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txflood33

Pros/Cons of paying off your cruise prior to Final Payment due date

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I know there was a thread not too long ago simply asking if you do or don't. I'm not looking to start a debate on which is right/wrong in your opinion. I'm simply looking for things I may be unaware or if I do pay it off early.

 

My final payment is mid Dec. Thinking of just getting it out of the way. I know that if final payment hasn't been made yet, I can call in to get price adjustments if the fare drops. I'm also pretty sure I can call in to upgrade after final payment if the price drops...please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

What else should I be aware of, if anything?

Can I switch rooms? We are in 1136 on Millie...pretty much as far back as we can go without being a true aft cabin. If one of those aft cabins opens up, can I switch my booking to one of those without penalty?

 

Are there other things I should be watching to try to save money or improve my room/cabin location?

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Posted (edited)

Price may change either way but likely downward. Depends on from which country you booked the cruise, you may or may not get price adjust (even if you pay the full amount before final payment due). When I booked my cruise, my TA set up the autopay on the final payment due day. I went through 3 price adjustment. Only the first time the automatic payment amount amount was not updated initially, the last 2 times went through smoothly. The last adjustment was the night before final payment. So setting up the automatic charge to my credit card is my way of getting it out of the way. Getting a price adjustment may be easier than getting the cash refund. In some cases, people only get OBC when the price drop. I cannot think of any pros by paying early.

Edited by Tourist1292

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We don't pay it off in full, usually leave about $1000 due at final payment date.  

Pros for me:

I like to see the balance decline.

I'm not going to use the $ for other purchases.

Interest rates are too low to worry about lost interest, $.04 per month just does not matter. 

I have a Celebrity Visa card that gives double points on Celebrity.  I can use those points for either OBC or to reduce the price of the cruise prior to final payment.

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6 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

I like to see the balance decline.

In your bank account?  😂

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Interest that I'd be losing in my account is too low for me to worry about it. I pay the final payment as soon as my funds allow. As far as repricing if the price drops, you can get an adjustment until final payment date, regardless of when you make the final payment.

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I don’t see much of a benefit either way...you either pay for it before it’s due, or not...

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I see zero positive results from paying before it's due.

 

1.  The money is out of my accounts where it's earning interest or invested.  Which is EXACTLY what the Cruise line will do with it.  Why give it to them?

 

2.  IF something happens, it's going to take days to weeks to get that money back.  If it's something serious enough to cancel, I probably need easily available funds.  AND if it's something serious enough to cancel, I sure as hell will be busy with other, important stuff and don't even want the hassle of getting MY money back! 

 

Signed, ex accountant.

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I always make final payment about a month before it is due.  Never any problem with it.  That way I do not have to worry about the due date passing me by.

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Just the opposite. We only book AFTER final payment is due and the saving can be up to 60-70% better.

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Since I only use Amex and I pay the balance off each month, I pay within a few days of final payment.  Sometimes it just depends on when the statement closes.

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43 minutes ago, mek said:

Since I only use Amex and I pay the balance off each month, I pay within a few days of final payment.  Sometimes it just depends on when the statement closes.

 

👍  But just a warning:  If you travel to Asia, AMEX is not widely accepted.  We also found the same in South Africa.  We had zero problems with VISA, except  with street vendors and sidewalk food vendors and very small restaurants and bars in most Asian countries. 

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56 minutes ago, WAVTAM said:

Just the opposite. We only book AFTER final payment is due and the saving can be up to 60-70% better.

Not always the case.  Our Infinity cruise to the Med in May went up (for our category) $600.00 per person after final payment date.  It's now $800.00 per person higher!  We always book as far out as possible and then watch for reductions.

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16 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

Hang onto your money as long as you can. Not that easy to get price adjustments.

 

2 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

I see zero positive results from paying before it's due.

 

1.  The money is out of my accounts where it's earning interest or invested.  Which is EXACTLY what the Cruise line will do with it.  Why give it to them?

 

2.  IF something happens, it's going to take days to weeks to get that money back.  If it's something serious enough to cancel, I probably need easily available funds.  AND if it's something serious enough to cancel, I sure as hell will be busy with other, important stuff and don't even want the hassle of getting MY money back! 

 

Signed, ex accountant.

 

Absolutely no good reason to pay before it's due!  

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1 hour ago, Lady Arwen said:

Not always the case.  Our Infinity cruise to the Med in May went up (for our category) $600.00 per person after final payment date.  It's now $800.00 per person higher!  We always book as far out as possible and then watch for reductions.

Our Med went up $2000 per person currently. Maybe it will drop back down, but Med prices seem high and are booked up quickly. Last minute has advantages living in FL and the ability to get to different ports, but if I had waited on the Med there would not be the cabins I desired and would end up paying a lot more.

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The final payment date for the cruise and the date you make payment in full are completely unrelated. You can pay the balance off months ahead and would still be eligible for any price drops/upgrades you normally would be prior to the final payment date. However, the difference is going to be whether you actually pay less or have to get money refunded. My preference is to make final payment a week or two ahead. Wait till close to the required date but with enough wiggle room in case there’s an issue processing the payment.

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I like to pay it off as early as I can, without scrimping on my day to day budget. The interest I earn on it in my bank account is slim to none and the quicker I pay off 1 trip early, the sooner I can start doing some serious planning on the next trip.

 

Right now I have a Transatlantic for Nov 2019: cruise, flights and excursions fully paid thanks to a very generous Santa Claus this past Christmas. I will also be paying off a March 2020 South America/Pacific Coastal cruise likely later this week when the tax man refunds me a nice little sum. That means I can start doing some serious Disney fall 2020 planning!!!

 

And also agree, making the final payment early and getting lower price reductions on your fare are totally unrelated. If price goes down, then I'll take the cash or the OBC (there's always something to buy or book on the ship LOL). However, seeing as both of my planned cruises were bought at rock bottom prices and have steadily been going up, price drops are likely not in my future anyway!

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I appreciate the responses. The money used to pay the trip off wouldn't be coming from any high interest account, so there's no real loss there. 

 

However, I have learned something here...I think.

my trip has dropped in price since I purchased and I called and was able to get the price adjustment. If I were to pay it off today, and the price were to drop again, it sounds like I could either get a refund put back on my credit card...which sounds like a hassle...or I could get the refund in the form of OBC ...am I understanding that correctly? If my trip is $1000/pp and I pay it off and the price drops to $900/pp, I can either get $200 (2 passengers) refunded to my card or $200 OBC(I would assume refundable)...right?

 

Or...let's say I'm in AQ at $1000/pp, I pay it off and prices drop and a SS is now $1000/pp and one is available. I should be able to upgrade to the SS for no additional cost...right?

 

I do understand the waiting as long as you can so you can let your money make money for me, but this isn't going to happen in this case. The OBC route is interesting if I am understanding correctly, though.

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6 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

2.  IF something happens, it's going to take days to weeks to get that money back.  If it's something serious enough to cancel, I probably need easily available funds.  AND if it's something serious enough to cancel, I sure as hell will be busy with other, important stuff and don't even want the hassle of getting MY money back! 

 

Signed, ex accountant.

 

I see all of you who are paying months and months in advance have ignored the above.  It bears repeating. 

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2 hours ago, txflood33 said:

I appreciate the responses. The money used to pay the trip off wouldn't be coming from any high interest account, so there's no real loss there. 

 

However, I have learned something here...I think.

my trip has dropped in price since I purchased and I called and was able to get the price adjustment. If I were to pay it off today, and the price were to drop again, it sounds like I could either get a refund put back on my credit card...which sounds like a hassle...or I could get the refund in the form of OBC ...am I understanding that correctly? If my trip is $1000/pp and I pay it off and the price drops to $900/pp, I can either get $200 (2 passengers) refunded to my card or $200 OBC(I would assume refundable)...right?

 

Or...let's say I'm in AQ at $1000/pp, I pay it off and prices drop and a SS is now $1000/pp and one is available. I should be able to upgrade to the SS for no additional cost...right?

 

I do understand the waiting as long as you can so you can let your money make money for me, but this isn't going to happen in this case. The OBC route is interesting if I am understanding correctly, though.

 

I believe you are generally  correct on both accounts.  I have received money refunded on my credit card.  Don't accept OBC.   Also, we have moved categories from a C veranda to AQ at no additional cost after final payment.  

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It’s a personal decision, it depends on which is more important to you. Either the interest and liquidity of waiting until it’s due to pay it off (as others have mentioned) vs the peace of mind of paying it off early and other reasons mentioned above. I personally am in the first camp. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

I see zero positive results from paying before it's due.

 

1.  The money is out of my accounts where it's earning interest or invested.  Which is EXACTLY what the Cruise line will do with it.  Why give it to them?

 

2.  IF something happens, it's going to take days to weeks to get that money back.  If it's something serious enough to cancel, I probably need easily available funds.  AND if it's something serious enough to cancel, I sure as hell will be busy with other, important stuff and don't even want the hassle of getting MY money back! 

 

Signed, ex accountant.

 

I totally agree with everything you say, and I have never been an accountant.

 

I put down the minimum deposit required and do not pay another penny until the final payment date.

That is when I pay the entire remaining balance due.

 

Someone made a comment previously that I do not understand at all, claiming to have "peace of mind" by paying it off early.

To me, "peace of mind" is having the money in my own account, not in the cruise line's account. 

 

As jkgourmet explained, in case of an unexpected emergency, I want easy and immediate access to my money, not the hassle of needing to try to get it back from a cruise line, or any other company.

 

After reading through all the previous posts, I still do not see any advantage to paying it off any sooner than necessary.

  

Edited by varoo

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I make the required deposit when I book and pay nothing more until two weeks before final payment. I'd rather keep the money in my own account than Celebrity's. If I need to cancel I won't have to wait for the refund. I pay a few weeks before final payment to make sure there are no problems. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, tomservo said:

It’s a personal decision, it depends on which is more important to you. Either the interest and liquidity of waiting until it’s due to pay it off (as others have mentioned) vs the peace of mind of paying it off early and other reasons mentioned above. I personally am in the first camp. 

 

peace of mind =

 

put it on your calendar

set up an alert email and/or flash notice on your computer or smart phone (obviously, you use them enough to be frequent posters here.)

tell Alexa to remind you

Yellow sticky note on your refrigerator door

Yellow sticky your underwear drawer.

put the money in a special savings account 

 

ALL of the above set up to pay 7-10 days prior to final payment.

 

It's not really about interest in some bank account. The ONLY time anyone should pay anything in advance is when you get a discount or some other incentive.  For example, we pay our real estate taxes with an escrow instead of paying them ourselves because we received a slightly lower rate on our mortgage.    

 

The only thing I can think of that MIGHT make sense to pay off early is a is an interest bearing loan.

Edited by jkgourmet

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