Cruise Week recently contacted both large and small cruise sellers to take the pulse of mainstream cruise line pricing trends. The results indicate worrisome downward pricing for late Q3 and all of Q4. Pricing is stronger for Q1 2010, but some agents suspect the rates are artificially high, enabling attractive discounting when Wave Season rolls around.
None of the retailers surveyed believe current rates will hold for Q4. As one agent put it: “From what we’ve seen so far, the latter part of Q3 and Q4 have a lot of needs for the cruise lines, especially as it relates to the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera. All dates are wide open. I guarantee you between now and the next couple of weeks, those price points will go down further. Things are looking decent for 2010, but we have not reached bottom for late Q3 or all of Q4.”
Another retailer has a different perspective, based on what type of client is booking: “The fall rates are exceptionally low. The true cruiser who knows about getting a good cabin and getting a good rate is booking 2010 without question. The know-it-all client is waiting and calling every week looking for the ‘deal’ rates of $100 for a seven-day cruise, and they just keep waiting. They become our fun calls, because we know nothing is going to happen.”