We are seriously considering the Oct 5, 2005 cruise on the Grand of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles. When should we book it. If we book now I'm afraid we won't get the best "deal". What are the advantages of booking this early versus until waiting until later and saving some $$$$?
We always book early 9 to 12 months ahead. The advantages are , if you want traditional dining you will get it(usaully) and if you want a specific cabin or catergory you will get it ( usaully) and the price doesn't matter because as it drops closer to sailing time( but BEFORE final payment time) you can get a price adjustment or an upgrade.
On our last cruise ( April on the Golden) we booked in June last year. As the price dropped we phoned our ta and got a BETTER cabin ( booked a BF got a BA) plus 250 dollars price reduction. We could have gotten an upgrade to a mini siute from the balcony cabin we booked , but, we chose the money instead!
When you book last minute you can get a good price but, you won't have as many choices as to cabin cat. and location. And forget traditional dining, there is always a waiting list for it once you get within a few months. (Mind you we chose to try PC dining and LOVED it)
Plus last but not least there is the fun and anticipation of having a cruise booked and doing all the research on your ports of call, and meeting others online who will be on the same cruise as you!!
I agree completely with pg. We have always booked at least 10 months in advance and have been able to get a price and/or cabin adjustment each time. We also book through "future cruise sales" while onboard. You can either reserve a specific cruise and pay only $100 down per person (plus get From $25 - $150 per person onboard credit) or you can do an open booking for the same deposit and credit - with the open booking you have 4 years to book the cruise of your choice (deposit is completely refundable if you decide not to book). The credit is in addition to any other credits that your TA or the cruise lines may offer.
If you do book in advance, I'd recommend you watch the prices fairly frequently. My TA has caught the changes some of the time but I have found them first other times.