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When/how to book to get cheapest prices?


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New to all this really, so could do with some help please. We've just been on a mini cruise on the Marco Polo with one set of parents and the other set fancy another short trip on Oriana at the end of March. MP offer significant discounts for booking early for next year but I can't see any reductions of any note available on the Oriana at the moment, other than 4.2% through TopCashback. None of the companies advertising themselves as selling cheap cruises seem to be any cheaper than booking direct with P&O. We're looking for a mini suite + 2 deluxe outsides.


Would we do better to wait or is there any sensible way to reduce the cost, assuming we are not prepared to wait until the last minute? Not being familiar with cruising or P&O, we don't know if they have sales every January or you could save by booking through some specific channel, for example.


Many thanks.


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How long is a piece of string. We booked our cruise next week just over a year ago, until 2 weeks ago, it has been more expensive than we paid and it still isn't much cheaper considering we got £150 pp OBC and free parking. It is cheaper to book early until the last few months and weeks. I always use a TA and for a cruise in 2015 on Oriana we got a very good discount, so would not book with P&O direct.

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As has been said it may be cheaper to book through a TA ,rather than direct with P and O, but do make sure whichever TA you choose understands about cruising.

If you are booking 3 cabins then make sure the booking s are linked. If you all want to dine together I would personally go for a select booking. Then all 3 can choose their cabins and you know you will all be sat together for dining guaranted.

Prices do drop nearer to sailing time, so book and don't look at the prices anymore.

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I would agree about using a TA, and second what The English Lady advised - make sure it's a cruise TA, not just a high street package holiday TA where they often know less about cruising than you do. We once spent a good deal of time with a very reputable national TA and when we left Mr C said "that woman knows as much about cruising as I do about brain surgery" (he is a Bank Manager!) I'm not saying it's true of all high street TAs, but often they will have done a few study courses and walked around a few new ships and that's it!


Just remember, a good price is one you are happy to pay. It might go up or down, but once you book just don't look at prices again! :D

Edited by Cloudyrain
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Thanks everyone. If it's permitted, can anyone recommend any cruise travel agents? If not, how would you suggest I find a good one?


When all's said and done, it's only four nights and because of the timing, it has to be that one, so I can't imagine an agent's expertise is particularly important in this instance. But I am keen to save some pennies if possible.

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Sovereign are very good. Have used them several times.


But you need to bear in mind that P and O don't really allow much price cutting on their cruises. A good TA will give you a small reduction - and sometimes some OBC, but if you want a cheap price = saver fare you will need to accept the terms that come with it - no choice of cabin (only type) , risk of not being able to dine together, and paying up front with no flexibility if your plans change.


"you pays your money and takes your choice" ::D

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