Q – (1.12.24) – Have enjoyed discovering this one-of-a-kind site. Kudos for forcing all questions to be on subject and anonymous. It surely helps eliminate 90% of the BS encountered on other travel platforms. 

We cruise at least three times a year since my retirement. We have, I must confess, done Royal Caribbean with the grandkids and we just returned from a stint on the Ritz Carlton Yacht. I have noticed that we keep mailings and e-mail messages telling us about special offers etc. on some of the better lines, including Seabourn which we will be sailing in four months. My question is this: Who is monitoring these new offers and promotions? Is it the travel agent I use, the cruise line, or is it all on me and my own initiative?  Thanking you in advance. I can’t figure out how you make money from this site but I hope it continues while I can still travel. 

A – Appreciate your observations and your important question:

  • Our entire Media Group, each of our sites, is set up to serve the consumer on a not-for-profit basis. We do not accept online bookings. We do not have amateur or off-subject commentary. Anyone can anonymously ask a question but we want our sites to be honest and informational and we can’t achieve that if we allow amateur “critics” to rant about experiences they may or may not have had. We are also very aware of the likelihood that some of the most-popular sites purchase reviews and AI-generated comments.
  • The bottom line answer to your question is “hopefully your travel advisor is monitoring your pricing – but ultimately, it is the consumer’s responsibility to inquire about new promotions.” Cruise lines will, as a rule, not closely monitor pricing so they can lower the cost of a booked cruise and, therefore, lower their percentage of profit. They have little motivation to do that.
  • Please understand that this has not been a major issue when dealing with four or  five-star rated lines. New promotions tend to be offered in tandem with scheduled price increases which normally occur every 90-120 days. When a booked guest tries to take advantage of an upgrade offer or a new discount, in the vast majority of cases they must pay the cruise fare in effect at the time. In most, but not all, cases the new deal is not as good as the earlier pricing booked. No highly-rated cruise line wishes to offend those top suite guests who booked their cruise earlier than most. Many of the computer programs that control pricing are set up so pricing increases when a ship reaches a certain occupancy level. This is often set at 20-30%.