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Algebralovr

Anyone else feeling like no point in booking early

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We took our first Celebrity cruise last February. Came home and booked another one. The price hasn't dropped like they did last year, in fact is $2.00 more per person now than last year, but the perks are a lot better than they were last year this time.

 

Then, when the winter 2014 schedule was announced and offered the extra OBC through Capt.Club, we booked for Feb 2014. Celebrity gave us $200 OBC.

 

Now, they are offering $300 OBC for that cruise, or the beverage package, or the prepaid grats (which are less than the OBC, so why would anyone pick that for my cruise?)

 

I've asked my TA to inquire with Celebrity, about going to the new promo since we are still more than 12 months out.

 

Now, we are looking forward to booking a family vacation for summer 2014, and wondering if we should buy the Open Passages when we cruise in Feb 2013. If the schedule was out for that time period, we'd book under the 1,2,3,GO! promo, but it hasn't been announced yet.

 

Ideas?

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We took our first Celebrity cruise last February. Came home and booked another one. The price hasn't dropped like they did last year, in fact is $2.00 more per person now than last year, but the perks are a lot better than they were last year this time.

 

Then, when the winter 2014 schedule was announced and offered the extra OBC through Capt.Club, we booked for Feb 2014. Celebrity gave us $200 OBC.

 

Now, they are offering $300 OBC for that cruise, or the beverage package, or the prepaid grats (which are less than the OBC, so why would anyone pick that for my cruise?)

 

I've asked my TA to inquire with Celebrity, about going to the new promo since we are still more than 12 months out.

 

 

Hi Barb,

 

For your current booking, as you are 12 months out, if you have a fully deposited booking, you should have no problem moving to the 123 Go Promotion. That's the path to take.

 

Please let us know what happens. Good Luck !

Edited by Host Andy

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Thanks, Andy,

I've emailed my TA to ask her to look into it. I'm guessing she is working like crazy - with all the great promos being offered. I'm sure she will email or call me in the next little bit.

 

I'm trying to decide which perk we'd be better off with, the $300 OBC or the classic beverage package, knowing that DH really just wants the premium non-alc package. While logic suggests that with a classic beverage package, DH could get his frozen non-alc drinks, you never know. They sometimes do seem to make up the rules as they go along. Of course, since a frozen non-alc drink is under $8, he should be able to get it, so I guess I shouldn't worry. At least, that would be the argument.

 

Now, I'm really torn about how to plan for Summer 2014 - when we want to do the med with our kids and some other family members. I was planning to purchase FCCs, but wonder if I really should?

 

Anyone else have feedback to offer?

 

Thanks!

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I feel the same. Got the RD on three cruises that I scheduled early using Future Passage Certificates. The only thing I got out of them was the SBC

 

Using those certificates to book a cruise basically locks you out of any promos that are lateroffered for new bookings only. You can tranfer that certificate but it is not considered a new booking so you don't get the promo.

 

The catch 22 for booking early is you are guaranteed the lowest price. That is only true if you keep watching the prices and then you have to apply. It is not given automatically.

 

The other catch is they will never lower the price. What they do is keep the price the same but load it up with promotional incentives to offset lowering the cost.

 

I will never purchase another FCC again or book early. May regret it but seeing what has been happening I don't think so. I will just wait for the fantastic deals and if I get a cruise OK if not than nothing lost as there are plenty of opportunities.

 

So yes there is no longer a reason to book early for me.

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Don't worry, Celebrity will roll out a new promotion when they release their 2014 European cruises in March thru Arpril.

 

I am waiting for their itineraries too.

but cruising in Europe for me is all about getting an airfare I can live with. I am already looking at airfare for late 2013 to get some idea about the range for 2013 and then just add another $500. to be on the safe side for 2014.but this will only be my beignning base line.

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In our case, it was a good move to book earlier instead of gambling on a better deal closer to sailing.

 

The 123 Promo does NOT include Hawaii cruises, as far as I could tell. The rate for our outside double in March has gone up by $700 per person since we booked! And it has held steady at the price for weeks. So I think we are looking at close to a sellout.

 

And we're happy to have the $300 OBC and an upgrade (from the passages future cruise certificate we bought on our last cruise) plus what our travel agency is doing for an OBC.

 

All in all, I'm really happy with our booking and looking forward to sailing in two months.

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The other side of the coin - we booked early for our upcoming cruise. The current prices for the room we booked are now considerably higher than they were then, more so than the value of the perks now being offered. They have been steadily rising for some time. I think in making the early/wait decision one needs to consider the cruise itself and how popular you expect it to be. You need to factor in the ship, the time of year, the itinerary, etc.. Our cruise is a 10 night out of FLL on a newer ship (Equinox) in the spring. There are not alot of similar cruises to choose from on Celebrity for a 10 day Caribbean itinerary. In this particular case, it would have cost us $$ to wait.

 

If you are looking quite a ways ahead (one year+) it might be wise to take a look over a few weeks time as to how similar cruises are trending this year during that same time period. No guarantees, but many trends tend to repeat. Worth thinking about.

 

I do not want to sound like I am lecturing as I am speaking for myself only, but I book what I think is fair, keep a casual eye on prices in case of fare drops for potential upgrades, and pretty much ignore all the "new booking only" specials. I just plain don't want to aggravate myself or let myself feel stressed out about someone getting more than me. Considering the state of the world, I consider myself very, very lucky to be able to cruise at all. To complain or worry that I might miss a bargain, or that someone is able to get a better deal than I did? Not gonna happen. Life is too short. Ok, re-reading this it sounds like lecturing and I don't mean to. Just want to explain my view of things.

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Don't worry, Celebrity will roll out a new promotion when they release their 2014 European cruises in March thru Arpril.

 

I am waiting for their itineraries too.

but cruising in Europe for me is all about getting an airfare I can live with. I am already looking at airfare for late 2013 to get some idea about the range for 2013 and then just add another $500. to be on the safe side for 2014.but this will only be my beignning base line.

 

Agree, if have to book flights, it pays to book the cruise early. This also applies for accommodation in Europe. A lot of the favorite appartments and hotels booked quickly for this year (2013).

 

However, the open packages does not seem to work that favorable as compared with an early saver booking.

Have not much experience, but on my 1st X cruise was able to get three price drops after booking.

And now on my 2nd the fare was $70 below the 1st fare and am trying at the moment to see if us here "down under" are eligable for the 1,2,3 offer.

 

So, it seems that it is okay to go with an early booking when you have to go overseas, as there are always promo's going on during the year. You must of course monitor these and the different prices on a regular basis.

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I have found it almost comical reading all the recent posts regarding the incentives that Celebrity have been offering recently, with so many people wringing their hands that the "best deal" they thought they received turned out in their eyes at least, not to be the best deal.

Look at it this way; if you are pleased with the deal you got & the price you paid for the cabin you wanted when you booked, then don't worry so much that you could have gotten a better deal if you only waited. So what!!!! You win some & you lose some. Sometimes the price goes up & you can crow that you paid a great price, & sometimes a deal comes along that you don't qualify for, & you lose out on it.

 

Bought an open passages booking & a better deal comes along?...don't use the open passages & take advantage of the better deal; save the future booking. Don't think the future deal is good enough?... don't buy it & hope that a better deal comes along, but don't complain if it doesn't.

This is the cruise wave season & the cruise lines are going to offer what they think will be incentives to make more people book now, & perhaps later won't have to lower so many fares to fill their ships at the last minute. We should be grateful that they're offering the incentives.

 

And a note to Andy; you are an absolute saint with the patience you show on the other thread which prompted this one in politely responding to the multiude of "what about this" & "do you think I can....?", & the "why can't they?.." They could not pay me enough to do what you do here for nothing.

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Our upcoming cruise is way more costly than when we booked it over a year ago. Plus I will get shareholders OBC. The current 123 offering is no deal over booking early for us.

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The other side of the coin - we booked early for our upcoming cruise. The current prices for the room we booked are now considerably higher than they were then, more so than the value of the perks now being offered. They have been steadily rising for some time. I think in making the early/wait decision one needs to consider the cruise itself and how popular you expect it to be. You need to factor in the ship, the time of year, the itinerary, etc.. Our cruise is a 10 night out of FLL on a newer ship (Equinox) in the spring. There are not alot of similar cruises to choose from on Celebrity for a 10 day Caribbean itinerary. In this particular case, it would have cost us $$ to wait.

 

If you are looking quite a ways ahead (one year+) it might be wise to take a look over a few weeks time as to how similar cruises are trending this year during that same time period. No guarantees, but many trends tend to repeat. Worth thinking about.

 

I do not want to sound like I am lecturing as I am speaking for myself only, but I book what I think is fair, keep a casual eye on prices in case of fare drops for potential upgrades, and pretty much ignore all the "new booking only" specials. I just plain don't want to aggravate myself or let myself feel stressed out about someone getting more than me. Considering the state of the world, I consider myself very, very lucky to be able to cruise at all. To complain or worry that I might miss a bargain, or that someone is able to get a better deal than I did? Not gonna happen. Life is too short. Ok, re-reading this it sounds like lecturing and I don't mean to. Just want to explain my view of things.

 

Excellent post & a great attitude! That's what I'm talking about! Well put!

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re: Anyone else feeling like no point in booking early?

 

No! The prices on our March cruise have gone up by around $800/pp since our early booking price. That's about a 40% increase.

 

It really depends on when you are sailing. Certain times of the year tend to sell out often and certain ones seldom do.

 

It also depends on how flexible you are. Can you wait until the last minute and then either forgo the cruise if prices get too high or be able to book last minute airfare if the prices drop? Is your schedule flexible or do you have to schedule vacation time months in advance?

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Last-Minute {Weeks} Cruisers

 

We've only been crusing since 2008, but our approach has been to plan acceptable time periods to "look for and book last minute arrangements." The only reason this works for us is air travel is not a factor with so many flight credits. We actually stalk cruises we want and check availability regularly for 4-3 weeks out. Each of the sites we check routinely email us better incentives; seemingly, the more we check the specific cruise and even the stateroom categories.

 

We've been lucky to have landed suites, family 2-bedrooms w/veranda's and concierge class rooms within the 3 week or so window at really, really good prices. It appears closely related to "insured cancelations" according to the travel agents that end up getting us our deals. Our flexibility with dates and rooms gives them the opportunity to fill a room real late at a great rate. Great rate is relative, I don't know what others paid but I know what we want and are willing to pay for it.

 

We could not do this if we didn't control our own schedules, open air ability, and certainly not back when the kids were still in the "vacation picture."

 

Just booked an 11N Southern C on Equinox in a Concierge mid-ship SR that "just opened up, our agent saw it and reserved it and we took it." Booked excursions and specialty dining reservations at requested chosen times first time in.

 

Just an FYI. It seems to work for us. Then again, it might not some day.

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Our Celebrity Eclipse cruise has gone way up since we booked last year. As some of the others have said, it depends on how popular the cruise is as to if the price goes up, or stays low.

 

I am thinking of booking a 5 night on Constellation Feb/14. Price is not rock bottom, but this will give us a chance to try out the beverage package. Not sure yet if we will book this, or wait until we see if the price comes down (this would be a gamble though).

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Thanks for letting my vent, all.

 

It sounds like most of you believe we are still best off doing the FCC for summer 2014. I've been satisfied so far, booking 10 or more months out, before costs started to change and while I could hunt for airfare.

 

I'll go ahead with that plan for the next one as well.

 

Thanks all!

 

And Andy, thanks for your patience with us all this week!

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In our case, it was a good move to book earlier instead of gambling on a better deal closer to sailing.

 

The 123 Promo does NOT include Hawaii cruises, as far as I could tell. The rate for our outside double in March has gone up by $700 per person since we booked! And it has held steady at the price for weeks. So I think we are looking at close to a sellout.

 

And we're happy to have the $300 OBC and an upgrade (from the passages future cruise certificate we bought on our last cruise) plus what our travel agency is doing for an OBC.

 

All in all, I'm really happy with our booking and looking forward to sailing in two months.

I agree; we booked in 2011 for our 2013 Hawaiian Cruise and I will enjoy the onboard, credit, as well. We had one price adjustment in 2012. The Concierge Class seems to be rising, as well.

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...The 123 Promo does NOT include Hawaii cruises, as far as I could tell...

It may or may not not be available to those already booked on a Hawaii cruise, but it definitely includes new bookings to Hawaii. We just booked the March 4, 2013 Sailing on Century from San Diego to Hawaii, and had our choice of one of the promotions. We chose the gratuities, because it's a 15 day cruise in a suite, and the gratuities are worth $450. We don't drink enough to make the Classic Beverage Packages worthwhile, even though they have a higher market value ($88/day for 15 days!)

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Not sure I like not booking early, but we are trying it this year just to try it. I like to book early and get the cabin I want, though I am not too picky. Also, and for me this is the best part, I like being on the specific cruise threads early making friends and enjoying the pre-cruise anticipation and discussion.:)

 

Will know later this year if we saved any money too. We have seen cruise prices go up mostly after booking but there have been some exceptions and for sure there are some special prices after final payment is due and never been able to take advantage of them.

 

As to flexibility, we have some and that is another reason we are trying it out this year.

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I see lots of good reasons to book early .....

 

Now I dont see ANY good reasons to pay in FULL early

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I ALWAYS book WAY early.... MAINLY because I am cabin picky. I MAY pay a few hundred dollars more for a cruise but to have the exact cabin I think I'll best enjoy, it's all worth it. :)

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I surely liked that I have booked early:)

 

As mentioned above I was waiting to see if was eligible for the 1 2 3 promotion and just found out that I was allowed to re-book. But even with two free beverage packages and the free tips, it still would cost me more then $1,000 NZ for the total cabin fare price.

Of course I sticked with the early saver fare:D

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I booked my upcoming cruise on the first available day, which works out to about 20 months in advance :D Even with the promos available right now, I'd be paying more if I cancelled & rebooked, our cruise has gone up $1100, plus we'd lose our $450 OBC... plus, booked my favorite cabin, :) so in our case, I'm happy with booking ahead... still hoping for a price reduction, but I doubt it will ever go down to as low as it was when we booked it, maybe after final payment, but I'm ok with that.

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The 123 Promo does NOT include Hawaii cruises, as far as I could tell. The rate for our outside double in March has gone up by $700 per person since we booked! And it has held steady at the price for weeks. So I think we are looking at close to a sellout.

.

 

sure it does... They're under the Australia/New Zealand link

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I ALWAYS book WAY early.... MAINLY because I am cabin picky. I MAY pay a few hundred dollars more for a cruise but to have the exact cabin I think I'll best enjoy, it's all worth it. :)

 

My thoughts exactly! I booked my March cruise in June 2011. I upgraded from CC to S1 in June 2012. Right now CC is selling for more than I paid for the S1. :D

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For a number of reasons....:)

 

1. We both work full time, and cannot book anything at the last minute.

2. We can pick and choose the cabin (location, category)

3. We have a great vacation to look foward to! Makes those long, hard days at work tolerable!!

4. We have lots of time to save up the $$, and can get it paid off easily!

5. Have time for any discounts, promotions.

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