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I know the cruise lines would love us to book early, but I have learned my lesson and will never again do so.
Last year we early booked a Princess New Year's cruise. It being a holiday, the prices were very high so we chose an outside cabin with an obstructed view, hoping for an upgrade. A few months later, balconies went on sale for something like $1,299 while obstructed view cabins were going for $1,999. Go figure.
Princess refused to allow us to switch to a balcony, claiming that this "sale" which went on for about three months was a "flash fare". It was a long flash.
Long story short, of course, all of the balconies sold out and, even as elites, we remained in the obstructed view cabin we had originally booked.
As it happened the seas were too rough when we arrived at Princess Cays to allow passengers to go ashore and they had some issues reboarding the initial tenders that had attempted to go ashore. This provided us with a ringside seat to the action reboarding the tenders so that was a redeeming factor, but still, I will never again book any cruise unless I see exactly the cabin I want at exactly the price I want to pay.
Sorry Princess, but you wrote the end to this story yourself by refusing to allow me to change my booking when you offered a far lower price for a superior cabin. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
__________________ Breathless with anticipation:
Queen Victoria 08/14 Baltic (Russia)
Queen Elizabeth 11/14 Mediterranean (Croatia)
Golden Princess 2/15 South America
Golden Princess 3/15 South America
Grand Princess 5/14 Pacific Coastal * Star Princess 5/14 Pacific Coastal * Island Princess 4/14 Panama Canal * Star Princess 12/13 Hawaii (Best cruise ever) * HAL Noordam 10/13 WB Transatlantic * Golden Princess 8/13 Alaska * Crown Princess 2/13 Western Caribbean (Cancelled) * Golden Princess 12/12 Hawaii *Sapphire Princess 10/12 California Coastal * Caribbean Princess 7/12 Scandinavia * Caribbean Princess 4/12 EB Transatlantic Crossing * HAL Amsterdam 9/11 Puget Sound * Star Princess 7/11 Mediterraean * Island Princess 5/11 SFO/YVR * Emerald Princess 12/10 Aruba * Coral Princess 9/10 Coastal * Golden Princess 6/10 Alaska * Celebrity Mercury 10/9 Puget Sound * Star Princess 9/09 Alaska * Golden Princess 9/09 Coastal * Golden Princess 6/09 Alaska * Star Princess 5/09 Coastal * Sapphire Princess 12/08 Mexico * Golden Princess 9/08, Repo * HAL Volendam 9/08, Repo * NCL Star 9/08 Repo * QM2 7/08, New England * Island Princess 5/08 Coastal * Coral Princess 5/08 * Diamond Princess 9/07 * Island Princess 5/07 * Golden Princess 5/07 * HAL Veendam 9/06, Repo * Dawn Princess 9/06 Coastal * Dawn Princess 5/06 Repo * Sapphire Princess 9/05 PacificCoastal * Island Princess 8/05 YVR/ANC
Who is kidding who? Any time you are on the Oasis ,the Allure or Epic, the show tickets are included! The reason for booking a show early is to be sure there is a seat for you. BTW forget "Blus man Group". A completely inane show aimed at those with little brain matter.
Who is kidding who? Any time you are on the Oasis ,the Allure or Epic, the show tickets are included! The reason for booking a show early is to be sure there is a seat for you. BTW forget "Blue man Group". A completely inane show aimed at those with little brain matter.
Personally i would never dream of booking a cruise way in advance despite there so called good offers, If i was looking to cruise in june which my wife and i usually do then i would start enquiring from april onwards. In previous years we have booked cruises at prices way lower than the special opening offers, and always managed to get an outside cabin which we prefer no problem. I do realise that this way is not suitable to everyone due to there own circumstances, however there are a lot of cruise ships out there at the moment that need to be filled up and to me the longer you can wait the better the bargain.
My husband and I have booked at least a year in advance on two different occasions with Celebrity cruises. In both instances, we never saw a lower price. We are booked now for a July cruise and paid about $1,600 less per person than the posted rate today $2900 vs. $4,500. We have not seen anything offered through travel agencies at a better price and most of the cabins are sold out. So, it can make sense to book early and get the cabin you want. Exchange rates can also change so in my case booking in Canadian dollars when the dollar was above par to the USD also saved us money.
Will be interesting to see prices later in the year
We only purchase tickets early now if it is a trip we really want to make and it is likely to sell out in the grades we want. Past experience has shown that the deals get better as the date approaches and the ship is not full. If we all stopped buying early, then the Cruise Lines would really panic!
When we have purchased early, we have not had an upgrade, even though they are selling higher grade cabins at a lower rate as the sailing date approaches and the Cruise Lines do not offer a refund for the reduced price.
So the benefits are early purchase are minimal. Although they have Loyalty programs which offer benefits, Loyalty is not rewarded be price guarantees and cabin upgrades.
The exception seems to be Saga to have a Price Promise. We have not sailed with them though.