare goes up, which technically, it should not as it's a "list price a/k/a starting point" which all travel specialists work off of, but let the finagling begin!! Another tip for the consumer, use those points from your Credit Cards to get EVEN better rates! I do it all the time!!! Sssshhhh!!

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I almost booked a cruise 2 weeks ago in the NextCruise office.  I decided to wait since it was going to be for at least 2 years out due to financial reasons, and who knows what will happen in that time. Fast forward to today and I found out the price has gone up several hundred dollars, and that is for the non refundable rate.  If you want to find out what the refundable rate is, you have to go all the way through the booking site and enter all of the cruisers information before given that option.  So now I have no plans to book a cruise til last minute as I don't feel there is any benefit anymore. Here is to a lonely couple years with no countdowns to look forward to.

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14 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I mean... really? I know prices go up the closer you get to a cruise date, and yes it's "only" six months away from sail date, but... This is all of one month after I last repriced, and it's for a class of room that's supposed to be less expensive to book to begin with.

SMH

I had watched the price of my cruise on the Symphony daily since I booked.  I saw the price for the same balcony stateroom jump or drop by as much as 32% in one day. 

23/01/2018   £1,190.00  
24/01/2018   £949.00 -25.40%
25/01/2018   £1,189.00 20.19%
26/01/2018   £1,239.00 4.04%
29/01/2018   £949.00 -30.56%
30/01/2018   £999.00 5.01%
31/01/2018   £1,189.00 15.98%
01/02/2018   £949.00 -25.29%

The price varies on a daily basis so the only comparison that can be made is at the same time on the same day.

(all the tracking was of no use to me though, as re-pricing isn't allowed in the UK.)

 

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Guest toodle68

I personally do not see it as an issue myself, RC just moved where everyone else is.. Want to save money on a hotel room? pay now with no cancel. Want to be able to cancel a plane ticket? pay more upfront.  Same with car rental.  The big difference I see with RC is that you can book cruises nearly 2 years out. Most hotels, flights are no more than 9 months. I have a cruise booked for Sept 2019 and chances are, I could start looking at the prices in March 2019 and still get roughly the same price and decent availability of cabins.

I am just the sort of guy however that likes to plan way ahead and have something to look forward to, there is a risk that things change, but I am ok with taking that chance.

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1 hour ago, toodle68 said:

I personally do not see it as an issue myself, RC just moved where everyone else is..

To me this is the issue though ... you differentiate your product by being different than everyone else. You used to offer something of value that the competition did not. You take that away and true you aren't "worse" then the competition but you have removed another point that differentiated you favorably from the competition.

Which is exactly what I find happening for me with RCL. I don't dislike them ... I haven't stopped cruising them ... but since they want to be undifferentiated from their competition, I now view them as undifferentiated. I surf the competitor websites just as frequently as I do RCL, I book the best deal I see for when I want to cruse, I don't look for deals I can make work with RCL just to cruise RCL, etc.

Seems a shame to throw away the loyalty when you already have record profits and growth coming but as is said repeatedly they are indeed a for profit business and as long as new people keep coming in the door to replace those who were loyal and now less so ... they keep winning so no reason not to keep going in the same direction.

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They don't care about the long term loyal customer. The have cut benefits and perks...all they care about is the new cruiser and the millennial's. This is where they make the most bang for their buck.

 

Don't believe me.....go back on this site or any cruise site for say the past 5 years and start documenting all the changes and see for yourself.

 

The have brought in 5 new Mega ships that increases capacity by over 1.5 million passengers a year in less than 4 years. They haven't done that in the history of their company. They aren't hurting.

 

I don't even visit Royal's website any longer.......and I used to look for deals almost every day. Don't remember the last time I logged into my C&A account. There are no deals, too many rules and changes for me to keep track of. I cant even FIND a refundable deposit option any longer for the cruise I have booked or any cruises I am looking for in the future.

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3 hours ago, toodle68 said:

I personally do not see it as an issue myself, RC just moved where everyone else is.. Want to save money on a hotel room? pay now with no cancel. Want to be able to cancel a plane ticket? pay more upfront.  Same with car rental.  The big difference I see with RC is that you can book cruises nearly 2 years out. Most hotels, flights are no more than 9 months. I have a cruise booked for Sept 2019 and chances are, I could start looking at the prices in March 2019 and still get roughly the same price and decent availability of cabins.

I am just the sort of guy however that likes to plan way ahead and have something to look forward to, there is a risk that things change, but I am ok with taking that chance.

Well said!

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