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Last minute bookings - concerns?


DeBlonde1
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Wondering how many have booked last minute...like the week of sailing... and if there are any concerns or issues that might be encountered. I am booking a cruise the first week in September and the same exact cruise last year dropped significantly in price 2 days before sailing. (same week, same ship, same itinerary) It appears there are quite a few cabins available, so I am not worried about it selling out. If history repeats itself, I could save $800.

 

How close have others booked before sailing?

 

Do you still receive the perks? Can you use Cruise Next certificates?

 

Any other advice?

 

Thanks!

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It all depends on supply and demand.

 

If they OFFER perks, discounts, upgrades etc on the date (sometimes hour) that you book, then you get them. Unless they make some special rules, you can expect to use your next certs.

 

NEXT certs will be offered to everyone on the ship CONSTANTLLY.

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If you can take a week or more off and just go last minute on short notice, especially during off-season & non-holiday period, you can sometimes snatch some great steals. None of the "Free At Sea" promo's really matter to us and we are fine with the Sail Away Rate lately w/o them.

 

As long as you are happy to be on a cruise ship and choice of deck and stateroom locations aren't important, as you could - "could" be booking a GTY category cabin to be assigned at pier check-in ... especially true these days with the Upgrade Advantage "game" being play with the price bidding war.

 

Someone else scoring a double upgrade from Oceanview to a Mini Suite meant that your Inside GTY might end up being a midship Oceanview with picture window, unobstructed on the Jewel class ship or a Fwd Oceanview on Deck 10 on the *Away class ship (note ... expect verical & lateral pitching if sailing in "stormy" waters, of course. If you don't mind those "negatives" then go for it.

 

Two years ago, we booked an Inside OV on the "boring" PC-GSC-Nassau 7 days Breakaway run at a pretty good steal price, a little further out and after a a long wait but still days before sailing, received a BC (Balcony) upgrade for free - Deck 10, Fwd.

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Wonde It appears there are quite a few cabins available, so I am not worried about it selling out.

Any other advice?

 

The number of cabins you may see on the cruise line's website is not necessarily indicative of how close a ship is to a sellout. It's only the availability of cabin numbers for you to personally select.

 

The determining factor of "sold out" is how many seats in the lifeboats are available and how many beds (berths) can be sold until lifeboat capacity is reached.

 

3rd/4th berth occupancy can skew the number of cabins that realistically can be sold.

 

For example, if the lifeboat capacity of a ship is 3600 seats, and you see 60 available cabins from which to choose, that does not necessarily mean there is room on a ship for all 60 cabins (120 people) to be sold.

There are most likely a good number of cabins with 3rd and 4th berths filled.

 

This could put the 3600 person lifeboat capacity at closer to 3560 .. leaving only 20 double occupancy cabins to sell .. while 20 cabins (1 or 2 on each deck) will sail empty that week.

 

So lets say you see 10 ID Insides + 10 OA Oceanview + 10 BA Balconies and 10 MA MiniSuites. You can currently choose your exact cabin number from the 40 assignable cabin numbers they are offering. And you are concluding that based on double occupancy they can add 80 more passengers. But they can't. Only 20 of them can be sold until the ship is at 3600 Max.

 

Add to the above that some Guarantees have yet to be assigned ... some IX OX BX and MX guarantee cabins with double, triple and quad occupancies are sold every day ... and upsell bids are shifting availability around ....

 

 

Leading to the conclusion that cabin availability based on what you see on NCL.com is not at all an accurate reflection of how sold a ship is.

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