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Old June 9th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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Default How far ahead

Do you book your cruises...have a chance to book a cruise on the Freedom of the Seas for August 2007...Miami,San Juan,St Thomas I think are the stops...any suggestions or ideas?have sailed one other time with RC so not sure if I should book directly with them or a travel agent or an online website...thanks for all your help
kitty
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Old June 10th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: How far ahead

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeana
Do you book your cruises...have a chance to book a cruise on the Freedom of the Seas for August 2007...Miami,San Juan,St Thomas I think are the stops...any suggestions or ideas?have sailed one other time with RC so not sure if I should book directly with them or a travel agent or an online website...thanks for all your help
kitty
If you asking how far ahead we book, I can tell you that I just booked the Jewel OTS for the October, 2007 repositioning cruise from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale.

As for booking, we have booked our last dozen or so cruises with an agency in Arkansas. Excellent service and prices. If you want the name of the company, PM me, and I will furnish more info.
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Old June 10th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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We book our cruises as soon as the itineraries are released by RCI. For example we are already booked on Voyager of the Seas sailing out of Galveston in January 2008.
In fact, TA's can book cruises 24 hours before they are even listed on the internet. We do the research, and have the TA do the booking. That way we can reserve the exact cabin we want on a particular ship.

If the prices go down after we book, we just call our TA and request a credit from RCI.

LL
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Old June 11th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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We also book early to get access to preferred cabins. We like adjoining cabins so we can keep our family together. These are somewhat limited so it works to our advantage to book as intineraries are released. We also like to use FF miles to get to the ship so that is another incentive to book early.


Lightsluvr - how do you track price changes? Is this something your travel agent does on your behalf?
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Old June 12th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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We book around 6 - 10 months in advance. You can choose the cabin you want, usaually get a great price and you have longer to pay it off if you want. Booking early is a great way to budget your cruise. You can not only pay it off over a longer time, you can also put spending money aside for a longer time. If you're like me, I don't save for the spending money until I've booked my cruise. We do have a special savings account just for our cruises. We know if we put a min. of $20.00 a week (each) in this account, we can have a balcony cruise on a 7 day or longer cruise within a year.
As far as where to book: On RCL, using a TA or online booking doesn't make much difference. RCL doesn't allow TA discounting so prices should be the same across the board.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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cabins on the Freedom are going fast and furious. We booked our cabin for the April 2007 sailing in Feb of 2006 and there were only three cabins left on the deck and catagory that we wanted. We always use a travel agent, so much less hassle.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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We booked Hawaii for Oct 07 on "Serenade" the day it opened (third week of May I think it was) and it was showing all categories as "NA" yesterday. Exception, not the rule, but shows what CAN happen. We like specific cabin locations plus we like to save money so we usually book early. Also "onboard bookings" with "shipboard credit" benefit us because we have a T/A that actively looks for discounts up until the final payment. He isn't shy about applying them while making sure we retain our onboard credit. Find a T/A you trust to work for YOU (what a concept huh?) and happy deal hunting, Robbie
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Old June 12th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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We used to book 3 months in advance when we first started cruising. Not anymore. Too many folks gobble up the cabins as soon as the itn comes out. We now look at least a year ahead to get the category and cabin that we want.

I looked at the FOS with TAs online and the RCI site. So far I cannot find any difference in price. What some TAs are doing is giving you a shipboard credit or a free tour or something like that.

So, I would book any crusie that you like as soon as you can. You can always change your mind and cancel it and take another one (within the 90 days before sailing.)
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Old June 12th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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We use to think that booking 3-6months in advance was plenty of time.
HA! Now we book a year to 14 months in advance (or as soon as the cabins/itinararies are released)

Booking a good year in advance is NOT to early, besides it gives you something to look forward to!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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My wife likes to plan, so we book cruises whenever she sees something she likes. We just booked Jewel of the Seas for January 2008.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:05 PM
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we always book as soon as the dates open up to get the cabins we like--& this time we got a bonus discount for booking so sooon--it is a special offer that was advertised in the mail but will be applied automatically if you book right away--may still be time to grab one! It's great mental health to have a few booked ahead so you know that eventually the sail date will be coming around! Can't see any down side--can always cancel if there is a need to...
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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Just booked my first cruise last week and would like to book a longer 7day cruise for next year or 2008.

Is there any set time that certain months cruises get released for purchase. (I notice that currently they only have through April or May 2008 on the RCCL and Carnival websites.)

Do they release 3 or 4 months at a time, or just sporadically with no ryhme or reason?

Mostly curious because I would love to book a longer cruise for September 2008 and would love to know when those dates will be available to purchase.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bill
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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We also have a December, 2007 cruise booked on Mariner of the Seas. Wanted to also make sure we could pick our cabin, and there are a few couples going this time, so it lets everyone have enough time to save some money.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: How far ahead

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeana
Do you book your cruises...have a chance to book a cruise on the Freedom of the Seas for August 2007...Miami,San Juan,St Thomas I think are the stops...any suggestions or ideas?have sailed one other time with RC so not sure if I should book directly with them or a travel agent or an online website...thanks for all your help
kitty
For us, we book our next cruise with the RCCL loyalty ambassador while on our current cruise. Since we always cruise the same time every year, we end up booking 12 months out. I don't know about other cruise lines, but doing this on RCCL they give you two discounts; one off the cruise price and two a credit towards your shipboard account on the upcomming cruise.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Booking Freedom is somewhat of an artform. To get the absolute best rates, you need to book as soon as itineraries are released. That window has now elapsed.

It's generally a pricey ship to sail, and as final payment approaches, many early bookers transfer their cruise dollars to other ships when they do cost-comparisons. In otherwords, people are booking early, jacking up prices, and cancelling at the last minute.

Looking at the trends of the past few months (FR is only on her 4th sailing), many cabins open up, and prices drop significantly around 1-2 weeks after final payment (although they have not been dropping down as low as ultra-early booking rates).

My advice (and what I have done personally for the Dec 3 sailing) is to book a cabin that you can afford at the current rates. After final payment, watch for new cabins to open up, and for price drops...especially "guarantee cabin" rates, and then switch.

If you book directly with RCI, this switch is easy to make. If you book through a TA, find out what their policies are for changing bookings after final payment is made...some charge a fee to do this, which will wipe out any savings.

BUT...definitely book! She's a ship to experience for sure!!
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