| Originally Posted by Excited_Ottawa |
I thought it was a bit much, esp. when we're probably taking about 50 people with us!! Which is also why I don't want to take too long to book flights, b/c there are so many of us!!! Still searching though, we've talked to 6 TAs so far, and still the same prices...beinging to lose hope!!!! Thanks for your help though!!
Prices vary a lot by destination, the person who said 1200$ was reasonable (cmmdee) is from Washington, so totally different price than from Ottawa. In the US, people normally book flights and hotels seperately to create packages, in Canada everything is always pre-packaged. Flights are so expensive that buying flights and hotels seperately are not worth it.
1200$ including taxes (that means like 900$ before taxes!) for Dreams and Majestic seems very low to me from Ottawa. That would be the price you could expect to pay at the last minute, if you get a great deal, and even that would be difficult for February when things are getting busy from Canada (university spring breaks taking place in mid & end of February).
When I have researched prices in February before (from Ottawa) I was looking at about 1500$ for 5 star resorts, and this was researching only a month in advance. Booking a year in advance is defintiely more expensive, although you are saving with a group booking so it should be about the same thing. I think aiming for 1500-1600$ would be more reasonable. I understand that almost 2000$ seems high, maybe that means you need to stay away from the Majestic.
One of you mentioned that your group is 60-80 and that since it's so huge that you were expecting a better deal. I don't know if this is true but I've been told the price is the same for a group booking, no matter how many people in your group (i.e. whether 20 or 80). The only difference would be that you might get the bonus of having every 20th person free.
Some people quoted prices from out west but those are very different and cannot really be compared with Ottawa. For my wedding it was 1500$ from Ottawa but 2300$ from Winnipeg !!!! So the winnipeg people just bought their own seperate plane tickets (350$) and left with us from Ottawa. So I'm not surprised the girl from Saskatoon said her price was around 2000$.
As for leaving from Toronto or Montreal, I have generally found that you can save about 100$ per person from Montreal, and 200$ per person from Toronto. This is just an estimate, I have sometimes seen the prices the same (it was the same from Toronto for my wedding trip) or seen them as much as 350$ lower from Toronto, so this is just an average. In general Montreal is a bit cheaper than Ottawa, and Toronto even cheaper than that.
Hope some of this information helps! My wedding was my 4th all-inclusive vacation and each time I spend a lot of time researching prices. In case it helps, here's what I've paid in teh past (keep in mind there are several factors: timing, location, star rating, how long booked in advance). Departures from Ottawa unless otherwise indicated.
Varadero, Cuba (3rd week of February 2003 - UofO reading week) - 4.5 star - - booked 2 weeks before = 1250$
Cancun, Mexico (3rd week of April 2005) - 4.5 star - departing from Toronto - booked 2 weeks before = 1350$
(not a great deal considering we left from toronto, but we were not flexible on our depature date, which was a wednesday)
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (3rd week of November 2007) - 4.5 star - booked 5 weeks before (but price stayed the same until a week before our departure) = 900$
(great deal! November is very very cheap)
Mayan Riviera, Mexico (last week of March 2008 - 4 days after Easter) - 5 star - booked 2.5 months before departure = 1500$
(also a great deal I think)
I always book with selloffvacations or itravel2000 (both sites have the same prices)