Originally Posted by graphicguy
I also didn't realize rates were so volatile....even changing by the hour, which really makes no sense to me. The ship sails one way or the other. Either they're full, or their not. You aren't going to be able to tell that from one hour to the next (unless you're within 72 hours of sailing). So, how fares affect occupancy this far in advance befuddles me.
As I think about this, from now on I'm recommending "pack and go" cruises. I may end up doing that on this particular occasion. Just be ready to go, scan the cruise lines a few days in advance, save a bunch of money, and get ready to rock and roll.:-D
Cruiselines do utilize a revenue management system similar to the airlines, but in 4 years as a TA, I haven't seen them change by the hour but they do change by the day. Cruiselines will adjust their rates based on how well a particular cruise is selling. As a general rule, suites and premium rooms sell out first. A cruiseline likes to see atleast half of it's inventory sold by 6 months from the cruise date.
Last minute deals are OK, if you keep in mind the general rule I stated above. The better cabins and suites sell out first. When you wait until the end to book your cabin, you get the cabins nobody else wanted IMHO. That is why I book as early as possible, to get the cabin I want.