Cost of Cruising Going Up?


Yesterday I was reading an article put out by Cruise Radio called Cruise Boss Tells Guests to Pay Up.

This article is about NCL CEO Frank Del Rio justifying the cost of cruising and how it is going up.  

Now sure, running a cruise corporation is a business and they have shareholders that they have to account to so I get raising prices.  In fact I think all cruise corporations think exactly like Frank does but are afraid to say it to the media. 



If we raise the price of drinks, tours, cabins, excursions, specialty restaurants will people pay?

Probably....

Cost of cruising itself has only recently seen a substantial increase from when I started cruising back in 1990.  I can go back and see that, on average a cost of around $80 per day for an inside and around $100 a day for a balcony. Sure some cruises were more some were less. 


Where costs have really gone up is once I am on board.  I remember when drinks were around $5. When sodas were free, espresso drinks too.  Okay but I am dating myself here.  I keep some of my old shore excursions brochures from ships on each port.  I can see that for St Thomas a "normal" beach break cost $15 per person and is now $45. Specialty restaurants were $15 - now $25.

But hasn't everything gone up?  Certainly groceries, gas, taxes, and well just about everything has gone up.  So I can understand the added costs of things on board.  

But since I was paying around the same price for the cruise as I use to it wasn't such a big thing for me.  I would get on and then would cut back on what I spent once on board -- or not.



A few years ago an officer on board commented to us that fare prices would be going up on Princess and this would be happening industry wide.  Well it has come true.  Even our cruise this January is around 25% more than it was just a few years ago for the same cabin type and same itinerary (mind you it is on the Royal instead of the Emerald).

Sure the economy in some countries is doing much better, but sadly in Canada our dollar is at a major low!  Every US dollar is costing us around $1.30 Canadian.  So a cruise that cost us $1,000 each is now $1,300.  That has hurt.  Then once on board everything is 30% more for us.

Canadians make a huge percentage of cruisers and I am sure people are thinking twice about booking. Sure if you already have something booked you keep it, but how many are going to choose a cruise over a vacation that is affordable and a country with a better exchange rate for their next vacation.  

Gelato bar - added cost

For many that have gotten hooked on cruising recently and have to stretch their vacation money, will they choose cruising as an option?  Maybe but maybe not as often as they use to.

Overall I know cruising is still a great holiday that is an amazing value.  And I still recommend people take a look at a cruise as a vacation when they plan something.  

In the end cruiselines are profiting but I foresee a drop in bookings in the next year or two as people come to terms with the higher cost of booking, hotels, flights and cost on board.

For us this is the first time in a very very long time we are not planning a cruise later in the year.  We are seriously looking at other options.  We will be looking at all options and looking for some amazing deals.  And will even look outside of Princess if something spectacular comes along.

So are costs going up on cruising?  Yes!  Are fewer people going to cruise because of it?  In the long run yes.

What are you thoughts?  Are you cruising more?  Less?  

Comments

  1. Those all inclusive tours are beginning to look better and better.

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  2. prices of cruising on princess for uk folks has always been expensive we just pick a cruise where we want o go and book the cabin grade within our budget

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  3. I agree that the costsame are going up. I suspect that as Canadians slow down the lines will adjust the fares in CDN to be closer to US costs. That makes sense to me as we do make a lot of the passenger count. Once on board while we cut back we still do a lot and they will make it up there. At least that is my hope.

    We have been looking at other options as well, but cruising is our first choice.

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  4. I agree that the costs are going up. I suspect that as Canadians slow down the lines will adjust the fares in CDN to be closer to US costs. That makes sense to me as we do make a lot of the passenger count. Once on board while we cut back we still do a lot and they will make it up there. At least that is my hope.

    We have been looking at other options as well, but cruising is our first choice.

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  5. As I look at All Inclusive resorts as an alternative. There prices are going up as well by similar amounts. Road trips or snow bird trip to the US are going out of the price range .

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  6. With the Canadian dollar as low as it is, this is the first time we are not looking to book a future cruise for 2017. We usually book a cruise a year and ahalf in advance.

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  7. I cannot sell a cruise to my husband with the Canadian $ as low as it is. In the past when cruising, we help offset the high cost of the cruise, by booking private excursions. Much smaller groups, more one on one treatment and a more enjoyable experience, usually for considerably less money that cruise sanctioned excursions!

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  8. We're with you Vickie - we love cruising and many years we do more than 1 cruise. However, the sticker shock of this current cruise and the fact that everything we buy will be at a 45% premium (that's what I paid when I bought US cash for this trip), it's just not feasible for us to book another one any time soon. Hoping for the best on the exchange rate as it makes the higher prices even more painful.

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  9. A few factors at play.

    In 2008 the US economy was crashing, folks south of the border were not taking cruises. There were also some highly public cruise disasters (Concordia and Triumph). Canada at the time had a dollar at par and a booming oil economy,

    Fast forward to 2017. US economy is booming. Cruising is becoming even more mainstream than ever before. Most importantly wave after wave of baby boomers are retiring with fat pensions ... even those Americans who only get Social Security still get far more money per month than a Canadian on CPP. The Canadian dollar is in the gutter, our oil and housing based economy imploding.

    Terrorist attacks in Europe are convincing Americans to keep their travels limited to the Caribbean. It's a perfect storm driving prices up and Canadians are being hit the hardest with our crappy dollar.

    I miss the good old days of a one week balcony cruise running 1800 CAD (total for 2 INCLUDING flights).

    It's just the facts of life. Best advice? Look for deals -- transatlantic offer canucks best bang for the buck right now.

    Somebody above in 2015 thought they would start seeing cruises for Canadians at par. Very prophetic as I'm seeing that now. Sadly these at par deals often ARE the promo ... we get screwed out of OBC, free gratuities, etc.

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