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Princess pricing question


karylrocks
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This is a new cruise line for me and I am starting to look at Alaska northbound cruises; wondering about best time to buy? I see that if I were to book what is left this summer I could save over $1000 for the two of us over rates for next summer, but would it be too late to get the excursions we want, car rental, and get accommodations for Denali if we book last minute? I am not planning to go now but wondering if I should wait until next spring to book for next summer to get better prices? Are Princess prices cheaper when cruises are first released, and maybe wait and book for 2021? We usually sail the Caribbean where prices are lower and planning us much easier! This will be our only Alaska trip and I know it will be expensive but need to save money wherever we can.

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9 minutes ago, karylrocks said:

This is a new cruise line for me and I am starting to look at Alaska northbound cruises; wondering about best time to buy? I see that if I were to book what is left this summer I could save over $1000 for the two of us over rates for next summer, but would it be too late to get the excursions we want, car rental, and get accommodations for Denali if we book last minute? I am not planning to go now but wondering if I should wait until next spring to book for next summer to get better prices? Are Princess prices cheaper when cruises are first released, and maybe wait and book for 2021? We usually sail the Caribbean where prices are lower and planning us much easier! This will be our only Alaska trip and I know it will be expensive but need to save money wherever we can.

IMO Alaska starts out expensive. They usually sell out. If you can afford to wait and are flexible with dates and air as you noticed this summer I would wait and book last minute.

If you want to do a combined Princess land tour I would not wait.

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If you book now and the price goes down before final payment you can most likely get a price adjustment. Just be sure to book with a refundable deposit. And note that if you book under a special promotion you may lose those perks in a refare. 

 

If you wait too long, you will find some of the best cabins may have already been booked. If you aren’t picky about where your cabin is, then booking later can be fine.

Waiting until after final payment could see great deals, but you will be much more limited in the cabins available. And you’ll need to be really flexible with your dates because some sailing may sell out (or have very limited cabins, possibly in categories you don’t like), and the one a week or two later may have space. 

 

Also, if it’s really important to you to book flights, pre and post stay hotels, etc. then you may wish to book earlier to ensure availability and decent pricing. But, even with that, there’s always a chance you could get decent options closer to the trip.  

 

There’s always a trade off. 

There are also some websites you can Google (search for “cruise price tracking”) that may show you the history of a particular cruise’s rates to help you decide how you’d like to proceed.

Personally, I’d book as soon as I know I want to go, with a refundable deposit, and then watch for price reductions.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, karylrocks said:

Thanks, we are flexible with dates and airfare is not bad for us within a couple months. I think we will do our land portion on our own, probably 3-4 nights.

Living in the PNW is a plus for you as far as flights close to sailing if doing Vancouver to Anchorage or visa versa.

From Colorado for us even though Alaska air has flights along with other airlines the price is high and choices are very limited closer to sailing. Almost everything connects in SEA.

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If you want a cruisetour book now. If you just want the cruise also book now and then watch for promos. You can always change your booking up to final payment date providing you have a refundable deposit.

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It seems that the best prices are after final payment is due. Example: 11-day cruisetour August 2020, obstructed oceanview, $5714 for 2. Exact same itinerary August 2019 same category, $2834. I think for $2880 in savings I might take my chances. And that would include all the transportation and lodging so no worry about finding those components.

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We usually book as soon as the itineraries are posted. In almost 30 cruises on Princess we've been able to take advantage of ONE price drop & that was after final payment so "only" got OBC.

We've snagged an occasional sale with no price increase and great promos (Sip N Sail, free grats), but not much in the way of price drops.

If you're picky about cabin location book when the itinerary is first put up, you'll have your pick of almost all the categories.

 

BTW: since you're new to Princess...Google "veteran's benefit" and "shareholder benefit" for Princess. Free OBC!!

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Nice thing about Princess is that they let your change your booking up to the date of final payment for another less expensive booking or wanted perks simply by calling them (or your TA).  Cheaper fares after final payment many times are for new bookings but worth a try.  AK cruises are cheapest during the shoulder season (few weeks in May and September).  The problem with the shoulder season is that either the shops are not open yet or have closed for the season.  

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If you wish a Alaska Cruise/Tour , book it now then monitor Sales until Final.. 

Although there may be better cruise only rates and Sales closer in , the Cruise/Tours have very limited capacity

and will fill out early .

 

 

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On 7/4/2019 at 5:34 PM, suekel said:

 I just booked 2 days ago for an Alaska Cruise sailing mid-august.  I was able to get the excursions that we wanted.  Not doing a land tour though.  

We did the same thing for Alaska in 2016. At this point of the season there seem to be endless amounts of very inexpensive inside cabins left unsold, especially on the one-way routes and we booked on sort of a lark for less than $400/pp.  We also had no trouble getting excursions and overall it was an excellent, economical vacation.

 

One thing I will say though is that if Alaska is a "bucket-list" trip for you (which it definitely wasn't for us) and a balcony-or-better cabin is a must, don't wait to book. Also nail down any indispensable shore activities well in advance.  We observed so many families enjoying the "trip of a lifetime" and I'm sure they paid dearly for them but felt having everything just right was completely worth it. 

Edited by ronandannette
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I just got my second price drop after final payment on an Alaska cruise, going back to the card used. So it is very possible (but not a guarantee). I'm a big fan of booking now and rebooking later when a better price comes along. Just make sure you book with a refundable deposit.

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I just got back from two cruises on the Island Princess, the June 19 northbound cruise and June 26 southbound one. I booked a little more than three weeks before the first cruise. I'm not picky about cabin location--although I have to say that I loved the cabin I received on the Fiesta Deck. I booked the least expensive inside cabin and received a Cat. OB. I would have been fine in an inside, though, since the draw of Alaska to me is the days of scenic cruising, which I want to experience from outside. 

 

When we took a cruise tour several years ago, I also waited to book until after the final payment date. The price was so good my travel agent was surprised. We paid about the same for a 12-day cruise tour as we had paid for just a cruise three years previously.

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