CruiseFish Forum

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    Lebanon, PA, United States
    joined Jul 2013
    post 1/4
    cruiser #16671
    When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I have only cruised once before but am planning a big family vacation next year in August.  My question to the seasoned veterans of cruising out there is when is the time to pull the trigger and book?  Do you wait until the ship drastically drops the price during a sale or at the last minute?  Or book ASAP and whenever the price of your cabin does drop, call the cruiseline for a refund or credit??  Is it ever too late to try and get a refund or upgrade/credit??  Just trying to figure out the best strategy for getting the best bang for the buck!

    joined Aug 2012
    post 13/18
    cruiser #11276
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    Book the cruise early.  This way you can get your choice of cabins.   

    Then keep watching the prices.  If they go down, you will get the savings!    However, once the due date for final payment has passed, you cannot normally get the savings.

    NOTE: These policies vary slightly with cruiselines.   Also, some cruiselines have special "book early" pricing which is not eligible for any price drops later.  just do your research. 

    Huntsville, AL, United States
    joined May 2010
    post 154/260
    cruiser #577
    Lifetime Member
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I agree with early booking and then watching the price.  It is easier to do now with Cruisefish.

    Spokane, WA, United States
    joined Jun 2012
    post 5/8
    cruiser #9735
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    Absolute best deals are almost always last minute (under 75 days for cruise departing US, yep after the final payment deadline).  Shorter the notice, better the deal. 

    Lutz, FL, United States
    joined Oct 2011
    post 1/1
    cruiser #6858
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I booked 5 adjacent balcony rooms for this thanksgiving 404 days out.  At that time each person was 1049., now 75 days out the price has increased 9 times and is now 1409 per person.  Thats $3600 I saved by booking early.  I think for prime cruising times, holidays etc, you have to book early.  For off season, you can probably score a last minute deal.

     

    Dave

    Spokane, WA, United States
    joined Jun 2012
    post 6/8
    cruiser #9735
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    Dave, I've tracked a Disney Bahama cruise during Springbreak earlier this yr for over 12 months.  The price did not drop a penny for any category, and I'm sure went up a ton in some.  My family did not get on that cruise. I also booked Alaska cruise in mid June about 3 weeks ahead of emabarkation last year for a price that is cheaper than the expense we'd incur staying home for 7 days. When to book? That is always the dilenma, isn't it?

    For OP, if priority is price, the deal comes usally after final payment due date (again I believe is 75 days before emabarkation in N. America).  Once you pay the final payment, cruise lines are not obligated to refund the difference.  They may offer you a cabin upgrade (no, you won't be upgraded to the presidential suite), the best I've heard is onboard credit (HAL sometimes offer 1/2 OBC for each dollar you "overpaid", while Celebrity would do no such thing).  They have your money.  You have no leverage in negotiation.

    OH, United States
    joined Jul 2010
    post 8/20
    cruiser #2739
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I guess we do the opposite of everyone else.  We live in Ohio so we book our airfare about 4 months out (once we've determined which cruise port we wish to sail out of).  Then we book our cruise 6-8 weeks out from saildate.  Two years ago, we did this with the Oasis in December   There were 3 of us traveling; had we booked  prior to final payment date our cost would have been $3,200. Since we waited until after final payment date; we paid somewhere in the ballpark of $2,300 for a D4 balcony.  That's $900 to use for the rest of our vacation! Woohhhooo!  I also plan to do this next year on RC as well (we are huge RC fans).  It might be the Allure this round as my one son has never been on an Oasis class ship.  He will be blown away.  : )  Good luck everyone on those prices!


    Yzguy

    joined Dec 2013
    post 1/2
    cruiser #19289
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I am confused on this myself. I am looking at an 11 night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise in September but I am not sure when to stop monitoring prices and book... any pointers? anyone know the average price I can expect to pay on Celebrity? Any insight would be most helpful.

    Thanks,

    Mari

    Huntsville, AL, United States
    joined May 2010
    post 166/260
    cruiser #577
    Lifetime Member
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    We book as early as possible as that is usually the best rate on RCI.  If the rate does go down you can get a refund or upgrade unless it is after final payment.  Any savings on booking after final payment time would be offset by higher airline prices.  I have seen some of our future cruise prices double in price after booking.

    OH, United States
    joined Jul 2010
    post 12/20
    cruiser #2739
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    Two years ago, we sailed on the Oasis of the Seas the 2nd week in December. I had originally booked early in summer (June?). I had been watching the number of available cabins from January on that year.  The amount of available cabins was quite high. I cancelled the cruise and waited until after final payment. I think we rebooked the week of Halloween. I saved just over $900, we had a fantastic cabin on the level we wanted and I was so happy that I had cancelled and rebooked.  As I stated before, due to our location, we purchase our airfare ahead of time.  I guess we are all different type of travelers. This method has worked well for us and saves us a lot of money to spend onboard. : )


    Yzguy

    joined Dec 2013
    post 2/2
    cruiser #19289
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    How do i monitor the number of available inside cabins? Also, were u hit with a penalty when you cancelled and then rebooked? What do you think the timing would be if i am looking at cruise in mid September with Celebrity Cruise Line?

    Spokane, WA, United States
    joined Jun 2012
    post 7/8
    cruiser #9735
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    Mari

    I am not aware of any way to monitor % cabin sold for a specific category.  CruiseFish alert you to price changes only.  You take your chance about when to buy and how much you pay.

    However, the cruiseline would refund you the difference if/when the cabin price drop BEFORE the final payment due date (see above).  For a mid Sept. cruise, it'd be around early July.  Most of cruiseline would not incur penalty on rebooking/cancellation before final payment, but read the fine print. After final payment due date, that's usually when the biggest price drop occurs if the ship is not filling up, you have no leverage in getting refund.  Some cruiselines still could give their pax upgrades, but Celebrity, I was told, would not.

    GL

     

    Dublin, OH, United States
    joined Jan 2014
    post 2/2
    cruiser #19755
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    I find that the longer length cruises usually go up in price the longer you wait.  If I have a specific cruise that I want to do, I usually book it as soon as possible.

    I do agree with people who say you can get the best deal last minute, but ...

    1. You have to take what is left in the way of cruises and cabins
    2. Popular cruises (Canada/New England, newer ships, etc. ) tend to only increase in prices. Never decrease.
    3. Unless you live in Europe, airfare will probably go up as you get closer to the cruise, so waiting to book the cruise and increase the cost of your airfare more than the savings on the cruise.

    I would use CruisFish.net and look at the history of several Celebrity cruises to the med.

    Good luck.

    joined Feb 2012
    post 8/16
    cruiser #8160
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    You can monitor the number of cabins available in any category by going to a site like seascanner; and all of you should be looking at CruiseFish's historical pricing information in the "STATS" area of this site to help determine best time to book for any particular cruise area. This is information Titus added last year for just this situation.:grin:

    United Kingdom
    joined Mar 2013
    post 2/3
    cruiser #14688
    Re: When is the best time to pull the trigger and book??

    In my experience, book ASP, this is especially true of Disney if you are cruising in the summer.

    With Caribbean prices other than Princess most of those tend to drop in price because there is so much competition.  Med cruises it depends on the line and whether it's a new ship straight out for it's first season or not.

    for example NCL for the last two years have increased in price, Carnival fell like a stone, especially their Batlic cruises last year.

    princess both Royal and Regal fell or are falling.  Regal has fallen already by £2000.  It was cheaper for me to fly to the states at the time of booking rather than cruise on Princess.  Next year I will wait until Christmas to make a decision.

    Basically jump in when you feel you are happy with a price and then if it drops and you get an upgrade or OBC it's a bonus.

     

     

     

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