Has anyone ever made an extremely last minute booking? We are looking at taking the 1/3/04 Constellation cruise out of San Juan. Unfortunately, a house sale was delayed and we won't know if it's going to be reschedule to the week of the cruise until a few days before. We probably won't make our decision until 12/30 - only 4 days before the cruise, including the holiday.
I'm worried that if we do book, it's going to be more of a hassle getting arrangements settled. Am I asking for trouble?
Also, I see that the ship doesn't leave San Juan until 11pm. Does anyone know what time you actually have to be at the dock? Or the latest time to get there? I may have to reserve the airfare before the actual cruise so I want to be sure I'm getting there at the right time.
Your house comes first. Suggest that you book a cruise when you feel more comfortable.
You can board the ship from 11:00am onward but you have to be on board at least 1 hour before sailing.
And what if your plane is cancelled, or delayed, why take the chance....If you book your flight thru the cruise line and you are delayed, it is up to them to make good, but if you do it on your own, and something goes wrong, it is out of your pocket.
Please, please, please heed above about insurance! We cruised with a group in November and I know from experience that the group leader recommended insurance . One lady was not able to gft off work at the last minute; and, since she had not purchased the insurance, was out the entire price of the cruise with NOTHING to show for it.
Thanks for the advice. Things with his house are still up in the air but moving. I've been told by Celebrity that we can book at the very last minute and get the documents at the port. There's a chance, a slight chance, that the closing would be on this Friday but it will probably be the following week during the cruise. So, odds are I'll be sitting home next week instead of enjoying myself on a cruise. I guess I'm glad I didn't book this two months ago, but I really had my hopes up high. I've had a stressful year and won't be able to take a full week off until June (Accounting work). Oh well - I've been on 4 cruises in just as many years and there's been a disaster story for each (hospitalization day before cruise, flat on the way to airport, huricane at departure airport combined with trop storm on cruise, major argument with travel companions, horrible service). Yet I still love to cruise and wish I could go next week!
I did find out from Celebrity that the ship doesn't leave San Juan until 11pm and boarding doesn't start until 6pm. Seems kinda late to me - no dinner?? Any insights??
Good news - we made the last minute booking on 12/31 for the 1/3 Constellation and it was a success. My friend signed all the paperwork with his lawyer on 12/31 and the house closed while we were in Antigua - how's that for perfect!
We used frequent flyer points for roundtrip first-class airfare and booked the concierge class cabin which was wonderful. So it was a great week!
FYI - I've read that many don't think the concierge class is worth it and I can understand that depending on what features they might or might not use. But we loved it. Not only were we able to get a full (not continental) breakfast every morning out on the balcony, we were able to specify the exact time, not just a 1/2 hour window. Our cabin steward would call one minute before bringing it in and we'd eat in our robes out on the balcony with fresh flowers. He was always exact with the time, which helped us to make our tours with full stomachs. We always had fresh flowers and a fresh fruit basket each morning and petit fours before dinner. When we got on board, we had a bottle of champagne in the room and got to choose our pillows off of a pillow menu. I'm not sure if it was a function of the concierge class, but our dinner table also had concierge class passengers or well-seasoned Celebrity cruises. We received a hand delivered note stating that on one night our table would include a "principal ship officer". It was the 2nd Engineer - we had a wonderful time with him and he kept ordering different wines for the table to enjoy.
Concierge also comes with other perks like priorty boarding, disembarking and tendering. And you get little perks like upgraded toiletries and towels, use of binoculars, and (what I love) personalized stationary.
Except for a few mishaps on tours in Grenada and Casa De Campo, the cruise was a wonderful experience and I'm glad we to the chance to book it so late.