We're going on NCL's Pride of Aloha from 3/5-3/15/08, but we were wondering what the best time to book our cruise would be. I noticed that the rates are much lower for closer sailings and we are trying to save as much money as possible. Please help!
It is a crap shoot. If you want a certain cabin/category, it **MIGHT** not be available if you wait until the 90 day mark or less.
However, if you really don't care what cabin you get, there are usually some left overs close to booking that can be had for a really low price.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
Remember that you have to get to Hawaii and often times desirable flights are booked well in advance.
Irish is right that it is a crap shoot, which can go either way. I've gotten good quotes then fooled around and waited a few weeks and the rate was much higher. Then again, I've gotten some downright steals at the last minute. But . . . having said all that, since you are booking a cruise a long way from home and now that NCLA has reduced its fleet size by half I'd bet prices are going up not down on this cruise.
For what it's worth, our gang is going on the PoAm on 4/5/08 and the price from two weeks ago is up by almost $100 on the same cabin. I got booked early but our friends waited and will pay a bit more.
Who knows what people booking later will pay. Maybe more, maybe less. If you book now and the price goes down prior to final payment, and if you've been diligent about keeping an eye on the cruise rate, you can get the lower rate. When I made final payment last week for Alaska my TA notified me that the rate on our cabins was down $90. Pretty nice since they had added $50/person for the newly adopted Alaskan Cruise Tax.
I third the remarks above: example, in fact I have 2, a few years ago we were planning my granddaughters wedding aboard a cruise ship. As soon as the date was set and the ship selected I held several cabins at XXX rate. Yes, the rates went down about a month later and we were able to get the better rates or upgrade. Thank goodness we moved fast because with in a few months the rates were higher than our first quote. second example: I am doing a church group cruise on the Star this coming Sept. I held the cabins under a group listing in Feburary. All the balconies I held are sold and the best we can get now would be $250 more than the first ones, this is true with the rest of the held cabins as well. No, the prices do not always go down closer to sailing. Hold as soon as you are certain what you want, have your TA watch the rates and if they do drop prior to the final payment you will be able to take advantage of the lower rates.
My TA called me today to check on other members of our group from whom he has not heard. As of today the price for our BA balcony is up $150 per person from what i booked it at. As I suspected, supply and demand in the market is acting per usual. Less cabins = more dollars.