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Saving Money on Your Cruise - Tips & Advice Offer up your advice for saving money on cruises...from booking tips to info on shore excursions.

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  #1  
Old May 30th, 2006, 12:18 AM
jennytsk jennytsk is offline
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Question Can you really just "show up" at the cruise terminal? (cruise for $100 - rumor?)

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
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  #2  
Old May 30th, 2006, 12:34 AM
joeinsb joeinsb is offline
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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...
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  #3  
Old May 30th, 2006, 02:09 AM
Nitemare Nitemare is offline
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No, you can't.
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  #4  
Old May 30th, 2006, 02:27 AM
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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.

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  #5  
Old May 30th, 2006, 02:14 PM
johnql johnql is offline
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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.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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good luck on that one ---dont think so
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  #7  
Old May 30th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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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....
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  #8  
Old June 1st, 2006, 03:51 PM
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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.
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  #9  
Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:50 AM
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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.
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:05 PM
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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.
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  #11  
Old June 4th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Default no you can not

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......
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Last edited by encore; June 4th, 2006 at 07:47 PM. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old June 7th, 2006, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennytsk
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.
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  #13  
Old June 9th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Alley_family Alley_family is offline
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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.
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  #14  
Old June 20th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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nope....think this was just a rumor or they were pulling your leg !
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  #15  
Old June 20th, 2006, 02:04 PM
versley versley is offline
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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.
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  #16  
Old June 20th, 2006, 10:02 PM
MrsPete MrsPete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribbean dreams
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.
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  #17  
Old June 21st, 2006, 09:46 PM
senoritafromToronto senoritafromToronto is offline
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Default Last minute $99 cruises

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.
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  #18  
Old July 5th, 2006, 12:12 PM
snowgirl888 snowgirl888 is offline
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Default Last minute deals

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.
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  #19  
Old July 5th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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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.
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  #20  
Old July 22nd, 2006, 01:47 AM
TCF TCF is offline
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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.

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
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