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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 7th, 2008, 01:11 PM
journeywoman's Avatar
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Default Should I wait or buy now?

HI.

I booked on the July 26, 2008 Alaskan cruise departing Seattle.
I bought my airline ticket with an extended stay in Seattle.
I purchased trip insurance.

Now (24 hours later) , I've decided to take my grand-daughter with me. I cancelled the original cruise, but cannot cancel the flight. I can book another flight for the GD for under $500 - which I will probably do today.

Four Alaska cruises are available leaving Seattle on the 26th or 27th. (Westerdam, Oosterdam, Norwegian Pearl & Golden Princess-my original booking). I can leave either day. I would like to have a balcony room. I went to France for two weeks last year and spent a week on a river ship - I didn't like the porthole at all.
I'm checking the prices and they are running $1500 - $1800 with Norwegian being the highest priced. The lower end are guaranteed rooms - I would prefer to pick my cabin.

I've noticed that the trips leaving earlier in the month are offering discounts amounting to around 20% over the quotes I'm seeing for the end of the month.

Should I be safe and book now or should I wait a few weeks and try to get a cheaper price?

Any and all help greatly appreciated. Can you tell I'm an impulse traveller?
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:42 PM
KennyN
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I think with most online places, if you book closer towards the date you wanted, it will get more and more expensive. Your best bet is just to book now and you'll save a lot of money. That's just my opinion though as I'm not the expert, but take for example on Expedia, as the days go closer and closer to the date you want, the prices tend to rise.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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Thanks, Kenny!

I know that is true of the airline prices, but is it also true with the cruise ships?

I've taken guided trips to Arizona, California, China, France with (what I thought) were good discounts booking late, while providing my own airfare. I haven't book a cruise only before.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Book now and use a TA that will pass along any price adjustments that occur as your date draws near. This is very common and you shouldn't have any trouble. Just ask about this issue before you commit to anyone.

What often happens tho, TA's are busy and may not pick up on a price drop. You may have to 'ride herd' on your pricing and alert him/her so that you get what you want.

I suggest that you use Princess as they are good about the price adjustments, and they are also very good at doing Alaska. Note: after final payment date, they will likely not adjust your overall price, but will give you an onboard credit that matches the price drop.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:05 AM
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NCL is a tricky one to deal with, because they typically do NOT honor price drops like other lines do. It is truly a crap shoot to predict if prices are going to go up or down, and since you really are not flexible with regard to your room and really want a balcony, i would fear that the room of my choice might get sold out before I purchase. So if it were me I'd probably bite the bullet right now and make a decision to go with the cruise line that will honor price drops and get my airfare in order now, before those prices go up even more.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Thanks, all.

I pushed the button and went with NCL. I decided the new ship Pearl would be the most fun for the GD. I found an aft cabin on level 8 that appears to have a great view - at least of where we've been.
It looks like I need to make reservations for meals at the up-pay restaurants from what I've read. Breakfast shouldn't be a problem

You're right, prices are going up. The second airfare was $25.00 more. I checked prices for two days on the ships and the impression I have is that I could travel for less but would end up with cabin not to my liking.

Now I'm trying to find a hotel that will shuttle us to pier 66. So far, no luck, but I've only contacted two.

We will be back in Seattle on Sunday and won't leave until Wednesday night so I hope to take her on some fun sight-seeing excursions. Looking forward to great fun!
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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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We were on NCL last December and you have to make reservation for the non-free restaraunts after you get on board...it was up to 48 hrs in advance, if I remember (which is not a reliable source ). But, we found the main, free restaraunt had the best food, in our book. Granted everyone's book is different.
Have fun!
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Old May 12th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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Thanks, Marty!

This board has been a wonderful find for me. I'm cutting and pasting tips and tricks from all over to review before my trip.

I'm reading no BYOB.
I wonder if anyone has tried wrapping a bottle in foil - I get things through airline customs this way fairly easily......
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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I'm interested....What does the foil prevent/not prevent? Wouldn't the foil set the sensor of more?????
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Old May 15th, 2008, 12:27 AM
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Is the foil in your carryon or your checked luggage? You would probably get checked over if it was in your carryon.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Hey.

I've sent cigars through the checked baggage.
I've also had items shipped via International post.
I don't know about sensors, but the item doesn't show through the xray.

= I don't have to worry this trip with a thirteen Y/O in tow. I have her reading the teen tips board and we are planning excursions. it will be a great trip!
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