Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seabourn Signature Sale Continues - Let Me Clarify Cruise Sales For You

I previously let you know about what I see as Seabourn's first real sale in a very long time.  That sale, due to its success, is continuing.

How do I know this sale has excellent pricing?  It is, in part, because my client's followed my advice and booked early...so that when this sale came along my client already had the category and suite they desired and I had to reprice their cruises (if one of us discovered their cruise and suite category was included). 

It is a lot of extra work for me, but my clients have received the best of both worlds:  The Best Price and The Best Suite in their Desired Category on the Sailing of Their Choice.

You need to trust me on this being the best approach.  I have had many calls and emails for cruises that may or may not be on sale, but which clients waiting until later have found that what they desired was not available or that they had to move up or down categories (costing them more money or disappointing themselves with lesser accommodation or location). 

OK, now for the wording of the offer...Almost. 

The other day I was at a luncheon and the speaker said, "Listen carefully.  I will say '1,2,3 Clap'...and then you clap."  So he said "1,2,3" and the audience interupted him with a clap...and then he said, "Clap".  His words were clear:  Don't clap until after he said, "clap", but the audience was already trained through life to clap after "3", so they did what they were trained to do...and clapped before he said the magic word.

Now the wording.  If you read the words they are dead-on accurate:
Save up to 50% or more
Receive up to a 2-category upgrade
Up to 15% savings on select combination cruises
$1,000 per suite shipboard credit on premium suites
* On select sailings. See Terms and Conditions for details.

Complimentary upgrades are up to two categories on select voyages in oceanview, balcony & veranda categories only and are subject to availability at time of booking. Upgrade will be reflected in fare paid for selected suite category. Shipboard credit offer of $1,000 per suite ($500/person) on select voyages available in PH , CS, OW , SS , WG and GR suite categories only.

All the proper clarifications are there.  But...and to me it is a big "but"...the cruise consumer has already been trained to see what isn't highlighted.  So you "see" a 2-category upgrades on all suites and a $1,000 shipboard credit.

Unfortunately, what you don't see is that there are some really great prices independent of the hard to find 2 category upgrade and you become frustrated because the majority of upgrades are only one category and only from say an A to an A1 or a V1 to a V2 on the majority of sailings.

You are also confused by the term "premium" suite is because all suites on Seabourn are "premium", while the clarifying language is right there...in the fine print.

Now, let me give you an extreme, but all to common, example of how this can really confuse the already "trained" cruise consumer: I recently read a reader's comment in the Los Angeles Times about booking a Seabourn cruise in a veranda guarantee 10 days before sailing and that he wound up with a midship veranda suite (no category noted) that as a single would have cost him over $32,000.  Can you say, "Not true!"? That might have been the Brochure Price (something that I think should be eliminated from this industry as no cruise is ever...and I mean ever...sold at that price; only significantly less than that. 

To put this into perspective, the brochure shows a Brochure Fare of $15,900 per person for a V3, but that is immediately cut by 25% for the Early Booking Savings of 25% to $11,925 (all the other similar sailings had EBS of 35-45%...right in the brochure!).  That figure, as he was a single, was - according to the brochure - subject to a 200% single supplement:  Hence is $32,000 cruise and the reality of - absolute worst case scenario - $23,850.00.  That is a 34% overstatement of the absolute highest price one could pay for this cruise.

But, remember, this person booked a veranda guarantee and could have well wound up in a V1 suite and, for that matter, one with a very small balcony.  Knock another $2,250 off his $32,000 figure and now we are looking at a 48% overstatement of alleged savings off the absolute hightest price that could have been paid.

The fact is that this sailing was discounted further as, for some reason, South America was selling a bit soft for all of the cruise lines this autumn and winter.  I booked clients in a confirmed V6 suite for the next sailing at $6,499 per person back in July 2011...in a suite that they absolutely loved (and want on their next cruise)...because they listened to me.

Now, all of a sudden that $32,000 cruise for $9,000 doesn't sound like such an incredible deal; does it?  Was it a wonderful value?  Absolutely.  But we need to get away from the hype and smoke and mirrors.

So, if you are interested in a cruise, whether it be Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Azamara, Oceania, or whomever, you need a knowledgeable travel agent.

In the coming weeks you are going to see far more in the way of online booking engines.  Heck, my consortium, Ensemble Travel Group, is making one available for me to install on my website. But, I am not going to be doing thatWhy?  Didn't you just read this article?

If you have any questions or need information, please give me a call or drop me an email

United States:           (877) 2GO – LUXURY
London, England:     020 8133 3450
Brisbane, Australia: (07) 3102 4685
International:            +1 732 578 8585
Skype                         egoldring
 
I will clarify things for you...and give you great service and excellent pricing/added values.