If you are what is known by TA's as someone on their "A" list they often call you with 'last minute' bargains but understand these 'last minute' deals are usually the week or two before and not days away. If you are thinking about going to the pier and trying to get on, don't, it can't be done. Best thing is if you can and if you are close enough to the port to drive then find a good TA and let them know you would be interested in any late bargains they come up with.
*****Commercial website deleted****** advertises on this board and they are good.
Watch their site everyday yes I said EVERYDAY. Watch for a while and you might find a pattern. I have found they will have a sailing at $499 and go to $699 the drop down to $499 again a few days later.
My most recent cruise, 9 days southern carribbean, started at $1199 went down to $749 went up to $969 then back down to $749, I booked here, then back up to $969 then up to $1009 where it is today. ONCE you find the deal you want jump on it then. It might be gone in the next few hours. You must be sort of a gambler. Don't expect to receive a refund if rates go down. Nor will you get many ship board credits. You are making a business desision when you book last minute. If the rate rings your bell book it. Kind of like buying stock.
I have found most TAs can also get this same deal for you if they want. And like Jim said cruiselines fax daily specials to theri better TA most weeks or days. If TA knows you can go at a moments notice they will notify you. My TA calls me everynow and then with specials. Once found a ship leaving in 2 weeks for $299.00 pp including port charges, ship left in 11 days. It was one of the best cruises I have ever been on. Now booking last minute will give you little or no control on cabin placement.
I have booked this way for years. I found with the same money I can take 2 or 3 cruises per year instead of one. Now remember cabins won't be best placement they will probably be insides. Taxes are the same no matter when you book. All you save on is base cruise rate charged by cruiselines. You also must be retired or have a very flexible employor or own your own business.
Just my thoughts.
**Note from staff, Even though someone advertises on the website we cannot allow the name to be advertised in the message boards. That would appear that we favor one over another and we cannot do that and be ethical. I do agree that the TA's that advertise on the website are very good and worth checking out pricing for them**
I booked the Sensation for March 3,2005 on Feb 14 so I guess you can say that is really last minute. My total cost for 2 was 911.66 and that was including prepaid gratuties for both of us and taxes. (there are still rooms left. Sails of out New Orleans)
Inspiration May 26, 2002
Holiday March 1, 2003 & August 21, 2003 & April 24, 2004
Sensation March 3, 2005