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I want to try Seabourn next year. With the weakness in the world economy I suspect that cruises might be discounted at a dater closer to departure. I would feel foolish having booked at a 15% discount and finding out that 6 months from now the cruise had been discounted to 35-45%. Is that a legitimate concern, and does anyone have any advice or experience?
The newspapers over here are full of crusie ship discounts in all lines. They just cannot fill the ships with the presant financial situation.
I suppose one of the problems that you could encounter is that if you leave it too long and its a popular cruise it may get fully booked.
Seabourn sent me last week some really very good discounts and if I was retired or could just go on a cruise on fairly short notice I would.
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The large mass product ships with 1500 and above have a great over head and they are now giving very steep discounts just look in the NY Times travel. The smaller ships like seabourn and seadream have 100 passengers and 200 Seabourn always have specials from 25% to 50% off depending on the season and region. I think seabourn will keep their price structure and not lower there prices on a given cruise to fill up. As I see it the sisters are running full on almost all there cruises. If not they would be maybe on the hook to give everyone on the ship the same deal. This happened to me many years ago with Holland America. I saw my cabin category drop in price and so I call the T/A and my price was lowered.
My experience is that the best approach is to book early; as the lower priced and higher priced and more desireable cabins go first. Even if you save a few percent on those cabin available (of which there is not a guarantee that will happen), you may find that they are on the higher end of the average cruise fare and if you had booked sooner rather than later you would have gotten a cabin at a category at a price that is much lower than the price you'll pay for the more expensive category.
If in the end the price goes down, then have your TA try to get the same price.
I find that booking early is the way to go.
And, no one can predict the state of the economy six months from now. Because six months ago, or even a couple of weeks ago very few were saying what is now being said now.
Even in these tough economic times, anyone who is interested in cruising next year should go ahead and book their trip. This guarantees you are locked into a rate and get to select your cabin.
You definitely can call your Travel Agent at anytime if you see a discounted fare published. Majority of the time your reservation will be adjusted. If the fare is only applicable to new reservations, then you can always cancel your existing one and create a new one.