Panama Canal on Galaxy from Galveston

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#1
Central Texas
292 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
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!
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May '98 - HAL Statendam Alaska
June '04 - HAL Statendam Alaska
April '05 - Celebrity Galaxy Panama Canal
July '06 - NCL Pride of Hawaii
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#2
197 Posts
Joined May 2002
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.
#3
New York, NY USA
383 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
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.
#4
San Antonio, TX
8,643 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
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!

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#5
Harpenden, UK
13,121 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
PassionFruit

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.

Phil
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#6
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
1,126 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
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!!
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#7
Southeast Texas
543 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
The wife and I have already booked our Panama Canal Cruise on the Galaxy for December 6th. I think we got a good rate AND can't wait!
#8
Dickinson, Texas
646 Posts
Joined May 2004
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!
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#9
Ft. Worth, TX, USA
496 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
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.
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#11
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Joined
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.
#12
Keller,Texas USA
459 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
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!
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#13
Houston, TX, USA
329 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
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

Bookit
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#14
Monterey,Calif.
943 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
We are going March 10th can't wait...
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#15
Cape Coral, FL
1,075 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
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.

Susan
9/04 Carnival Celebration
1/05 Celebrity Galaxy
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#16
4,301 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
We booked some months ago and we have had one price DROP for our sailing date (2/2005) on Galaxy. Looking forward to sailing Celebrity as we have sailed RCL.
#17
10,620 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
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
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#18
sour lake, texas, usa
315 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by fireguy091
We are going March 10th can't wait...
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.

HAPPY SAILS TO YOU
BARB
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#19
Monterey,Calif.
943 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Barbydaul,
We are from Monterey. There are two couples going on this cruise, all of us experienced cruisers.. Here is a link to our roll call

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=38247

come on over and drop us a line.
Here is a link to the Celebrity Connections party. Get signed up for that if you haven't done so already

https://www.celebrity.com/cruisecritic/entry.asp?

Be talking to ya later...
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#20
Rockwall, Texas
1,422 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
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!
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