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Old 06-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
wdwowner
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Question for Pete - From last weeks show

Pete, you had a little rant in last weeks show about DCL and their summer promotion. While you called out the new head of DCL, you did not give any suggestions on what you would do with this situation.

How would you handle filling up the ship for the summer? And remember, you can't loose any current bookings, no fair canceling current booking just to re-book the same people.

This is not meant to be mean or anything, just wondering your opinion.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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I think he might apply the offer (can't remember what the discount was ) to all bookings new and previous!? I think his point was that now people won't wanna book early if they can get a great discount for being a last minuet cruiser!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
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Yeah, considering that I'm booked on the Magic in September, I would be p****d off if they offer these great deals to new bookings only. I'm sure they will though, so I'm not getting my hopes up
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:45 AM   #4
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwowner View Post

How would you handle filling up the ship for the summer? And remember, you can't loose any current bookings, no fair canceling current booking just to re-book the same people.
Kevin, I tried. You know I tried. For two days now I've bit my tongue and didn't respond but this thread has been calling my name. Oh Stacy....Oh Stacy (it's in the voice of "Oh Toodles" from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - kinda creepy)....It's kinda like Jaime with her little Jack doll. I'll try to be better next time. Promise.

I know you weren't looking for my opinion, but Pete is a smart man and it appears he is staying out of this conversation. While we can criticize things about Disney, no one is hiring any of us to fix the problems either. That being said, my vote is LOWER THE PRICE. I know, I know, not necessarily what DCL has in mind what with price integrity and all, but that would fill the ship for the summer and you wouldn't lose your current bookings. Of course, that blows their old pricing structure out of the water. I'm with John - if Disney continues to discount this way on late bookings, there will be no incentive for those of us who like to book more than a year ahead. Everyone is going to be looking for that last minute deal. And really, why wouldn't they? They need to pick a price structure - they either want to be like Disney or they want to be like Royal and Carnival with the last minute promos to fill the ships. But you can't have it both ways.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneybridein2k3 View Post
Kevin, I tried. You know I tried. For two days now I've bit my tongue and didn't respond but this thread has been calling my name. Oh Stacy....Oh Stacy (it's in the voice of "Oh Toodles" from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - kinda creepy)....It's kinda like Jaime with her little Jack doll. I'll try to be better next time. Promise.

I know you weren't looking for my opinion, but Pete is a smart man and it appears he is staying out of this conversation. While we can criticize things about Disney, no one is hiring any of us to fix the problems either. That being said, my vote is LOWER THE PRICE. I know, I know, not necessarily what DCL has in mind what with price integrity and all, but that would fill the ship for the summer and you wouldn't lose your current bookings. Of course, that blows their old pricing structure out of the water. I'm with John - if Disney continues to discount this way on late bookings, there will be no incentive for those of us who like to book more than a year ahead. Everyone is going to be looking for that last minute deal. And really, why wouldn't they? They need to pick a price structure - they either want to be like Disney or they want to be like Royal and Carnival with the last minute promos to fill the ships. But you can't have it both ways.
Good point.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:59 AM   #7
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I truly don't see a difference between DCL having a sale and Apple selling iphones for a month then dropping the price.

A sale is a sale, you take your chances, get the best deal for you. If you feel you can get a better deal by re-booking, great, go for it. But this is not the end of the world, it is a business and they need to fill rooms. No difference than making a ressie at WDW, then they come out with 7-for-4 deal and then not getting the same hotel and room you originally booked. I don't see gas stations coming back to me weeks later with money after the prices went down from weeks before.

These are not normal times we live in, business needs to be fluid and change and do what is necessary to stay 'a float'. If Dreams needed more business they would offer more on ship credits, would they go back and also give those credit to people already booked? A hard choice for many companies to make.

As far as I know this is probably DCLs first 'sale', and those who booked early just don't like it. Some people think because they sail on DCL often they own it, but they don't.

Last edited by wdwowner; 06-02-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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This is a bit of a strange situation. In the realm of sales what Disney did is not that different than a standard sale. There is always a danger in any major purchase that the price will go down in the future. A TV that I buy for $1,000 today may be on sale for $800 at some point in the future. A cruise I buy for $1,000 today may be on sale for $800 in the future. Some retailers do have a 30 day price guarantee but if the sale is 9 months down the road I am out of luck. It is pretty standard operating proceedure.

Here, though, is the issue that makes the situation a bit different. Disney wants you to purchase your cruise as early as possible and offers a price incentive to do so. If they undermine their own incentive with a cheaper price later that is not available to those who booked early what is the incentive? While it is true that you already do have the early bookings and you are trying to sway those on the fence to joining it is a bit short sighted to make the price lower than the early bookers...what will their incentive be next time to book early.

I am of no delusion that these are easy choices, but it seems like the decision goes right from inception to power point (as we say here at work) without a lot of thought put into it.

Here would be my solution which I will concede is not perfect: Allow those who are booked already to get the promotional price if it is less than their booking but make the difference a ship-board credit. In the interest of simplicity lets say you booked a cruise that is going to cost $3,000. That same cruise with the promotion would run $2,700. You don't get to rebook at $2,700 but you get a $300 ship-board credit. The guest gets a $300 refund but since it is a ship-board credit it will still be spent on the ship so Disney gets the net effect of still making the same money.

The psychology of people would suggest that the guest would treat the credit as found money and I suspect that many would still spend everything they would have anyone on the ship plus the bonus $300.

Others may have a better solution or a way of communicating it than the small book I just wrote.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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your refund for the price difference will be in the form of a store credit.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwowner View Post
If Dreams needed more business they would offer more on ship credits, would they go back and also give those credit to people already booked?

Dreams Unlimited Travel has in fact increased their shipboard credit amounts in the past. When they have done this, they have applied this to ALL reservations, regardless of when the reservation was booked.

Also, as you may or may not recall, when Disney Cruise Line implemented an across the board tax increase on West Coast sailings, Dreams Unlimited Travel increased their ship board credit (also across the board) to offset that increase.

When Disney Cruise Line decided to forego the tax increase (due to customer outrage) Dreams Unlimited Travel DID NOT reduce the increased ship board credit. All clients received the increased ship board credit as promised.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:39 PM   #11
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I agree with Pete on this. Disney should not be promoting early booking prices if they are going to turn around and offer better last minute deals.

Direct from the DCL site:

How far in advance should I book a Disney cruise?
Booking early is always the best way to get a great price and your choice of available staterooms. For the best prices, we recommend you book one year in advance. Special cruises and itineraries, as well as our Category 1 and 2 suites, tend to sell out quickly.

By offering last minute deals it contradicts what they are promoting and have promoted for some time. It also puts the TA’s into a difficult situation in having to explain to their customer’s why they no longer have the best possible price.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwowner View Post
A sale is a sale, you take your chances, get the best deal for you. If you feel you can get a better deal by re-booking, great, go for it. But this is not the end of the world, it is a business and they need to fill rooms. No difference than making a ressie at WDW, then they come out with 7-for-4 deal and then not getting the same hotel and room you originally booked. I don't see gas stations coming back to me weeks later with money after the prices went down from weeks before.
I'm not sure I buy the comparison to other commodity pricing models. With gas, everyone has a different rate of consumption, different times, places, etc. Same as with a flight, everyone goes to the same place at the same time. But not everyone pays the same for their seat. It is pretty consistent that if you book a flight early, you get better pricing than if you book at the last min. except for when the airlines run special internet fares, or like when SW runs a DING. Some airlines will refund the difference if you know how to ask. DCL could do the same thing, refund the difference via a ship board credit to those that know how to ask.

I would guess that a vast majority is not going to keep checking and know about the sudden last min. discount. but for those that do notice... and if they are vocal, you are going to end up with guests that are dissatisfied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwowner View Post
As far as I know this is probably DCLs first 'sale', and those who booked early just don't like it. Some people think because they sail on DCL often they own it, but they don't.
It is not their first sail nor their first sale, but this is a substantial discount and they are locking loyal customers out. Customers that are very vocal.
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