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Thrak

How to compare Australia/New Zealand pricing from US booking to Ausaralia booking

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Hi. Booked 33 days in Australia and New Zealand. B2B2B in the same cabin on Sapphire Princess. Booking in the US I was charged gratuities. I know that booking these cruises in Australia doesn't incur the charges for gratuities. I have also read that booking the same cruises in Australia wouldn't incur the charges for the gratuities. I tried to compare the price I paid booking in the US (with included gratuities) to what would be paid by someone booking in Australia. I don't seem to be able to make the comparison. I set my VPN to say I was in Melbourne and also tried setting it to say I was in Sydney. Apparently there is no Princess Australian site?

 

Is it the case that those who book in Australia have to use a private booking site or am I just doing something totally wrong trying to compare pricing in the way I have been trying? I would really like to know how my pricing compares to those who book without included gratuities. Seriously, I am happy with my booking and am not looking for a refund, re-fare, or anything of that sort. I'm just wanting to reconcile what I have read here on CC (no gratuities if booked in Australia) with the cost I see here in the USA where I am charged gratuities.

 

For reference our B2B2B is:

 

6 days: ($14.5 x 2) x 6  = $174 AUD

13  days: ($14,5 x 2) x 13 = $377 AUD

14 days: ($14,5 x 2) x 14 = $406 AUD

 

Total: $ 583 AUD

 

My question is in regard to my final cost vs that of someone who actually books in Australia. Are these fees incorporated in the price paid in Australia where there are "no gratuities" or am I simply charged more because I'm booking from the US?

 

Note: The answer will make no difference in whether or not I maintain my current booking. We fully intend to keep our current booking and take the cruises in question. I am just (genuinely) curious.

 

 

 

Edited by Thrak

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55 minutes ago, Thrak said:

Hi. Booked 33 days in Australia and New Zealand. B2B2B in the same cabin on Sapphire Princess. Booking in the US I was charged gratuities. I know that booking these cruises in Australia doesn't incur the charges for gratuities. I have also read that booking the same cruises in Australia wouldn't incur the charges for the gratuities. I tried to compare the price I paid booking in the US (with included gratuities) to what would be paid by someone booking in Australia. I don't seem to be able to make the comparison. I set my VPN to say I was in Melbourne and also tried setting it to say I was in Sydney. Apparently there is no Princess Australian site?

 

Is it the case that those who book in Australia have to use a private booking site or am I just doing something totally wrong trying to compare pricing in the way I have been trying? I would really like to know how my pricing compares to those who book without included gratuities. Seriously, I am happy with my booking and am not looking for a refund, re-fare, or anything of that sort. I'm just wanting to reconcile what I have read here on CC (no gratuities if booked in Australia) with the cost I see here in the USA where I am charged gratuities.

 

For reference our B2B2B is:

 

6 days: ($14.5 x 2) x 6  = $174 AUD

13  days: ($14,5 x 2) x 13 = $377 AUD

14 days: ($14,5 x 2) x 14 = $406 AUD

 

Total: $ 583 AUD

 

My question is in regard to my final cost vs that of someone who actually books in Australia. Are these fees incorporated in the price paid in Australia where there are "no gratuities" or am I simply charged more because I'm booking from the US?

 

Note: The answer will make no difference in whether or not I maintain my current booking. We fully intend to keep our current booking and take the cruises in question. I am just (genuinely) curious.

 

 

 

What is the cruise date and cabin type and I do a dummy booking and give you the price in AUD.

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22 minutes ago, icat2000 said:

What is the cruise date and cabin type and I do a dummy booking and give you the price in AUD.

👍 That is the only way to check it out.

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We have cruised the South Pacific from Sydney over the past three winters.  After comparing prices with others on our first down under cruise, I wondered this as well and we tried to compare Aussie pricing to ours.  Like you I tried to do this from North America and couldn't do it no matter what I tried.

 

Thus we have had family members who live in Australia, and had them do the dummy bookings - same cabin type/location/cruise/date and we confirmed that the pricing in Aussie dollars (once we converted our rate to AUD) was virtually the same.  The difference is that North Americans are charged the Daily Gratuities while the Aussies and Kiwis are not.  The gratuities are not built into the Aussie pricing like in North America as tipping isn't their norm.  From speaking to others on our cruises and to the staff, it is not uncommon for North Americans to remove the auto gratuities while sailing down under.

 

It gets better when you find out that your OBC is changed to Aussie dollars as well.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

Hi. Booked 33 days in Australia and New Zealand. B2B2B in the same cabin on Sapphire Princess. Booking in the US I was charged gratuities. I know that booking these cruises in Australia doesn't incur the charges for gratuities. I have also read that booking the same cruises in Australia wouldn't incur the charges for the gratuities. I tried to compare the price I paid booking in the US (with included gratuities) to what would be paid by someone booking in Australia. I don't seem to be able to make the comparison. I set my VPN to say I was in Melbourne and also tried setting it to say I was in Sydney. Apparently there is no Princess Australian site?

 

Is it the case that those who book in Australia have to use a private booking site or am I just doing something totally wrong trying to compare pricing in the way I have been trying? I would really like to know how my pricing compares to those who book without included gratuities. Seriously, I am happy with my booking and am not looking for a refund, re-fare, or anything of that sort. I'm just wanting to reconcile what I have read here on CC (no gratuities if booked in Australia) with the cost I see here in the USA where I am charged gratuities.

 

For reference our B2B2B is:

 

6 days: ($14.5 x 2) x 6  = $174 AUD

13  days: ($14,5 x 2) x 13 = $377 AUD

14 days: ($14,5 x 2) x 14 = $406 AUD

 

Total: $ 583 AUD

 

My question is in regard to my final cost vs that of someone who actually books in Australia. Are these fees incorporated in the price paid in Australia where there are "no gratuities" or am I simply charged more because I'm booking from the US?

 

Note: The answer will make no difference in whether or not I maintain my current booking. We fully intend to keep our current booking and take the cruises in question. I am just (genuinely) curious.

 

I think you might have made an error in your calculation. From what I have read before, when someone from the US travels on an Aussie-based ship, the usual daily gratuity of US$14.50 is converted to become close to AUD$20 per day.

 

I suspect from a few conversations with American passengers, that they are paying roughly the same as Australian passengers who do not have the auto-gratuity added. (At the risk of being shouted down) I mention that you can remove the auto-gratuity. Crew on the Aussie ships are paid a flat rate of remuneration and are not part of the tips pool. When people travelling on Aussie ships pay this auto-gratuity, it goes into the pool that is distributed to other ships. It makes more sense for you to personally tip cash to the stewards who serve you personally. Then they get to keep it.

 

There is a Princess Australia site. You could also check a couple of on-line Australian-based TAs. Unfortunately I cannot mention names.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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The last cruise is one I may possibly go on - Sapphire Princess 29th November, 2020 - 14 days Melb/Melb - saw it on the roll call.

 

If you clear your browser and put in www.princess.com.au  you may see the cost in AUD.  

 

An obstructed view cabin with refundable deposit is currently $2250 each.   But if I go on a US website (the quick one - and there is a warning that Aussies cannot book Princess through them) the cost is $1850 AUD.  So it seems to me that currently Aussies are paying $400 AUD more than those in the US for this cruise, possibly to cover gratuities which is not required in Australia on the Princess Line.  Aussies generally don't like paying gratuities.  I am using .68 to convert US to AUD. 

 

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Princess do have an Australian site and I can access it from the UK with a VPN.

 

I'm currently holding 2 bookings on Princess in Australian waters.  Before booking each of them I compared the prices on the Australian site (no grats) vs the UK site (grats).  In both cases using the exchange rate of the day they were virtually identical.

 

I checked again a few months ago and the prices had changed on both but were again identical.  Actually not quite true as the Australian site had an offer for OBC that the UK site didn't!  So actually those booking in Australia got free grats and OBC for the same price those in the UK were paying where they got no OBC and had had auto grats added onboard!

 

For these reasons, for the first time ever, I will be removing the auto-grats from my upcoming Australia cruise.  I hope they ask me why!  I've never done it before and would never consider doing it outside Australia but even before I've stepped foot on the ship I feel a little cheated.  

 

Princess really need to sort this out.  Either everyone pays or nobody does and not the halfway house that penalises certain people based on where they live!

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I am disappointed to read on this thread that the auto-gratuities are not baked into the AU price plans.  I would have thought Princess would make this up in some way.  Even if they are paying all of the ship staff a higher wage to "make up" for lost gratuities, one would think it is somehow collected from passengers.  Drink prices have grats baked in, so I am not sure why the cruise fares would not also be the same.

 

We have done one cruise in that area (a NZ cruise from SYD) and I had no issue paying auto-grats on top of the US booking.  

 

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8 hours ago, icat2000 said:

What is the cruise date and cabin type and I do a dummy booking and give you the price in AUD.

 

Caribe Deck Balcony -- C731

Sapphire Princess - 2020

November 10 -- 6 Days

November 16 -- 13 Days

November 29 -- 14 Days

 

7 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

I think you might have made an error in your calculation. From what I have read before, when someone from the US travels on an Aussie-based ship, the usual daily gratuity of US$14.50 is converted to become close to AUD$20 per day.

 

Actually, I seem to have made an error and my booking actually shows the gratuities in US dollars and shows the numbers I listed above. NO idea how I got that total. The actual total (for anybody who can add) is $957

 

3 hours ago, Jetstreamer said:

Princess do have an Australian site and I can access it from the UK with a VPN.

 

Weird. I set my VPN to Melbourne and then to Sydney but still got the US site.

Edited by Thrak

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I've had issues but found clearing cookies or using the incognito mode in Chrome does the trick.

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4 hours ago, Thrak said:

 

Caribe Deck Balcony -- C731

Sapphire Princess - 2020

November 10 -- 6 Days

November 16 -- 13 Days

November 29 -- 14 Days

 

 

 

 

Caribe Deck Balcony C727 is $2734AUD

 

So Thrak what is the US price for say E211 (Obstructed ocean view on Emerald deck) in the US which is presently $2089AUD.

When I first started looking months ago, it was $200 dearer and presently it is supposed to be the landmark sale.

 

We don't pay gratuities in Australia on Princess but I do still believe the gratuities are built into our prices.   The exchange rate affects prices to some extent.   Is the Brexit situation affecting the British pound?

 

 

 

 

  

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1 hour ago, Rassa said:

 

Caribe Deck Balcony C727 is $2734AUD

 

So Thrak what is the US price for say E211 (Obstructed ocean view on Emerald deck) in the US which is presently $2089AUD.

When I first started looking months ago, it was $200 dearer and presently it is supposed to be the landmark sale.

 

We don't pay gratuities in Australia on Princess but I do still believe the gratuities are built into our prices.   The exchange rate affects prices to some extent.   Is the Brexit situation affecting the British pound?

 

Which cruise did you check to get that price? I listed 3 cruises. Prices right now are down as they are running a sale where all cabins of the same category are the same price. Normally Caribe balconies are more expensive than some others. Right now all balconies are the same price and are less than I paid. I don't want to re-fare though as I'd lose the beverage package which costs a lot more than the difference in the fare.

Edited by Thrak

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19 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Which cruise did you check to get that price? I listed 3 cruises. Prices right now are down as they are running a sale where all cabins of the same category are the same price. Normally Caribe balconies are more expensive than some others. Right now all balconies are the same price and are less than I paid. I don't want to re-fare though as I'd lose the beverage package which costs a lot more than the difference in the fare.

 

Sorry that was the 29th November cruise 14 days to Queensland, Melbourne to Melbourne (that I am interested in also).

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Just checking the prices from Australia for you (incidentally we just use princess.com from Australia too, there is no .au site that I'm aware of)

 

Nov 10 - C727 - AUD1,512 per person twin share

Nov 16 - C727 - AUD2,584 per person twin share

Nov 29 - C723 - AUD3,107 per person twin share

 

Total AUD7,203 per person, which is around US10,500 depending on the rate. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rassa said:

So Thrak what is the US price for say E211 (Obstructed ocean view on Emerald deck) in the US which is presently $2089AUD.

When I first started looking months ago, it was $200 dearer and presently it is supposed to be the landmark sale.

 

We don't pay gratuities in Australia on Princess but I do still believe the gratuities are built into our prices.   The exchange rate affects prices to some extent.   Is the Brexit situation affecting the British pound?

 

E211 is listed at $1,483 USD which Google tells me is currently $2,197 AUD. They are currently running the 3 for Free promo so no gratuities are being charged at this time.

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Thrak your price is correct because I forgot that when I log in as myself I get an extra $100 AUD loyalty reward  and the price with the landmark sale came down to $2096AUD.    

 

On Bazandgiz quoting a different price for the balcony cabin after I said Caribe Deck Balcony C727 was $2734AUD, I went back into the Princess website to check my price and by the afternoon, I am agreeing with Banzandgiz on the balcony price ($3107) and the sale is still on with the ocean view price now $2296AUD - what the?   Why didn't I grab that balcony price?

 

So early this morning with sales, the price for the ocean view cabin was pretty much the same in Australia as in the US.   The  US 3 for free sale had free gratuities and Australians, especially in our waters, don't pay gratuities.

 

I think we can only agree that during a certain time frame, the price may or may not be the same in both countries.   In bookings I have made in recent years, the best price has been the one when the cruise was first released.   It all seems like a game of smoke and mirrors put out by the cruise lines.   Enjoy your cruise.

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My TA asked Princess about tips. Was told that tips on AUS cruises are built into the price that AUS passengers pay (all things being equal, they would pay more for the same cruise) and don't appear separately (but the crew gets them).

 

We booked on the 3 for Free promo that includes tips. While not charged, the tips appear in the 'Travel Summary' document and under 'Payments & Credits' as paid. If we were re-faring the cruise due to a price drop, and a new promo didn't include tips, we would have to factor in tips being added on top of our fare... even though AUS cruises are sold as tip-free in AUS.

 

Challenging to check price differences for cruises sold in different countries... promos, exchange rate for which Princess set the cruise when booked. "Curiosity killed the cat" so I quickly decided I wasn't interested.☺️ PS - I don't have a cat!

 

Thrak, for awhile, I thought we might be on the same cruises next winter but... nope. So many ports... lots of planning... tours are coming together. Have a great time!

Edited by Adventures ahead
PS

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Also good to mention is Australia/NZ market never gets offer the variety of promotions that other markets are offered. Like the Sip and Sail. Never see than offered downunder. Probably sell out the ship in a day if they did haha

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I had a look at the cabin category you are interested in - BD category balcony, Sapphire Princess, 6 nights Melb-Melb AUD$1,560; 13 nights from 13th November - AUD$2,694; 14 nights from 29th November $3,150. Prices include all fees, taxes and gratuities.

 

In this part of the World, we don't get a lot of promotions offered. The best we get is a flash sale where the price can drop. I agree with the comment about the Sip and Sail. P&O do offer it, but the price of the cruise goes up by a significant amount, not as much as the 'per day' price of the drinks package, but it still goes up.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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On 10/15/2019 at 3:36 PM, Thrak said:

 

E211 is listed at $1,483 USD which Google tells me is currently $2,197 AUD. They are currently running the 3 for Free promo so no gratuities are being charged at this time.

Thrak, 

We're on a Christmas cruise this year - first trip to AUS/NZ.  Ever since I discovered that if one settles one's onboard account using a credit card,  you will get hit with a 1.5% service charge, I've been paying for things in advance.  (This is apparently some Princess Australia thing, I'm not talking about a "regular" foreign transaction fee which most of our cards waive.) This discussion made me curious as to what exchange rate Princess was using.  Just looked at my credit card account.  The last payment Princess processed they used $1.00 US to $1.4682 AUS.

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