How Low Will They Go?

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Lake Charles, LA
50 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
If your timing is flexible (and mine is), has anybody ever tried booking an extremely last minute cruise (say a week or two before leaving) and received a really great deal? I am wondering how low Carnival might go on price for any last minute potential passenger so that cabins are filled and ships sail as close to capacity as possible.

I imagined the conversation with my PVP or T/A would go like this; "Hey my wife and I can go next week on the Carnival (fill in the blank). What can you do for me?"

I understand a number of factors will be involved, such as date/season of sailing (summer vs. hurricane), cabin type (interior vs. balcony), so I am interested if anyone has ever tried this and if you received a significant discount? Thanks for the comments.
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I personally [operative word] think the cruise industry is enjoying the bump in the economy this last year, with very little need to discount cruises on the last week or days before the cruise.
In the past I've enjoyed several last minute "pack'n'go" offers, 3-day $99 Carnival weekender, 4-day $109 Carnival mid-week, $286 7-day Alaska Princess!, but until this economy on fire slows down I don't think there are a lot of them.
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Used to be there was a window of time where you get snag a better deal about 30-60 days before a cruise. Seems now that prices mostly just increase and the further out you book the better deal you get.

I have snagged a couple last minute pack and go deals (over a year or more ago now) for $169 for 4 dayers.
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Merrill, Michigan
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I'm starting to wonder if the cruise line isn't hurting right now. We have been cruising since 1999. (Ten on Carnival). We've rarely gotten any great offers in the mail. We have a cruise booked on the Horizon for Feb. of next year. Within the past two months, we've both been offered Premium cruises and casino deals. We've never gotten either of these before.
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Originally posted by landsear
We paid $119/person for an interior cabin 5 days beforehand a couple of years ago.
This information is useless unless we know;

How many day cruise it was?
What ship it was?
What time of year (Sept is always cheaper then June)
And total cost? $119/person. 2,3 0r 4 p34cabin? port fees, taxes all added in?
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Originally posted by lostsoulcruiser
I imagined the conversation with my PVP or T/A would go like this; "Hey my wife and I can go next week on the Carnival (fill in the blank). What can you do for me?"


I don’t think the prices are ever negotiable, though they do as the sailing gets closer if they aren’t sold out. There’s a website I like to use that has a 90 day search so you can see last minute deals. Here’s a screen shot of it so you can get an idea. You can narrow the search to carnival only if you prefer, but as you can see; many lines can end up with cheap last minute pricing. Keep in mind that we are in spring break season now. Think the best pricing is sept-pre Christmas


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In early January (this year, 2018) I was half-joking with my wife that we should take a cruise late in the month (I think I was looking at a 3-day departing 25 Jan), because we were both frustrated with work, had enjoyed our cruise the previous month, and our only future cruise planned at that point was for Dec 2018.

The price dropped a little for interiors in early and mid Jan, while the OVs and balconies sold out (suites were sold out long before). The price dropped a bit more about a week out, still not a great bargain, and then they were sold out with about 5 days to go.

So I agree with what others have posted: I strongly suspect the cruise lines are not having to have last minute fare deals like they used to to sell out capacity.
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Originally posted by lostsoulcruiser;55493031I am wondering how low Carnival might go on price for any last minute potential passenger so that cabins are filled and ships sail as close to capacity as possible.

I imagined the conversation with my PVP or T/A would go like this; [B
"Hey my wife and I can go next week on the Carnival (fill in the blank). What can you do for me?"[/b]
You make it sound as though Carnival Corporation with $16 Billion in annual revenue and $2.5 Billion profit in 2017 operates it's sales and reservation department with a "fingers crossed" / "caught with our pants down" / "no reasonable offer refused" mentality.

A few empty cabins on any sailing does not put any cruise line into panic mode. If bookings are soft on a sailing, they are dealt with at 60-75 days out with Pack & Go or similar promotions.

I imagine the PVP or T/A (neither of whom can offer pricing not set by the cruise line Revenue Management Department) would respond to your "What can you do for me" inquiry with a response of "I can book you right now at the current available price. Will you be using a Visa, MasterCard or American Express? "
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As others have said, "real deals" seem to be getting harder and harder to find.
Some of best deals we made in the past were:
28-day cruise on Princess Los Angeles to Hawaii and Tahiti/South Pacific and back to LA in Nov 2016 in an UNobstructed balcony $1998 each.
11-day Hawaii & Fanning Island cruise on NCL, that's one's been a while but it was one heck of a deal at $618 each including return airfare from LA to Honolulu
29-day San Diego-Panama Canal-Fort Lauderdale and then same itinerary back to San Diego on Holland America for $1600 each in an UNobstructed balcony cabin for $1600 each about 6 years ago
Those prices all include port charges/taxes/fees.