With uncertainty about the cruise industry running high, prices are low
If you are thinking of going on a cruise, you are probably asking yourself is now the best time to book a cruise at discount prices.
Royal Caribbean published an interesting take on this question on its blog this week.
Insights to prices
The cruise line interviewed Dan Kline, a contributing partner at the financial website Motley Fool, who has written extensively on the cruise industry and in particular on cruise line stock prices which have been sinking due to the damage wreaked by the coronavirus.
Asked for his thoughts on whether discounts should be expected when cruises do resume, Kline was categorical in his response.
“I expect very heavy discounts and have seen very low prices,” he said
“I’m a casino gambler and generally get comp offers. I’ve been able to get better rooms (a balcony) and comp play on 5-night cruises (booked for August and October),” he continued
As for when would be the best time to book, Kline was again clear-cut: “I would say that booking now while there is uncertainty is the best way to get a deal,”
Other analysts have suggested that there will be conflicting pressures on prices once the CDC lifts its no-sail order and cruising renews.
On the one hand, there will be downward pressure on prices, with cash strapped cruise lines looking for relief after months without sailing.
On the other hand, however, when sailing resumes, it may well be a whole different world out there, at least until a vaccine is found for COVID-19, and scientists say that may take a year or more.
Great cruise deals – 40% off drink packages
The CDC has already hinted that various measures will need to be taken when cruises resume. These could include more stringent health screening for passengers, both pre-cruise, on embarkation, and onboard; possibly even onboard virus testing; stricter and more frequent sanitization of public areas; more advanced onboard medical facilities; better air filtration systems; capacity limits on dining rooms, theaters and entertainment venues, and perhaps fewer passengers on board.
All of those cost money and will have to be factored into pricing unless the cruise companies decided to take a hit on profits.
While it remains to be seen what the long term price trends for cruising will be, in the meantime Royal Caribbean is currently offering a whole load of discounts with up to 40% off drink packages, shore excursions, specialty dining and more with its Deals on Deck sale; 60% off for a second guest; up to $200 in instant savings and kids sail free.
Bottom line, now is probably one of the best opportunities ever to look for a cruise deal and book a cruise at the lowest price.