WE want to celebrate our 40th anniversary by cruising on the RUBY PRINCESS on Dec. 4, 2009. We want a balcony room. When should we book? We thought 10 months ahead of time would be sufficient. Is this TOO LATE? Thank you.
To get a good balcony, you should book at least 6-12 months in advance. You should be fine. Go to www.princess.com and see what cabins are available for your sailing. I never use a travel agent, and always book directly with the cruise line.
Well, my theory is that if you know the date you want to sail and the ship you want to sail on then the time has come to Book It!
spolitz...I don't know how often you cruise or even if you cruise at all. Connie says she always books directly with Princess...but she's cruised a lot and knows exactly what she wants and what she is getting into. If you are a first time cruiser or even a first time Princess cruiser, you might want to find a reliable travel agent to work with...someone willing to answer all your questions, who has cruised often, who has been in business for a long time, who has CLIA certifications and can give you excellent advice...and help if any problems arise. I don't want to sound mean or disparaging toward the Princess agents....but, they are really reservation takers rather than Cruise Counsellors.....and sad to say they will often give you incorrect information. I recommend you get yourself a really good Cruise Agent...it will not cost you more and, in fact, may save you time, money and heartache!!
It never occurred to me this might be your first cruise...if so, you can do RESEARCH on the Princess site, find out what cabins are available, learn about the line, etc. and then armed with this knowledge, call your agent. Right now, you've got oodles of balcony cabin options, all around $3K for the both of you for that particular cruise. And Beryl's right - you can always get your deposit refunded 100% (at least when you book through the line) right up until 90 days prior...so go ahead and put a deposit down on a good cabin, after you've gotten your questions answered.
Although I think the Cruise Queens, myself, and the rest of the board could probably help you out with any questions you may have as well....if you're not ready for the hard sell just yet.
ps - you forgot to mention I'm also a control freak Beryl...another reason I book directly with the airlines and cruise companies.
Ah Ha! But you like to control things....some people don't...or, worse, some people think they can and then they find out they can't handle it when a problem occurs.
There are dozens of examples of what can happen when you don't expect it to....but here is one that I know happened to one of our very own addicts....
This person had booked an AE category cabin on the Diamond Princess. There are only 2 mini suites like these on the ship and they are prime property because of their location and the huge balcony involved! Our addict friend had booked the AE mini suite on the port side of the ship and my husband and I had booked the AE mini suite on the starboard side. We had both marked our cabins NO UPGRADE! (It is really difficult to snag one of these cabins and now it looks like they are only ever offered as guarantee!!)
When my friend arrived at the ship to check in he discovered that his cabin had been "upgraded". You know he was not best pleased!! And you probably also know that they told him there was absolutely nothing they could do about it at that time. He called his "gem" of a travel agent and she did exactly what your travel agent is supposed to do....she went to bat for him...and she swung that bat hard! In no time at all he had his AE mini suite back! This is the kind of thing you don't expect or plan for and it is the reason that an excellent agent is someone you should have on your team....it will save you a lot of time and grief.
How odd!! I never do "guarantee", leaves too much to chance....Ms Control Freak chooses her precise cabin number, no surprises. I wonder why they don't let you pick those cabin numbers?
I'm also an internet geek, so I prefer to not have to deal with "salespeople" and do everything myself online. I won't even go to department stores anymore. I buy everything online and have delivered to my door. UPS is at my house 3-4x a week. Everything is on line with me....well, almost everything....:lol
I don't do guarantee either....and we did not do guarantee on that Diamond Cruise I was talking about!
If you choose a cabin number and don't mark it NO UPGRADE you are in danger of losing that cabin....Princess assumes that if you haven't marked the booking NO UPGRADE that you would be willing to be moved to what they consider a better location...you and I know that what they consider "better" and what we consider "better" can be two quite different things :grin ! In the case I told you about both cabins were marked NO UPGRADE and Princess made the change anyway....so bad!!!
I have never heard of this before, on any line. Changing a preticketed cabin? Crazy! Well anyhoo, I'll be on Riviera 710, if you want to check out my location of the "yet to be sailed" Ruby...it was a crap shoot, since she's new, but I think I'll be satisfied.
Connie...it happens quite a lot with Princess because people are not aware of this policy. If you use a TA they will ask you if you want to be considered for an upgrade. If you don't make sure Princess has marked your booking NO UPGRADE. If you do want to be considered for an upgrade check to make sure that you will be happy with ANY CABIN in a higher category. I have heard of people that booked a balcony cabin and were delighted to hear that they had been upgraded to a mini suite. Their next emotion was horror when they found out their mini suite did not have a balcony...and yes there are some of those out there!! If you're not careful you can get a very unpleasant surprise!!!
edited to add....I think everyone should use a TA too Michael ...we need to keep you in business :grin !
[quote Mbandy]I think everyone should use a travel agent. But maybe that's because I like to eat, pay rent, pay bills, :lol[/quote]
LOL...how ya been Michael?
Beryl, that's what makes you one of the Cruise Queens!!! Now if we were talking Celeb, I could tell you anything...Princess details, I'll go to the Queen for information. Mini suites with no balconies? Say it isn't so! I'm pretty sure the Ruby layout doesn't have such a thing...who would book that? =huh
Already in top balcony class...only upgrade could be a suite. Frankly, if it were a two or three week cruise, I'd be a lot more concerned. This is just one week "breather" after a very hectic year. I doubt I'll find much to be disappointed about...I'll be too tired.
Maggie....unless you have had your Travel Agent mark your reservation NO UPGRADE Princess assumes that you would be willing to take one! Many people like this option...if you don't want to be moved without your consent have the TA mark your booking NO UPGRADE.