Overheard at a party lately was a retired couple bragging about how they ocassionally packed their bags and headed for Galveston to buy an unsold cabin at the port on the day of sailing. They said it was very cheap. Only once, they said, were they turned away because of a full ship.
My husband and I live close to Galveston and are retired and love cruising. We would like to know how to go about doing this! There are 3 cruise lines out of Galveston: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival.
How does one buy a cruise the same day of cruising at the port?
You can no longer do this as passenger manifests must be turned in 72 hours prior to sailing.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Does anyone know about day of sailing upgrades? For example, when I arrive at the port seeing how much of a price difference it would be to go from an inside to a balcony cabin? Just wondering if they would cut you a deal then (it would seem in the cruiselines interest to try).
most cruise lines have sophisticated inventory yield management systems Like the airlines) in place that will ensure maxium revenue return prior to the sailing so the chances of a departure day going to the pursor desk upgrade doesn't usually happen..it's what referred to on these site as the "fairy upgrade". you will see a sign on the pursor's desk that says ship is sold out even when it isn't (they hold a few cabins in their pockets for emergencies i.e. moving someone in case there is a problem they cannot fix in the cabin)
your best bet is to build up "repeat cruiser " points so you'll be upgrade prior to your check in so when you do check in you will receive a pleasent surprise
You can usually get a better price on an upgrade on the day you sail then you can get if you book it early or try to change to another cat. after you book. Just know what the cost is of an upgrade before you go. When you get to check in and there's an upgrade available, you'll know if it is worth the cost.
Be aware, however, that for many sailings the ship really is full when they say it is full. Ships are not like hotels with only 70% occupancy any given night. Most ships sail at 100% occupancy these days. If you really want a better cabin, the best bet is to book early and pay for it. If you aren't picky, book a guarantee.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.