Originally Posted by cruise planner
I wholeheartedly agree with all the great information and advice you've already been given.
Between the problem with the Costa Concordia and the problems in Athens and Cairo, it scared alot of people away and that drove prices down. Unless something dramatic happens, I can almost guarantee you will not see prices anywhere near that rate this year.
It's best to book the ship, date, and itinerary you want with your agent and then keep your eyes open for any specials that may occur. For example, Celebrity is offering some great rates and amenities right now through January 27th. But if the rates don't come down, then you can make a decision before the final payment due date if you want to go or not. You definitely do not want to be making airline reservations less than 60 days prior to sailing - the rates would be sky high, so to speak.
I had been watching prices for a couple of years as we had almost went in fall 2010 and then we hoped for 2011. I had expensve dental work-implants to replace pulled teeth and then our daughter had surgery and we helped her out as her insurance did not cover well. Because I had been checking prices for the previous couple of years I felt $1600 a person for a 12 day in an oceanview was as good as we would get-I only held out hope for a possible upgrade to a balcony. The Concordia disaster changed all that. We still had the expensive airfare though going in June, but it was well worth it for thsi cruise, having a skysuite was just an unexpected bonus.
Now we picked a cruise from Barcelona to mainly Italy (as I was leary of Egypt and Turkey) which was what we wanted-Venice, Rome and Pompeii, the other ports were just bonuses for us and we really liked our stay in Barcelona too. We found that the ship leaving from Barcelona did all the Italy ports we wanted whereas if we left from Rome we would not had got all of them. In the end it worked out well for us.