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Algebralovr

Anyone else feeling like no point in booking early

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I booked 2 cruises more than 12 months out. 21 days AQ for $7900.

They have since not been cheaper, bonuses and incentives included.

Have slowly increased to the point that if I booked the 2 say 2 months ago I would be paying over $11000- for the 2.

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It is a crazy out there

Book A1 a 120 out for $999, for 15 nights, with a $200 obc from a TA plus $300 FCC.

Now an A1 is $2200

 

I would like to down grade to A2 to get under the hair salon, hate the overhang

 

I will watch the websites to see if one comes open after final payment

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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?

 

You have to book your personal cruise when you believe you are getting the best deal for you.

 

Our upcoming 3 cruises have all gone up in price since we booked. We booked the April one with an open passage $300 obc and the next 2 with a special offer with a $500 obc.

 

I have never regretted any of my booking.

 

I look at is the same as I do for retail, hotels and flights. I might not get the deal that others did, but I got what I needed when I needed it.

 

Best,

Judy

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I don't know about booking early, but coming from the UK, I am wondering if Celebrity even want our bookings, we don't get the option of most of these latest offers.

 

I am at loss as to how they cna offer a deal to people from Canada, USA, Sweden, Germany, but not to UK or Australia.

 

Still we have a choice and I for one will spend my pounds elsewhere until they make the system fairer.

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

 

You're right! Hawaii is hidden away in that section. Never thought to look there!

 

But our departure date price has now jumped to $850 per person more than we paid originally.

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We rarely book early unless it is for a cruise that we absolutely, positively must take, eg. our Tahiti, Pitcairn, Easter Isle, Macchu Picchu, Canal all in one trip. Otherwise, we wait till almost the last minute, hoping to get a better deal. If it doesn't happen, we shrug our shoulders and wait to try again. There aren't many cruises we simply can't miss.

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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!

I personally don't think booking to FCC is worth it.... that is just my opinion.

 

For years I did it and it was combinable with many other promotions....now FCC seems to not be combinable with other promotions......for example the current promotion.

 

Rather than be stuck with the FCC I am just going to book under one of the future promotions and not worry about potentially losing the FCC.

 

Also, my travel agent is a pain in the buns regarding the FCC.

 

They make me put the full deposit down even though I am not really supposed to....also if I want to change my cruise and hold on to the FCC it is such a production......I actually almost lost one of them last year because they "cancelled" the booking I had the FCC on even though I was just changing the date of the sailing.....to get the FCC back was like brokering a middle east peace deal.......

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Also, my travel agent is a pain in the buns regarding the FCC.

 

They make me put the full deposit down even though I am not really supposed to....also if I want to change my cruise and hold on to the FCC it is such a production......I actually almost lost one of them last year because they "cancelled" the booking I had the FCC on even though I was just changing the date of the sailing.....to get the FCC back was like brokering a middle east peace deal.......

 

Of course if you feel more comfortable not using a Open Passages booking, then by all means, do what you feel is best for you. However,you obviously need a new travel agent. There is absolutely no reason for them to give you any grief about using it, & to make you put down a full deposit is rediculous. I would dump them, period.

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Of course if you feel more comfortable not using a Open Passages booking, then by all means, do what you feel is best for you. However,you obviously need a new travel agent. There is absolutely no reason for them to give you any grief about using it, & to make you put down a full deposit is rediculous. I would dump them, period.

 

 

Amen

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Of course if you feel more comfortable not using a Open Passages booking, then by all means, do what you feel is best for you. However,you obviously need a new travel agent. There is absolutely no reason for them to give you any grief about using it, & to make you put down a full deposit is rediculous. I would dump them, period.

 

The only reason that a TA would ask for the full deposit is if he was putting you in a "group" booking. If I wanted the lower price of the group that the TA was offering I would have saved my Passages for a different cruise.

Edited by Christine Frances

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Ok, I booked the Reflection for a June sailing in the Mediterranean, as soon as it was listed. The fare did include gratuities. I'm sure the Celebrity customer service is tired of hearing my voice, but I digress. Everytime there is another promotion, I ask if I can have it. The answer is sure, but you will be paying more than what you are paying now.

 

We are planning on purchasing the premium non alcoholic packages. Due to the 1-2-3- promotion, the 10% discount offer may not occur, according to the last person I spoke with at Celebrity. The guy that I last spoke with was very nice, but firm. He said that "the alcoholic package is a bargain for people that really drink." We would be maybe $100.00 apx ahead if he rebooked us to include this promotion and were drinkers. I said, could we change it to the premium non alcoholic package. He said, "unfortunately no" and that money wise we are better off just paying for the premium non alcoholic package. I asked will the price for this go up before the cruise. His response is that anything can happen:confused:.

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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.

 

Ditto for me. I did check and our cruise that I booked 17 months out - our cabin has gone up $1,200 so it made no sense to switch to the 1,2,3 as we would also lose our OBC but our TA was able to get Celebrity to kick in an addition $200 OBC - so it was worth having our TA check on the situation.

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I agree with chill6x6. It's all about location, location, location! I've tried to book top-of-the-line suites on Princess several times and they are always sold out. We were finally able to get into the PH on the Constellation by booking for 2014 several months ago. The wife wanted a cabin with a piano. :rolleyes:

Edited by john_galt
spelling

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Booking early for the pricier cabins is probably a good idea. They are popular and book up.

 

If you look at the inside cabins, those often are priced less close to sailing.

 

Since I like inside cabins, I only book early if the price/promotion is really good. For example, the gift card and matching discount worked on inside cabins so I have a cruise booked early. And I was assured that if I changed cruises to the same length one, I could take the discount. Worked for me.

 

 

In my case the 1 2 3 would not work. For one thing the price of the cruise went up in the last month. Another is I don't plan to do the drink package at this time, if I do it probably will be for the second half of the cruise. Plus I don't even think it is offered on inside cabins.

 

So each case is different, I think you need to calculate the equivalent cost per night including all the items like tips, obcs, and drink packages that you think is a good price then evaluate the offers. If you find an offer that hits your target, then book it early or later. Of course have a specific cabin or time/itenary requirement trumps all.

Edited by happy cruzer

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No way! I always book at least a year out, because getting my first choice of cabin is of utmost importance to me. And my upcoming Reflection cruise has had prices going steadily UP in most cabin categories. Glad I booked way early!:D

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I agree with chill6x6. It's all about location, location, location! I've tried to book top-of-the-line suites on Princess several times and they are always sold out. We were finally able to get into the PH on the Constellation by booking for 2014 several months ago. The wife wanted a cabin with a piano. :rolleyes:

 

Does she know it isn't a real piano? I don't think you can actually sit down and play it. It is an automatic player piano, which sounds incredibly cheesy to me for the most expensive cabin on the ship. Sort of cheapish and Vegas-y. JMHO.

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:eek:

 

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.

 

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

 

I booked a year out for a 2 week Antarctic cruise at $1900pp for the lowest price then in November made the final payment. They sold it up and up to $2300pp

Then last week, they lowered the price to $1200pp for the same cabin! :eek: Thats a $1400 reduction for the cheapest room

 

Another guy wrote for the same cruise He had seen his concierige C1 selling this week for $1000 less than he paid!

 

I Called to request either a credit or an on board credit and was told to pack sand..... tough pal...* click*:mad:

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Hawaiidan,

After final payments all bets are off.

they want to filll the ship before it sails. You stateroom in the final analysis was a great deal compared to the person who paid $.2300. Someone saw a five hundred dollar saving after final payment. But factor in the plane fare from Hawaii to South America. would you have saved $500. if you waited? I am sure the SA cruisers snapped up those last stateroom.

Similar to the people who live in FL who can wait till the last minute and book a cruise they can drive to.

I hope you write a trip review of your cruise. South America is on my bucket list. But not really Antarica.:rolleyes:

Edited by Azulann

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:eek:

 

I booked a year out for a 2 week Antarctic cruise at $1900pp for the lowest price then in November made the final payment. They sold it up and up to $2300pp

Then last week, they lowered the price to $1200pp for the same cabin! :eek: Thats a $1400 reduction for the cheapest room

 

Another guy wrote for the same cruise He had seen his concierige C1 selling this week for $1000 less than he paid!

 

I Called to request either a credit or an on board credit and was told to pack sand..... tough pal...* click*:mad:

 

I wouldn't feel too bad, Dan, as the Antarctic is what I consider a special trip which means booking early makes sense, if you really, really want to go and have to make personal arrangements in advance (like getting time off from work). It would tick me off a bit, I confess, to see others benefit by waiting, but they took the chance of not making the trip had the cabins sold out.

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There's always someone and some deal that may beat yours, and there is Always someone on your cruise that got it cheaper....at least that is what you'll hear if you go around asking.

 

I'm on a Black Sea cruise that is 8 months to go and it has a handful of Suites, no balconies, a few outside and some inside left.

If the whole point is getting the cheapest, roll the dice.

 

I got one of the few last balconies in Dec and it is pretty aft. I would much rather get a forward 9th deck one so just below the fabulous T-spa on the Connie. I'll somehow survive knowing someone somewhere paid less. And on this and my last cruise, that someone booked earlier

 

Den

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Booked 2 cruises while on one last March.. TA checked and said even with the numerous specials, after cancelling and rebooking I would end up paying more and possibly not having the same rooms! Also just went on a cruise that the price dropped after final payment. We upgraded from veranda to aqua for free but the location of the room wasn't that great. Don't think there is any rhyme or reason in trying to get the lowest fare.:eek:

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Because of Celebrity's games with the pricing I am not taking a cruise in 2013 for my first time in several years. In the past the best pricing was often at the beginning and I have usually booked cruises within a day or two of them going on sale. I had booked a May 2013 Baltic Cruise and the pricing started much higher than prior years. I recently decided that with the cruise fare still so high (and airfare to Europe so high) that I could do a wonderful land vacation for much less money. I am sure Celebrity is waiting until after final payment before significantly dropping the pricing for the Baltic cruise (it seems like many, many staterooms are unsold).

 

While I understand Celebrity is trying to maximize their profits (and do not fault them for this), they may end up irritating a large enough segment of their past customers (with the current policy of no price drops or OBC after final payment combined with frequent massive price drops after final payment) that it backfires. My wife and I need to plan for vacations far in advance, so waiting until after final payment to book is not an option. While it is kind of sad we are not cruising in 2013, we did plan a really fun land trip to Alaska (running a marathon in Anchorage, a couple nights in Denali, white water rafting, glacier trekking etc.) followed by a week in California focusing on food and wine.

 

We are booked with Celebrity for 2014 for Galapagos (and almost certainly will stick with that as we really want to go there and pricing may still be best early on for Galapagos), but beyond 2014 if Celebrity does not change their current pricing strategy we likely will be booking on another line or doing a land vacation again in 2015.

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Gonzo, you made the right choice by not cruising in 2013. If you're not happy with either the price of a sailing, or the tactics that you feel Celbrity is using, by all means, vote with your wallet. Just be aware that the tactics that Celebrity is using with their pricing is no different than just about all other cruise lines, so just where do you turn? I's like the airlines and their airfares, everyoneis paying different fares based upon when they booked their flights. Cruise lines are no different.

 

Have a fantastic time in Alaska & California, & I envy you your Galapagos trip!

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Gonzo, you made the right choice by not cruising in 2013. If you're not happy with either the price of a sailing, or the tactics that you feel Celbrity is using, by all means, vote with your wallet. Just be aware that the tactics that Celebrity is using with their pricing is no different than just about all other cruise lines, so just where do you turn? I's like the airlines and their airfares, everyoneis paying different fares based upon when they booked their flights. Cruise lines are no different.

 

Have a fantastic time in Alaska & California, & I envy you your Galapagos trip!

 

Thanks,

 

It was a tough decision, but we both ended up feeling good once we did the planning and actually booked the land trip. During past cruises we had always talked about doing a land trip and spending more time at places we visited on cruises and enjoyed. We had so much fun in Alaska on a prior cruise and more recently in California on a cruise last year. It will be nice to explore these states in greater depth.

 

At least we have time to strategize for 2015. I just knew we were going to be miffed if after final payment the prices dropped $1,000+ per/person - and based on the amount of staterooms still open I'd say the chances of that occurring are quite high. If enough people who always booked early on (like myself) take their business elsewhere, perhaps the policies will be adjusted. If not, I will have to come up with a plan "B" - whatever that might be.

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