Seabourn's "dirty little secret" of which I speak can easily:
- Cause you to unnecessarily pay more for your cruise;
- Create a false sense of urgency to book when there is none by giving you an inaccurate impression that there is high demand for certain of its cruises; and,
- Limit your choice of suite to the less desirable ones.
I have been, without success, asking...then begging...then fighting to have Seabourn fix this for quite a while. Seabourn's brass first told me that it did't happen, so I kept providing examples of it. Then I was told that is a limitation within its reservation system. But then today I was told, Seabourn expressly refuses to fix what supposedly is an innocent programming error or software limitation. Seriously? One would think that Seabourn would, if it was a problem and not by design, FIX IT; not refuse to!
So how does this work? Let me give you an example:
But what I also see is that Seabourn is offering the cruise as a 21 days sailing, but it is not shown in its brand new brochure (mailed just this past week). And as a 21 day cruise it qualifies for a Grand Voyage discount; making it almost $1,200 less expensive than booking the 7 day and 14 day cruise back-to-back. As I look at this significant savings for my client I see that there are only two suites, and most certainly, not the better ones, available to book as a 21 day cruise. And those suites are not available for either of the 7 or 14 day cruises!
I then manually take an inventory of suites that are available if I booked the cruise in the most expensive way: Three seven day cruises. Low and behold: EVERY SINGLE OF THE BEST SUITES IN THE CATEGORY WERE AVAILABLE FOR THE FULL 21 DAYS.
Now, having booked my clients at the lower Grand Voyage fare I attempted a number of ways to secure the desired suite through the reservations system. The result: "Invalid Entry". Huh?
Not satisfied (I do the best I can for my clients), first thing this morning I called Seabourn Reservations and asked for that prized suite to be placed on the reservation. Nope. Can't be done by Reservations. "Permission" from another department....which was eventually had....was required!
Wait a minute. There is a system in place to have suites that are blocked from being unblocked, but only at the discretion of someone in a back-office department! That is not a software limitation or programming error. "Permission" should not be a factor.
In the end Goldring Travel's client received the best suite at the best price (along with a discount and onboard credits), but only because I know about Seabourn's "dirty little secret" and how to protect my clients from it.
Do I still believe Seabourn is one of the best cruise experiences out there? Yes. But am I sincerely disappointed that Seabourn is doing business this way? You better believe it.
Interested in a Seabourn Cruise? You know I will make sure you get the best suite at a great price! Call me:
United States: (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom: 020 8133 3450
Australia: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 732 578 8585
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org