I am a total landlubber(lol) planning to take my first cruise. Thanks to this site, I have been able to narrow down my cruiseline choices and to be prepared financially for all the sucharges, hidden costs, unexpected costs etc. plus all the other wealth of information on this site. Now my question is how far ahead should I book a cruise? Ok, for the record, I live in Miami and their is no need for air travel since I am in between the Port of Miami and Port Everglades. I am looking from now a cruise in September or October 2011 when rates are much lower. Some people have told me to give a deposit a year early to take advantage of an early booking rate - especially on new ship like the RCCL Allure or the NCL EPIC and others told me to wait for last minute deals - any ideas guys?
First a lot depends on your comfort level . If you willing to except what cabin is available the book closer. If you want a certain cabin on a certain deck then book further out. There are fewer and fewer last minute deals om cruises. Cruise costs can go up or down at anytime. Most not all cruise lines will lower your cruise fare when it goes down ,IF you ask for it (or your travel agent)
SS Ithaca , Volendam , Mariner of the Seas (x2) , Veendam , Coral Princess , Island Princess (x3) , Emerald Princess,Sapphire Sapphire (x3),Diamond Princess
Welcome to the wonderful world of cruising!! While the information given by the other posters are all good to know, you being a first time cruiser really don't know what your likes would be in cabin placement, so I would suggest that booking far out at this time wouldn't really benefit you.
If there is no preference of cruise line or cruise itinerary, I would suggest selecting a couple of dates that would work well for you and calling the cruise lines the week that the cruise is supposed to sail. I have heard that many really great deals can be had booking a cruise that way because the cruise lines do not like to leave rooms empty when they leave port. I have heard of people even walking up the day the cruise is to sail and getting really great deals.
I would suggest taking a shorter cruise to start with to see if you really like cruising and then going on longer ones from there. With you living in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area you are in great shape to cruise when and where you want to go!!
Live life to the fullest because tomorrow may never come!
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
Carnival Splendor Feb 15
Thanks everyone for your input! I will take the advice of "Truck Cruiser" and book a shorter cruise to start first - the only catch is I have seen the type of cruisers on those short trips (especially Carnival!) and let's put it this way...I don't want to be in an enclosed space with them! But I will explore other lines...thanks everyone again!!!