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View Full Version : Can you really just "show up" at the cruise terminal? (cruise for $100 - rumor?)


jennytsk
May 30th, 2006, 12:18 AM
We recently met a couple who claimed that they have done some traveling by actually showing up at the cruise terminal the day a cruise is scheduled to set sail and offering $100 for a cabin. Their theory is that empty cabins mean lost income for the ship (no one in the cabin to gamble, tip, shop, etc.) and that you can do it for just about any cruise.

In this era of heightened security, I am more than a little skeptical that this is actually do-able, but figured if anyone would know it would be you guys and gals!

Anyone ever heard of this/seen it/done it?

We have a cruise terminal about 1 mile away and I could get a suitcase ready ;)

joeinsb
May 30th, 2006, 12:34 AM
Some time ago there was just such a question posted, and as I recall, the answer is "no." For the reasons you mentioned. I'm sure somebody will chime in with the exact answer. Or you can just search around...:)

Nitemare
May 30th, 2006, 02:09 AM
No, you can't.

caribbean dreams
May 30th, 2006, 02:27 AM
If that were the case, nobody would book ahead of time, the day the ship was supposed to leave there would be hundreds of people waiting at the pier to get their $100 dollar cruise.

johnql
May 30th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Before 9/11, it was possible to just show up at the pier and book a cabin if a ship wasn't sold out. I'm not sure about $100, tho. It's no longer possible. Homeland Security requires that the ship's passenger manifest be finalized a few days before sailing. That way, they have time to do a background check on the passengers.

lougee1043
May 30th, 2006, 03:00 PM
good luck on that one ---dont think so

prairie_fox
May 30th, 2006, 06:26 PM
if it were true why would i book in advance to take all these trips when i could save so much just showing up and going, maybe it has to do witht he fact there are never any extra rooms open on the trips i take to upgrade or anything when we get there....

iluvcruzin
June 1st, 2006, 03:51 PM
I think it depends on the cruiseline. Yes, years ago you could show up at the pier and get a deal like $100pp. However, today most ships sail at full capacity so it would be rare to find such a deal. They may drop the rate the last week to fill-up.

Now I used to think "No Way" like those above until I read others experiences on this board. RCCL will allow you to book up to 3 days before sailing as they want the ship's manifest finalized (however they do allow a change in name at the last min. so I don't know when they turn it in officially). There were posters who said Carnival allowed them to book while they were at the Port as late as this past November. You can contact the cruiseline directly for their policy. So.. yes - you can go last min. But odds are getting a $100 deal - I think those days are gone.

Cotton
June 3rd, 2006, 09:50 AM
Sorry, Jenny. It would be nice, as I'm about an hour away from two ports - BUT, with security the way it is (and thank goodness for that!), it's just not done anymore.

As stated above, the ships sail at almost full capacity these days. I always see a sign at the purser's desk "no cabins available". Even if there were, the $100 is definitely a myth. (The cruiselines would lose megabucks in food alone by selling $100 cruises.)

The final manifest is turned into Homeland Security 48 hrs. prior to a cruise, unless that's changed. It was on their website at one time; haven't checked lately.

starketcher
June 3rd, 2006, 06:05 PM
Years ago, I believe you could sign up for a program where you gave the cruiseline a two-week time period and they would book you into the empty cabins out of Miami. I had friends in Florida who took several cruises quite cheap (though still not $100) using htat type program. They could not pick their ship or ports of call, but they didnt really care.


Seven years ago, I did the 4 night $199 cruise on the Tropicale out of Tampa. I'd seen it advertised. We were taking 4 boys (age 12-14). So we signed up for the cheapest rooms, not 2 months before debarkment. We somehow got an upgrade to OV midship. The boys loved it, I loved it.

No way Carnival came out on that cruise! The boys ate more than $200 each, most times 2 entrees a night. Every picture we have they were either eating ice cream or had it dribbled down the front of their shirts. They were not wasteful, just growing boys. The would have contest to see who could eat the most in a day. My son topped out at 39! I finished up the cruise with more money than I left home with...not by much, but I spent plenty & did plenty, and still came out ahead in the casino (although they have reclaimed that money since!). It was probably the best vacation/cruise in all of them & the cheapest.

I may try a gty on the Holiday next May as that is the cheapest prices I have found.

encore
June 4th, 2006, 07:44 PM
A personal experience tells me NO you can not get on board by just showing up at the counter and get a cheap cruise.

This is w/ celebrity last month, we book and paid the cruise about 36 hours before the cruise departure, the Travel agent had concerns to book this late, she was concerned that the booking will not get on manifest in time, and Celebrity rep told her that 24 hour before departure time is sufficient, so we went through everything and my agent faxed me a confirmation from celebrity. well, my agent was right and although we got onboard eventurally, but that's after sitting in front of the check-in counter with no idea what's going on for five hours, the port people was helpless and basically just rejected us to check in, said our names are not on the list, my agent then called Celebrity, called port supervisor, eventurally got someone in Celebrity to solve this situation for us, my agent was really terrific and I appreciate her help, but the Celebrity port people really suck, well, I know they are doing their job, but the attitude is just @#$%^^, well, in conclusion, I was told that booking need to be paid in full 48 hours before departure in order to get on the manifest in time to clear the security.
That $100 cruise really is a myth......

SLH
June 7th, 2006, 09:59 PM
We recently met a couple who claimed that they have done some traveling by actually showing up at the cruise terminal the day a cruise is scheduled to set sail and offering $100 for a cabin. Their theory is that empty cabins mean lost income for the ship (no one in the cabin to gamble, tip, shop, etc.) and that you can do it for just about any cruise.

In this era of heightened security, I am more than a little skeptical that this is actually do-able, but figured if anyone would know it would be you guys and gals!

Anyone ever heard of this/seen it/done it?

We have a cruise terminal about 1 mile away and I could get a suitcase ready ;)
I spoke to a couple that booked about 4 days before sailing, of course they live in Tampa.

Alley_family
June 9th, 2006, 02:26 PM
I just booked Wednesday for a cruise leaving on Monday. 4 day cost was $199 per person plus port charges and taxes. Not exactly the $100 deal mentioned, but as close as I've ever seen.

sweetpea-2
June 20th, 2006, 10:47 AM
;) nope....think this was just a rumor or they were pulling your leg !

versley
June 20th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Last year we were booked on the Elation the week of Katrina. It was changed from a 7 day to a 3 day cruise once the storm passed. Since everyone mostly cancelled Carnival ran a last minute special for $99 inside or $119 OV. This was bookable the day before as a few posters on this forum were able to go on it.
I too had been told by my PVP that sercurity had put a stop to last minute cruising prior to this. We were always getting last minute specials emailed to us but they had stopped. Evidently security is not the case or they would not have been able to do this after the hurricane. I think the ships are just more full with all the other specials they put out now when the cruise is selling slow.

MrsPete
June 20th, 2006, 10:02 PM
If that were the case, nobody would book ahead of time, the day the ship was supposed to leave there would be hundreds of people waiting at the pier to get their $100 dollar cruise.

I don't think so. I mean, would you take a week off work and fly into Miami in hopes of getting on a cruise ship? I wouldn't. Oh, if I were retired and lived close enough to drive to the port, sure, but the majority of us can't afford to head to the port on a gamble.

senoritafromToronto
June 21st, 2006, 09:46 PM
I've met people who have done this sort of thing, specially with the 3 night Bahama cruises from Miami...if you live close by, there's no harm in taking a chance. I just don't know if I'd drive 12 hours to do that.

snowgirl888
July 5th, 2006, 12:12 PM
Can anyone tell me how to find these "last minute deals"?

We recently found out all the kids will be gone for a week later in the summer!

Thanks.

Cruisingoose
July 5th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Snowgirl.... go to the website of the cruiseline you normally do (RCCL has last minute deals) - also we have had great luck with one website in particular..

I guess there is some sort of policy about not mentioning specific TA's websites.. I can share if you would like -

email me at gooseylou22@yahoo.com

I'll forward on a few.
April

TCF
July 22nd, 2006, 01:47 AM
I believe that some brokers will purchase blocks of cabins at reduced rates then re-sell them, so they have more flexibility as to time lines and limits.

The big lines...are there any other kind?...have their marketing strategies down to a science. They will start throwing cabins on the market at reduced rates...sometimes incredibly low rates...when a 'window' is reached before a cruise date. Often some will upgrade passengers from lower cat cabins to higher cats, then re-sell those cheaper cabins at an even lower rates...everybody is happy!

I have noticed the last two or three days that my email box is full of bargain cruises to the Med next spring...the lines are worried that people planning for Med cruises now will be turned off by the fighting in the Middle East and will be afraid to cruise that close to the action. The cruise companies are right on the ball when it comes to this stuff. So if you are thinking about a Med cruise hang on and see what happens...but it looks to me like rates are going to drop some.:D

Remember, the cruise companies don't make their money off cabins...they make it off the money passengers spend on the ship. The cabins pay for fuel, food and labour...so they will do whatever they can to fill a ship...but not for a $100 and certainly not an hour before they leave!:)

Tom

SunshineCity
July 27th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Yes, if there are empty cabins you can. Revenue comes from other sources. They don't advertise it, but if you are game to show up, they do it.

Cruisingoose
July 27th, 2006, 02:06 PM
Have you done it?

Bases5
July 30th, 2006, 08:07 PM
We live in Florida and back in the early 80's we used to go down to Miami bags in hand and go to each cruise line and see if they had any rooms. we were 2 for 4 We got a large outside stateroom on the Norway for $150 pp and we got Outdside on the NCL Skyward for $200. pp The other 2 times they had no cabins so we spenta few days on Miami beach before driving home.

Like other have said since 9/11 you can't do it anymore.
We were young and in Love so it was fun, As we have gotten older and raised most of our kids (1 left at home) that does not sound appealing anymore,

Some said you can't due that nobody would book in advance, well I don't know about you but I would hate to go on Vacation and the ship was full

bfallen1
July 31st, 2006, 02:09 PM
Last year we were booked on the Elation the week of Katrina. It was changed from a 7 day to a 3 day cruise once the storm passed. Since everyone mostly cancelled Carnival ran a last minute special for $99 inside or $119 OV. This was bookable the day before as a few posters on this forum were able to go on it.
I too had been told by my PVP that sercurity had put a stop to last minute cruising prior to this. We were always getting last minute specials emailed to us but they had stopped. Evidently security is not the case or they would not have been able to do this after the hurricane. I think the ships are just more full with all the other specials they put out now when the cruise is selling slow.

:confused: We went out on the Elation as Katrina was coming in and we were never told that the itinerary was going to be changed. Aside from the rollercoster ride during the first sea day and a medical emergency the trip was normal. Are you talking about the week of Rita?

jetskier
July 31st, 2006, 02:27 PM
The manifest does not have to be turned in until right before the ship leaves. It also has to be submitted again before returning to port depending on the length of the cruise. To submit the list 48-96 hours before sailing would cause a manifest to be submitted that would be inaccurate due to last minute crew changes, passengers unable to make the sailing, passengers with name changes, etc. There are rule changes pending which will requires airlines to submit a manifest for all departures from CONUS.

Dave

jetskier
July 31st, 2006, 05:03 PM
The answer is 15 minutes before the vessel departs from the US.

On April 7, 2005, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued a final rule entitled “Electronic Transmission of Passenger and Crew Manifests for Vessels and Aircraft” (70 Fed. Reg. 17820). The rule requires electronic submission of manifests prior to arrival and departure from the United States and became effective on June 6, 2005.

Information Required to Be Collected

Passenger and crew arrival manifests must include the following information, where applicable: (1) full name; (2) date of birth; (3) gender; (4) citizenship; (5) country of residence; (6) status onboard the vessel; (7) travel document type; (8) passport number; (9) passport country of issuance; (10) passport expiration date; (11) alien registration number; (12) address in the United States; (13) passenger name record locator; (14) foreign port or place where trip began; (15) port or place of first arrival; (16) final foreign port or place of destination; (17) vessel name; (18) vessel registry; (19) vessel IMO or other official number; (20) voyage number; and (21) date of vessel arrival.

Passenger and crew departure manifest requirements are largely the same, but omit (1) country of residence; (2) address in the United States; and (3) port or place of first arrival. Additionally, the departure manifests must include the date of vessel departure versus the date of vessel arrival, as listed in requirement (21) of the previous paragraph.

“Verification” Requirement

For both vessel arrival and departure manifests, operators have an obligation to compare the travel document (e.g., passport) presented by the passenger with the manifest information it intends to submit to the CBP to ensure that the information is accurate. Although the extent of an operator's legal obligation to cross-check this information is unclear, the CBP has stated that it only expects operators to make a “reasonable effort” to ensure accuracy. For example, operators should ensure that the travel document appears to be valid for travel to the United States and that the passenger or crew member presenting the document is the person to whom it was issued.

Time Requirement for Transmission of Information

For arrivals into the United States, passenger and crew manifests are due at least 96 hours before entering the first United States port or destination for voyages of 96 hours or more. For voyages between 24 and 96 hours, the manifests are due prior to departure of the vessel. In the case of voyages less than 24 hours, the manifests are due at least 24 hours before entering the first U.S. port or destination. In the event of an emergency that forces a vessel to make a stop in a U.S. port, the CBP expects manifest transmission before the vessel enters the U.S. port, but it will take into consideration the circumstances of the emergency and the carrier's ability to transmit the information. For departures from the United States, manifests must be submitted no later than 15 minutes before the vessel departs from the United States. For both arrival and departures, amendments to manifests may be made in case crew members board the vessel after original submission. For arrival crew manifests, these amendments are due at least 12 to 24 hours prior to arrival, depending on the time remaining in the voyage. For departure crew manifests, amendments must be submitted no later than 12 hours after departure from the U.S.

Little Feet
August 25th, 2006, 10:11 PM
While it was not as cheap at $100.00, we evacuated onto a HAL ship during hurricane season 2004. We were staying on a barrier island (Florida)and would have to move inland the next day if we did not go somewhere else. Our TA got us on the next ship out & quite a nice verandah cabin. the weather was still very bad after one week and the cruise line offered us a very nice deal, even cheaper, if we wanted to stay on board another week. It can be done, and the Security thing is not really as iron clad as we are made to think.

barbarah33
August 31st, 2006, 12:47 PM
I don't know about showing up at the pier and just getting on a ship but you can get some deals if you're willing to wait until the last minute. Two years ago I booked on a Friday for a cruise leaving that Sunday and we got a rate of $99 per person for a week long cruise! Of course we had to add taxes and port charges to that $99 fare but still it was a VERY cheap cruise. It left from Boston so no plane tickets needed and it was a 'best available' cabin. Six of us took three cabins and we all ended up getting outside mid-ship so no complaints there.

I found out about it through an email. The ship was apparently quite empty so getting people in those cabins for little money then hoping they spend while on board is better than no income at all. If you have a good travel agent and you're interested they often get faxed 'last minute' deals a week or two before a ship sails. If you think you may be interested you should let him or her know to keep you in mind.

Happy ks
September 1st, 2006, 02:20 PM
[quote=starketcher]
Seven years ago, I did the 4 night $199 cruise on the Tropicale out of Tampa. I'd seen it advertised. We were taking 4 boys (age 12-14). So we signed up for the cheapest rooms, not 2 months before debarkment. We somehow got an upgrade to OV midship. The boys loved it, I loved it.

No way Carnival came out on that cruise! The boys ate more than $200 each, most times 2 entrees a night. Every picture we have they were either eating ice cream or had it dribbled down the front of their shirts. They were not wasteful, just growing boys. The would have contest to see who could eat the most in a day. My son topped out at 39! I finished up the cruise with more money than I left home with...not by much, but I spent plenty & did plenty, and still came out ahead in the casino (although they have reclaimed that money since!). It was probably the best vacation/cruise in all of them & the cheapest.
quote]

Did you know that the cruiselines budget around $12 per day, per pax, for food? Even if your sons ate more than a typical share, they would have had to consume enough for more than 5 people to exceed their cost allowance. It averages out, because some eat far less than the allowance.

Like Vegas casinos, cruiselines make money, no matter what.

But, it does sound like you had a fun vacation with the kids :)