By Cruisewatch.com, Special for USDR
An extensive study from cruise price monitoring service Cruisewatch.com found stable average prices for interior cabins and price reductions between 6% for balcony cabins and up to 10% for oceanview staterooms. The bad news: suites are getting more expensive with an average increase of 2%. And the price changes are highly variable per line.
The website compared price changes for 4.383 cruises in 2016, departing in the summer period of May to September, with 4.884 sailings leaving in the same period this year. To get comparable data, the study then compared the price per day at a locked in fixed point on May 1st for both years.
Stable cruise prices for interior cabins
Interior cabins show a mostly stable trend. The amount of price discounts (compared to the initially published price) also was stable. Interior cabins traded around 94% of the initial price both years. There are markedly differences on a line by line basis, though. The top three lines increasing prices were Azamara with an average increase per day of a whopping 24%, Costa with +22% and Disney with +11%. Amongst the lines dropping prices where Celebrity Cruises (-13%), Holland America (-10%) and Princess Cruises (-10%).
Highest cruise price drops for oceanview cabins
Oveanview cabins showed the most visible decline in average. While these porthole cabins traded slightly above initial price last year, lines were giving an average of 7% discount this year. However, this again was highly variable by cruise line. This time Norwegian Cruise Line leads the camp of lines raising prices with an increase of +27% on average, followed by Costa (+24%) and Azamara (+19%). Regent Seven Seas lowered their prices by 26% followed by Holland American (-16%) and Royal Caribbean (-10%).
Balcony staterooms cheaper than last year
Balcony cabins also saw price reductions, going from $358 to $336. This reduction mostly came from lowered initial prices, as the number of price drops is mostly unchanged versus last year. Azamara (+33%), Costa (+18%) and NCL (+16%) are again raising prices significantly, while Holland America (-20%), Regent Seven Seas (-20%) and Royal Caribbean (-15%) are reducing.
Suites are getting more expensive over time
Lastly, on suites the prices remained mostly stable with a slight upward notion, increasing to $629 per day versus $615 last year. Viking, Azamara and Crystal Cruises are the top price increasers, whereas Regent Seven Seas, MSC Cruises and Holland America are reducing. Due to highly variable cabins and limited inventory, this category is the most difficult to draw valid conclusions from.
Britta Bernhard, founder of Cruisewatch.com said: “Our study shows that there are still good savings to be found for a summer cruise vacation this year. While some lines raise prices across the board, other are reducing. This might be a good year to utilize some next generation cruise price drop services on the web to identify the best deals.”.
Next generation cruise search with Cruisewatch.com
The search engine Cruisewatch.com offers consumers free price drop monitoring. The website processes massive amounts of data using intuitive software that will help consumers find the perfect cruise: at the right time, at the best price. Users can receive automatic alerts when prices are reduced or when good deals are on the horizon. A price forecast is built into the website. “Cruise lines invest massive amounts of resources into revenue optimization. We are leveling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology to make the right decisions,” says Cruisewatch.com’s co-founder.