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DH and I are considering trying a Celebrity Panama Canal cruise. We have done 2 cruises on HAL before and appreciate a more 'upscale' line. We are looking at going anytime around the end of December through March or so. We are very flexible on dates and cabin location, so I'm currently just monitoring prices to see if they'll drop low enough for us to get a great deal.
Have any of you been on this cruise before? Do you think the ships will be full during that time, or should that be a better time to avoid the crowds? Have you noticed if X's prices drop lower on these cruises as you get closer to sailing evr? Any advice/tips/information will be appreciated!
May '98 - HAL Statendam Alaska
June '04 - HAL Statendam Alaska
April '05 - Celebrity Galaxy Panama Canal
July '06 - NCL Pride of Hawaii
May '08 - NCL Spirit Bahamas
Oct '09 - NCL Star Mex Riviera
Jan '10 - DCL Wonder Mex Riviera
Most of your questions are unanswerable. The Galaxy cruise out of Galveston is a new itinerary, and so there is no past experience. Pricing is a mystery that undoubtedly depends on how bookings are going. We booked a December date in May that has risen 50% in price since we first reserved, but who is to say what will happen just before or after the final payment date. While my wife and I prefer Celebrity to the other lines we have been on, including HAL, I would not look for a great upping of the scale. We have found the differences to be more subtle than that. If you really want upscale, you should go for Radisson or Seabourne.
While I can't comment on that particular itinerary, in general prices on Celebrity have NOT been dropping lately. On the contrary, they seem to be increasing as the sailing gets closer. Most ships are sailing at or near capacity.
On the bright side, crowding is rarely a problem on any Celebrity ship. Even when completely full, lines are rare, and there is always plenty of elbow room throughout the ship.
The Galveston itinerary looks fantastic and is probably very popular. I would suggest booking early to lock in the current rate and to get your choice of cabin. Then if the price goes up, you're protected, and if the price goes down, you get the discount.
We're booked for the 21 March sailing out of Galveston. This will be our first Celebrity cruise after several HAL cruises, the latest this past March. A couple of things caused us to select and book this cruise. One, it's our first chance to drive to the port rather than fly. Secondly, it's a chance for us to try Celebrity after experiencing a drop in service on HAL. The itinerary is great and we're really looking forward to even a partial transit of the Panama Canal. As to whether or not prices are going to drop, who knows. We booked in early April and haven't seen any movement up or down in the posted fares. It would seem that cabin availability is starting to drop after being pretty stable so that would indicate to me that there is interest. I've also noticed that Celebrity has scheduled the Galaxy out of Galveston for 2006 on the same intinerary. That would kind of indicate that the bookings have been sufficient enough that they're convinced there's a market. Anyhow, there's a pretty good group of CC'ers for the 21 March sailing so give it some thought and join us!
My advice would be don't wait for a deal. If the price is right, book it now. If you have a TA worth anything, they will honour any price drop if it happens and booking early will ensure you get a choice of cabin.
As the posters above have pointed out, it seems the prices are going up rather than down and this seems to be a popular sailing. We booked in March for our November cruise and the price has gone up over 30% since then.
__________________ "It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere......."
I concur. Saw this cruise advertised and booked. Yes we paid a little more than $1000 per but gee thats for 11 days or nights! I doubt if two people could go to Disney World for 11 days for $2000. And I really doubt the prices will go down, looking at few of the travel sites it looks like the ship has filled very quickly. We're excited and looking forward to sailing. It just seems so far away!!
NCL Leeward - Western Caribbean 9/97
Carnival Celebration - Western Caribbean 1/99
NCL Sea - Western Caribbean 2/00
NCL Sea - Western Caribbean 12/00
Grand Princess - Eastern Caribbean 9/01
NCL Norway - Eastern Caribbean 4/02
RCCL Rhapsody - Western Caribbean 8/02
NCL Norway - Eastern Caribbean 2/03
RCCL Rhapsody - Western Caribbean 8/03
NCL Sea - Western Caribbean 2/04
RCCL Grandeur - Western Caribbean 1/05
Celebrity Galaxy - Panama Canal 04/05
Celebrity Galaxy - Panama Canal 12/05 - 01/06
NCL Dream - Western Caribbean Thanksgiving 2006
Dawn Princess - Mexican Riviera 04/07
RCCL Mariner of the Seas 08/08
Carnival Holiday - Christmas 2008
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 04/09
NCL Spirit - Thankgiving 2009
Carnival Fantasy - Christmas 2009
Azamara Journey - February 2010
Celebrity Eclipse - January 2011
Carnival Conquest - January 2012
Celebrity Silhouette - January 2013
Celebrity Millenium - Alaska, August 2013
NCL Jewel - January 2014
Caribbean Princess - April 2014
Westerdam - May 2014
From what I've seen on these boards, some cruises are already selling out. That's why we've booked so early. Our first Celebrity cruise. We'll see. We are more the "sit back and relax" type and aren't sure how we'll feel about the "gotta dress this way" every night.
BUT - it will be the least of our worries - all those days of being catered to - gotta love it!
Norwegian Jewel September Thru Panama Canal Transition 2014
Regent Seven Seas Navigator to Alaska May 2013
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas to Caribbean January 2012
Carnival Triumph 5 day to Caribbean 12/11
Carnival Conquest to Caribbean 03/10
Dawn Princess to Alaska 06/08 - 35th anniversary June 2008
Carnival Conquest to Caribbean 05/07
Carnival Conquest to Caribbean 10/06
Celebrity Galaxy to Panama Canal 04/05
NCL Star to Alaska 6/6/04
NCL Sea Transition Cruise 10/03
NCL S/S Norway to Caribbean 02/03
Carnival Celebration to Caribbean 05/93
I've been watching prices since we booked about 2 months ago. The prices haven't gone up or down much but upper and lower categories are now sold out on our cruise. We booked a SS with plenty to choose from. Now, all the RS, SS, Cat. 2A verandas and Cat. 12 and 11 insides are gone. So, I don't think prices are going down - selection, however, is. So, go ahead and book what you want now (if it's still available) and set a date.
This is the first ever Celebrity cruise out of Galveston so I doubt they'll sail with many empty cabins. The good prices out of Galveston are for the RCL Rhapsody and the Carnival cruises - they've been there awhile.
I booked the Feb 14th departure many months ago. Shortly after I booked, I noticed there were only a few Sky Suites available and the price had gone up considerably. I checked a few weeks after that and there are now no more Sky Suites.
We booked the Thanksgiving cruise for less than $900...friends booked a month later and had to pay over $1100...same deal is up to $1600...so we are very pleased to beable to drive down and spend 11 days on a ship for what we are paying. It is an inside cabin...but I like inside cabins...so this is a good thing!
Royal Princess 1999 Scandinavia/Russia
Dawn Princess 2000 Alaska
Dawn Princess 2001 Repostioning thru the Panama Canal
Royal Princess 2002 Canada/New England
Celebrity Galaxy 2004 Panama Canal
Golden Princess 2006 Egypt
Our November 1, 2004 cruise date has been sold out for several months. We have not seen a price listed for future cruises, equal to or less than, what we paid for our RS. (However, I did book this cruise a few weeks after it was announced that Celebrity would be coming to Galveston!
As we have had very good luck in switching dates or cabins, and in receiving deposits back from RCI, I wouldn't hesitate to go ahead and
My "cruise buddy" and I are booked in a Sky Suite on the 1/22/05 sailing and can't wait. We too, are HAL veterans, usually take a full "S" suite. My TA, fondly referred to as "Old Bait and Switch" says that these cruises are selling very well. There is a strong demand to be able to drive to the port. We can drive down from N of Dallas in under 6 hours.
9/04 Carnival Celebration
1/05 Celebrity Galaxy
Brian, Chef Russel, Susan
10 "Dam" cruises
12 "Fun" cruises, Platinum achieved
1 "Royal" cruise
1 "Brand X" cruise
My wife and I checked on this itinerary when celebrity first annouced in November price to get on around $1200. By the time we booked in Februrary the price had risen to $1500. April it dropped to $1160, we rebooked. Since then the bottom two categories have sold out and the cheepest rate is now $1330. Still a great deal fro an 11 day New Years cruise. It should be a great time. New Years is to one day of the year when the who ship really parties. They allow all the staff on deck for midnight. It's the one time of the years when many of these people get to meet the passengers. From talking with some tof the CDs and ACDs it's truely a night to experience. After hearing about it we couldn't book fast enough
MY MOTHER, HUSBAND, AND MYSELF ARE ALSO GOING ON THE PANAMA CANAL CRUISE MARCH 10TH. CAN HARDLY WAIT. WE DID THE PANAMA CANAL THIS PAST MARCH ON BRILLIANCE AND IT WAS AWESOME ( THE CANAL NOT SO MUCH THE SHIP) IT WAS ONLY OUR SECOND RCL CRUISE AND WE PREFER CELEBRITY.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WE ARE FROM A SMALL TOWN OUT OF BEAUMONT CALLED SOUR LAKE. WE ARE ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF (COUNTING THE FERRY RIDE) FROM GALVESTON.
The cruises out of Galveston have been a huge success. They book up fast. I have already booked the canal for November of 2005. I say grab it fast!
__________________ Galaxy to Southern Caribbean 11/99
Rhapsody to Western Caribbean 11/01
Infinity to Hawaii 10/08/03
Celebration to Cozumel 09/16/04
Galaxy Panama Canal 10/31/05
Rhapsody to Western Caribbean 04/07
Millie to Southern Caribbean 11/09