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Eric2005

2021 transatlantic fares much higher and too many uncertanties

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I was a bit shocked at how much Cunard transatlantic prices have increased for 2021.  Seems around 25%.  Apparently they are considering three sittings for dinner which would mean rushing people who like to relax.  Possibility of seating families and couples together and singles alone to observe social distancing, Medical certificates may or may not be required of passengers 65 or older.     After talking to reservations it was clear that Cunard are playing it by ear.  No-one knows how to handle the situation.   

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Makes sense, use the higher fares to soak up the FCCs and then discount to get rid of the empty cabins.

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1 hour ago, Eric2005 said:

I was a bit shocked at how much Cunard transatlantic prices have increased for 2021.  Seems around 25%.  Apparently they are considering three sittings for dinner which would mean rushing people who like to relax.  Possibility of seating families and couples together and singles alone to observe social distancing, Medical certificates may or may not be required of passengers 65 or older.     After talking to reservations it was clear that Cunard are playing it by ear.  No-one knows how to handle the situation.   

I hope they can keep it reasonable - they offer the most civilized way to return from annual trips to the UK.  Flying internationally at this time REALLY is not an attractive concept.

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1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

I hope they can keep it reasonable - they offer the most civilized way to return from annual trips to the UK.  Flying internationally at this time REALLY is not an attractive concept.

I agree with you that I find it more civilized-- even more than premium biz/first class on most transatlantic airlines (Lufthansa First might be an exception) when you have some extra time-- but I'm still scratching my head as to which would be the lesser of two evils short of some sort of treatment or vaccine. Much shorter, but more concentrated, trip on a plane or a ship where these sort of things spread like wildfire. 

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Cunard often releases high fares well in advance, but will lower them on some voyages - often susbtantially - closer to sailing date as required to fill the ship. This happened a lot in 2009 and for  a year or two later. For three crossings we booked a Britannia stateroom well in advance and received an upgrade to Princess Grill for the first of those. When the rates tumbled we paid to upgrade to PG on the next two crossings.

 

With so much uncertainty around COVID-19 and the possible changes in the on-board service I think there will be many voyages that won't fill up at high fares.

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Summer 2021 transatlantic fares have already been on sail since Sept/Oct 2019 which is when the prices were best on there release and invariably always go up in price.

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With so many people booking ( or Changing dates ) Cruises for 2021, Cunard have no incentive to offer competitive prices.

 

Once the bulk for the passengers who have had cruises cancelled have reschedule to 2021 the offers will start to appear.

 

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1 hour ago, Poole Boy said:

With so many people booking ( or Changing dates ) Cruises for 2021, Cunard have no incentive to offer competitive prices.

 

Once the bulk for the passengers who have had cruises cancelled have reschedule to 2021 the offers will start to appear.

 

If there is any availability by then.

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4 hours ago, david,Mississauga said:

we booked a Britannia stateroom well in advance and received an upgrade to Princess Grill for the first of those.

What level Britannia did you initially book and received the upgrade to Princess Grill and how far in advance of that voyage?

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The online fares  quoted in U.S. dollars  haven't budged one way or the other for months now. I suspect that the employees that handle yield management  have not been at work during that time. When Cunard management decides when the ships will return to service and those in yield management  called back to work , then I imagine that  there will be movement in the fares.  I also suspect that there will be notable changes in the  published schedules and for newly added voyages  the last minute fares might be quite attractive.  For 2021 sailings with currently weak bookings  there will be rate reductions.

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3 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

What level Britannia did you initially book and received the upgrade to Princess Grill and how far in advance of that voyage?

 

About eight months in advance of that 2009 crossing we booked an 8-Deck balcony stateroom (not the obstructed view type). Two or three weeks in advance the TA was informed we had been upgraded to a P1.

 

The recession was still causing problems with the travel industry at the time of our 2010 crossing. The upgrade from Princess to Queens (Q5) came through about the two weeks before the sailing.  In 2011 we again booked Princess close to a year in advance, but a deal came through about four months before: pay for Princess and get a guaranteed Queen's Grill.  Being in Canada (under US fare rules) we were able to get that deal.

 

That was the end of any substantial upgrades, but of course I'm not complaining. 

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18 hours ago, david,Mississauga said:

That was the end of any substantial upgrades, but of course I'm not complaining. 

I have a feeling things like that are going to come back once things get going again with cruise ships. The cruise lines are going to try and find ways that they can offer additional value without heavy discounting-- upgrades to premium cabins and services will be a part of that. 

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:13 AM, Eric2005 said:

I was a bit shocked at how much Cunard transatlantic prices have increased for 2021.  Seems around 25%.  Apparently they are considering three sittings for dinner which would mean rushing people who like to relax.  Possibility of seating families and couples together and singles alone to observe social distancing, Medical certificates may or may not be required of passengers 65 or older.     After talking to reservations it was clear that Cunard are playing it by ear.  No-one knows how to handle the situation.   

Can I ask you where did you hear " Three Sittings" on Cunard  ....is this from some travel agent,  or have you  have confirmation from Cunard ? 

You appear  to have answered your/mine question . No one knows at the moment at Cunard how their future seasoned cruise programme will play out . 

 

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Booked 10/20/2021 Norwegian lights and also Canary Islands which starts on 11/1/2021 when the Norway cruise ends. Booked Princess grill in first trip and Balcony for Canary Islands. Want to compare . Would have booked in reverse, but fares much higher for Grills in canary Islands, although 2 days longer. First Cunard cruises. Bought stock and have Military discount. Anxious to  see how I like it vs Princess.

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I wonder what is the legal situation if you have accepted a future cruise credit, but, owing to the extended period of non-sailing and the amount of FCC issued,  there is no capacity left? 

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On 5/31/2020 at 12:29 PM, Bell Boy said:

Can I ask you where did you hear " Three Sittings" on Cunard  ....is this from some travel agent,  or have you  have confirmation from Cunard ? 

You appear  to have answered your/mine question . No one knows at the moment at Cunard how their future seasoned cruise programme will play out . 

 

 

A Cunard rep. told me that they are considering three sittings.  

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Eric2005 said:

 

A Cunard rep. told me that they are considering three sittings.  

Cannot see it ever working unless they start dinner at 5-30pm, which is common on a lot of American cruise lines, and then serve you quickly and make sure you eat quick and out for second sitting at 7-15pm and same for third sitting at 9pm. One thing I think would work is if they turned Britannia restaurants into Freedom dining and opened the restaurants at 5-30pm and then they can control number in MDR.

Edited by majortom10

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8 hours ago, Eric2005 said:

 

A Cunard rep. told me that they are considering three sittings.  

 

Was that for just the Britannia or also for Grills and Club?

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8 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Cannot see it ever working unless they start dinner at 5-30pm, which is common on a lot of American cruise lines, and then serve you quickly and make sure you eat quick and out for second sitting at 7-15pm and same for third sitting at 9pm. One thing I think would work is if they turned Britannia restaurants into Freedom dining and opened the restaurants at 5-30pm and then they can control number in MDR.

 

What's Freedom dining?  To me the major event of the day is dinner and seeing the same table companions every day.  If they take that away I won't go.  

 

Cunard is really an American company owned by Carnival but fortunately they give Cunard some autonomy.

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8 hours ago, PORT ROYAL said:

 

Was that for just the Britannia or also for Grills and Club?

Britannia.  The rep said they were considering starting at 5:30 PM.  I always take the late sitting  but if they establish three sittings the staff will be very tired by the third and service will be less efficient and rushed.  

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4 minutes ago, Eric2005 said:

 

What's Freedom dining?  To me the major event of the day is dinner and seeing the same table companions every day.  If they take that away I won't go.  

 

Cunard is really an American company owned by Carnival but fortunately they give Cunard some autonomy.

Freedom/Anytime dining is the same procedure as in Grills/Club where the restaurant is open form say 5-30pm until 9-30pm and you can turn up at anytime to suit you and unlike Grills/Club you can ask for any size table and have different table companions each night. Very popular on other cruise lines and Cunard is one of the few mass market cruise lines who do not do it.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

Freedom/Anytime dining is the same procedure as in Grills/Club where the restaurant is open form say 5-30pm until 9-30pm and you can turn up at anytime to suit you and unlike Grills/Club you can ask for any size table and have different table companions each night. Very popular on other cruise lines and Cunard is one of the few mass market cruise lines who do not do it.

 

Has your source considered a request from guests, not wishing to have multiple companions, requesting a specific table for 2, in the Britannia, at 20.30 for the duration of the cruise, when the Restaurant closes at 21.30?

Based on your information of a plan, with Dinner taking about two hours +/-, the last seating allowed will be between 19.00 and 19.30 - Think this corporate idea has not been fully thought through.

Cunard already has "freedom dining", it's the Buffet.  

 

Cunard cruisers select Cunard for being Cunard, not a dummed down version of other Carnival Brands, with dress codes to match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I recall the rep said sittings MIGHT be at 5:30, 7 and 8:30.  I think it would all be rushed.  I travel alone, so a table for two is out of the question.  As I said, nothing is definite.  I don't think they know yet what they are going to do.  Who knows much of anything these days?  The whole world is upside down.  I quite agree about dumbing down standards but that had been gradually happening on Cunard pre-Covid-19.  Fortunately they've kept enough tradition to retain those of us who want something closer to ocean liner as opposed to cruise ship style travel.  One of the questions on the post voyage survey is to the effect "Would you prefer staff to address you by your first name?"  My answer:  When you do that you've lost me as a passenger.  

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7 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Freedom/Anytime dining is the same procedure as in Grills/Club where the restaurant is open form say 5-30pm until 9-30pm and you can turn up at anytime to suit you and unlike Grills/Club you can ask for any size table and have different table companions each night. Very popular on other cruise lines and Cunard is one of the few mass market cruise lines who do not do it.

 

Thanks for clarifying.  Not having dined in the grills I didn't know this.  it seems less social to me.  I'd rather the camaraderie of the same group every night.  

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10 hours ago, Eric2005 said:

 

Thanks for clarifying.  Not having dined in the grills I didn't know this.  it seems less social to me.  I'd rather the camaraderie of the same group every night.  

 

Just to clarify further: The anti.social aspect you mention is only true for the freedom/anytime dining concept on other lines.

In the Cunard grills you have the same table with the same waiters and the same fellow guests for all three meals every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The tables is yours for the whole voyage, you can come and go during opening times as you please.

Thus you can have "the camaraderie of the same group every night" if you choose a table not just for two.. There is a small risk of getting table mates that are not interested in the social aspect but often people agree on a common time frame or meet before dinner.

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