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Transatlantic Crossing

Transatlantic Crossing

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Old Nov 14, 18, 11:17 am
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
Hmm, I actually track some of the luxury lines (we like small boats, would do luxury all the time if we could afford ;-) and I haven't really noticed out of season crossings or migrations. They might go to "nontraditional' (or, non-mainstream) locations, but they're still crossing the Pacific in the fall (after Alaska to Asia) or Panama Canal fall (to Caribbean) or Spring (carib to Alaska). For the Atlantic, they might do a southerly route (to South America, or maybe San Juan) but they're still going Caribbean to Europe in the spring and back in the fall. True exceptions would be those doing world cruises.....

I fantasize about a world cruise, I fantasize about a trip to Europe that is cruise ship both ways etc. So am always interested to see where it might be possible. One thing we have noticed is that certain seasons are getting longer. For instance - Alaska never used to have September cruises, and now some lines don't leave until the beginning of October (I haven't really seen any starting earlier than May, but who knows, that could be coming....) So that might explain some "off season" migrations as well.....
Luxury lines on portions of world cruise explains it. Not something I keep in mind. Was checking for something else and there's two non-Cunard ships sailing from Europe to N. America in the spring/early summer of next year. A RSSC ship and a Princess (o.k. not premium let alone luxury).

Don't see any ships moving west across the Pacific in the spring except for the one I'll be on (part of an Antarctic - Japan repo).

When the RCCL Oasis ships were new and there were only one or two in the fleet, the ship would go to Europe from Florida for drydock (none big enough in the western hemisphere apparently) and come back - out of season. These days, there are enough so they just rotate.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 12:21 pm
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My Father and I have taken Trans Atlantic cruises with Royal Caribbean since 2012 and will be Diamond after our upcoming Back2Back 22 night cruise on the Brilliance in October with the first 7 nights around the Med before crossing back to Tampa.

We will be visiting Nice, Eze Monaco, Almalfi Coast on a Private tour from the Cruise Critic Roll Call, Cinque Terre, Portofino, Malaga with a tour to Cordoba, Cartegena with a tour to Murcia, overnight in Lsbon with a tour to Cascais, Sintra and Lisbon and the Azores

​​​​​For the first cruise I. Booked an Interior Guarantee and on the second an Oceanview. $500+$850 tours and $$for tips. Airfare to BCN and back From TPA.

I love cruising.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 8:48 am
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A question for those who have taken TATL repositioning cruises on non-luxury, non-premium lines. How occupied were the ships? Our last 2 cruises were sold out and I would like just once to cruise without all the other passengers. It would also help me determine the risk of booking a guarantee.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
A question for those who have taken TATL repositioning cruises on non-luxury, non-premium lines. How occupied were the ships? Our last 2 cruises were sold out and I would like just once to cruise without all the other passengers. It would also help me determine the risk of booking a guarantee.
I can't answer your question, but it seems to me that if you price the cruise low enough, any ship is likely to come close to being full.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
A question for those who have taken TATL repositioning cruises on non-luxury, non-premium lines. How occupied were the ships? Our last 2 cruises were sold out and I would like just once to cruise without all the other passengers. It would also help me determine the risk of booking a guarantee.
A Travel Advisor (Agent) could usually check out a specific cruise you are looking at and tell you how full it is. On most lines, they can see open inventory. Of course, this could be time consuming so if you ask this of them, you should be prepared to book it with them. (No one likes working for free!)
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by gretchendz View Post
A Travel Advisor (Agent) could usually check out a specific cruise you are looking at and tell you how full it is. On most lines, they can see open inventory. Of course, this could be time consuming so if you ask this of them, you should be prepared to book it with them. (No one likes working for free!)
Yes, no, and maybe. Cruise lines typically do not release their complete inventory to external agencies/agents. There are some agencies/agents who are “key accounts” with some lines because of their volume of bookings and they may have more access. From a consumer’s view that’s hard to know which agents have full access and who don’t.

Case in point is a cruise we just booked for next year. When our agent looked at the specific cruise there were only three cabins available in the category we wanted. We and friends picked two of those cabins and booked. Agent actually said she could only see one cabin left after we booked. Within hours two more cabins became available in the same category so the cruise line was apparently withholding inventory from the agent and the Internet. Our agent may or may not be a “key account” but she specializes in luxury lines and books a lot of cruises with them. Since it wasn’t an issue for us I didn’t ask how full the cruise was so I don’t know if our agent could have found out or not. One thing I did notice is that for our specific cruise the cruise line has added several incentives like free airfare. Simple logic makes me think the cruise is not full and maybe not selling well thus the incentives.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:09 pm
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Maybe

Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post


Yes, no, and maybe. Cruise lines typically do not release their complete inventory to external agencies/agents. There are some agencies/agents who are “key accounts” with some lines because of their volume of bookings and they may have more access. From a consumer’s view that’s hard to know which agents have full access and who don’t.

Case in point is a cruise we just booked for next year. When our agent looked at the specific cruise there were only three cabins available in the category we wanted. We and friends picked two of those cabins and booked. Agent actually said she could only see one cabin left after we booked. Within hours two more cabins became available in the same category so the cruise line was apparently withholding inventory from the agent and the Internet. Our agent may or may not be a “key account” but she specializes in luxury lines and books a lot of cruises with them. Since it wasn’t an issue for us I didn’t ask how full the cruise was so I don’t know if our agent could have found out or not. One thing I did notice is that for our specific cruise the cruise line has added several incentives like free airfare. Simple logic makes me think the cruise is not full and maybe not selling well thus the incentives.

Maybe...but it is also very possible that someone canceled their reservations, therefore releasing those cabins, or a group was holding cabins and released some...happens all the time. You are correct, though that if they are offering many incentives for that particular cruise (as opposed to a big general sale) it is likely not full.

Just saying that if it is important to someone to not be on a full cruise, a TA should be able to get an idea...but that doesn't mean it will still be empty by the ship sails!
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Old Jul 9, 19, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by gretchendz View Post

Maybe...but it is also very possible that someone canceled their reservations, therefore releasing those cabins, or a group was holding cabins and released some...happens all the time. You are correct, though that if they are offering many incentives for that particular cruise (as opposed to a big general sale) it is likely not full.

Just saying that if it is important to someone to not be on a full cruise, a TA should be able to get an idea...but that doesn't mean it will still be empty by the ship sails!
Could be two cancellations but watching on the Internet one of the new ones got booked and within an hour another one popped up as available. I think it’s more likely the cruise line is holding back on showing too many open cabins. Looking at their other categories, where there are a number of cabins, they are showing no more than three in each. Then again this cruise once included Cuba and I know a number of passengers who were bailing on the cruise. I imagine some are still working with the cruise line for refunds, moving bookings, etc., so I suspect there will still be some dropouts. Privately, on a passenger by passenger basis, they supposedly are working to move people who don’t want the revised itinerary to other cruises but I don’t know the offers or how that is going. Publicly the cruise line has added incentives like free coach airfare, free tours, and reduced fares.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
I think it’s more likely the cruise line is holding back on showing too many open cabins.
Any hypotheses about why a cruise line would not be transparent on their cabin availability?

I know that Seabourn seems to show complete availability, but Silversea seemed very opaque when I booked my one cruise with them.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Any hypotheses about why a cruise line would not be transparent on their cabin availability?

I know that Seabourn seems to show complete availability, but Silversea seemed very opaque when I booked my one cruise with them.
I think it’s a supply and demand situation and each cruise line has a different approach. Some cruise lines will show as many as six or more cabins in a category while others will only show a few. Neither is an indication of the true available inventory. Point is say I go look at a particular cruise and I see only a few cabins available. Wow! Better book now. Say I go and look at a cruise and there are many cabins available. No hurry as there are plenty of cabins available. Obviously from almost any cruise line’s point of view the earlier they sell cabins the better so they are trying to project a shortage in hopes you’ll book early.

Besides only showing a few cabins the other approach that has gained popularity relatively recently are discounts for early booking. A 10% discount seems to be a popular early booking discount but then the cruise lines put some limitations like canceling an early booking means forfeit of the deposit. Others do things like instead of being able to cancel up to 90 days out with no penalty they extend that to 120 days or more without penalty.
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Last edited by Randyk47; Jul 9, 19 at 12:31 pm
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Old Jul 10, 19, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
A question for those who have taken TATL repositioning cruises on non-luxury, non-premium lines. How occupied were the ships? Our last 2 cruises were sold out and I would like just once to cruise without all the other passengers. It would also help me determine the risk of booking a guarantee.
The mass market lines would lower their prices if they still have cabins available - the goal for them is to sail in FULL occupancy at all possible.

If you are not willing to pay higher prices to cruise higher priced lines, (for example, some Celebrity ships could still be not full due to the prices), then your quest will be in vain. Seriously.

As for booking guarantee cabins, other than obstructed oceanview (not found on newer ships any more), that one needs to pick the "right cabin", we always book guarantee, and have not had a single issue thus far - after over 14 or 15 TATL cruises since 2008, among Princess and HAL, as well as Celebrity. No idea on the lower level lines such as NCL / MSC / Costa - those I do believe you need to book the high end cabins in order to have a peaceful cruise, on NCL and MSC - the high end cabins have completely day and night experiences versus the "mass" who book the lower priced cabins. Costa you can forget about it unless you are willing to put up with lots of loud Italians / other Europeans who dont have the concept of queuing.

Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
I can't answer your question, but it seems to me that if you price the cruise low enough, any ship is likely to come close to being full.
Exactly.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by gretchendz View Post
A Travel Advisor (Agent) could usually check out a specific cruise you are looking at and tell you how full it is. On most lines, they can see open inventory. Of course, this could be time consuming so if you ask this of them, you should be prepared to book it with them. (No one likes working for free!)
You can also go on the cruise lines' own website and start the booking process - see for yourself on how many cabins still not sold and get a feeling of it. It is a bit time consuming but it gives you the information needed - when the cabins available to choose from going down to certain level you need to make decision whether you want to take the price, or you dont want to go because the cruise would be "full of passengers".

Really, the thought of not sail on the luxury line and expect not a full ship - the 2 are almost mutually exclusive - unless in the situation that the itinerary is highly unattractive, the ship is undesirable (being old or the clients are often troublesome), you will not find a mass market TATL not sailing in full. You, of course, dont want to sail in that situations either - hence those not sail in full!
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Old Jul 10, 19, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Any hypotheses about why a cruise line would not be transparent on their cabin availability?

I know that Seabourn seems to show complete availability, but Silversea seemed very opaque when I booked my one cruise with them.
You are talking about the luxury lines.

The discussions seem to be on the mass market lines.

Even the luxury lines, they still dont know the accurate inventories until the last few weeks before sails.

I once know a lady worked for Regent 7 Seas which is now owned by NCL. Her job is to keep track on the inventory of her assigned ship - and one of the duties is to call passengers when the ship is overbooked, so the lines would offer the "Move Over" deal. She hates that part because Regent 7 Seas is in high end market and passengers dont much care about "Move Over" offers unless such are very sweetened. So there is a lot of back and forth she has to do to make it work.

Whether it is luxury market or mass market, cruise bookings have A TON of cancellation between the sailing opens to book to the deadline of final payment when after that, the payment will not be 100% refundable when cancelled, but at a pro-rate percentage.
Unless it is super luxury line, even the semi-luxury lines, do NOT know what their number of Truly Sold cabins until getting very close, or pass the final payment deadline - because most passengers unless they have compelling reasons they usually would not cancel their bookings after final payments are made - because they would lose some of their "investment" - though if they have bought insurance and the reason to cancel is covered, insurance would pay for the difference.

I never understand why many have the urge / need, to book cruises a year or 2 years from sailing - one of the reasons may be, the deposit is very cheap - even with the policies are no longer just $100 but at a fixed percentage of the total price of the sailing, it is still relatively low. On top of that there are almost always promotion going on, such as $100 reduced deposit to book, etc.

As long as people can cancel for free and get back every penny by deadline of final payment, there is NO WAY the cruiselines can tell how many cabins are actually sold because cancellation by deadline can be a large number...

For us. we always book our cruises whether it is TATL or just a generic Med or Caribbeans or Asia cruise, well inside the cancellation with penalty period - our cruises always are Paid In Full the next 24 hours after booking because the sailing often is less than one to two months away - our cruise agent is top seller of virtually all mass market lines. She sometimes can extend the hold period day by day to facilitate us (such as finding better award flights...) She also can see how the ship is selling that is different from what I can see on cruise line's own website.
On the other hand, I dont bug my agent on this and that - I found the cruise(s) we like to do, then I email her for quotes. 90% of the time we would book the cruise we make inquiry about. In other words, she does not handhold us at all. she acts as a conduit to book our cruises especially access to some prices do NOT show on cruise lines own websites.

Last Spring we had a Princess TATL followed by 11 days Med that ended at Rome - we wanted a cruise ended at Rome so we could go to Sicily for a land trip post cruise. She had a 27 days inside at $1400 before taxes and fee - that was never showing on Princess lines. In fact the availability had come and gone at least 3 times when I was hoping to see AMEX offer. Finally on its 4th appearance I felt I could not wait and went ahead to book it. The availability never returned. 4 days later AMEX Offer finally showed up - the usual $100/$500 thing... Ce La Vie.

Vacationtogo is a site you should monitor - their information is rather accurate. Sometimes they are a bit delay whether prices going up or down but by and large, what they show, generally is what can be booked - not necessarily book with cruise lines directly, but through the agents who have access to such pricing.

Our last year's Crown Princess TATL was a perfect example that the $1400 price was accessible by our agent and vacationtogo. I have not ever seen it showing on Princess website, nor some of the OTAs I casually look at. UR folks (before switched to Expedia) never saw that either.

This Spring we booked a Circle Japan cruise in Mid April less than 3 weeks ahead of the sailing - it was a filler for our time in Japan before catching the Celebrity TPAC cruise from Tokyo to Vancouver in late April. We put the AA award on JL to NRT on hold, then booked the Celebrity cruise with Chase UR pts. After that we figured out what to do in Japan then we found the Diamond Princess Circular Japan 8 days fit right in so we booked it thru our cruise agent - in fact at first I booked an Obstructed View guarantee, then realized this was a bad idea (too long ago when we booked obstructed view cabins and I forgot the peril of guarantee in this category). Then I found one of the only four oversize inside cabins was still available with the same price of regular inside. I called our agent and had her changed the booking to that cabin, put in "no upgrade" notation - because the next upgrade might put us in a fully obstructed view (looking into a lifeboat) - that would be a much worse option than an inside. I dont think our luck of an upgrade from inside guarantee to a balcony would repeat! (got that once on Regal Princess Caribbean sailing, no idea of the upgrade until our agent called me, "What have you done?" What? "You got a huge upgrade!" Oh wow. Thank you Princess... We received upgrade to a no obstruction at all "obstruction view" on Holland from an inside guarantee on a TATL a few years ago.

Unless you are very specific to want a particular cabin (location), I dont see why to not take advantage of booking guarantee. But you do need to know any potential perils of the category you book - that is, balcony is not created equal just as an example. Decks make some differences. Aft balcony often suffers from soot... things like that.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post


I think it’s a supply and demand situation and each cruise line has a different approach. Some cruise lines will show as many as six or more cabins in a category while others will only show a few. Neither is an indication of the true available inventory. Point is say I go look at a particular cruise and I see only a few cabins available. Wow! Better book now. Say I go and look at a cruise and there are many cabins available. No hurry as there are plenty of cabins available. Obviously from almost any cruise line’s point of view the earlier they sell cabins the better so they are trying to project a shortage in hopes you’ll book early.

Besides only showing a few cabins the other approach that has gained popularity relatively recently are discounts for early booking. A 10% discount seems to be a popular early booking discount but then the cruise lines put some limitations like canceling an early booking means forfeit of the deposit. Others do things like instead of being able to cancel up to 90 days out with no penalty they extend that to 120 days or more without penalty.
Celebrity is really pushing on this.

Though high end lines such as Viking also is doing this but in an even more forceful manner - they decide theirs are so sought after, that you pay the cruise ONE YEAR ahead of your booking WITHOUT REFUND should you cancel.
I honestly dont understand how their clientele thinks when this line has had so many incidents / accidents in recent years. I did not know until the recent high sea rescue in Norway when hundreds of passengers had to be rescued by helicopters, that unlike other lines, their captains and officers are not their employees, but contracted employees just like the service personnel most other lines do.
If you google its river cruises on accidents - they have quite some accidents involved fatalities that should never occurred - such as a ship forgot to lower its wheel house when sailing under a low bridge, so the whole wheelhouse was bumped off, causing death of the "officers" in it and of course disruption of the sailing... strikes to the piers happened a lot also.
It used to be a high end river cruise but now with 78 ships! the standard has gone downhill bigly per what the brother in law said. He stopped using Viking and now cruise Crystal instead.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
I never understand why many have the urge / need, to book cruises a year or 2 years from sailing
Some people are very picky about itineraries, and on small ships, sometimes if you snooze you lose.

As long as people can cancel for free and get back every penny by deadline of final payment,
That's a pretty american-focused perspective - lots of other countries have different booking regulations.
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