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Is on board credit as attractive as it once was?


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When I first started cruising, on board credit was seen as a huge extra when booking. If you got a decent price and some on board credit, you were onto a good deal. Now though it seems to be very different. On board credit offers seem to be on all the time (a bit like a DFS sale) and the amounts are much lower than they once were, unless you’re booking a suite that it. Am I the only one nowadays that would just prefer a better overall price on the cruise?

 

 

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12 hours ago, AFC04/03 said:

When I first started cruising, on board credit was seen as a huge extra when booking. If you got a decent price and some on board credit, you were onto a good deal. Now though it seems to be very different. On board credit offers seem to be on all the time (a bit like a DFS sale) and the amounts are much lower than they once were, unless you’re booking a suite that it. Am I the only one nowadays that would just prefer a better overall price on the cruise?

 

A lot of promotions by some TA firms tell you the overall price offered is a great bargain , hotel and flight included then give you about $50 OBC which to me is not an enticement. Many of our best OBC have come from the cruise line itself  normally based on a cabin so balcony can run at $150 each person in the cabin or a free champagne and choc strawberries in cabin. A lot of friends on this board have shares in Carnival Corporation which then gives them a few hundred OBC per cruise.

OBC to me is an excellent gift to one by the cruiseline and many offer good value by booking for a future cruise while on a current one,'

To me, it helps in the bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As the OP say's most cruise lines offer something as an incentive ,personally like the P&O Select promotions which give you a choice of booking perks, which includes Extra OBC we pick the Coach offer ,some prefer the Car Parking ,and any extra OBC is welcome ,would that be the main reason I booked a cruise ,no but it would enter the equation ....Davybe

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The select fares are fine Davybe, but I think they are at risk of going stale. RCI and Celebrity tend to rotate their promotions quarterley, in order to target particular passenger groups.

In my opinion the benefit is subjective I'd rather pay more upfront and have everything included than have a lower price with a predetermined amount of 'free' onboard money to spend.

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OBC can work sometimes when booking a cruise, we always take the free parking which can be a big saving on a long cruise. The only problem I see is that any spend once onboard taken against the OBC does not take into account any discount we receive for our Peninsula club membership. This does not kickin until the OBC is used up. We find that the OBC usually covers the charge for the tips and a few drinks. What we do now is any excursions we want to do we booked before we sail therefore we get our discount on this costs. So you have to play the system. Like most things in life you don't get anything free there is always a catch.

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1 hour ago, Furby said:

I think the demand must be there for it and work for P&O they have had it on for a good few years now

Thats exactly the thing, i think the all round product P&O offer is what would give the incentive for passengers to book, not the value of the 'perk' such as OBC, hence the reason for me saying it may be getting stale.

its very rare people get excited for a new P&O promotion now IMO because it is repetitive.

Edited by AFC04/03
poor spelling
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On 02/08/2017 at 4:28 PM, AFC04/03 said:

When I first started cruising, on board credit was seen as a huge extra when booking. If you got a decent price and some on board credit, you were onto a good deal. Now though it seems to be very different. On board credit offers seem to be on all the time (a bit like a DFS sale) and the amounts are much lower than they once were, unless you’re booking a suite that it. Am I the only one nowadays that would just prefer a better overall price on the cruise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totally agree OBC, Drinks Packages,  cruise companies should just lower their prices and offer better value for money, especially for solo travellers

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We always find it a problem to use up on board credit as firstly we are non drinkers, secondly the offerings in on board shops are not to our taste. We are not spa enthusiasts, nor foidies sinspeciality restsurants are a waste of time and we dislike organized excursions as we have done over 100 cruise and seen everything we have wanted to. We just enjoy cruising in the sun and seeing different places everyday. On a recent 12 day cruise we had $400 each obc so once again, family members got new watches courtesy of the cruiseline.

i would much prefer a reduction in price.

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OBC doesn't influence my booking per se, but we have only cruised with Celebrity (we're about to head off this week) However, what is brilliant is booking a balcony room, choosing the classic drinks package and OBC, then using the OBC to upgrade to a premium drinks package, therefore getting the drinks for 'free'. It seriously reduces the cost of spending on board. Furthermore, now that Celebrity lets you spend your credit before you embark, I've not only already upgraded the package, but was able to use some of the credit towards an additional excursion. Unfortunately, I'd already booked most of them before they introduced the option, though! Having only cruised with Celebrity, I can't imagine not having a drinks package, to be honest (linked to the other recent thread)

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Wouldn't it be nice to see a cruise in a brochure that you think is affordable without having to consider gratuities and o.b.s..

Drinks packages are great for people who drink, like me but if it's included and you don't drink then it's adding greatly to the price. So my preference would be to be offered the best up front price not including a drinks package but to be made available at the time of the booking or once on board.

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On 03/08/2017 at 5:27 AM, RobBar said:

OBC to me is an excellent gift to one by the cruiseline and many offer good value by booking for a future cruise while on a current one,'

 

Do you have the same system in Canada Rob as the USA that if you book onboard and the price goes down you pay the lower price and retain the OBC and if it goes up you pay the lower rate? Unfortunately British agents won't operate this system. With them it's order the cruise, that's the price irrespective. 2 years ago I was on Brilliance of the Seas and booked a future cruise and nominated a UK cruise agent to deal with it. The price went down but they would not or could not reduce the price despite being assured on board that having booked under the American system it would be dealt with under American rules. In the end I cancelled and rebooked at the lower price which saved me nearly a thousand pounds.

 

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5 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Do you have the same system in Canada Rob as the USA that if you book onboard and the price goes down you pay the lower price and retain the OBC and if it goes up you pay the lower rate? Unfortunately British agents won't operate this system. With them it's order the cruise, that's the price irrespective. 2 years ago I was on Brilliance of the Seas and booked a future cruise and nominated a UK cruise agent to deal with it. The price went down but they would not or could not reduce the price despite being assured on board that having booked under the American system it would be dealt with under American rules. In the end I cancelled and rebooked at the lower price which saved me nearly a thousand pounds.

 

In Canada and the US you can get a reduction if the price goes down before final payment,  but you are under the terms of the new price.  If no OBC is offered with the lower price you lose your OBC.  I am not sure if you lose the credit for booking on board however.

Edited by smtcan
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10 hours ago, smtcan said:

In Canada and the US you can get a reduction if the price goes down before final payment,  but you are under the terms of the new price.  If no OBC is offered with the lower price you lose your OBC.  I am not sure if you lose the credit for booking on board however.

Thanks for the clarification smtcan

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On 8/3/2017 at 9:57 AM, AFC04/03 said:

The select fares are fine Davybe, but I think they are at risk of going stale. RCI and Celebrity tend to rotate their promotions quarterley, in order to target particular passenger groups.

In my opinion the benefit is subjective I'd rather pay more upfront and have everything included than have a lower price with a predetermined amount of 'free' onboard money to spend.

Since 2011 we have needed to book on launch to secure an accessible cabin, which of course denies any opportunity to take advantage of special offers.  However over the last 3 or 4 years the prices we paid at launch have never been bettered by any subsequent saver deals, even taking account of sometimes large OBC offers.

As a consequence we are more than happy for this to continue, because from our Celebrity experience the addition of drinks packages, to bring the cruise up to an all inclusive standard, only leads to a massive increase in the drinks price menu, which for us as low volume drinkers results in a higher on board bill.  So we would prefer that P&O continue to incentivise customers with extra OBC, which can be used to pay the bar bill, rather than introduce drinks packages, and have periodic free drinks offers.

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 3:13 PM, smtcan said:

In Canada and the US you can get a reduction if the price goes down before final payment,  but you are under the terms of the new price.  If no OBC is offered with the lower price you lose your OBC.  I am not sure if you lose the credit for booking on board however.

In my experience the cruise line does not offer this automatically , for me it is my TA who looks for it and registers as such but as far at the OBC I have seen it happen two ways.

On my recent Cunard cruise I was offered a lower price from the initial special offering  by taking it , a $1,000 CDN reduction I did loose the free gratuities or such  about $400, still a reduction of $600 and kept the OBC original of $150 each. I then got a further $1,000 reduction as the price dropped and my  TA in essence ran me though a new booking number.

On Princess I had booked a cruise on-board four years prior  with a total of $200 OBC to be honoured, well I had not used Princess for that next four years and lo an behold they honoured my booking and refunded the monies to my TA thence to me

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 9:24 AM, Oldworldtraveller said:

Do you have the same system in Canada Rob as the USA that if you book onboard and the price goes down you pay the lower price and retain the OBC and if it goes up you pay the lower rate? Unfortunately British agents won't operate this system. With them it's order the cruise, that's the price irrespective. 2 years ago I was on Brilliance of the Seas and booked a future cruise and nominated a UK cruise agent to deal with it. The price went down but they would not or could not reduce the price despite being assured on board that having booked under the American system it would be dealt with under American rules. In the end I cancelled and rebooked at the lower price which saved me nearly a thousand pounds.

 

I just answered SMTCAN  but in essence once you booked per my experience and like folks unless you have  a good TA , you pay what you registered for and retain any OBC you were t be given. As to British Agents booking off a US ship it is a separate system such you have your cabin but they will try to bill you as if you booked via them as in their price shown.

Back in 2010 when P & O were running Sea Princess as an Air / Cruise from UK to Barbados return cruise I elected to book for that 10 day return trip cruise part only as my wife is Barbadian and though we see family about every 2 years we had not as a couple seen all the Islands. I discovered Princess advertising  the cruise price on their American / Canadian Web site so asked my TA to book it but she came back and said it had to be booked via P & O UK agents. Short Story , I got CEO of P & O via email to give me a contact and allow us Canadians to get on their  air/ cruise ( I am British  born :) )  for the cruise part only . Well all was fine , got contact , cruise only price but when converted was still almost 20 % more . I contacted my TA and complained that the Princess web site said such at a lower price even if converted while the UK was saying different,. She got hold of Princess Marketing for our area and bingo we were on the cruise at the advertised price also told that she had the authority ot book or such. I was as happy person as 2010 was my first year allowed to travel after a kidney  problem.

Back in 2006 for a Holland American Eastern Seaboard cruise Boston to Montreal as both daughters lived in both cities , great way to see them I booked an Outside Cabin as the Balcony was expensive. As we got closer to the date the Balcony price was now only about $200 more and cheaper than the original quote. I asked for an upgrade and would pay the new variance.  HA said cannot do that , have to cancel reservation and rebook but at the older quote. My TA did some inner work and HA only charged me the difference for my original booking :)

Edited by RobBar
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