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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 1st, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Default newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk of

I've wanted to cruise for seemingly forever. I have now decided to stop waiting for a SO to come with me and "just do it". Then I discover that all the cruise lines have no more single share and the single occupancy price is prohibitive. Finding a cabin mate seems to be difficult, and I'd really rather have the cabin to myself anyway.

I'm very determined to go on a holiday cruise, after Christmas but including New Year. I'm looking to sail on Dec 26 or 27 for 7 or 8 days. My first choice of cruise - Carnival Spirit Dec 27 - is >$2000 for single occupancy. By the time I add airfare and other costs, that is out of my budget. If I can get a lower fare, it's Bon Voyage and Happy New Year from the tropics!!

The Carnival Spirit sailing is my first choice, but I'm prepared to be flexible in choosing a cruise. Either Carribean or Mexican Riviera will work.

I'm always seeing ads for cheap cruise prices, but I've never paid much attention to the trends. It seems like if you book really really early you get a cheaper rate, then the last minute deals are cheaper again. I'm an independent consultant, so I really can't plan too far in advance, so I think the last minute deals will be my best bet.

Can you explain how the trends typically work and when is best to book? At what point does "last minute" kick in - 60 days? 30 days?

And, here is the big question...

Do I dare risk waiting for a "last minute" discounted fare for this New Year, or do the holiday cruises sell out?

Thanks for your time.
btw - this is a really great site!

Tammie
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Old October 1st, 2004, 09:16 AM
David Starkey
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

Holiday cruises almost always sell out and rates are high during those sailings. Wait a week later and you can get a great price.
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Old October 1st, 2004, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

Thanks David,
Problem is, if I wait a week later I lose work days, and I'm only paid when I work. My current client essentially closes the office between Christmas and New Year, so going then means I don't lose income when I go. So, even if I pay somewhat more for the cruise, I still come out ahead. I'd just rather not pay that much more!!!
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Old October 1st, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

You're in a difficult position and definitely not a cheap one at that. There won't be any last minute discounting for Holiday cruises because they do sell out. Discounting usually begins at the 60 day penalty phase for cancellations and is intended to sell the remaining cabins.

You might try posting on the "Seeking Cruise Companion" board under the People section to find a compatible roommate. Otherwise you will be paying about double for a single cabin.

Sorry.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old October 1st, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

This may seem like an obvious question....but you can't find anyone else (friend, family member, co-worker) to cruise with you rather than your SO? Bummer to pay a high singles rate or stay w/a stranger...

Good luck to you!

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Old October 1st, 2004, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

Hi Jean,
Thanks for the good luck!

I am looking for someone to cruise with me, but having some trouble finding someone. btw - just to clarify, I am single with no SO in the picture or this wouldn't likely be a problem. Frankly, any SO of mine better want to go on a cruise or he won't be my SO for long - ROF!!

I have a couple of possibles that came up this morning. One of my second choice cruises suddenly showed the cheapest inside cabins as sold out this morning, so I got brave and booked for Carnival Spirit for Dec. 27. Now I'm having a panic !!!!!!

Oh well, I'm just going even if I have to pay the supplement. I have posted on the "seeking a cruise companion" board here, and I've spread the word through my network (essentially my whole email address book) and all the people I'm working with. Hopefully somebody steps up to go.

Thanks for the info. I have a suspision I'm going to get addicted to cruising. If this holiday trip works out and my current contract gets renewed again, maybe I'll catch the Valor group in May. I've been reading that posting and it sounds like a great group.

Tammie
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Old October 1st, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

What Thomas said....

And, my TA says that the days of the last minute bargains are waning. Certainly, ships will do what they can to sell berths, but since the immediate fear of traveling that 9/11 inspired in many people has waned a bit, the bargains don't *seem* to be quite as good.

I know our early booked price for our recent sailing on the Glory was never beaten and, in fact, the price only climbed the closer we got to sailing.

dorothy

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Old October 1st, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

right now in the cruise industry demand outweighys supply. Especially during the holiday and school vacation seasons. Book early for the best rate, buy trip cancellation/interuption insurance and hope for a cabin mate.
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Old October 1st, 2004, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: newbie question - waiting for last minute rates vs. risk

Good for you, Tammie! A lot of people wouldn't be brave enough to go cruising by themselves, I'm glad you are doing it and I'm sure you'll have a great time! Beats sitting home by the TV...

Enjoy!

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