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P&O Cruises & Cunard To Look After Early Bookers

15 July 2012

Ventura Exterior

Britain's most famous and most loved cruise lines, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line, have announced plans to introduce a new pricing scheme which — in theory — should mean everyone onboard has benefitted from the same level of value.

The new Vantage Fare, as the cruise lines have called it, along with the new price promise essentially means everyone will have paid the same equivalent cost for their cabins — except for last minute bookers, but we'll come back to them. The fare code guarantees passengers that book early, that if the price goes down, they will receive benefits of equivalent value in the form of onboard spend or cabin upgrade.

Without going into the finer details, this a fantastic news. There is nothing worse than sitting in a lounge bar, enjoying a drink to two, then overhearing other passengers boasting about how little they paid compared to everyone else. For some people, it can almost ruin their cruise — it would annoy me too, but not to that level.

What this new scheme means is you can enjoy all the benefits of booking early, as well as reaping a few of the benefits of price drops, should P&O or Cunard need to adjust the cruise fare. You can book the exact grade you want, even pick the cabin number if you have a favourite cabin or location, AND (yes I did mean to shout) guarantee the dining times and table size you prefer.

There are also a bunch of other benefits being thrown in for good measure too, such as onboard credit, free parking or free coach transfers. For the exact details click the links below:

So, not only do you get to the early pick on the cruises, cabins and dining options, but you don't have to worry about the price changing. For example, if the price comes down £200pp, then you'll get that £400 back to spend onboard — based on a couple of course. Okay, so it's not a refund, but it makes life easier having your account pre-loaded with your spending money, just don't get carried away in the champagne bar on the first night.

This for me is one of the bravest and most intelligent moves a cruise line has made in years, addressing what can be a bit of a pricing problem. People who book early, shouldn't be penalised for it, and they won't anymore.

Okay, so the small print points out that Getaway Fares — or last minute deals to you and me — are excluded from the price promise. But though these passengers will be filling the last remaining cabins at lower prices, they lose out on a lot of benefits too. Paying in full, not knowing your cabin number or location and not getting your preferred dining choices can for many passengers, made a huge difference to a cruise. And with the new Vantage Fare and Price Promise, I can't see the difference in cost of these late deals outweighing the benefits of booking early.

For those among us who like to book early, there has never been a better time to book your perfect P&O Cruise or Cunard voyage, and for the late bookers out there, watch out for the martini supping, excursion boasting early bookers who are boasting about the great value of their holiday and how they've barely spent a penny onboard.

Oh, and the icing on the cake. If you have already booked for a cruise departing form 1st April 2013 as part of the early brochure launch, you will automatically be having all these benefits added to your cruise in a matter of days!

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