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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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Default Wait for last minute deals?

I am planning a weekend retreat for May. Want to know if I should book now or do prices drop as the date gets nearer. I heard once that as the date of departure gets closer the cruise lines lower prices as last minute deals. Is this true and if so is it worth it?

thanks
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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In the UK we would think booking now for May was pretty last minute!! The theory is that people book things then pull out when it comes to pay, typically 12 weeks before departure. We are thinking about booking late in the future though, trouble is you get less choice then.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svanda View Post
I am planning a weekend retreat for May. Want to know if I should book now or do prices drop as the date gets nearer. I heard once that as the date of departure gets closer the cruise lines lower prices as last minute deals. Is this true and if so is it worth it?

thanks
The risk of waiting is that it is possible there will be no available space in the category you want or the locations aren't very good.

The next possibility is that the price may actually be higher. If the demand is up the price goes up.

The best rule is: "If you see a cruise that you want and the price is within your budget then book it.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 17th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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The waiting game can make you crazy. Booking a cruise at a comfortable price for you, getting your cabin where you prefer, to my mind is much less stressful, then rolling the dice,and ending up with, perhaps a bit more money in your pocket, but, naybe not, and, in a cabin you would never have chosen.....

A gambler might disagree with me though..
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:36 PM
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I booked a cruise today for March 6th. We are on a "guarantee" booking which means we will either get the cabin we paid for or an upgrade. I have done this in the past and the Upgrade Fairy has never produced. !
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Old January 17th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Our last cruise was booked 13 months prior to sailing .Our prior cruise was booked 6 weeks prior to sailing .We were offered upgrades on both .
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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svanda, if you see a cruise that you want, book it now, and watch the pricing as your departure date gets closer, if the price goes down, inform your travel agent, or if you didn't use a travel agent, call the cruiseline and most times they will honor the price, they want to sail with a full ship, they don't make money on unsold cabins
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svanda View Post
I am planning a weekend retreat for May. Want to know if I should book now or do prices drop as the date gets nearer. I heard once that as the date of departure gets closer the cruise lines lower prices as last minute deals. Is this true and if so is it worth it?

thanks
The cruise that we just completed , the price went up as cruise date

approached. Regional discounts where available for some area

Example California for the Mexican cruise.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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I don't associate a weekend retreat with cruising. If you want a short 3-4 day cruise on a weekend you better book it if your 'planning'.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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If you just want to cruise .... and you are not picky about when/were/what .... then I would wait, but be willing to accept whatever happens. If you must go to a particular ship/sailing then I would book as soon as you get your best deal.


My new plan .... is to book airfare as soon as the flights come out, generally getting the best deal. I book with SW, so if the fares drop, I get that back in credit (if I rebook my airfare at the lower rate).

So what I would do is ... figure out what ports have the most options for the sailing when you want it. Ideally, you should have at least 2-3 ships to pick from. Book your airfaire and then wait for the last minute deals.

Many cabins do open up as soon as "final payment" is due. This may vary by line.

You should be able to snake a deal. If you can't, be prepared to book a hotel near the port, and enjoy a relaxing stay at a hotel instead.

I would use this approach when it is just DH and I wanting a weekend getaway for a 4nt or 5 nt cruise. If it were spring break for example, I would book early using the traditional booking methods.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doopydozer View Post
The cruise that we just completed , the price went up as cruise date

approached. Regional discounts where available for some area

Example California for the Mexican cruise.
Sometimes waiting backfires. My booking is in April, booked at $435, it is now $680.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 09:08 AM
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Now that the US Dollar seems to be losing to world currencies expect that
cruise prices will have to slowly climb to cover the extra cost , especially in Europe.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:27 PM
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If you have to book airline tickets also, waiting for the best cruise price could be offset by airfare. The less time you have for catching a good airfare could offset the cruise savings.
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