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Best time to book for 2014 and Get Best prices?


CalifGirl67

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Hello,

 

We just took our very 1st Cruise in Sept 2013 and loved it so much we are already planning a cruise for 2014 but want to get the best deals so, When should we book now or later? We booked our last cruise only a month before because it was a spur of the moment decision and we went with relatives that had already cruised before. Any info you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks

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With RCI at least (and most mass market lines are similar) the decision of when to book IMO is when you have a ship, date, itinerary, and budget confirmed. Once you book, the rates are set and cannot go up. However, should they decrease prior to final payment your rates can be reduced.

 

So basically you have nothing to lose and all to gain if the rates are within your budget at the time you decide on your cruise. You also will benefit from greater stateroom selection within your desired category by booking early. Deposits are fully refundable as well up to final payment so there is no risk there.

 

Rates can - and frequently do - change and go up or down. But if they go up there is no guarantee that they will decrease closer to the cruise date. If you wait to book and they go up you may end up paying more as they may not go back down.

 

Examples in point - our March '14 and July '14 cruises have been booked for a while and both have had decreases in price since we booked them which we have taken advantage of. Our October '14 cruise was a special rate offer that has since gone up after booking, but our price was set with the original booking. In each case we have benefited by low rates with early bookings.

 

Certainly there are post final payment special rates that can be very attractive, but stateroom availability is usually limited and if you need to fly to a port, airfares are usually higher and flights limited with short notice as well.

 

So my advice is book when you are ready, but as early as you can.

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As most cruise lines will honor price drops up to final payment, there really isn't any "best" time. Booking last minute might get you a good deal, or there may not be a cruise you want, or a cabin you want, at the last minute. And last minute airfares may eat up your cruise fare savings.

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Thanks for the info, So even if we book early if prices go down they will adjust it and we will still get the cheaper price?

 

Also, how do you get those things in your signature with the pics of the boats? Is there a website you use to do that with? Thanks

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Thanks for the info, So even if we book early if prices go down they will adjust it and we will still get the cheaper price?

 

Also, how do you get those things in your signature with the pics of the boats? Is there a website you use to do that with? Thanks

 

Yes - you will be able to benefit from lower prices after your initial deposit, but they are not automatic. You just have to monitor the pricing on your cruise to check for reductions - maybe check each week. Sales often come out on Tuesday so maybe use that as a trigger day. There are also cruise price monitoring websites if you Google it that you can sign up with.

 

If you see a reduced price available you will have to contact RCI for the reduction or if you book through a TA contact them and they will do it for you. Just a word of caution - in selecting your TA make sure they are clear with their policies regarding any separate booking, change, modification, or cancelation fees. Some will charge for that and I would strongly suggest avoiding them and go with one that does not have these fees.

 

As to the ship "tickers" look at mine in the upper right hand corner for the website and follow their instructions. Under "quick links" below the sign in window, if you go to "edit my signature" you can upload them there. CC also has some under "countdown clocks".

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Yes - you will be able to benefit from lower prices after your initial deposit, but they are not automatic. You just have to monitor the pricing on your cruise to check for reductions - maybe check each week. Sales often come out on Tuesday so maybe use that as a trigger day. There are also cruise price monitoring websites if you Google it that you can sign up with.

 

If you see a reduced price available you will have to contact RCI for the reduction or if you book through a TA contact them and they will do it for you. Just a word of caution - in selecting your TA make sure they are clear with their policies regarding any separate booking, change, modification, or cancelation fees. Some will charge for that and I would strongly suggest avoiding them and go with one that does not have these fees.

 

As to the ship "tickers" look at mine in the upper right hand corner for the website and follow their instructions. Under "quick links" below the sign in window, if you go to "edit my signature" you can upload them there. CC also has some under "countdown clocks".

 

Hey there,

Im not finding where you get the cruise ticckers from, can you give me a link to where I can find them please?

I doubt I will use a TA, Id rather deal with the cruise line.

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Hey there,

Im not finding where you get the cruise ticckers from, can you give me a link to where I can find them please?

I doubt I will use a TA, Id rather deal with the cruise line.

 

Click on the link and hit the tab on the top right called "Tickers". Just have to register.

 

http://www.cruise-ships.com/

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I figured out the ticker thing so thanks.

As for booking early, we have only been on 1 cruise so far so I have no clue which rooms are the best to book Lol, what is considered the best rooms to book? We where on the 2nd floor on the cruise we took and we where ok with it since we didn't do anything other then sleep in there. I do know that on my next cruise I want a balcony instead of just an ocean view :)

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I figured out the ticker thing so thanks.

As for booking early, we have only been on 1 cruise so far so I have no clue which rooms are the best to book Lol, what is considered the best rooms to book? We where on the 2nd floor on the cruise we took and we where ok with it since we didn't do anything other then sleep in there. I do know that on my next cruise I want a balcony instead of just an ocean view :)

 

By best I mean best selection and choice of staterooms through all available categories. Your first experience was on deck 2 - now you are interested in a balcony. So more balconies will be available to choose from the earlier you book. Many people prefer rooms near the elevator banks, some want higher floors, others want aft locations, others avoid too far forward so as not to feel the motion as much, etc.

 

The more you cruise the more you will determine ship locations for your stateroom choices that you prefer, and the earlier you book the more choice of selection you will have.

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