I am looking to go on a cruise next May to possibly the Carribean or Mexico. What would be the best time to book a balcony room with the best price and best price and possible upgrades included? This would be my wife and I's first cruise.
My family and I always try to book a year in advance (after paying the deposit, it gives us time to save money in our special cruise bank for the balance). If you are going to use a TA, pay them a visit to zone in on the time you want to cruise, itinerary, preferred cruise line, etc., and ask them to advise you of any special deals available. If you register online with the cruise lines, they will send you emails advising you of any specials coming up. Carnival just had a big promotion last week. I always use a TA and even after I have booked a cruise, they always advise me when the price goes down and adjust my final invoice and have upgraded me whenever possible. I think the larger Travel Agencies who do a lot of cruise bookings can get you the best prices because they deal in volume. When you book early you have an opportunity to reserve the stateroom of your choice and on the deck you want.
We book our cruises any where from 6 months to a year in advance. We ususally get better prices and have a greater selection of cabins to pick from. So - I guess now would be a good time to start looking, at least. I would want to lock in the price before fuel prices increase again!
I usually do my best about 6 months to a year in advance too. Once you get closer to sailing the cabin availability gets much more limited.
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
the best time to book a cruise is when you have the cash in hand (smile)..I say that as a joke and somewhat tongue in cheek but my experience has been when I had the cash in advance and was waiting for a "deal", something always comes up that I had to spend the money and if and when a deal came I did not have the cash or had to consider putting it on a credit card that was not american express (i always pay with my "ax" card when the cash is in the bank so when it clears at the end of the month, i get my "ax" points