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starrysim

Question about vacation package pricing and early booking, etc

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Definitely keep us all updated! I'll do the same once I meet with my TA.
 

Originally Posted by RiuJAMNegril View Post

hi all,

 

we are also looking at Jamaica in November 2011 so I'll be watching for anything interesting and sharing here.

A good friends neighbour is a TA in Toronto who is suppose to be great. I'll let you know what she finds for us.

 

Good luck with your search....



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I'm not getting married at Iberostar, but we went there a couple years ago.  Keep in mind we went just to the Rose Hall (not suites)... but - we travelled at the end of October and booked the trip in July.  For an upgraded ocean view room we paid aroubd 975 inclusive of tax. 

 

This is how a friend of mine explained it (she works for groups at one of the operators).  The price may go down, or may go up.  This depends on the inventory status. For example, if they plane is half empty at the time you're going, they will lower their rates to fill it up.  BUT if they are almost full, they will ramp up the price to get the most $ out of it. I would contact several agencies (they really dont need to specialize in weddings as long as they are capable of looking after groups - you, after all will end up dealing with the wedding coordinator on your own. It's just a matter of booking the wedding with the hotel). Once you get price comparisons - make sure to ask them to get quotes from different operators.

 

Some will be askig you to pay a fee for them to check different operators, then you just say: ok - I'll just go someplace else. It does not cost them to get a quote. Ensure you ask about price drop guarantee for your group.  This is the 'bonus' from some operators: if the price drops before the wedding (depends on the operator but it usually is around 60 days or more prior to departure), they will allow you one time price change.
 

Originally Posted by starrysim View Post

Hi girls!  I started looking at resorts for our wedding (looking at Nov, 2011) in August/ September, and I was looking at prices for this November, meaning ~3 months in advance. At the time, the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites was priced at about $1300-1400 from Toronto (one week, all inclusive).  However, if I look now, for Oct 2011 prices, it's more like $1800.  Is it common for prices to be that high far ahead of time, and then go lower when it's a few months away?  Even March & April prices are lower than that, so it doesn't make sense that November would be so much more expensive.  Now I'm scared to book, in case I remember wrong or something, and it really will be $1800.  Any thoughts?  Does anyone have experience with October/November prices, from Toronto?  thanks so much.  I'd love to book ASAP, but I'm scared of the prices.



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Originally Posted by bmadzia1 View Post

Ensure you ask about price drop guarantee for your group.  This is the 'bonus' from some operators: if the price drops before the wedding (depends on the operator but it usually is around 60 days or more prior to departure), they will allow you one time price change.


 


Thanks. This is the point that I'm most concerned about.  I don't want people to get left out because they wait too long, and I would also feel bad if people felt pressured to book, only to see prices drop significantly.  I'll have to ask my TA, and in the end I think I would choose a TA who can offer some sort of guarantee.

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I told the people that most matter to me to be there; parents/siblings etc. They have already booked.   The rest will get invitations, and I will leave it up to them to do whatever they want. Just like you, I don't want to pressure them into booking, so we have stated on our website that we have a made a group booking, the conditions of booking, but also stipulated that we want the best financial option for them, so they are free to research on their own. Of course, it's a bonus if they book with us as we get a free package for every 16 booked, but like you said - no pressures.  As long as you sit down and talk with them - explain - then leave it in their hands. ....
 

Originally Posted by starrysim View Post

Thanks. This is the point that I'm most concerned about.  I don't want people to get left out because they wait too long, and I would also feel bad if people felt pressured to book, only to see prices drop significantly.  I'll have to ask my TA, and in the end I think I would choose a TA who can offer some sort of guarantee.



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I have the same dilemma. I know my closest family is going, but the pricing I'm getting for the suites is about $2000/week for the first week of December (from Toronto), so I'm leaning towards the iberostar beach resort. I just don't want everyone to be paying $4000/couple to go, we have to draw the line somewhere! I'm just waiting on quotes for this week and then we will book. I anticipated about $1800 per person to go.....(then there's the point...what's another 200 dollars per person to go to the suites when we're already paying 1800 ?! argh. frustrating, but which ever we choose, we will make the BEST of it!)

 

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I ended up choosing another resort where the prices were closer to what we wanted to keep it at.  However, price was not my only factor as I was disappointed that Nicole at the Suites told me that I could not have a private dinner at the Steakhouse as I wouldn't have enough guests :(  Having a private dinner was important to me and I really wanted an open air restaurant for the ambiance.

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What I have learned from BDW is that any reputable TA should offer a low price guarantee, and don't be afraid to shop around although I wouldn't let price be the only factor.  Sometimes it is worth it to pay a little extra if the TA will handle your needs.

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