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Back-to-Back cruises - is there a discount?


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We're considering taking a cruise from Nashville to Chattanooga, then staying on the ship back to Nashville.  For each cruise, we'd be paying for 8 nights -- one hotel night and 7 ship nights.  But if I've got this figured out right, the last night on the ship for the first cruise is the same first night in the hotel for those starting the next cruise.  So I'm paying for 14 ship nights and 2 hotel nights, but getting only 14 ship nights and 1 hotel night.  Of course, hotel nights probably cost AQSC much less than ship nights (food, etc), so maybe I'm not due much of a discount.

 

If you have experience with back-to-back cruises, can you tell me if there really is a discount?  Also I assume we would have to get off the ship between 9:00am and 3:30pm, but can keep our luggage unpacked in our cabin - true? 

Edited by DaveinCharlotte
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I sailed American Duchess B2B in January and February 2020 from Memphis to New Orleans and from New Orleans back to Memphis, and I don't know if they've changed any policies since. I booked one way first and then changed the booking to add the return, so I am comparing the two Guest Confirmations to see the difference. Note that the two weeks was on a single booking.

 

We received a discount of $159.90 per person on the cruise fare. In addition, we received $50 per person OBC for no pre-cruise hotel for the second cruise. So this was a total savings of $419.80 for two people. We would have had the option for an additional pre-cruise hotel day instead of the $50 per person OBC, except the hotel had no rooms available at their negotiated rate for the additional day. These charges were on our Guest Confirmation negotiated when we modified the booking to add the additional week.

 

We did not have to leave the ship in New Orleans. We could have stayed on board all day if we had wanted. They would have served us lunch in the dining room if we had been there. Remember there is no immigration or customs for embarkation or disembarkation, since it is a domestic cruise.

 

They gave us the option to take the pre-cruise premium tour of New Orleans at no charge if we wanted. We took the bus transfer from the ship to the hotel, waited about an hour at the hotel, and then joined the embarking passengers for the pre-cruise premium tour of New Orleans returning to the ship. They also offered us $20 per person in OBC for buying lunch in town (not included in the tour) instead of eating lunch on the ship. Since you are on a different part of the river, I don't know how much difference the current will make on your cruise.

 

The two of us were the only people doing a B2B staying on the ship in New Orleans. I'm sure the free tour (which didn't cost them anything) and the $40 OBC was a lot less expensive than opening the dining room for lunch for two passengers. But it was our choice. They would have served us lunch in the dining room if we had chosen to stay.

 

One advantage of the B2B (with only two people remaining on board) is that the crew really knew us by the second week. We also lucked out because the musicians changed in New Orleans, so we were able to enjoy two different entertainment teams on the two weeks.

 

The two cruises on the lower Mississippi were very different. The cruise from Memphis to New Orleans (sailing with the current) had ports every day, and many of them were all day. The return cruise from New Orleans to Memphis (against the current) had one fewer port (with a complete day of river sailing) and many of the ports were half day instead of full day. This was because of the strong current on the lower Mississippi and because downstream boats have the right of way going around turns in the river.

 

We had no problem visiting the same ports in each direction, but this was with the pre-pandemic HOHO buses for most of the included excursions. In some ports, we took a premium excursion one week and the included HOHO the other week. In other ports, we did HOHO both weeks. Because the flexibility of the HOHO excursions, we could spend more time at some of the sites, go back to some we wanted to see again, and see the rest of the sites we didn't have time for the first week. I suspect this won't be quite as nice with the current included tours, since you would have exactly the same guided tour each week without the flexibility of going off on you on to different places.

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Thanks for taking the time to post this most excellent response!

 

I suspect our entertainment would not be swapping out in Chattanooga.  And I see your point about lack of HOHO limiting ability to see different things on the 2 cruises.  But if we do this, it would not be until 2022, and maybe by then HOHO will be back in operation.

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6 hours ago, bob brown said:

I booked a back to back from St. Louis (Alton) to Louisville, Louisville to Pittsburgh.  I received a 5% discount on the total fare, I suppose to give back the savings of not needing the Louisville hotel...

Check your Booking Confirmation under ADDITIONAL ITEMS & SPECIAL REQUESTS. It may have "$50 OBC per person for no pre-cruise hotel" listed there in addition to the discount.

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3 hours ago, NavyVeteran said:

Check your Booking Confirmation under ADDITIONAL ITEMS & SPECIAL REQUESTS. It may have "$50 OBC per person for no pre-cruise hotel" listed there in addition to the discount.

You're correct!   I did receive that.   I also received early booking, and paid in full discounts, plus my Travel Agent and her consortium threw in some on board credit spending money....🙂

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We did a B2B a couple of years ago.  St Louis to Memphis, Memphis to New Orleans to “finish” the river having done Upper Mississippi a few years before that.  If I recall correctly (Ha!), we also received OBC for the hotel room we did not use in Memphis.  We were also offered,  at no charge, the premium excursion that included Graceland.  We did not have to change cabins and were welcome to stay on the boat.  Since we live within driving distance of Memphis and since my DH’s knee was giving him fits, we elected to stay on board.   There were six or eight of us for lunch which we were asked to pre-order the night before - perfectly understandable.  And I used the rest of the day to do laundry. May sound silly, but  it was also fun to hang out on the Front Porch and watch the new group arrive.  I watched many more examples of the astounding care the crew gives to those with mobility issues of various levels as they negotiated disembarking the buses and embarking the boat.  
 

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