Hi again and thanks to all of you that answer my last message.I still planing our trip to
AlaskaWhen is better to make the reservation?Is better to wait until last moment or is
better to do it now?
IM planning to travel on July 2001.
WOW! If you're going in July, you may not be able to "plan on it", e.g. they may already be sold out, especially if you have a particular date, ship, or line in mind. If you have to fly, you may have a hard time getting reasonable flights. If you definitely want to go on a cruise, I think it is better to book well in advance. If the rate goes down, travel agents can get you the lower fare.
IMHO I think a good guideline is 6 months before your cruise.
As BroweZilla said, it could be reeeal hard to arrange flights. Maybe you live within driving distance of the port? It never hurts to try for a reservation at the last minute, but don't be too disappointed if you can't get the stateroom you want.
I have to disagree there is still plenty of cruise space in July, I am getting emails daily of the bargains. Actually the rest of the season is on sale as well. I never book any further than 60 days in advance and usually not later than 4 weeks. I have never had a problem with "sell outs" and go to independent lodgings and car rentals.
At least on the trip I have booked for July, I booked 3 months in advance. I took my third ship choice (we wanted Ocean Princess, then Sea, but took the Sun Princess), not because of cruise availability, but because of available flights from the east coast to Seattle/Vancouver and then from Anchorage home. 6 weeks prior to our departure date a couple was hoping to join us, but the only availability on our cruise was for Suites, for which they didn't want to pay that amount (they also hadn't checked flights yet). I have to admit though that my problems with cruise planning has mostly been with getting reasonable flights prices and availability; however I have had cabin availability problems too (maybe I need a new agent :-)
So, if you have a specific ship, cabin category, & date in mind, I would book as soon as you know you can commit to go. Also, keep in mind that most cruises will let you cancel outside of 60 days of departure at no charge, however your travel agent may charge $50/person or so. Sooo, if you book early, you can still cancel outside of 2 months if you have to.
I would agree with Karen, booking the last 4-8 weeks to get a good price, if you are flexible. I would have done that for our Alaska cruise, but my boyfriend's Mother (who is joining us) had to make a lot of plans around the cruise dates and secure airfare from the UK.
Months in advance, you have to hope that your TA gets you whatever price reductions that come through. Last minute, you might get very discounted rates, but not a great selection of cabins, depending on the popularity of the date & itinerary.
I just tried to help a friend this week who decided to sail in TWO WEEKS out of L.A. for Carnival's Mexican Riviera cruise. That's risky for a family of 6 at the last minute and I didn't think the rates he got were great....but he can afford it and they're going!