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Carolinadavy

When can I book the room?

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Hi, I am going to Alaska in Royal Caribbean with my daughter, my sister and her young son, and my parents in July. I am a very well planned person, so I want to get everything done right after I book my cruise. However, I have been searching and even emailed Royal Caribbean, I couldn't find my answer. As the title already says, when can I book my room? Do I have to complete my payment or is there a certain time before we can book? Also to make sure we can sleep well I have found rooms that we want specifically, can I book my room that way?

Thanks ahead for those who can answer my question!

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If you are asking about this coming summer, booking for those cruises started about a year ago. So you can definitely book now. In fact, a lot of cabins may already be sold.

 

Have not sailed Royal Caribbean for a while, but they will have a standard payment date...typically 60 or 75 days prior to sailing. But you will have to put a deposit down when you book.

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Thanks CruiserBruce, I couldn't find how to book the room though? I tried contacting Royal Caribbean but they didn't reply. My mom made the booking but she didn't find room booking as well.

 

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You choose your cabin when you book the cruise and put down a deposit, unless you're booking what's called a guarantee.  It that case the cruise line chooses for you.

 

As Cruiser Bruce already pointed, you better book now if you're sailing this summer.  And welcome to Cruise Critic.

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Thank you Roz. I want to clarify one thing, when my mom booked the cruise she said there's a fee to book a room is that the deposit? Or we do have to pay a fee?

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When you book a cruise, you book your cabin at that time; or you opt for a guarantee booking where you select a cabin category and allow the cruise line to select your cabin. In either case you must pay the deposit at the time if initial booking. Final payment if the balance of the fare is usually around 90 days before sailing.

 

If your mother didn't put down a deposit, then I highly doubt that she has a booking at all. If she did, she would have a confirmation number and invoice.

 

You can book online or by phone.

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2 hours ago, Carolinadavy said:

Thank you Roz. I want to clarify one thing, when my mom booked the cruise she said there's a fee to book a room is that the deposit? Or we do have to pay a fee?

 

Maybe your mother has a hold on a room?  As Mom Says explained, you need to put down a deposit in order to have a reservation.  The deposit is subtracted from the fare, it's not an additional fee.  Are you working with a travel agent?  They can guide you through the process. 

Edited by Roz

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If you are booking directly thru the cruise line, have the deck plans for your ship in front of you, so you'll know what you're paying for.  There is no "fee" to book....it's simply a deposit, which is part of your fare.  They will tell you when the final payment date is..so you can be sure to get your cruise PAID OFF before that date, or they will cancel your cabin and keep whatever money you have already paid.

 

Yes....you may book a specific cabin, if it's available.

 

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Thanks for all your replies.  My mom made a call and they said we need to pay extra money in order to be able to pick rooms. 

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I am guessing that your Mom booked a 'guarantee' stateroom which is less expensive than if a customer selected his/her stateroom location within a particular category i.e, Suite,  Balcony, Ocean-view,  Inside.  With a 'guarantee' it is the luck of the draw as to what you may get.  Some cruisers swear by them, others prefer the comfort of knowing exactly where their cabin is located.  If it is a guarantee, you may not receive your stateroom assignment until a couple of weeks before your cruise.

 

Just enjoy the cruise with your family, and don't stress about it.

 

Is it the Ovation of the Seas out of Seattle?

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Thank you Ferry watcher, I guess it's the guarantee stateroom.  We are traveling on Serenade of the seas from Vancouver. 

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It definitely sounds like a Guarantee stateroom situation to me - which means the only thing you know is that you have a room within the type that you have booked (Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, Suite, etc.). You may arrive at the pier STILL not knowing your exact room and be allocated it at check-in; you may find out days in advance, or even weeks. If you're picky about the room, you need to upgrade the booking to a regular one - call the line or your travel agent, whomever you have made the booking through, and ask about the cost differential. Some folks would rather have the exact room they want than an even an upgrade to a better category - others don't care at all and love g'tees as they come with savings!

 

You may get lucky and score a free upgrade, but odds are that the Guarantee rooms will be more likely to be on the 'undesirable' end of a category, precisely because all the folks who ARE picky will have chosen the 'good rooms' within Oceanview etc. So if you want to be sure that e.g. you are in a room that has other staterooms above and below, not public spaces where chairs might get dragged around or music might be played at night, you need to upgrade to a regular 'choose your cabin' rate. Since costs vary all over the place it's impossible to say it is always worthwhile to do so, depends how picky you are and how much the cost difference is - only you can decide if the extra cost is worth it for you...

 

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If you book guarantees, the chances of you having cabins near each other is slim to none.  Don't know if that's important to you or not.

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Also, do make sure that everyone does the on-line check-in.  This is when you register all your travel ID (passport # & info), emergency contact info and credit card info all on-line.  You don't want to have to do it at the pier.  It will make for a smooth embarkation.

Glad that you found CC and asked the question!

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3 hours ago, Roz said:

If you book guarantees, the chances of you having cabins near each other is slim to none.  Don't know if that's important to you or not.

 

This is important to consider.

 

And one point of confusion, when you book online, for guarantee cabins, there is a check box for "connecting cabins."  This does NOT mean you will get two cabins side by side with a connecting door.  It means  you will accept a cabin with a connecting door to the next cabin.  

 

So if you want nearby, call and get them booked that way.  BUT, this close to a desirable cruise/dates, you may only have the choice of guarantee.

 

As has been mentioned, many people booked a LONG time ago.  We booked an April 2021 cruise last April.  And a June 2020 cruise in December 2018.

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15 hours ago, Carolinadavy said:

Thank you Ferry watcher, I guess it's the guarantee stateroom.  We are traveling on Serenade of the seas from Vancouver. 

 

Yes, it definitely sounds like you have guaranteed rooms.  That's typically the less expensive way to book.  But remember this, once RCI assigns your rooms, they will let you switch to any other open room of the same category.  Go online, do a mock booking, and see what rooms are open....or call RCI and have them check.  I play this game all the time and 9 times out of 10, it works out in my favor. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:02 PM, Carolinadavy said:

thanks for all your great tips

 

Carolinadavy, did it all work out for you and your family?

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thank you Ferry watcher for asking.  I guess we did book the guarantee room.  We'll see how it goes.  Thanks for everyone's help. 

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14 hours ago, Carolinadavy said:

thank you Ferry watcher for asking.  I guess we did book the guarantee room.  We'll see how it goes.  Thanks for everyone's help. 

 

Hi Carolinadavy, thanks for the update.  If you could just indulge me for a minute, it would give me some peace of mind, (since a third party is making group's travel arrangements) to offer some advice.  I will share with you that I work at Seattle's Pier 91 and have seen all sorts situations involving passengers arriving for their cruise.

 

Most importantly, since you are cruising out of Vancouver, BC (and assuming that you are a US Citizen), if you are flying into Canada, please make sure that all members of your family have valid passports which the expiration date is 6 months after the date your trip ends.  It is possible that if this passport expiration requirement isn't met, the passport holder could be denied boarding their international flight at your hometown airport  Everyone in your group should be looking at their passports today to make sure everything is in order.  Really!      

(FYI, if you plan on going on the train ride excursion in Skagway, passports are needed).

 

If you are traveling with minor children and their father is not joining you on the cruise, please have a signed note from the Dad indicating that he is aware of the trip and that he has given his permission for the kids to travel.  You could be asked for this letter by the Canadian border control officers, and also possibly at Check-in at Canada Place (Pier).

 

As I mentioned in a previous post, do make sure you do your on-line registration, and I think 90 days out you can do the on-line check-in.  It will make your embarkation day easy and hassle free.

 

As for the guarantee staterooms, don't worry about it, just enjoy the cruise with your family members.  Thanks for much for listening!

 

 

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Are you booking a Guaranteed cabin or a Specific cabin?  Specific cabins can be booked right away, but Guaranteed cabins usually just mean you'll get a specific type of cabin.  If you get the Guaranteed cabins won't be revealed until the entire ship is booked.  Check the RC app, they'll have your cabin right on it once it's available.

 

Also, if you book a Guaranteed cabin, you can tell them specifically what type of cabin you want, and you'll have that type of cabin.  However, you won't know exactly what cabin number you have until the ship is filled.

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Ferry Watcher that's a great advice.  Thank you so much.  We hold Canadian passports though.  Will that be a problem then? 

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7 hours ago, Carolinadavy said:

Ferry Watcher that's a great advice.  Thank you so much.  We hold Canadian passports though.  Will that be a problem then? 

Ah, my Canadian friend,  passports are the gold standard.  I actually would be interested in knowing if Canadians can travel on a 'closed loop' cruise (VAN-VAN) with just their Canadian birth certificate and gov't issued ID.  Obviously, any Canadian taking a cruise from Seattle has their Canadian Passport (or a Canadian permanent resident card).

 

FYI, for US citizens on a 'closed loop' cruise (Seattle-Seattle), the bare minimum is a birth certificate along with a driver's license (kids 16 and under are exempt from the photo ID requirement). 

 

I do believe that you will still need the passports if you plan on taking the train excursion - check the train website.   Once the travel documents are checked in your embarking port (Vancouver), with the exception of the optional  train excursion, you shouldn't need your passports (or whatever travel documents Canadians need on a 'closed loop' cruise), until you return to Vancouver. 

 

One story that I will share with you: At the end of a cruise season we had a Carnival ship whose itinerary was Seattle - Alaska - and ending in Vancouver, BC.  Most of the passengers were American, and we had to ask every American passenger traveling without a passport how they planned to return to the US.  If they planned to take a train or bus, there was no problem.  For those who had plane tickets to fly out of Vancouver, BC, we had to explain to them that without a passport they could not fly internationally (Canada - US).   And there were passengers traveling without passports who planned on flying back to the US. The good news was having this information at the start of their cruise, gave these passengers time while still in Seattle to book an Amtrak ticket, or bus ticket, as well as change their flight from Vancouver to SeaTac.

 

Again, thanks for indulging me.  I hope you, your sister, parents and the grand kids have an amazing family cruise!

 

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On 2/9/2020 at 9:23 PM, Carolinadavy said:

thank you Ferry watcher for asking.  I guess we did book the guarantee room.  We'll see how it goes.  Thanks for everyone's help. 


Honestly, I wouldn't "see how it goes" because that's how you end up being disappointed.  

What you need to do NOW is get the booking confirmation for each party and examine them to make sure all the details are correct.  Are the right people in the right rooms?  Does everyone have the same dining time assigned?  Are the reservations "linked" together so that you all get assigned to the same dining room table together at the same time?

It also sounds like you're not familiar with the Royal Caribbean website.  Each person should do the online check-in process, and then print out your luggage tags and SetSail Pass in the weeks before the cruise. 

You should also plan out all of your excursions now -- either in Royal's Cruise Planner or by booking your own tours.  Same for if anyone wants a drink package, internet service, specialty dining, or other extras on board the ship.  Everything is significantly cheaper if you purchase it in advance, rather than waiting until you're on the ship. 

I also recommend lurking and reading various threads on the Royal Caribbean Forum here, just so you have an idea of how cruises work and how Royal Caribbean does things.  

Cruises are different than hotel vacations, and I highly recommend seeking advice from a friend or relative who has cruised before so you understand what it's all about before you get there.  

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