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amathey11

What was your best "extra" deal?

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Just curious as to what some of the best sales on drink packages, internet & excursions people have seen and around what time?

I'm hoping to make out not paying full price for any of my "extras" on my upcoming cruise. 

TIA!

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Voom Surf and Stream for $11.99 on Symphony.  Haven't seen it that cheap again.

Best I've seen the deluxe drink package this year is $42.  Last year I saw it cheaper than that but keeping this to 2018 deals since many things have increased from the past.

One thing I've observed is that often US Thanksgiving has some good sales but not for every sailing.  You really need to look often, buy low and keep monitoring extras.  If they drop even lower, refund and repurchase.  Waiting and hoping for a cheaper price without ever buying it usually leads to disappointment. 

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Timing is random and you need to check with every sale.  My cruise in November the best sale was in April.  None of the other sales have come close. I have cruises in March and May and neither have had a good drink package sale or excursion sale yet.  I buy when I am comfortable with the price.  I'll also buy if I am worried about an excursion selling out.  For example, I have a beach bungalow booked for both Nov and March cruises.  The bungalow for the March cruise is about $60 more than November but there are only 8 bungalows and I'm not willing to have it sell out as I wait for a lower price.  If it goes lower, I'll call and reprice it.

I haven't seen the drink package for $42 on any of my sailings for a while.  I think that was almost 2 years ago for me.  The cheapest I've recently seen for the deluxe is $47 and that is only for the November cruise.  My other cruises are $56 and $60 right now.  I'll wait on the drink package for those and see if it will come down as that is too much to me or go without.  

Last year, I remember October having decent sales but Thanksgiving/Black Friday was the best sale prices. However, the price varies with each ship and sailing and you may or may not see prices similar.  If I do see a price that I like before Black Friday sales, I will buy it before then and reprice if lower over Black Friday.

  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, amathey11 said:

I'm hoping to make out not paying full price for any of my "extras" on my upcoming cruise. 

Best strategy is to book whatever price you see as cheapest, and then cancel and rebook if/when there is a price drop. 

There's little correlation to what someone else paid versus what you will pay.  I totally get you want to know what "rock bottom" is for price, but I'm concerned it will set up false expectations for yourself.

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11 minutes ago, melski94 said:

I haven't seen the drink package for $42 on any of my sailings for a while.  

I was able to purchase the DDP on Grandeur for $42 PP for our October 6 sailing.  That's the only time I've seen it that low for any cruise we have booked.  Normally we don't buy the drink package but I thought we would try it and see if we liked having it.

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For our sept 9, 2018 Oasis cruise we booked last september then repriced cruise and saved $230 on black friday and bought the drink package for $43 per person per day. I have kept up with pricing almost daily and the cruise price has not been any lower but for the 4th of july sale the drink package dropped to $42 per person per day so I cancelled and repurchased. Saved $18.40 I think after the gratuity difference. 

Best "extras" we ever received was upgraded from oceanview to balcony on Independence of the Seas on a seven night cruise for $100, And last september we were on Oasis of the seas on a seven night western cruise and the cruise got extended three extra nights due to a hurricane. We stayed overnight and an extra full day in cozumel, stayed a day in costa maya, and had an extra sea day. And never even saw a single wave or cloud. Weather was perfect. They had special menus in the MDR so the food was all something new. They were selling the drink package for half price for the extra 3 days but I went into vintages to buy the three days and they only charged me for one. So got three days of drinks for $26.

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We booked our June Alaska Cruise in January. Shortly after I purchased excursions. A couple of them were on sale in March so I rebooked and also purchased Voom. Purchased the non-alcohol refreshment package in May. I monitored from March -> June and prices never went lower except for refreshment package.  Now looking at about the same timeframe for December cruise. Booked cruise this week and looking at excursions (30% sale this week) and will book this week but hoping there's a better sale between now and December.

For Voom on Radiance we paid $22.38/day for 2.

For Refreshment package we paid $21.24/day ($18+18%) which is what it is going for now with the 30% sale.

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For my cruise last March/April on Freedom:

The over-the-water cabana rental on Labadee had the best price right around when they first became available, about a year before the cruise. I think I caught a sale right about the same time they came out, because I never saw them priced that low ever again (around $250 as I recall; once the cruise was done I deleted those notes so I can't say for absolutely certain). This seems to be how cabanas and bungalows go, since they're limited inventory and the price seems to only go up as inventory clears out.

For drink packages, internet, etc. -- all depends on when your particular sailing starts offering those things and whether that lines up with traditionally extra-good sales like Black Friday or not. I hit the absolute lowest prices for my excursions, drink packages, and VOOM around late October; about 5 months before sail date, and before the Black Friday sale. But I had bought all of those at least a month or two earlier and ended up canceling and re-purchasing almost everything during that sale. I got $42 per night for Deluxe Pkg and $18 per night for Refreshment, and 4-device VOOM was about $45 per night.

For my upcoming Bermuda cruise in October on Anthem:

Only things I've purchased were the drink package (also $42 per night for Deluxe, $18 per for Refreshment) and VOOM ($26.58 per night for 2 devices). Drink package prices didn't show that low until May (about 5 months before sail date); the Internet didn't get that low until the July 4 sale (about 3 months before sail date). So it definitely varies a lot by sailing and ship.

So definitely heed @Matt's and others' recommendation to just buy when it's a price you're comfortable, then cancel and repurchase later on if you find another sale improves things for you.

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46 minutes ago, Jason.H. said:

And last september we were on Oasis of the seas on a seven night western cruise and the cruise got extended three extra nights due to a hurricane. We stayed overnight and an extra full day in cozumel, stayed a day in costa maya, and had an extra sea day. And never even saw a single wave or cloud. Weather was perfect. They had special menus in the MDR so the food was all something new. They were selling the drink package for half price for the extra 3 days but I ...

I had not stopped to think about those sorts of situations. Sucks pretty bad for the people whose vacations got cancelled because the hurricane kept the ship out past curfew, but it worked out nice for you!

Here's my question: It seems perfectly logical and fair that your drink package is not going to be extended for the days for free; you gotta pay for it, and I understand that. But what about the cabin (which includes the MDR, I presume)? Does everyone get the extra three days free, or do they make some kind of calculation to charge more? Extending 7 days to 10 is almost a 50% jump and that could get very expensive. And at the same time, it's not really RCCL's fault either, so I can sympathize with them too.

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On 7/13/2018 at 5:29 PM, Keeves said:

Here's my question: It seems perfectly logical and fair that your drink package is not going to be extended for the days for free; you gotta pay for it, and I understand that. But what about the cabin (which includes the MDR, I presume)? Does everyone get the extra three days free, or do they make some kind of calculation to charge more? Extending 7 days to 10 is almost a 50% jump and that could get very expensive. And at the same time, it's not really RCCL's fault either, so I can sympathize with them too.

Yes the cabin and dining was all covered for everyone on the ship. They paid for people that had to rebook flights and hotels home as well. We drove so didn't need to deal with any of that. 

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1 minute ago, Keeves said:

I'm impressed! To cover the cabin and dining is  sort of expected, perhaps, but the flights and hotels is above and beyond, especially since it was the weather's fault!

Sound business practice in this case. People are already flustered and crazed over the storm's unexpected impact on their return travel plans and, depending on where they live, possibly worried about what state they'll find their home in when they return. Royal doing this ensures that when those stressors come to a peak, the people will be telling their friends, "I'm so glad that Royal stepped up and covered all of those changes for us! It was such a huge relief not to have to deal with those added expenses on top what hit us because of the storm!"

Those friends now have positive feelings about Royal, and when considering a cruise will probably think of them first.

Imagine if Royal stiffed everyone and said, "Not our problem!" Those people would be bad-mouthing Royal all over the place, including their local TV stations, and the bad press would haunt them for months, if not years. They have a hard enough time when the news goes on another "Look what ship got Norovirus THIS time!" story; why compound things like that with bad press about treating guests hammered by the hurricanes badly?

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4 hours ago, Keeves said:

I'm impressed! To cover the cabin and dining is  sort of expected, perhaps, but the flights and hotels is above and beyond, especially since it was the weather's fault!

When you look at Royal's response overall to the 2017 hurricane season it leaves you with a lot of respect.  Sure people on the next cruise or those who needed to be home for work got upset and placed blame at an easy target (hard to really give Mother Nature the what's for).  But if you can stand back and objectively observe the bigger picture and collective response overall it was pretty great at too many different levels to mention here.

It certainly contributed to my continued loyalty even when I've been impacted on current sailings recently.  

 

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A lot of credit goes to Royal for stepping up and hiring a full time meteorologist. They are always two steps ahead and never even come close enough to the big storms for it to be an issue. So if you're on a cruise and the port stops get changed, be thankful. You could be stuck in rain and 40' waves off the coast of haiti instead of laying on a beautiful sunny beach in st thomas. Sorry for the thread jack. 

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1 hour ago, Jason.H. said:

A lot of credit goes to Royal for stepping up and hiring a full time meteorologist

This.  I don't think that hiring gets nearly enough credit as it deserves.

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