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Last minute cruises

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We do a lot of last minute bookings (several per year) and there are some tricks to the craft :).  If you are going to be a "picky booker" in that you have lots of demands on cabin category, location, etc. then a last minute booking may not be your game.  Many times a last minute booking does mean booking a "guarantee" cabin  (we do this all the time) and what you get is going to be luck of the draw.  Sometimes you will get a perfectly located cabin and other times it will be in a part off the ship you do not prefer.  In our case we actually love cabins towards the bow and dislike cabins that are far aft....but we put these likes/dislikes aside to get the great deals.  


As to air fare, there are times when booking last minute is an advantage with air.  But there are other times when it is a huge disadvantage.  When I am online considering a last minute deal I will have a 2nd computer looking at several airline booking engines.  If I am considering using cruise air we will have these options priced-out before we commit to the last minute booking. To us these last minute things are so much fun and we love the challenge.  I should add that being flexible as to your cruise line (we have cruised on 16 lines) really helps in finding the amazing bargains.  We might start out trying to find a last minute deal on HAL...and within minutes book something else on a line such as Seabourn.  



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20 hours ago, wearesiamese said:

Thanks you Essiesmom for mentioning your stateroom on the Westerdam. I am about to go on my 2nd(1 day) and 3rd(Trans-Pacific) HAL cruises and the TP will be on the Westerdam. I have a J category large inside cabin on the main deck and I am so glad to hear the large inside worked out well. I   noted the size of the stateroom before booking and I am relieved to hear that is quite spacious(obviously more than the standard inside) I usually travel on ships without inside cabins and so am used to an ocean view from my stateroom.


The website does not give specific dimensions and I had to go to another website to see what the large inside looks like.I have no idea why they do not have a picture of it in the inside category on the list of stateroom types. I was able to zoom out the picture on my reservation, but I should not have to do that. Again thanks for the information


This is a picture of a standard inside on Westerdam in 2010:






Next are pictures of K1116, large main deck inside:









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Two years ago we booked a last minute cruise - it was our second week of -40F temperatures, and we wanted to get away.  I received an email about last minute cruises from HAL on Monday at 3PM, booked it directly with them, made our flight arrangements (which thankfully didn't eat up the savings from the last minute pricing), booked our hotel and was having wine by 5:30 that evening.  On Tuesday, we both had haircuts, I had my mani/pedi and packed; we flew to Tampa on Wednesday and sailed on Friday.  Would I do it again - in a heartbeat!  We booked an obstructed ocean view room which meant we had floor to ceiling windows, but there was a tender in front of the window.  We had plenty of light, but not the greatest view . . . who cared?  We were getting away from the freezing cold of the "frozen tundra" and were happy as could be!


Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂



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Since you do last minute cruises, are the better prices on the balconies or higher? Is there much of a saving over booking 6 months in advance than one month?


One more question...how can you check the rates. I've tried looking at cruises on the ship's site and TA sites and I only see "call for pricing."

Edited by chrismch
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