We had been looking for a last minute deal for Xmas week and after a lot of up and down prices being thrown at us, we were able to book the Valor yesterday. We have been cruising for many years and I am an admittedly "aggressive" shopper when it comes to travel. Never have I seen such a wild disparity in quotes for the same sailing. It seems that since Carnival removed the fuel surcharge, it has been trying to find a "level" that people are willing to pay. It was clear that when they lifted the surcharge, they immediately raised all of the cabin rates, in some cases by several hundred dollars. Obviously, they made it stick where they could get away with it and lowered them where there was resistance. To wit:
We booked 4A (inside guarantee) - 2 cabins. When I checked yesterday (12/5) morning, "posted" price (with all considerations....senior, resident discount...past passenger), the price was $649pp + taxes and port chgs. As I checked during the day, it continued to change, depending on which website you visited. It seemed to "bottom out" in the low - mid $500's. We ended up booking at what appears to have been the low price of the day as an inside guarantee, and almost immediately, we were assigned 2 cabins in 4E...which, had we selected initially, would have been in the $800pp range! Checking again this morning ( I just HAD to make sure that I got a good deal!), prices were in excess of $800 pp. Go figure....
At any rate, we are excited about our trip and look forward to our first time on the Valor and a couple of new ports for us (Belize and Roatan). My wife and I will be traveling with our two sons - 14 and 19. Now...all I have to do is find flights!
You will have a great time. I have always wanted to take a Christmas cruise.
Make sure you post a review and pictures when you get back.
Carnival Dream for Thanksgiving
Eastern Caribbean- 11/20/2010
Carnival Ecstasy (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2003
Carnival Pride (7 Day Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Spirit (8 Day Exotic Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Freedom (7 Day Western Caribbean) 2008
Carnival Elation (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2009
Carnival Spirit (7 Day Southbound Alaska) 2009
Given the "demographics," it might be fun to get together. My email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, a bunch of people who post of Cruise Critic are having a get together at 1 pm on Monday. While we have done a lot of cruising, we have never really participated in "group activities." That being said, it may definitely something to try this time.