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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:43 PM
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Default Winter Cruising

Anyone cruised in the off-season? What's the crowd been like? Any good or bad experiences?
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-Michael-
Teen Host
Past Cruises
CCL:
Carnivale (2/11/93)
Ecstasy (9/5/94)
Fantasy (2/20/00)
Fascination (8/26/00) (2/18/02)
Conquest (2/20/05)
Inspiration (8/18/07)
Liberty (3/15/08.)
Dream (3/3/12)
Sensation (8/19/12)
NCL:
Sea (2/22/03)
PCL:
Golden (2/14/04)
Caribbean (8/20/05)
Crown (3/5/11)
RCI:
Voyager (8/25/02)
Navigator (8/28/04)
Adventure (8/27/06)
Freedom (3/7/10)
Future
Carnival Pride (12/16/12)
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:16 PM
storybookcruises.com's Avatar
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Looking at the dates of your past cruises, you should be able to answer this question better than most.

But there are several "off-seasons" during the year. In fact, there are more off-season times than on-season times. And rates will always reflect when it's on-season and off season. So let's look at when the on-seasons are and the rest are off-season.

I'll be speaking generically because there are always exceptions to every rule and some areas are affected by off-season different than others. Basically, the on-season is anytime school is out of session. Christmas/New Years is the most expensive time of the year, followed by Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and the first several weeks of Summer vacation. Anytime outside of those 4 timeframes is generally off-season.

The 2nd/3rd week in September is one of the cheapest times of the year, pretty much most places you'd like to go, including Alaska and Europe. But it's especially true for the Caribbean because it's also the middle of hurricane season, which scares alot of people. This is when we like to travel because we get the best rates. Another really good time to cruise is the 1st/2nd week of December because people want to travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they're not thinking about traveling in between. Same holds true for the weeks following New Years.

As for what the crowd is like or whether it's a good or bad experience, we've traveled in just about every month and to us there's really no different than any other time of the year except there are fewer children. If anything, maybe people are more relaxed because there are fewer children. Often in the middle of Winter you'll find more people from the northern States and Canada, but that's neither a good thing or bad thing.

Pete
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Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
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Old October 4th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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See most of mine have been "on-season." This upcoming Pride cruise (with the exception of the one Sensation trip over the summer) is the one "real" off-season cruise in my eyes. Not quite into the Christmas/Holiday/NYE season, not in Turkey season either. Kind of one of those that sits in the middle. The February cruises have always been winter break cruises, so there would be more people onboard during those.

Definitely a first time out of a northern port and we'll have to see how that changes things in terms of people sailing and all that.

Thanks for the reply!
__________________
-Michael-
Teen Host
Past Cruises
CCL:
Carnivale (2/11/93)
Ecstasy (9/5/94)
Fantasy (2/20/00)
Fascination (8/26/00) (2/18/02)
Conquest (2/20/05)
Inspiration (8/18/07)
Liberty (3/15/08.)
Dream (3/3/12)
Sensation (8/19/12)
NCL:
Sea (2/22/03)
PCL:
Golden (2/14/04)
Caribbean (8/20/05)
Crown (3/5/11)
RCI:
Voyager (8/25/02)
Navigator (8/28/04)
Adventure (8/27/06)
Freedom (3/7/10)
Future
Carnival Pride (12/16/12)
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Old October 4th, 2012, 02:01 PM
storybookcruises.com's Avatar
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Actually, most of those dates in February, March, and September are considered off-season. And even those in late August is considered early off-season. The only exceptions would be for the slight uptick due to college semester break and any holidays.

We were discussing the differences between on-season and off-season a few years ago in another forum and I put this table together to show the price variances, which clearly show when the different on-season periods are. Keep in mind the prices were from several years ago and do not include taxes, so the amounts shown are no longer valid but it does show how the rates fluctuate based on the time of year;

1/06 E $ 664
1/13 W $ 649
1/20 E $ 649
1/27 W $ 699
2/03 E $ 749
2/10 W $ 799
2/17 E $ 899
2/24 W $ 749
3/02 E $ 749
3/09 W $ 749
3/18 E $ 699
3/25 W $ 849
4/01 E $ 899
4/08 W $ 699
4/15 E $ 599
4/22 W $ 699
5/13 E $ 799
5/06 W $ 799
5/20 W $ 949
5/27 E $ 849
6/03 W $1049
6/10 E $1099
6/17 W $1119
6/24 E $1119
7/01 W $1119
7/08 E $ 999
7/15 W $1119
7/22 E $ 999
7/29 W $ 809
8/05 E $ 899
8/12 W $ 949
8/19 E $ 714
8/26 W $ 649
9/02 E $ 599
9/09 W $ 609
9/16 E $ 549
9/23 W $ 549
9/30 E $ 549
10/07 W $ 749
10/14 E $ 659
10/28 E $ 749
11/04 W $749
11/11 E $ 799
11/18 W $ 909
11/25 - E $ 599
12/02 W $ 749
12/09 E $ 649
12/16 W $ 649
12/23 E $1299
12/30 W $1199
__________________
Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 4th, 2012, 08:48 PM
mmerali's Avatar
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Interesting. Offseason by price, definitely not by capacity. Those were full sailings with a ton of under 21s for the most part. The price movements are pretty interesting nonetheless.
__________________
-Michael-
Teen Host
Past Cruises
CCL:
Carnivale (2/11/93)
Ecstasy (9/5/94)
Fantasy (2/20/00)
Fascination (8/26/00) (2/18/02)
Conquest (2/20/05)
Inspiration (8/18/07)
Liberty (3/15/08.)
Dream (3/3/12)
Sensation (8/19/12)
NCL:
Sea (2/22/03)
PCL:
Golden (2/14/04)
Caribbean (8/20/05)
Crown (3/5/11)
RCI:
Voyager (8/25/02)
Navigator (8/28/04)
Adventure (8/27/06)
Freedom (3/7/10)
Future
Carnival Pride (12/16/12)
Reply With Quote
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