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when is the safest last moment to reserve a cruise?

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by yhass, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. yhass

    yhass Active Member

    Hi all,
    2 years ago we took the RC cruise of Italy, Spain, Corsica & Sardinia. We made a reservation way in advance, and then came the Costa disaster and prices went down, but not for us. We didn't even get an upgrade. We plan to cruise this summer but want a chance for deals.
    When do you think its reasonable to get better prices for July cruises? We only need one large cabin (2 parents 2 teens)
     
  2. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    In respect to your first comment as far as prices not going down for you, one probability is that you were booked on Royal Caribbean, Costa is owned by Carnival. Really no incentive for RCI to cut any deals.
    As far as your second question:
    If you are willing and able to put up the deposit, there is nothing wrong with booking early, sometimes you get the early deals which can be pretty good, but if you don't then you have plenty of time to keep an eye on the pricing. If you have booked through a travel agent, it is important to make sure it is one that will really work for you by keeping an eye on your booking. This includes special pricing, price drops, upgrades, on board credit incentives. Some are only available for new bookings but many are retroactive to an existing booking or an agent that has a good relation with their rep can get things working, NOTHING more valuable to a cruiser than a good concerned Travel Agent. BUT keep in mind if you book through an agent it can be almost impossible to fire that agent, you will be stuck with them, at least for this cruise, then lesson learned you move on, it can be trial and error.
    Now if you are doing your own booking through the cruise line or with an online agency that doesn't provide a lot of support, (you will also be stuck with them for the current cruise as well) it will be up to you to do the dirty work but if you stick with it and are diligent it can pay off for you. You need to be on the cruise lines website VERY regular, checking pricing for your category of booking, upgrade offers, discounts, onboard credits, anything that will reflect a savings or improvement in your onboard experience. When you see something, you call, be it a travel agency, the cruise line booking department if you booked through them, and go for the throat, politely but the throat non the less, they are making an offer, you want it if it saves you money.

    Another thing in your situation is to compare, a cabin with 2 adults and 2 teens can get real small in a hurry unless it is a suite of sorts. Compare the cost of a suite vs. an outside with balcony and an inside right across the hall. Most all cruise lines will require an adult in a cabin but that is an easy workaround, one of you books the outside balcony with one of the teens, and the other of you books the inside with the other teen, after you move in, you two get the balcony and the teens get the inside, the cabin stewards really don't care and sometimes it can be cheaper than a larger suite to accommodate the 4 of you, just compare and see what works best for you.
     
  3. yhass

    yhass Active Member

    Thanks Bob.
    Just a small clarification question. Is it really common for parents with teens to book 2 rooms, one balcony and one interior across the hall? Because that will be a super solution for us. Is there even a remote chance that someone will get annoyed by that arrangement provided that our kids are polite and quiet?
     
  4. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    Not sure really how common it is as we don't have children to test it with, but I do know it is done more often than you would think. Just don't make a big issue of it and stay under the radar. After all your foreign tourists, you do things differently :whistle:
    Most all cruise lines have the policy that at least one person in the cabin must be 21, not sure exactly how stringent Royal is on the policy, maybe someone a little more familiar with Royal can help us out here.

    One plus is that one is 18 and if he looks mature for his age that is even better, and if they are quiet and mannered while in the cabin, nobody has any reason to be bothered or complain. Besides if you and/or your husband make a habit of being in the cabin from time to time, nobody is going to really know who is in the cabin.
     
  5. Funnel

    Funnel Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor

    If you are planning a cruise with RCI Voyager or Freedom class there are two balcony cabins on each ship with a connecting inside in the aft part of deck 9. Maybe that is an option, as it would give easier access to the balcony from the inside cabin too.
    I guess those cabins are sold out rather fast, though.

    It's cabin 9376/9381 and 9676/9681 on Voyager class and 9396/9401 and 9696/9701 on the bigger Freedom class.

    /Erik
     
  6. SUNNYDAY

    SUNNYDAY Well-Known Member

    july is the most expensive time to cruise
     
  7. Cruizer

    Cruizer Well-Known Member

    The rules for the US and for Europe are different. It is my understanding that in Europe you are stuck with the booking price. However, Europe also has other rules that are favorable to the consumer. Here in the US we can take advantage of price reductions, but do not enjoy the same consumer protections that Europeans do.

    That said, you are using a very unusual example to try and base a future decision on. Nobody could have predicted the Costa Concordia disaster. And, you are assuming that prices always go down, and that is not the case. Several times I have purchased a cruise early and watched as prices more than doubled. For example, I booked a cruise about one year ago that will be leaving in two months. I recently changed cabins and my old cabin when back into inventory. The current price of that cabin is $800 more than I paid for it (a 40% increase). I checked the price of another cabin and that cabin has also gone up over 40%.

    If you are stuck with the booking price, all you can do is watch the prices. If the prices trend down, then wait. If prices trend up, purchase your cruise ASAP. If it is a holiday time cruise, assume that the prices will increase.
     
  8. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    If you're willing to cruise other lines, Carnival's Miracle and her sister ships have those inside-connects-to-balcony combinations also. Example decks five, six and seven, have two pair like that, near the forward part of the ship. Example: Miracle 5105 inside connects to 5107 balcony. With a matching pair on the other side of the ship.

    Definitely need to book early to get those.

    BTW, from what I've read on the various message board, booking the kids across the hall does seem to be fairly common, especially when they are teens. For younger kids, or maybe just more nervous parents this is one suggestion. (cut and paste here from the Cruiser's Compass) Your kid's may actually feel a little old for this one, but FWIW:

    You may feel more comfortable with that across-the-hall cabin for the kids if you bring along a baby monitor for their room. It'll let you keep tabs on any activity in there; and if they need you in the middle of the night, they can just call out "Mom", the way they would at home.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014

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