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mano2020

Is there a way to check out how full a ship is prior to buying?

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I know the last time I booked through NCL their agent made the comment "they are only booked 70% so that's not going to happen". 

 

I'm now trying to book another cruise, and have it narrowed down to 2 both leaving the same day/same port in NY on December 13th of this year, and am hoping to book a balcony room cheap. The prices have been steadily coming down, but I have seen prices half of what they are now in the final weeks. I also don't want to miss out on a balcony room, so....Is there a way, short of calling an agent, for a mere mortal like me to easily find out how full a NCL ship is on any given day?? Thanks in advance!!

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Nope. You need to decide "What It's Worth To You". If the price today is more than you're willing to pay - don't do it. If the price today is at or less than you're willing to pay - do it.

 

If you purchase today and the price comes down after final payment, I believe some people have gotten a % of the price reduction in OBC.

 

Before final payment (depending on what type of fare you booked) you can sometimes cancel and rebook at the lesser price.

Edited by JennyB1977

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Kinda.  If you're making a booking online, you'll get a choice of which room you want.  If you count the rooms they're offering, then you know that there's at least that many cabins left.

(edit: minus the sailaways.  So it'll still give you a sense of cabins available, but nothing hard and fast)

Edited by Named-Tawny

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Thank you for the replies!

 

Yeah I guess everyone would wait if we knew how empty some ships are, or how much cheaper we could get a room by waiting. Honestly the system seems quite unfair. The people who book way in advance often wind up paying double/ triple what last minute shoppers pay, but they do get pick of rooms and peace of mind I suppose.

 

And in my case of getting a room upgrade 2 weeks prior to departure, I got a better aft location than my friends who booked months ion advance! Usually aft rooms go at a premium.

 

Me, I'll wait, especially when there are so many cruises to choose from...Or perhaps it's time to establish a relationship with a travel agent. I'm about to retire so hoping to do a lot more traveling/cruising anyways.

 

I also wonder if ALL travel agents have privy to how full the ships are, or only NCL agents???

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22 minutes ago, Named-Tawny said:

Kinda.  If you're making a booking online, you'll get a choice of which room you want.  If you count the rooms they're offering, then you know that there's at least that many cabins left.

(edit: minus the sailaways.  So it'll still give you a sense of cabins available, but nothing hard and fast)

I believe it will  only ever show you 15 cabins to pick from.  There could be many more, or not. No way to tell.

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7 minutes ago, mano2020 said:

The people who book way in advance often wind up paying double/ triple what last minute shoppers pay, but they do get pick of rooms and peace of mind I suppose.

 

In the case of Norwegian, they may be paying somewhat more than the Sail Away rates (not double or triple), but they also get to add the Free At Sea drink/dining/shorex perks.

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Both of those cruises are 93 or 94 days away. Given the number of balcony categories that display 15 cabins when you do a mock booking on either cruise I would say you are safe to wait another week and get well under 90 days. The next price drop if there is one should be then.

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2 minutes ago, triptastic3 said:

Both of those cruises are 93 or 94 days away. Given the number of balcony categories that display 15 cabins when you do a mock booking on either cruise I would say you are safe to wait another week and get well under 90 days. The next price drop if there is one should be then.

 

I agree with this.  Also check late on Fridays, that seems to be when they adjust prices as well

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If it's Bliss or Gem... Bliss has 42 balconies left and they are spread across the various balcony categories. Gem only has 6 balconies left and those are all the partial metal enclosed ones. You may want to act sooner rather than later.

And I'm not a TA.

Edited by Petoonya

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NCL works hard to fill their ships every week. And as it gets close to cruise date, they will move as many prople upmvoa upgrades to squeeze out every possible cent of revenue. You’re safe to wait a little while if you are willing to take the rooms that no one else wanted. 

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1 hour ago, Petoonya said:

If it's Bliss or Gem... Bliss has 42 balconies left and they are spread across the various balcony categories. Gem only has 6 balconies left and those are all the partial metal enclosed ones. You may want to act sooner rather than later.

And I'm not a TA.

 

Thanks, yes the Bliss & Gem are the ships I am looking at, and as i said, my dates are flexible.  I'm also willing to look at anything above a balcony, so that also opens up other cabins I'm sure.  I'm definitely going to wait...I've already seen the prices drop a few hundred  and that's kind of an"'off" week...after Thanksgiving but before Christmas.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, mano2020 said:

 

Thanks, yes the Bliss & Gem are the ships I am looking at, and as i said, my dates are flexible.  I'm also willing to look at anything above a balcony, so that also opens up other cabins I'm sure.  I'm definitely going to wait...I've already seen the prices drop a few hundred  and that's kind of an"'off" week...after Thanksgiving but before Christmas.

 

 

Sorry....didn't see that you were flexible. FYI the higher categories on that date are also booked more heavily than expected for the first half of December.  Gem is 85%, Bliss almost 80% full. Your original post asked if there were a way to tell how full a ship was, but sounds like you planned to wait on booking closer to sailing anyway. It's a gamble but being flexible sure gives you the advantage. Good luck and have wonderful time! 🙂

Edited by Petoonya

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2 hours ago, Petoonya said:

If it's Bliss or Gem... Bliss has 42 balconies left and they are spread across the various balcony categories. Gem only has 6 balconies left and those are all the partial metal enclosed ones. You may want to act sooner rather than later.

And I'm not a TA.

 

not sure if you are looking at the same date and ship.

 

I just tested all balcony categories for Bliss Dec 13th sailing and I see a total of a minimum of 91 balcony cabins.

Given that cat BD, BA, BC, B8, B1 and B9 each show 15 then I assume more than 91

 

As for the Gem Dec 13th sailing I show a minimum of 75 Balcony cabins with cat BB, B2 and BA all showing a minimum of 15

So I would definitely wait a week. Now there always is the chance that an Indian Tobacco company could come and book up all the available cabins over the weekend, but that is a whole other problem.

Edited by triptastic3

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Yes, this sounds more accurate. This is also a Bahamas Cruise, so considering the storm they just had AND in being in between 2 major holidays, I'm thinking these might be some potential real deals....But, I am getting off topic here myself. I really just wanted to know for future bookings if there was a way to know how full a ship is at a given time, as to make an educated guess when the best time to buy is. 

 

Thanks everyone, I appreciate ALL the input ! 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, triptastic3 said:

 

not sure if you are looking at the same date and ship.

 

I just tested all balcony categories for Bliss Dec 13th sailing and I see a total of a minimum of 91 balcony cabins.

Given that cat BD, BA, BC, B8, B1 and B9 each show 15 then I assume more than 91

 

As for the Gem Dec 13th sailing I show a minimum of 75 Balcony cabins with cat BB, B2 and BA all showing a minimum of 15

So I would definitely wait a week. Now there always is the chance that an Indian Tobacco company could come and book up all the available cabins over the weekend, but that is a whole other problem.

Well, I counted almost the exact same number of available cabins that I got the first time counting. Maybe we can just agree to disagree on the numbers, and share a wish that the OP gets the cabin he/she wishes for. Good thoughts.

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Usually 60 days and the prices bottom out on sailaway.  After that, they can start processing upsells, so you might find pricing on balconies goes up.
Remember that a lot of colleges across the country are already closed for holiday break that week.  So they will fill the ship. 
So that also changes the equation for this sailing.
 

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2 hours ago, MaryZ said:

Usually 60 days and the prices bottom out on sailaway.  After that, they can start processing upsells, so you might find pricing on balconies goes up.
Remember that a lot of colleges across the country are already closed for holiday break that week.  So they will fill the ship. 
So that also changes the equation for this sailing.
 

 

 From what I see, you're right....much of the time. That was not the case on my cruise in June 9 on Escape, and college was out then too. Balcony cabins were 1/3 the original price the final 2 weeks.  And you know what's funny (to me)? I went with a group of 18 people, and not one of them mentioned noticing that the prices had dropped dramatically the final 2 weeks. None of them even looked at pricing, because they all assumed they were saving by booking months early like we did. Nope, not the case! I didn't bother to tell them all that I got a HUGE upgrade for FREE, because I knew they were all paying double what I was.  But yeah, that doesn't happen on most cruises, I know....but it does happen on some of them.  And there is nothing wrong with looking for a bargain, is there? 

 

I get emails full of cheap cruises every day and, as I said, I am flexible, not only on travel dates, and destinations, and I can leave from any port on the east coast, and then some. Retirement has it's advantages...Or so I have heard!

 

 

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6 hours ago, mano2020 said:

 

I went with a group of 18 people, and not one of them mentioned noticing that the prices had dropped dramatically the final 2 weeks. None of them even looked at pricing, because they all assumed they were saving by booking months early like we did.

 

 

 

People who have to fly to the port are much more limited than people who don't.  Saving $400 on the cruise fare can easily be offset by a higher airfare and hotel room price.  I can take advantage of the last minute sales out of New York, but not out of Florida.  And I'm good with that. 

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Both the Bliss & the Gem are doing the same itinerary in mid-December out of NY, mega ship is new to NY market and has all the extra bells & whistles, and ways to reach into your "wallet" ... dinners & shows pretty much all require advanced reservations.  They will pretty much sail down together to PC with the Gem staying overnight, for extended time to see more in Orlando & theme parks, etc. whereas the Bliss will sail at 9 p.m. (8 hours, actually less for a port stopover)   

 

Just saw an GSC update by NCL on their official FB page,  the "Sky" will resume/begin to visit & tender to the private island starting tomorrow.  Kudo to NCL for increasing & pledging $2 million to aid the Bahamas in their recovery. 

 

As for the unsold cabin inventory - not allowed to mentioned other T/A sites with extra intel - but for the Gem, there are currently over 200 balconies under BC, BB, BA, B3, B2 and B1.  BD and BX are GTY only - unable to tell how many are unsold, suffice to say, probably way too many.  SailAway rates for balconies, OV and Insides started out fairly low to begin with - without the "freebies" tossed in.  It's fair to assume that the Bliss probably being marketed heavily & popular for some, maybe not for others - although, prices for the Bliss under SailAway rates also came down recently, almost as low as the Gem (there are far fewer OV in total room counts on the *Away/+ class ships)

 

As it get closer, the Upgrade Advantage games kicked in (11 days from now at about 80 days mark) - moving the inventory around so that the upper categories will probably shrink a bit, not everyone choose to move up the "ladder" unless the prices are "right" ... OP willl just have to monitor, watch & check closely.  Other ways of filling those cabins, as it get closer, is to drop the single supplement/penalty ... sometimes resulting in excellent truly last minute deals if one can pack & go on short notice, sometimes just 4 to 8 days from embarkation.  

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I am looking at the same cruises. I will be traveling with a 6 and 7 year old. Which ship would be best and what is a good price? I don't cruise enough to know what is the best deal. I am not intrested in the free perks. In fact the sail away balcony is 250 less then the free 3rd guest offer. We will not be getting off except at the cay. Our last cruise on Royal Anthem was about 1600 (including tax) for a balcony. We originally booked an inside for 1800 them after final payment the balcony came down to 1600. We got a free upgrade to balcony but no money back. So I am thinking I would pull the trigger at anything 1600 or below. Is that a good price? If we miss out it's fine. We have a cruise booked for May but if the price was right I want to try a last minute cruise as we have never done that and never been on NCL.

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8 hours ago, MoniMommy said:

I am looking at the same cruises. I will be traveling with a 6 and 7 year old. Which ship would be best and what is a good price? I don't cruise enough to know what is the best deal. I am not intrested in the free perks. In fact the sail away balcony is 250 less then the free 3rd guest offer. We will not be getting off except at the cay. Our last cruise on Royal Anthem was about 1600 (including tax) for a balcony. We originally booked an inside for 1800 them after final payment the balcony came down to 1600. We got a free upgrade to balcony but no money back. So I am thinking I would pull the trigger at anything 1600 or below. Is that a good price? If we miss out it's fine. We have a cruise booked for May but if the price was right I want to try a last minute cruise as we have never done that and never been on NCL.

I'd say you can't go wrong with either one. The Bliss is much larger, nearly twice as big as the Gem I believe, and it's a newer ship and has a few more things to do...but I think it all depends what you are into....and your children are younger so they probably won't be into some of the bigger attractions on the Bliss just yet.  Both have a great pool area for kids. There's tons of online videos of each ship to give you an idea what they offer. The Gem cruise is a day longer, if that matters....spending that extra day in Florida I believe. The prices currently are great on both of these cruises, and may get better. 

 

I have friends that have been on both, and told me they preferred the Gem. But they are super laid back and spend most of their time at the bars.  I personally am going for the Bliss!! I think there is more entertainment suited to my tastes on the Bliss, and a newer, bigger ship I prefer.   Perhaps we shall be cruising  together!!  It would sure be great to come back to NY for Christmas with a tan!! Best wishes whatever you decide.

 

 

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Thanks. I used to want to do stuff and then on my last cruise I was in a balcony and I found I was happiest sitting on it listening to an audio book. My kids like the pool and kids club. So we dont need much. I am going to pull the trigger if I see a balcony on either on at 449 or less.

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