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Stickman1990

Crystal Cruises launch Australian Dollar cruise pricing

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Crystal Cruises Australia have finally released Australian dollar pricing for cruises - they are accessible on their recently launched www.crystalcruises.com.au site (I’m not sure those in the US can access it without a VPN that masks their location)

 

Interesting to note that payment can only be made by bank transfer at this stage - no credit cards accepted at this point 

 

The nice thing is pricing is fixed in A$ (And currently less than the straight conversion from US$ pricing) - so the currency movement risk (or potential benefit) goes away - and for the last few years this has been a big negative as the A$ slumps against the US$. The pricing also shows the price including taxes and port charges (so factor that in when comparing prices to make sure its an apples with apples comparison) 
 

The other nice thing is that Australian bookings also receive Qantas points on a 1:1 basis for the $$ value of the booking 

 

We’ve already booked a cruise using A$ pricing - as many of you know we use a US based travel agent but fortunately they also have an Australian office and can access either rate - so for us it’s a transparent process of just nominating whether we want A$ or US$ pricing while our agent provides the same level of service and benefits that were used to 

 

My advice would be to get quotes for both and then make your decision based on the current exchange rates and your thoughts on where it will move by the time final payment is due m. In our case we felt the A$ pricing was better - and if by some miracle the A$ appreciates against the US$ in the future we’ll just cancel our A$ booking and rebook in US$ 

Ha maybe the previous trend will be reversed and US cruisers will start to book in A$ rather than US$ (just kidding - at least for the moment) 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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Now if we could just get Crystal to start pricing in Canadian Dollars........ For some reason they are pretty much the only major cruise line that doesn't.

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Can the people in the UK book in pounds? I'd think there are many more bookings from the UK than Australia (based on population numbers), but I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see if this is a trend for Crystal.

 

Patty

 

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7 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

Can the people in the UK book in pounds? I'd think there are many more bookings from the UK than Australia (based on population numbers), but I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see if this is a trend for Crystal.

 

Patty

 

Yes Patty, we in the UK  are able to book in pounds.Thank goodness given the state of our currency 🙂

Sue

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5 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

I'd think there are many more bookings from the UK than Australia (based on population numbers), but I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see if this is a trend for Crystal


Patty - I think it will differ depending on what region they’re cruising in - between Aussies, Canadians and UK there’s a good number of international guests on Crystal now 
 

Crystal set up a local office back in late 2016 with an aim to increase guest numbers from down under where cruising is immensely popular (I believe that Australia is one of the largest cruise markets now). Tthey’ve done a lot to increase visibility with travel agents but little, apart from advertising, to directly address local cruisers. This change should give them some help in sparking interest with locals. At this point Crystal have chosen to focus on Travel Agents. 

 

 But I do think they’ve got more to address here - for example other luxury lines with offices in Australia (I think they all do) are running seminars to introduce their brand and itineraries. I attended one recently and with some attendee incentives on the table ended up booking our first Regent cruise on one of their newer ships, Explorer (sadly not til 2021). It gave me a chance to meet local management and other existing customers who were very positive advocates 

 

The other thing local offices of luxury lines are doing is targeted emailing on promotions and cruises - as we all know Crystals email marketing is an all or nothing approach where we receive a lot of generic email from the US - I think they need to improve on the ability to choose what your interest and perhaps nominate a resident geography so offers can be directed to prospective guests. I wonder if/when they’ll do that?

 

I think the lack of local pricing has been one of the impediments up til now for them (especially with the decline in value of the Australian dollar) so the local office have managed to win some concessions from corporate and will have a big expectation of delivering growth in this market attached to that

 

The next move I’d expect to see is some bundling by Crystal or their TA partners of concessional business air and land components now that they’ve got some certainty on cruise pricing 

 

The current pricing for A$ is set at a 70 cent exchange rate while our dollar is currently sitting around 67 cents - so a better than 4% improvement for us there and by the time you also factor a further 3% cost of fees for using a credit card for a foreign currency transaction and the poor exchange rate they give this is providing us with a good discount on what we previously faced, together with a certainty of A$ pricing 

 

I’m sure this effective price drop for us comes with an expectation from Crystal of increased market share in this market 

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Stickman out of curiosity I clicked onto Crystal here in NZ and it said the Crystal site for NZ is under construction then it beamed to the USA site

Most shipping companies here, I just clicked on a few, including the cruise line I use 😀 beamed  me to Australia but that cruise line  I use  does  have an office here.  I think Princess was about the only one who uses NZ$ whereas the others went to USA or Australia so poor old NZ is left behind the rest of the world.

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Hey - you’re winning the rugby - stop complaining 🙂 

 

That is interesting they’re not pushing you to Australia as it’s what I’d expect as I just can’t see them providing NZ$ pricing land association with Australia makes sense

 

At this stage you could access A$ pricing and the advantage it brings over US$ pricing by booking through a TA with an Australian office - although I’d bet you your NZ TA could access the A$ pricing if they contacted Crystal in Sydney as it’s probably more a timing issue with the roll out of pricing 

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Stickman I am not sure how the booking system works from here with a TA, maybe through Aussie, as if you remember how you got my old cabin on the Encore through the large price drop after I paid the deposit and me getting nowhere.  Once I saw the boss of the cruise line, from NZ  at a travel show she seemed to take over upgrading me to that Penthouse suite for free.  So who pulls the rank Aussie or NZ for us?

As a PS I have to pay the final payment next week for our next cruise with another price drop after I have paid the deposit so here we go again and its a pity the penthouses are booked already so maybe an owners suite? 😀

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