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Old September 16th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Default Just wondering....

Why do some of you make cruise plans so far in advance, like a year or more. I have trouble planning anything that is farther out than 3 or 4 months. I can't imagine knowing what we will be doing in 6 months much less a year from now to even thing about planning anything. What is the advantage to booking so far in advance?? I was just curious, that's all.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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There are several reasons I plan way in advance. I love the anticipation of an upcoming trip. I can study the deck plans and pick the specific cabin I want, and it is usually available. I can pay for the trip at my convenience. There have been times when circumstances got in the way of my plans and I just roll with the punches and reschedule. That has proven to be the exception, however.

I am just itching to book another cruise right now, but I am the primary caregiver to my 100 year old MIL, so I am not certain how to plan it at this time. I will know when the time is right, though.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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The only reason I can give you is that it works for us.I can see where there would be drawbacks because things do happen.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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Certainly if you want a specific cabin, like the aft facing cabins on the stern, you most often need to book them early.

Also, price is often very good very early on, then rise as the sailing gets closer, then drop again inside of 30 days.

A good example is our CruiseMates New Years Group cruise on the Century. When we started booking this group prices began @$500. Later these cabins, if you could get one, went up to $1500.

For many, I think another main reason would be having to book their time off from work early on.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Better prices, Deposit is refundable, and I love the anticipation. We usally go early spring, and when I'm shoveling snow in Feb. it's nice to dream of St Thomas
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Old September 16th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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All of the reasons that have been memtioned so far. We also like to pay as you go, budget the total price divide by the months and pay each month a little at a time. not a big shock when the bills arrive around the holidays. That is what we did for the new years cruise, now it is paid in full
We like to book a long way out to make it easier for our pm to schedule around us.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 08:43 PM
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This was the first time Trevor booked so far in advance--I think it was Feb and the cruise is the 3rd week in November. However, as the others said, the balance is paid, along with the 3 excursions we booked, so we're free and clear there. We have to pay it off in advance because the ship expenses themselves add up during that week.

That being said, I think we'll go back to our September/October timetable next year. This has been a LONG wait for us!!

Lynne
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Old September 16th, 2006, 11:44 PM
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So, if I booked a cruise a year in advance and made payments on it and then something happened that I had to cancel before that final payment was due, I would get a refund or reschedule for a different date? Are the rates that much cheaper if you book really early? What is the earliest that you can book a cruise, one year or longer?? The next item on my 4 most wanted vacations is an Alaskan cruise....so should I book that cruise one year in advance to get good rates and good room selection?
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Old September 17th, 2006, 12:23 AM
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We book as soon as possible once schedules came out. First, we want to get the cheapest cabin. Second, we need to book at least 11 months in advance in order to get frequent flyer tickets. We have a group that we often travel with. For our recent Alaska cruise, the cruise was chosen and bookings readied before schedules were even published. Therefore, most of the group was able to book the same deck.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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I never book closer than 6 Months. If is a new ship you must go on with a certain cabin then do it. The Prices are not cheaper in any other circumstance. they are actually more then and get cheaper as time goes.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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since cruising has become so popular, lots of cruises sell-out. If you want a certain cabin catagory its a good idea to book in advance. The budget is also a big plus in booking early.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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I work for a non- profit org and I have to plan way out as does my DW.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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We like to book way in advance because it's easier to pay for, PLUS we get double reward points on our NCL card each time we make a payment which equals into money off our final payment of our cruise (if we are doing NCL of course). We like to take the months leading up to our cruise to research excursions and islands. And, it's cheaper to book way out (unless you find a good last min deal). We always buy the insurance for that "Just in case". And no, not all cruiselines insurances are the same. Last year we did NCL and if we had to cancel it would have been 80% refunded as credit towards our next cruise (which is better then nothing!) We were looking into celebrity too, and thiers would have been 90% CASH refund. Be sure and read the fine print, just what do they allow for you to cancel and get refunded. And if it's still confusing, call them and ask!!!
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Old September 18th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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We plan about a year in advance because my DH requires a handicap-accessible cabin.
Since there are only a handful of these available on any given ship [in relation to "standard" cabins], and since there are some unscrupulous folks who book HC cabins when they don't need them [for the extra space], we are pretty much forced into booking a year out.

Even then, we sometimes get our third choice as far as the week we can go. Those cabins get booked up fast. It's unfortunate. It would be lovely to have the luxury of being able to book almost any cabin on the ship!
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Old September 18th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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we book a year in advance because we can get a good price and it gives
me time to save the money i will need
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Old September 18th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Yes, yes, yes and yes to all the above posts.

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Old September 18th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Are the prices that much better by booking that far in advance? What is usually the earliest that a cruise can be booked, one year or longer? If I'm looking for something as far away as the summer of 2008 when do I start looking for what I want?
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Old September 18th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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I work for LAPD and we put our vacation requests in in November, soooo we have to choose a good time for our vacations! Although almost EVERY week comes up as being available during the year except for around Christmas and New Years, so we're used to planning way in advance.....
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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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This is our first time to plan so far in advanced. So far I have learned that I can pick the cabin I have always wanted, but was never available.

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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big D
I never book closer than 6 Months. If is a new ship you must go on with a certain cabin then do it. The Prices are not cheaper in any other circumstance. they are actually more then and get cheaper as time goes.
Gotta respectfully disagree with you, BigD. Prices typically go up, up, up. The days of the last minute, 2 days before a cruise, cheap rates are over.

And it's not even a matter of a specific cabin. Ships are sailing full these days, so often the category cabin you might want is completely booked months and months before the cruise.

On my last cruise, I had decided to splurge at the last minute and upgrade to a junior suite on SOS. I had an oceanview booked way in advance and though that 3 months out I would have no trouble upgrading. Not so - no jr suites available!

And yes, as long as you change your mind before the final payment is made you can get your money refunded or switch it to another date.

Plus, yes, it's FUN to know that far in advance that you have a cruise coming up.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:38 AM
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I rspectfully respect your respectful dis-agreeing

It would depend on the cruise and sail dates. I am sailing on CCL Elation 10-28, I booked in June for $279 inside. I have been moved up twice and have been given on board credits twice. I am now outside Empress for $249

CCL started the Sept/Oct promotion today in which inside are $199 and outside $219 Unfortunately I can't get credit for that reduction as is for new bookings only. If my past guest rate or resident rate falls again I can get more credits.

In the 90's CCL changed their strategy to the earlier you book with Super Saver the cheaper it was. After 9/11 they reverted back to reducing price untill the ship is full. And yes the ships do sail full.

But if I want a certain ship I book as early as possible, especially a new ship which is sure to sell out at higher prices. But the statement that the earlier you book the cheaper it is, is not true on all sailings.

Hope I respectfully explained my thinking

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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big D
I rspectfully respect your respectful dis-agreeing

It would depend on the cruise and sail dates. (snip)

Hope I respectfully explained my thinking

Big D
You did, Big D! And I agree it depends on the sailings. There are definately sailings which go "on sale" just like there are sales at your local dept. store.

I'm just not sure I agree that the strategy has changed. I think the "sales" are ships that for whatever reason haven't sold by a certain time. I have just felt, both from research on my own and listening to the old salts talk here on the board that most of the ships have lower rates further out, or at least the ones I've sailed.

Just ask my TA. I drive her crazy constantly checking prices once I've booked!

dorothy
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