Originally Posted by Elaine515
My family, parents, 13 yr old daughter, two sisters, their husbands and all the nieces and nephews are leaving on the Imagination this coming Monday, August 13th.
Last night my sister tried really hard to convince my 17 yr old to go with them, along with myself & my husband...
Have you ever booked last minute, gotten a good deal, is there such a thing as a last minute good deal, and if so, where, thru who????
Well Hello Elaine from the other site
, this is your friend, the Captain. I will attach some info of how we ALWAYS cruise, maybe you or someone else on this site will find my hints in there useful:
THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF YOU ARE TOTALLY FLEXIBLE WITH
YOUR TRAVEL DATES & CAN TRAVEL AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE.
I'll share with you what has worked for us for the last 4-5 years or so.
We always and without fail book our cruises last-minute, with Carnival we
have booked as close as 24 hours before the sailing. I can also confirm
that with Princess, as recently as 3 months ago we booked within 48 hours
of sailing. You will hear people mention a 72-hour cut-off period because
of Homeland Security this and Homeland Security that, it's pure urban
legend and heresay.
Once again, this assumes you are flexible with your travel dates and are not
set on any particular itinerary/cruiseline, although our favorite is Carnival. If
you set yourself up on a given itinerary/cruiseline and things don't work
out, you will disappoint yourself.
Travelling in summer, around holidays and the like is not the best time
for last-minte deals. I find that mid Sept thru mid Dec and late Jan thru
early May are the best times for KILLER deals.
Be flexible to the point where you will walk away if the deal is not
working out, mark my words, there will be plenty of opportunities that
Cabin availability: You must be willing to accept whatever comes, mostly
it's insides, but hey, you are on the ship, so what the heck, why not! How
bad can that be? I'll take any day in an inside cabin on a cruiseship rather
than be home, even though I can look out of my window over the beautiful
San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California as I type this response. You
may be pleasantly surprised. It does not always happen but how about a
7-day NCL Alaska Balcony for $449 or a 7-day Costa Caribbean Balcony for
$296!!! Those are actual prices we paid and unlike some travel agents.,
the Captain's prices always include port charges and taxes/fess.
said, keep an open mind on this one too. Despite what you may hear, upgrades
do and WILL happen and yes, granted, it's the exception and not the rule.
Last year we cruised 6 times like this and so far this year, we have 4
under our belt, and it's still early August! You also have to realize
that if you need to fly to get to your cruise, then cheap last-minute
airfares might be easier said than done! But it is still a possibility,
last December we booked an 11-day Hawaiian Islands cruise from/to Honolulu
on the NCL Wind for $399 each, taxes/port charges included. Airfare from
LAX set us back a whopping $219 each, return, taxes/fees also included!
How can you beat that, 11 days Hawaii/Fanning Island for $618.00 each
inclusive of air and taxes, port charges and fees!
Also, make it a DAILY ritual to check out the various cruiselines/online
travel websites for "FLASH" promos, Resident specials and Last-Minute
deals. I scour like 8 different websites RELIGIOUSLY each and every day.
That website which allows agents to compete for your business is
also a good source, we have made some fantastic bargains using travel
agents from that site. And you better believe that the Captain ain't NO
BIG FAN of travel agents in general. But like everything else, there are
exceptions to the rule.
I tell you, give it time and you will find opportunities aplenty to cruise
at $50 daily, $40 daily and also as low as $30 daily, port charges/taxes
included. And oh, btw, let the cruiselines build bigger and bigger ships,
the more they build, the more opportunities we get to cruise for cheaper!
The 4 cruises we have taken so far this year have only cost us a TOTAL for
for the two of us of $4540 including port charges, taxes and fees. One of the
cruises involved a cross-country return flight (included in that total) while another
was a 20-day cruise out of Los Angeles to the Panama Canal and back to LA.
Just the Captain's take on the subject, others may very well beg to differ.
Happy cruising everyone