If you’re on one of Royal Caribbean’s email lists, you most likely get lots of emails announcing new discounts and sales on cruise fares, shore excursions, WiFi, and more. But do you actually save money with one of these promotions?
I’m back with an answer to another Royal Caribbean common question posted by one of our readers. I hope she helps a lot more people too.
I received an email from Royal Caribbean for a new sale, but I saw comments on Facebook that prices aren’t actually changing. Someone even said they raise the price before selling and then discount it afterwards. Are these sales “fact or fiction”? – Erin A.
Social media is a great resource to learn and share, and you will definitely see a wide variety of opinions when it comes to cruises.
I’ve seen some people write about saving hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to a new sale, but I’ve also seen others complain that their prices have only gone up.
Are you saving money with these cruise sales and pre-cruise discounts?
Like so many things in life, the answer is that it matters.
Sale of cruise fares
Royal Caribbean offers cruise fares frequently, and new deals appear every few weeks on things to pre-order for your booked glider.
Yes, every sale offered by Royal Caribbean could potentially save you money compared to the previous day’s price, but not every sale means there are lower prices across the board.
In my experience, Royal Caribbean’s sales tend to have different destinations. However, it is extremely rare for a promotion to give a flat rate discount for every sailing and date.
However, this does not mean that one or more people are not reporting a discount so that no savings are made.
When it comes to selling cruises, a large part of the time saved depends on the type of booking. Kids Sail Free offers always have the best discounts when you have a third or fourth passenger in the same room. A 30% discount on sales results in a completely different type of savings.
In addition, you may already have the lowest price on a sailing boat since you booked early enough to get the best deal.
Traditionally, cruise prices in the Royal Caribbean are generally set lowest when a new sail becomes available and then prices rise over time. Royal Caribbean calls this pricing model “low to high”.
The idea behind the low to high model is that it gives consumers confidence that they are getting the best deal.
Of course, there may be exceptions as the pricing is not linear, but there is no doubt that the best prices come early.
Continue reading:: How far in advance should I book a cruise to get the best price?
Does Royal Caribbean Games Play With Their Prizes?
Erin also mentions the oft-repeated theory that Royal Caribbean increases prices before a sale to make the discount seem remarkable.
In my experience, cruise prices fluctuate daily or even hourly depending on a variety of factors.
The best parallel I can offer to give an example of how cruise fare prices tend to go up is jeans in the mall. The ticket price is the base price for jeans and similar list prices apply for cruise fares. Later the store sells these jeans and the price drops a little. As soon as this promotion ends, the price of the jeans can go back up to the ticket price. And a week or two later, a new sale of jeans will bring the price down again. And so on.
Cruise fare prices aren’t exactly like goods in a store, but you’ll see an up and down in their prices in a similar way.
The main difference to the cruise fare is that the price of a cruise also depends on supply and demand. The more cabins are booked, the higher the prices tend to be.
The reason the price of a cabin can go up before a sale is not because of the nefarious Royal Caribbean conspiracy to suck up all your money, but the fact that cabins on this sail were recently sold and now there is less supply and prices are increasing adjust accordingly .
The price of airfares is similar and ultimately the remaining seats / staterooms combined with booking trends determine discounts (or lack thereof).
The bottom line is that sales can save you money on your cruise fare, but don’t expect a discount on every sailing.
Continue reading: 45 Ways To Save Money On A Royal Caribbean Cruise
Do Pre-Cruise Sales Save Money?
What about selling WiFi, shore excursions, or beverage packages? Are you saving money with these sales?
The answer is a little clearer here as it’s easier to compare and keep track of prices as everyone gets the same deal (as opposed to cabins).
Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner sale definitely saves money on most purchases compared to price waiting to be booked on board.
Beverage packages, WiFi, and even shore excursions definitely cost more if you wait to book them once you’re on the ship.
Continue reading:: Information and planning tips for the Royal Caribbean Drink Package
Spa treatments are a bit like a wash as the price is basically the same on board or online. The spa has special offers on board, but they’re almost always combo packages and they’re not offered online so you can’t compare the two.
Special meal packages are sometimes discounted online compared to waiting for a booking on board. Individual restaurant reservations are more or less the same as on board.
The really nice thing about pre-cruise sales is that you can easily track prices and cancel and rebook if there is a better price.
Cruise professionals can book something they want early on and then look for new rate cuts when they occur. In contrast to cruise fares, there is no penalty for cancellations and rebookings even within a few weeks of sailing.
Selling cruise planners can absolutely save you money and almost certainly won’t cost you more than booking on board.
More mailbag questions::