There are some amazing deals for cruises this fall. Caribbean and Bahamas sailings have been reduced to as low as $26 per day.
You won't see rates like that at every brand.
If you've been shopping around for a cruise in the last few months, you know that one major mass-market cruise line is mostly not dropping fares to rock- bottom levels.
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Norwegian Cruise Line is selling voyages at entry-level prices that are significantly higher in some cases than its three biggest competitors.
Norwegian was offering a four-night cruise out of Florida in November and December for $249 per person. It's much higher than the fares for similar voyages at Norwegian's biggest cruise rivals.
Carnival was selling similar four-night Bahamas cruises during the same months starting at less than half the price. There are similar sailings at Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises.
If you want to go on a four-night cruise to the Bahamas on a Norwegian ship, you'll pay 120% more than if you go on a Carnival ship. The Norwegian ship premium is more than double that of Royal Caribbean.
Norwegian's pricing team may be blowing it when it comes to keeping its prices competitive. You would be wrong if you thought that. Norwegian is doing what he is supposed to be doing.
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Norwegian and its two sister brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, are very deliberately holding the line on pricing this year even as other lines are heavily discounting at times to fill ships
It's part of a deliberate strategy at Norwegian to keep its pricing power high for the long term even if it means less bookings in the short term.
In recent years, the company has decided that it's a better bet to sell fewer cabins at higher prices than to discount wildly to get every cabin sold.
Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, made no bones about it during a conference call with Wall Street analysts. We lead the industry by a wide margin on price.
The parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line is called Norwegian Cruise Line.
Del Rio said that once a line drops pricing, it is very hard to bring it back up. Customers are used to the lower prices when they are dropped. It's one of the biggest mistakes his competitors make, he says.
Del Rio told the Wall Street analysts that they don't care if they're behind other airlines by a couple of percentage points. We won't sacrifice price because we know that those who drop prices to ridiculous levels take a long time to recover. We aren't prepared to do that.
The result of Norwegian Cruise Line's strategy this year has been a decrease in the number of people booking on its ships.
The brands reported anOccupancy of 82% for the third quarter. The Royal Caribbean Group brands had a 100%Occupancy for the same quarter.
Royal Caribbean is one of the companies in the Royal Caribbean Group.
Net per diems, the amount of money the company takes in per passenger, was up 5% for the most recent quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Net per diems at Norwegian Cruise Line's main rivals were down 5% for the quarter as compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Norwegian Cruise Line said its pricing was up 14 percentage points on average over the course of the year, while its competitors' prices were the same.
The amount of money the various lines are taking in doesn't really matter for those of you planning on booking a cruise. The price of the cruise is what matters to you.
The bottom line for consumers with Norwegian's pricing strategy this year is that you'll be paying up a bit to sail on one of the company's ships, as compared to what you'll pay for a sailing with some of its competitors, at least on like.
It shouldn't be a deal killer. It's not the best way to buy a cruise if you only look at the price. It's worth paying a bit more to experience a Norwegian sailing that you think is the perfect one for you.
Even as it holds the line on pricing, Norwegian has been offering customers a lot of value-added perks to get them to book this year. It is a way to discount without having to drop the base fare.
Sailing on a ship that is a little less crowded is worth a bit more. Norwegian Cruise Line said on Tuesday that it expected the current quarter to be in the "mid- to-high 80% range."
When more than two people occupy a cabin using pullout sofas and pulldown bunks, a cruise ship can sail in excess of 100% full.
It's not expected to last long. Norwegian executives said on Tuesday's call with Wall Street analysts that they expected theOccupancy levels to be back to normal by the second quarter of 2020.
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