Cruise lines have unavoidably taken to discounting in order to fill their ships—inescapable due to current economic conditions, which are deflating customer demand and understandably so. Fortunately for the cruise lines, unlike hotels, deep discounting doesn’t have to be a death knell, as much of a cruise line’s profits are generated from onboard spend.
Many of our readers have voiced their opinion by voting in our recent poll on deep cruise line discounts, and several others have shared their comments on our website as well.
On October 31
Carol Le-Bert, MCC wrote:
I feel rather than discounting the cruises and spoiling the consumer for future business, the cruise lines should eliminate fuel surcharge immediately (not beginning 2010). This would save all of us from diluting our revenue. Also offer other value-added in lieu of discounting.
Kenneth Chow, ACC added:
Besides the deep cruise line discounts, you are talking the average online order-taking cruise agencies doing heavy rebating to confuse the entire public. When the cruise lines are going to curb off the cash, onboard, value-added rebates when most of these average agencies are causing these confusion on what is the legitimate cruise price of a product. I know most average online cruise agencies do not really produce the 000 millions annually.
Right now, I decided to do this part time and sell 7 nights or longer cruise for individual cruises and group cruise for 3 and 4 nights are required to have 16 double cabins to stay in business and provide personalized support.
Curb the rebating tactics and encourage better and fair cruise line pricing.
Jerry Nykamp commented:
I think they have to discount to keep the ships full during trying times. I also think they should adjust their published prices downward. Some of my clients wonder what's wrong with a cruise if it is discounted so much. Even during good times, the regular retail pricing is way too high. You know, I know, and most important, the client knows that the published price is never paid. It appears to be a big sham.
On November 1
Pat Martel noted:
I think that the discounts that online booking "agencies" offer the clients and the ridiculous slashing of prices not by the cruise line but by these agencies have eroded the integrity of the product.
Ken Johnson posted:
The discounts are bad but even worse for the agents. A 4 day cruise from NCL now has a commission of 90 cents per person. We cannot live on $1.80 per booking. Now on some dates they do offer a bonus of $25.00 to the agent which is good but the commissions need to be also on the fuel charges and the taxes and fees so we can make a living.
What are your thoughts on cruise line discounts and how they affect the industry? Please share your thoughts by posting comments below.