Just as a point of reference, because I don't really know what is the "best time" to book --- for my upcoming September 6, 2003 Alaskan cruise on Princess, I booked in June 2003, three months prior to sailing. Got great rates
I did research the rates extensively for about two months prior to the June booking, however.
37 days - Star Princess - Alaska Inside Passage :dance
I booked on the island princess 1 year ahead. It was to have it's 1st cruise on May 5 our trip was July 5th. The ship wasn't ready and we had to cancel our other 2 weeks. I thought 2 month's was a safe bet. Good luck
There is really no reason to wait if you know what ship and itinerary you want. Rates are easy to monitor and most TA will also keep track and adjust where possible. Find a good TA and get booking...
We have a small group started from another cruise board on the NCL Star 6/27/04 sailing. Deposits are only $25pp until February 2004 and rates and on board credit is great too. Let me know if you want more info.
I'm booked for July 2004 on HAL. Did it about 2 weeks ago with a Personal Cruise Assistant from HAL who said he watches the rates and lets you know when they change. This way, I get to pick the exact room we wanted.
I booked directly through Princess one week ago for a 8-04 sailing to Alaska. They mentioned they will adjust the price if I keep checking. Many of you said your TA's did that for you. Any suggestions how this works if I don't have a TA?
Hooked on Cruising you can check prices on the cruise through the cruise line web site as well as check a few TA web sites for prices of your sailing date. If you see the price has gone down contact Princess and ask them if you can get the price reduction. Keep in mind some price drops may have restrictions, such as being a regional sale or some other restriction that does not apply to you. If you are able to get the price reduction they will give it to you and if you have already paid in full they may refund some or your money or give it to you as an onboard credit if you wish. You will have to discuss that with them when the time comes.
I don't know how Princess works it, but Celebrity just has a standing price. They do not undercut the travel agents which is good. If you book it on the ship, they give it to whatever travel agent you tell them to. Now it is up to the travel agent to discount it. Different agents give different discounts. I would say to get three travel agents and put the same trip out for bids. You will be surpirsed at the difference.