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Yesterday I did a long post about the working of the Vantage Fare and Getaway Fare for the same cruise. After working through the prices for an example cruise I said this:

The extras for Vantage fares seem to be worth about £120 per person. Annoyingly, however, if you choose to take it as an on-board credit it’s wiped out by an equivalent extra charge for  ‘Sea Fuel Supplement’ (the dreaded oil surcharge); e.g. the per person cruise price is £1699 + £60 fuel surcharge, plus £60 on-board credit. Confusingly, however, if you select Free Parking then the cruise price is £1639 + £60 fuel surcharge, making £1699 including surcharge.

By late yesterday afternoon the picture had changed – the Vantage Fare price with on-board credit as the benefit had been brought into line with the other Vantage Fare options: the fuel supplement was included within the £1699 which made the on-board credit a definite plus.

Not wishing to blow my own trumpet here, but during yesterday morning I did in fact send an email to P&O pointing out the issue I’d spotted earlier and asking for clarification. I haven’t received a reply from them, but I can’t help wondering if it was just coincidence that the price of that option changed shortly afterwards.

On the general point my view is hardening: I don’t believe that offering a Getaway Fare 5 months before the cruise date fits the original description of Getaway Fares as ‘last minute offers’. There are now a large number of cruises quite a long way off that have both Vantage Fares and Getaway Fares advertised. Remember, the Price Promise only comes into effect if the Vantage Fare is reduced; if Getaway Fares are already available for that cruise, I don’t expect that the Vantage Fare will ever be (further) reduced so the Price Promise will never come into effect. Early bookers will have been left high and dry. It’s a huge disincentive to book early.

4 Responses to “P&O Price Promise – some small changes”

  1. rosie says:

    Or looking at it another way. If you want a particular cabin (and some posts suggest some people spend a lot of time finding the “best” cabin) and a particular dining option-you pay for it. If you opt for the getaway fare you end up in the cabins at the back (with vibrations on some ships)/opposite the white spaces etc/ with your dining table at the back of the ship ,with the vibrations etc. As always you pays your money and you takes your choice. If anyone books a getaway fare and then wishes to complain about their cabin/dining table they will not have a leg to stand on. Peace of mind is what vantage is turning out to be. We have done both, I should add.

    • Tom says:

      I think it’s the lead-time that’s bugging me. I was never that bothered by genuine last-minute offers, from 12 weeks out or less. But 5 months! – there must be quite a lot of cabins left at this point in time, especially given what we know about the economy, so this isn’t necessarily the dross that’s being offered.

      We’ve booked more than a year out for the last four years or so, and I’m not sure that we’ll be doing that any more. I’m not sure that peace of mind is worth £1000. Perhaps it is – the 2014 itineraries will be available in a few weeks’ time, so let’s see what we decide to do then.

      • rosie says:

        I can see where you are coming from, maybe “getaway” fare is the wrong choice of word, maybe they should call it “leave it all up to us fare”. True 5 months out is not a getaway, in any way shape or form. Lets hope they come up with another word. Ofcourse when they go down that path, will Pen Points be excluded from “getaway” fares in the future, so you only get them if you pay nigh on full fare, just a thought.
        I was thinking of this further whilst doing the ironing, if you are on a land holiday you have no choice as to where your hotel room might be, and you pay full fare for that, so maybe that is a plus point for pando, as with the leave it up to them fare, you are paying less than full fare.

  2. janice says:

    I too have tried emailing P and O but they have not responded. I booked a holiday in November for a holiday in May because I thought the price promise would mean that we were’nt penalised for booking early. Without this we would definitely have booked closer to the time. As soon as we paid for our holiday, the Getaway fare came out meaning that we couldnt even cancel the holiday and rebook. When I booked the cruise P and O definitely pushed this as being a good reason for booking early and I was not made aware of two prices! I rang them yesterday to ask when I was likely to get a response and they said within a month as they have staff off sick! – not a very professional response!

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