Best time to book summer sailings 2019???

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#1
Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
38 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi everyone,

So I'm looking into booking a summer 2019 sailing of the Western med with Royal Caribbean that just came out about a week ago.

I just wanted to know what people's thoughts were on when is the best time to book. I know earlier is generally the better time but I just don't want to miss out on any potential deals that may come up if I book right now. I would be interested to see what others opinions on it are.

Thanks


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#2
Cumbria,U.K.
6,202 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
It depends... if we really want to go on a cruise because of the itinerary, dates, ship or whatever, and want to choose our cabin, then we put down the deposit as soon as possible. If we like the idea, but want to see if anything similar comes up in the same dates, we might wait until everyone's paid, when they release the last cabins. This is a gamble- the cruise might be full; the price might go up, or we might end up in the least wanted guaranteed cabin under the disco...
We're looking at a last minute cruise right now, which will be March- don't mind which cabin, and it's going cheap; we've booked for our August one since last summer because of the itinerary round Iceland.
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22 cruises; 12 ships; 8 lines; 100 ports
#3
Canberra Australia
44,897 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
We have a similar strategy to Jo. If it is a 'Must Do' cruise, we book early, if it is one of any possible around that time, we wait for specials or last minute deals.
#4
Toronto
56 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Look at Celebrity, 5.5 star line.

I've cruised over 35 times and love Celebrity

Right now they have Free Gratuities, Free alcohol and certain travel agents are offering an extra $300 OBC.

Applicable to any sailing, ocean view minimum, 4 days cruise minimum, sailing between March 2018 to April 2019

We are booking a few shorter getaways because its such a great deal.
#5
Canberra Australia
44,897 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by SM Cruiser
Look at Celebrity, 5.5 star line.

I've cruised over 35 times and love Celebrity

Right now they have Free Gratuities, Free alcohol and certain travel agents are offering an extra $300 OBC.

Applicable to any sailing, ocean view minimum, 4 days cruise minimum, sailing between March 2018 to April 2019

We are booking a few shorter getaways because its such a great deal.
That is good, I am not sure if it applies to relocation cruises though.
#6
Lee-on-the-Solent, England
12,581 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I go along with Jo & Mic.

If it's an itinerary you want, and work or other commitments tie you down to a date, especially popular dates such as school holidays, book early.
Depending which cruise line, you get the widest choice of cabin, dinner sitting, etc. Plus early-booking incentives like OBC, parking, transfers etc, and probably fares discounted from brochure prices.

But the big big big savings are for late bookings - from about a month out.
Problem is, that's not guaranteed. Occasionally prices will increase closer to sailing date, or the cruise will be sold-out.
If you're committed to date & ship / itinerary you have to bite the bullet & book early, but if you're happy to miss out on this cruise or that ship or those dates you will end up with a bargain.
But .............
...... if the cruise doesn't start in the UK you might lose some or all of those savings because of higher air fares close to the date.
...... or if it's an inclusive fly-cruise the airfare is irrelevant, but if it uses chartered regional aircraft (P&O and Thomson do, I don't know about RCI) with a late late booking you may not get the UK airport of your choice.

Once you're happy with your choice & the cost, don't spoil your holiday by fretting about what others might pay for an even later booking.
By booking just a week out for a Thomson Canaries fly-cruise early this month, we got a bargain. Two days later the price was even lower, as they fought to sell the last few cabins. C'est la vie, and we were happy with the value we got.

You could look at booking thro' a US travel agent. It's a little complicated and there are caveats, but you can cancel before "final payment date" and get your deposit back. So if you book early and the price goes down, you can cancel & re-book at the lower fare. A little more detail if you ask.
RCI used to offer a "price promise" in the UK which effectively did the same thing, but that was abandoned a few years back.

JB
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#7
Canberra Australia
44,897 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Great post John, totally agree with overseas cruises, any benefit on the cruise fare is often lost on other late booking costs like airfares or accommodation.
#8
Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
38 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi, thanks again for the advice. I'm defo not going to be leaving it late late. I am tied to the school holidays and want this particular itinerary. I just wanted to know if I should book right now or maybe leave it till this wave season between Jan and March that I've heard about.


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#9
Evansville, IN
158 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Brad548ye
Hi, thanks again for the advice. I'm defo not going to be leaving it late late. I am tied to the school holidays and want this particular itinerary. I just wanted to know if I should book right now or maybe leave it till this wave season between Jan and March that I've heard about.


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I have two cruises booked with RC in 2018. I put down my deposit early because I too wanted these specific dates. I have called back twice and they kindly gave me a better price and more on board credit just because there was a better deal that day.


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#10
Lee-on-the-Solent, England
12,581 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by MVoelker
I have two cruises booked with RC in 2018. I put down my deposit early because I too wanted these specific dates. I have called back twice and they kindly gave me a better price and more on board credit just because there was a better deal that day.


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This poster is in the USA.
Booking terms are very different in the UK !!!!!

JB
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