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Sail away rooms


Badgeaz
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We just booked a Sailaway balcony for our April TA. Haven't had a bad cabin yet but okay with whatever. Remember when it is suggested that you can bid for an upgrade you still won't be able to select a particular cabin, stay in the same category, and can't bid over if you don't like it. I'd only pay the large upcharge to select our cabin (and get "free perks" if it was a hugely popular sailing. Have a great cruise, whatever you decide.

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90 days out can be tricky. We recently booked the Bliss Alaska at 60 days out. I would have been happy with any balcony or mini suite. The only MS pick your stateroom with perks at $1599 pp was a handicap one so I went with the sail away rate at $1399 pp. Was immediately assigned the same handicap room that I could have chosen with pick your stateroom and perks.

 

At the time of booking the balconies were running about the same cost as ms. Of course a few days after I booked my sail away ms dropped by $300 pp and the balcony sail away dropped to $899. The pick your perks same category I was assigned also dropped to below what I paid. Had it been a little higher $ I could have moved up but since it dropped by so much my pcc was not able to get me anything. Could have easily gone the other way so I wasn’t too bummed about it but pricing can go all over the board close in with bookings. I have to remember that I still got a price that was a lot less $ than had I booked way out. Never having sailed on the Bliss I’m fine with the aft ms location I received (close to spa) but since I was assigned a handicap room I think my stateroom assignment could possibly be changed even during sailing from what I’ve read.

 

If you can live without the perks the sail away rates can be great. Don’t think I’d risk sail away rate on a jewel class mini suite but I would not hesitate with jewel class balcony sail away or gt.

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I book Sail Away all the time, (15 cruises), usually inside rooms; of all those cruises I would say only once were we in a less desirable room, it was ok, but a tad noisy when we got into port (very front of the ship, so anchor and lines noises). Twice we were upgraded to an obstructed or full oceanview room. I intend to book sail away as much as I can. It's a bit of a risk, but the way I see it, I am on the ship, so I am good.

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I've had luck getting immediately assigned a mid ship balcony about 6-8 weeks out. A $500-600 price differential will easily pay for whichever perks you really want, with money left over.

 

Only sailed Princess once and the food was awful. It was the final Alaska sailing of the year, so maybe they were just emptying out the freezers or something, but there were no vegetables! Every entree seemed to come with three carrot sticks wrapped in a scallion. Occasionally there was a surprise piece of asparagus. In the buffet, there was one hot vegetable, usually some kind of mixed veg. Other than that... nothing. Even the salad bar was mostly luncheon meat and bread! By day four we treated it as a joke and it just got funnier over the next week.

 

Had a very nice dinner in the steakhouse, but other than that, it was really astonishingly bad. And the entertainment was not good either -- dancers not in synch, etc.

 

All that said, Alaska was so fabulous I'd do it again if they were the only ones going. The room was fine, the excursions were good, we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge... we had fun anyway. But it did move Princess down to the bottom of my cruiseline preference sheet.

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What's the difference between Sailaway and GTY (which I understand to be an abbreviation for "guarantee" - is that right?)?

 

 

The main difference is that you get the Free At See perks associated with your category when you book a GTY. Also, you get a specific CATEGORY or above, rather than just any category in the meta. Say you book a sail away balcony. You could be assigned anything from a BF up to a B1. If you book a GTY BC, let's say, then you are guaranteed a BC or better, you will not be assigned a BF, BD, or BE. GTY usually becomes the only option once inventory in a specific category gets very low. You see most categories switching to only GTY availability as it gets very close to a sailing and is near selling out.

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When does a GTY rate not include perks? I have never seen that before... granted I have only been cruising with NCL for about a year.

 

Probably not that often for regular bookings. But last year I booked thru Casinos At Sea and I'm pretty sure it was a GTY without any perks. It may have been before the Sailaway rates were released for that sailing.

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We always book sailaway interiors, over 100 days at sea on NCL, and all but one cabin have been good. Once we ended up under the casino and could smell smoke........not too fun. We always book that way on other cruise lines and they have all been good too, with that one exception.

 

We are not picky, so any room is usually okay with us.

 

Also, I don't think any of the GTY have perks, but I am not sure if that is the same as sailaway. Either way, we have fun.

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I purchased a Sail Away inside last week on Jade (November cruise), and just got an assignment today. I think we'll hate it - it's on deck 11 right under the buffet on deck 12.

 

What could they possible HATE about Princess? Or did you mean - they hate the cabin placement?

We were just assigned a room for our Oct 26 cruise on the Dawn. We are on Deck 11, kind of forward. There are rooms right above us as while as a few conference rooms. I think we will be fine. Price was definitely right so we shall see

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If you're paying more money for your cabin vs sail away, the "perks" are anything but "free." ;)

 

It's just a marketing gimmick.

 

I was calling them "Free at Sea" because that's the name of the promotion, not because they are technically free. Personally, for me, I have always saved money by booking a room directly rather than doing Sail Away. While the cost is often much more, it's nowhere near what it would be for me to buy the drink package and specialty dining package out of pocket. When I booked my upcoming cruise on the Escape in October, the sail away rate for a balcony room was $749 pp. I paid $999 pp to book my angled balcony on Deck 13 with UDP, SDP, and $200 OBC. It's also a Latitudes Inside Offer sailing, so we get two point per night which sail aways are ineligible for.

 

So, while I did pay an extra $250 per person, I ended up in an angled balcony with double Latitudes points, $200 OBC, and $800 per person worth of perks. Now you can get into a whole other debate as to whether it really is $800 pp worth of perks because of how "overpriced" the UDP is, but the fact is that had I booked sail away, I would have had to pay a significant amount of money for drinks on board, one way or another. I *certainly* would have spent more that $250 per person on drinks had I paid a la carte!

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If you're paying more money for your cabin vs sail away, the "perks" are anything but "free." ;)

It's just a marketing gimmick.

I agree.

I priced the inside cabin and a balcony cabin for 3 people and 4 people, at both perk-free and "with perks - 3rd and 4th person free", and the lowest guarantee perk-free category IX/BX total was cheaper than the one with the perk of having the 3rd and 4th person "free".

This is on Jade, Thanksgiving cruise.

 

P.S. Well, doodie, the price just dropped by $200 from last week's prices for inside and by $400 for balcony. I could have saved $$....

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On the cruises I have booked (or followed to book in the future), the sailaway price was $800-$1000 per person less than the "free at sea" price. Granted, I usually only take longer cruises, but that is a huge saving per person. Even on our last 12 or the previous 21 day, I cannot see a couple drink or eat $2000+ for a cruise. I get the free Latitude dinners(2 per cruise, so several if booked B2B) BUT, everyone should book what they think is the best for them, at this point, sailaway is the best for us and we have been happy with it. Cheers.

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We have cruised with both sailaway cabins and regular priced cabins (which includes the perks)

For us, it depends on the price difference.

Although we are not big drinkers, we estimate the average price of a drink on NCL is $12.00 (including the 20% gratuity), $10.00 plus grat of $2.00), We probably average 4 drinks a day or $48.00 per day.

The price difference was $420.00 or $35.50 per day on a 12 day cruise.

On a inside cabin with the ubp as a perk, that made it worthwhile to upgrade to an inside regular cabin.It also gave us the distinctive package (internet,excursion credit and phone calls) and double the latitude reward points.

On our 7 day cruise, the price difference was $600.00 ( sailaway vs reg cabin with a perk), We would have to have 50 drinks or 7 drinks a day to make it worthwhile. We kept our sailaway cabin and paid for our drinks, which was about $275.00.

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If you're paying more money for your cabin vs sail away, the "perks" are anything but "free." ;)

 

It's just a marketing gimmick.

 

We don’t drink so we’ve been booking sail away cabins recently on our European cruises. We just need a cabin to sleep in as the cruises are so port intensive. The savings have allowed us to do quite a few the last couple of years.

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As a solo, I always book Sail Away which allows me to cruise more often. Not interested in so-called FREE stuff which would mean booking the next category up and roughly $1000 more. Have always ended up with good cabins (knock on wood :) ). My cruise in a few weeks, the Sail Away category was IX and I was assigned category ID on deck 10. Great location with cabins above and below.

I have exactly the same experience as you. Got the higher category and have now put in an upgrade bid which I hope to get!!:)

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  • 3 months later...

i am wondering when NCL "opens" the booking option for sail away rooms? I am looking at a cruise for end of Jan 2020 on the Breakaway. The Sail Away's are listed but all sold out. thinking they are holding them back and will open them at a later time but when? i am also wondering if the Next cruise certs can be used to purchase a sail away class cabin. TIA everyone

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21 minutes ago, Shattered__minds said:

i am wondering when NCL "opens" the booking option for sail away rooms? I am looking at a cruise for end of Jan 2020 on the Breakaway. The Sail Away's are listed but all sold out. thinking they are holding them back and will open them at a later time but when? i am also wondering if the Next cruise certs can be used to purchase a sail away class cabin. TIA everyone

 

I am not sure about when Sail Aways open, but I do know that you can definitely use your CruiseNext certificates on a Sail Away rate.

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  • 7 months later...
On 9/13/2018 at 2:45 PM, Mid43 said:

I book Sail Away all the time, (15 cruises), usually inside rooms; of all those cruises I would say only once were we in a less desirable room, it was ok, but a tad noisy when we got into port (very front of the ship, so anchor and lines noises). Twice we were upgraded to an obstructed or full oceanview room. I intend to book sail away as much as I can. It's a bit of a risk, but the way I see it, I am on the ship, so I am good.

When you do receive the room assignment?  Is it well before the sail date, or a day before, or it is when you get to the ship?  Thanks! 

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3 minutes ago, CJJSanchez said:

When you do receive the room assignment?  Is it well before the sail date, or a day before, or it is when you get to the ship?  Thanks! 

 

Personally, I've had rooms assigned months in advance, and most recently not until 48 hours before embarkation. It's impossible to know what your situation may be. It will never be less than 48 hours.

Edited by CruisingNole
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We had cabin assigned within a few days of making reservation. Last two times, great locations.  One reservation was made  week before sailing and assignment  given 3 days before sailing. Noticed it when printing eDocs. luggage tags included in eDocs with cabin #.

Edited by phissy
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