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Dmdmom2011

Newbie needs help

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looking at the prices on some of those cruse sites that are supposed to save you  money its cheaper to book thru cruiseline itself.I'm new to cruising my question is.Is it better to book closer to sailing date or earlier the cruise we want is in October leaving from our home state SC and i was told to book an interior then they the crusiseline will call and ask you to upgrade but i figured that is for past cruise members and im a newbie i dont want to take that chance and not get the balcony but its really expensive right now for that cruise should i wait closer sail  date or find a travel agent?? help a newbie

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It really depends on the cruise.

 

most lines I book with will let you reface upto a certain date, so here’s what I do

 

book when I see. A price I can live with.

 

watch fares like a hawk till refaring is out of the question

 

stop looking.

 

my record was 8 price drops, and 800 extra OBC, but I knew it was slightly high when I booked it, but was willing to take the risk as the trip was important to us.

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My experience is that prices always go up.  Our normal departure port is Galveston and we book over a year out all the time.  We almost never see a reduction in the fare, probably for 2 reasons.  First, I know what a very low fare looks like and second, we can go anytime. Those 2 factors allow us to book only the lowest fares.  We have 5 cruises booked for 2019 and I’ve already identified  a first to book in 2020.  OBC is a factor but only in the mathematical formula.  

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We find a cruise we want, and book a cabin in an area of the ship that meets our preferences, at a price we find acceptable. Then we start looking at other cruises.

 

On our preferred cruise line, the prices generally don't decrease, as many 2019 cruises are already full.

 

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Do not book a cabin you would not be satisfied with in the hopes the cruise line will call and upgrade you.  I've never had that happen in over 35 cruises.  It can happen, but you can't count on it.  The best bet would be to book a guarantee, but even then it is no sure thing that you will be upgraded, especially from an inside to a balcony.

 

We tend to book closer to the sail date because we are very flexible and look for bargains.  Since you want a specific cruise from a specific port my take is that it would be better to go ahead and book and keep a close eye on prices in case they go down.  If you before the final payment date, you can usually refare to the lower price. 

 

I have very seldom found that prices from the cruise line are cheaper than most on-line travel agents.  Be sure you are comparing apples to apples as to room, extra amenities, on board credit, free grats, port charges, taxes and fees included, etc.   We expect to save at least 10% by using online agencies, and often more.

 

Good luck!

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The opening offer sale prices (not brochure) or last minute prices are the best. Do not count on an upgrade without paying for it. Booking direct can sometimes be better, my advice is to research differing options and pick what suits best.

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4 hours ago, Dmdmom2011 said:

looking at the prices on some of those cruse sites that are supposed to save you  money its cheaper to book thru cruiseline itself.

If you think your bottom line cost for a cruise is cheaper by booking direct with the cruise line vs using a well respected cruise specialist TA, you may want to redo the math.

A good TA will, at a minimum, have the same cabin price as the cruise line has on its website. The TA will also have access to the same amenities/perks being offered by the cruise line.  However, the TA can add additional perks to "the deal" ranging from covering your gratuities to sharing their commission (as a price credit, additional SBC or a rebate check).

 

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Sometimes the TA will not provide the extra perks until some loyalty has been shown but then they should at least match what the cruise line is offering.

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9 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

Sometimes the TA will not provide the extra perks until some loyalty has been shown but then they should at least match what the cruise line is offering.

I'm pretty sure things are different in OZ than in the US. I've never had a TA not offer something of significant cash value - especially on our initial interaction.

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4 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

I'm pretty sure things are different in OZ than in the US. I've never had a TA not offer something of significant cash value - especially on our initial interaction.

Yes, things are different, we have safeguards in place as well if using a TA.

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38 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

I'm pretty sure things are different in OZ than in the US. I've never had a TA not offer something of significant cash value - especially on our initial interaction.

Yes things are greatly different.

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7 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

The opening offer sale prices (not brochure) or last minute prices are the best. Do not count on an upgrade without paying for it. Booking direct can sometimes be better, my advice is to research differing options and pick what suits best.

 

This is our experience. We book early and after booking watch the prices until final payment (in case we can get a drop). Almost always from when we book until final payment the prices only go up. After final payment, sometimes the prices drop. And as the cruise approaches, sometimes they drop and sometimes they go up. It just depends on how it’s selling.

 

 

What cruise are you looking at and how much flexibility do you have? October is hurricane season for the Caribbean so prices tend to be low. If they are high now, I would be willing to gamble and wait till the cruise was closer to see if they dropped. Can you drive to the port or are you flying? Personally I’m not comfortable buying airfare without having the cruise booked. 

 

Also are you based in the US or somewhere else? Different countries have different rules in regards to price drops and upgrades.

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14 hours ago, lifes-a-beach said:

My experience is that prices always go up.  Our normal departure port is Galveston and we book over a year out all the time.  We almost never see a reduction in the fare, probably for 2 reasons.  First, I know what a very low fare looks like and second, we can go anytime. Those 2 factors allow us to book only the lowest fares.  We have 5 cruises booked for 2019 and I’ve already identified  a first to book in 2020.  OBC is a factor but only in the mathematical formula.  

 

Not true at all.  We booked 4 fares to AK maybe 5 months ago at a price that I could accept.  Just recently, the cost went down $300  per person.  That's $1200 total.  That pays for my tours at Anan.

 

DON

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15 hours ago, Dmdmom2011 said:

looking at the prices on some of those cruse sites that are supposed to save you  money its cheaper to book thru cruiseline itself.I'm new to cruising my question is.Is it better to book closer to sailing date or earlier the cruise we want is in October leaving from our home state SC and i was told to book an interior then they the crusiseline will call and ask you to upgrade but i figured that is for past cruise members and im a newbie i dont want to take that chance and not get the balcony but its really expensive right now for that cruise should i wait closer sail  date or find a travel agent?? help a newbie

 

Welcome to CruiseCritic!

 

When you start a post in the future, it will help others (so they can help you!) if you put at least a hint in the subject header/title about the content of your question (e.g., "How to get lowest price?" , or "Which cruise line is best for x?", or "How can I find excursions in Antarctica with swimming?" :classic_biggrin:).

 

Otherwise, there is a good chance that some people who may have been able to offer helpful information might just move on to the next post.

 

GC

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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

 

Not true at all.  We booked 4 fares to AK maybe 5 months ago at a price that I could accept.  Just recently, the cost went down $300  per person.  That's $1200 total.  That pays for my tours at Anan.

 

DON

It all depends on the cruise and when you book.

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26 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

It all depends on the cruise and when you book.

 

26 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

It all depends on the cruise and when you book.

 

We both know that this is true.  My response was to Lifes-a-Beach post that stated "My experience is that prices always go up".  

 

DON

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:24 PM, donaldsc said:

 

Not true at all.  We booked 4 fares to AK maybe 5 months ago at a price that I could accept.  Just recently, the cost went down $300  per person.  That's $1200 total.  That pays for my tours at Anan.

 

DON

 Which part is not true at all?

 

 “My experience is that prices always go up.”  That’s my experience and I’m certain I haven’t lied about my personal experience.

 

 Our normal departure port is Galveston and we book over a year out all the time.”   Two truths I one sentence.

 

“We almost never see a reduction in fares...”  Another truth for us.

 

”I know what a very low fare looks like...”  yep...true.

 

”We can go anytime”.  I think I’m detecting a pattern here.

 

You see, what’s true for me may not be true for you.  

 

 

 

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Yep people have different needs and book differing cruises which may or may not behave the same in their pricing. Some go up and up and other drop after the initial offerings. Supply and demand drives the pricing.

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