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Well, at four o’clock yesterday I found out that Ideal Cruising (our online travel agent) had been able to convert our pre-registration into a firm booking. We’ve got the cabin grade we wanted, and at the original price that was quoted. So we’re happy.

A lot of other people, however, are not. There does seem to have been a lot of uncertainty about this process. Some people were unable to get their pre-registrations converted and are very disappointed as a result. Some other people have reported that they have been offered the chance to make a full booking, but at a higher price than was first mentioned. This seems odd: the P&O web site certainly gives the impression that prices would be held at the initial price until 31 May, so it’s hard to see why people have been asked to pay more than expected. Unless, of course, it’s an example of simple commercial imperatives, and in fact P&O have posted a comment on their Facebook page which seems to support this view:

“Lots of you have asked about our Grand Event cruises today. The 175th Grand Event Cruises have been extremely popular, particularly with our Gold Tier Portunus passengers during Saturday’s Gold Tier launch, this has left very limited space on these cruises and therefore pricing reflects demand. We are sorry if you have been unable to book on your chosen departures at the price you wanted.”

Note the phrase “…and therefore pricing reflects demand”. This may make commercial sense, but I have a feeling that P&O have lost some friends, and possibly some customers, as a result of this.

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