Just like the time of year when cruising reaches its peak of popularity, between January and April, is known as "Wave Season," the autumn season that precedes wave season is called "Value Season," and it is right around the corner.
Value season comes when few people are planning a vacation. They are planning for returning to normal life after the summer break, plus just starting to think about the holidays. Value Season values are always most pronounced in years when the economy is bad and cruise sales are low in general - like this year.
I jus went out and found a bunch of values this autumn - Caribbean cruises from $399, for example.
Is anyone already booked this fall season, and are prices going higher or lower at the last minute?
Here is what I found:
For seven-day cruises,the newer ships from NCL, not including Norwegian Epic of course, fill up the top 20+ spots. New Yorkers can leave from the Manhattan pier and sail directly to Port Canaveral, Florida, and on to the Bahamas and NCL's private Island on either Norwegian Gem or Jewel. The starting price is just $399.
Norwegian Spirit sails on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise from New Orleans to Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan and Cozumel for $399 to $429 on several dates this autumn.
Norwegian Pearl, one of my favorite NCL ships (and one of the newest before Epic), sails the same route as Spirit but leaving from Miami for as little as $429. Even better, all of these NCL cruises qualify for varying amounts of shipboard credit depending on the category you select.
Norwegian Spirit also has two October cruises (10-2 and 10-16) sailing out of Quebec City down the St. Lawrence Seaway starting at just $449 per person. This trip also qualifies for shipboard credit of up to $250 per person.
MSC Poesia sails from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel for a little as $479 per person on December 5th, 2010.
Celebrity Summit sailing out of San Juan to St. Croix, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago. It starts at just $499 per person with a free coupon book and up to $200 in shipboard credit. Another itinerary Summit takes for the same price is RT San Juan to St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Johns, St. Lucia and Barbados.
Here is a killer bargain; Liberty of the Seas going for as little as $479 per person this Sept. 26. Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and to the beach at Labadee.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Hi Paul , Indeed fall is the best time for cruise bargain-hunters ! I am booked on HAL's Niew Amsterdam Mediterranean cruise departing from Venice on Oct.6th . I found this 32-day repositioning cruise on V.-to-Go advertised at $3599 and I got a fare reduction for their inside stateroom at $3399. I am really looking forward to visit Italy , Greece , Monaco , Spain & Portugal before crossing the Atlantic ! It will be my first visit to these countries and crossing the Atlantic by sea . We will even have a day in the Bahamas before getting off in Ft. Lauderdale . Is anyone interested in going and maybe sharing a stateroom ? Let me know and send me an Email if you are . . . Lane
I have sailed in October, many times, and have always enjoyed it. The value is definately there, and leaving jacket weather at home, to head for the balmy Caribbean, is wonderful.
Only once in all my fall cruises, did we even have a glimmer of a hurricane issue, and although we did miss a port, to fill up with fuel, in case we would have to add a day or two, at sea..it didn't come to pass.
I would encourage value minded cruisers to take a close look at all the savings, associated with Value Season..Happy Sales
I am booked on the 10/30 sailing of the Epic.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Last edited by Trip; August 9th, 2010 at 07:32 PM.
We have done a cruise late October for the last three years....celebrating our anniversary. It is so nice to have a mainly adult population on the ship, and the few kids we have seen were just enough to get a quick smile from their antics. Also after watching our grandkids for a ear, it's nice to have some time just for us.
We do, however, make sure to take care of the trick or treaters before we go away!
We have a done a few in Oct but this year will be cruising the Sat after Thanksgiving. The price was real good. Of course from that weekend until the weekend before Christmas is usually great price and time. Since we can cruise anytime during the year we usually do choose times when the ships won't have so many children on but we have never had any problems with the kids.
Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014
I have 2 booked for this fall. September 11 for Carnival Liberty and then November 28th for Sensation. Looking forward to both.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
I am a bargain hunter. I have sailed a lot in October, BUT that's also one of of the prettiest months in central Texas so it has to be a good value. September is still hot so that's a good month for me to sail.
I have found that the 1st two weeks of November and the 1st two week of December are the best dates for cruise values.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
CruiseMates Forum Moderator
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Navigator of the Seas-Caribbean-3/23/2014, Carnival Freedom-Caribbean-5/10/2014, Carnival Freedom-Caribbean-5/18/2014, Carnival Sunshine-Caribbean-5/30/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014
We are booked on the Ruby Princess for Nov. 14th. Our daughter and her husband booked Ruby for Oct. 24 to celebrate their 10th anniversary while we watch their dog! We got great prices and perks and looking forward to our cruise.......Yeah Autumn Sale Season!
The Cruisemates Allure of the Seas is looking good, too.....we are thinking about that. We had such a nice time on our last Cruisemates Group Cruise (Celebrity Soltice's 2nd trip out-Nov. 30, 2008).
BTY: We love working with Crown Cruise Vacations....!
We almost always cruise in the fall. Our very first cruise was for our honeymoon which was in October, and we have taken a cruise virtually every October since to celebrate our anniversery. We are booked for our annual anniversery cruise in about 6 weeks on the Voyager OTS in Europe. I am also sailing on the Carnival Spirit in November.
Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
We are booked on Solstice for September for the Eastern/Southern itinerary. Then again on Solstice in late October for the Western itinerary.
Because we booked both prior to the new booking/price reduction policy, we have been told that we are in effect "grandfathered". In fact, when the price of our AQ cabin dropped $500 after final payment (the September cruise), our TA got us $500 OBC from Celebrity. That plus a few $$$$ OBC from the TA that remained after the price drops gives us a tidy sum to work with. We have yet to see if there will be a price drop for the October sailing, and if we can get that as OBC.
We have sailed twice in the Fall. Once on AOS out of Puerto Rico in early October, 2008, and then last year (mid-October) on Infinity through the Panama Canal (East to West). We had some rain on the AOS cruise, but then it's the rainy season then. One of the ports it rained was Aruba. Ever try to buy an umbrella in Aruba?
Now if only Mother Nature cooperates and keeps the storms away....
We have two 3 day cruises booked in late Oct., on the Majesty and the Liberty. This is my quest for Diamond status, after the Liberty I go up a notch. Book cruises we have JS. The latter one is over my birthday.
11-1974 To 03-1978 U.S.S. Saratoga CV-60
08-2000 Sovereign Of The Seas- Bahamas
06-2002 NCL Sky- Alaska
10-2004 Majesty Of The Seas- Bahamas
10-2006 Majesty Of The Seas- Bahamas
12-2006 Enchantment Of The Seas- Western Carib.
05-2008 Monarch Of The Seas- Baja Mexico
09-2009 NCL Sky- Bahamas
03-2010 Celebrity Century- Western Carib.
10-2010 Majesty Of The Seas- Bahamas
10-2010 Liberty Of The Seas- Coco Cay
11-2010 Freedom Of The Seas- Labadee, Haiti
11-2010 Monarch Of The Seas- Bahamas
My D/W and I, being empty nesters, always try to sail when cruise prices are cheapest. Nov/Dec, before christmas, are always great fares.
Our upcoming cruise on the Carnival Miracle on Dec 5th was booked last February just before Carnival increased their prices. What we paid for an aft balcony most people are paying for a regular balcony right now, amazing how the prices skyrocketed on this cruise. My cousin and his wife was going to sail with us but couldn't afford it when we booked. They always get an inside cabin but when they went to book discovered the price had jumped over $200.00 per person for their inside cabin compared to what it would of cost if they had booked when we did. I realize that this is a new 8 day itinerary but WOW, I couldn't believe how much a cruise, for that time of the year, increased so much.
Yes, the Fall sailing season is for the most part, the cheapest time to sail.
Women were made to love, money was made to spend. Life is something buddy, you'll never live again.
from the song..."Joe sure knows how to live" by Eddie Raven.
Carribean Princess 07
Carnival Valor 08
Carnival Holiday 08
Carnival Triumph 09
Island Princess 09
Carnival Miracle 10
Norwegian Pearl 11
Norwegian Sun 13
Independence of the Seas Feb 14
The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) and I are booked on "Legend" for our annual family reunion cruise on September 26th. GREAT price to start with,,,took one dip, so we got a small OBC, but now it's climbing again. We're also sailing with R.D. aboard the beautiful "Miracle" in November, where we'll be performing our long overdue duet. (Probably "Summer Nights".) Be there or be square!
We are! We are! We're doing the Carnival Splendor September 26th Mexican Riviera out of Long Beach so that we can drive and save money. We've booked an inside cabin, even though we love a balcony. We weren't going to do any cruise this year since funds are so hard to come by. I am the office manager of a window manufacturing company in the Phoenix, AZ area, and the construction industry has suffered a huge downturn here. I'm into the third year now of making half of what I was before, so money is tight in our household, but we HAD to get away, so we're doing it on the cheap this time.
We have cruised in September at least 7 times that I can remember, and only once have we had a route change because of a hurricane. In 2007 we were supposed to do the exotic eastern Caribbean but because of Ike we did the western Caribbean instead. To us it was no big deal, and we really enjoyed some of the ports, but I couldn't believe the people who were complaining!