Jump to content

Book After Final Payment


Recommended Posts

One poster said they often wait until after Final Payment to book and it got me wondering. We are not too fussy on cabin location, so would be OK to take a chance. Are fares usually much lower after Final Payment, this would be the only reason to do this. Not sure we would do this if air, hotels were involved but a spontaneous California Coastal or Mexican Riviera would be fine.

 

I wonder too if Princess limits the number of available cabins shown on website. A large number of available cabins might encourage people to delay booking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

we have been very fortunate in being able to refare to a lower price even after final payment - once even 5 days before sailing.

 

We book direct with Princess if that matters, and of course we are lowly short, caribbean cruisers - obliviously not your normal CC 'so-fist-a-kated' cruisers that snub their noses at those kind of cruises, and only sail on 30+ day cruises in full suites after flying first class, of course ...

 

but, yeah ... if you can drive to the port, cabin selection is not a huge problem for you, and you have no 'FOMO'

 

do it

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, voljeep said:

we have been very fortunate in being able to refare to a lower price even after final payment - once even 5 days before sailing.

Never thought of refaring after Final Payment, though watch fares on a daily basis and often rebook. Thought we were out of luck once FP passed and so curious about waiting until after FP.

 

We are similar profile to you 🙂 10 day Med cruises have been our thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Be aware that many times the fares go up as less cabins share available. We generally book at least a year out for both short and long cruised

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tedferg said:

We are not too fussy on cabin location, so would be OK to take a chanc. Are fares usually much lower after Final Payment, this would be the only reason to do this. 

 

 

The only reason is avoid having to cancel and wait 3 months for a refund

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, memoak said:

Be aware that many times the fares go up as less cabins share available. We generally book at least a year out for both short and long cruised

 

2 hours ago, oskidunker said:

Not a good plan as prices will only go up as they seek to sail with only 60% occupancy. 

 

This has been my experience more often than not.  But, it may depend upon the cruise.  Once, maybe twice, the fares dropped after final payment and I was able to have my cruise refared, but, I did loose some of the "original perks" that were part of my original booking.  (That was OK with me because most of them were of little importance to me; the lower fare was the feature.)  

 

If I lived close to a port, I would try such a strategy just to see if it worked and how I liked it.  (I am somewhat fussy about cabin location.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read of passengers getting some good deals.  Probably if it is an off time, non holiday, spring break etc. and as you mention you aren't too concerned about cabin type and location.  With anticipated capacity control whenever cruising begins, the deals may not exist.  Lots of folks have or will one day have those FCC waiting to use them or lose them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We can only speak to pre covid.  Most of our cruises have been made inside the final payment window.  Anywhere from three days out to six weeks out.  This has always worked well for us.

 

We are fussy to the extent that we want an unobstructed balcony cabin.   We have had numerous gtys on various cruise lines. They have all met or exceeded our expectations.  If you want  outside or inside there are typically bargains galore.  Or there were, pre covid.    

 

We find that the trick is narrow it down to two or three ships.   Understand the pricing and understand what a very good price is.   Watch the prices and push the button when your number hits.  We have had multiple mid Sept-mid Oct Med cruises by doing this.  Many Caribbean winter cruises.  Some during over Xmas and Spring break.  Same for Mexico from San Diego.   Ditto for Alaska in July.   If we need air we shop for it at the same time to get an idea of pricing

 

Air is also all about supply and demand.  We had a great air fare to FLL on a late booking Xmas cruise.  Our on line TA is great.  When we are ready to book she manages to get the booking held for us for 4-6 hours until such time as we confirm air.  Our very best fare to Thailand in the last five years was booked 10 days prior to departure.  We bought open jaw air to Greece last fall 60 days prior to departure.  The price for that flight was very slightly lower 7 days to departure.  Empty seats on the flight over.  There is no magic answer.

 

We do a fair amount of last minutes.  Spent six weeks travelling through Mexico this winter.  We did two 5 day resort stays that were last minute offers at good discount levels.

 

Don't know what the future will hold for cruising.  It will depend on supply and demand.  If the ship is not full 10,30,60 days  out the only way is to drop pricing.  BUT...inside the final payment window we have seen prices go up as well as down. Sometimes in an eight hour period.   So, if you price hits you cannot sleep on it for fear of the cabin availability disappearing.   The trick is to always have a plan B or a plan C. We are retired and have arranged our life so that we can lock up and leave on a moments notice.  Very different if you work, have pets, other obligations, etc.

Edited by iancal
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Tedferg said:

One poster said they often wait until after Final Payment to book and it got me wondering. We are not too fussy on cabin location, so would be OK to take a chance. Are fares usually much lower after Final Payment, this would be the only reason to do this. Not sure we would do this if air, hotels were involved but a spontaneous California Coastal or Mexican Riviera would be fine.

 

I wonder too if Princess limits the number of available cabins shown on website. A large number of available cabins might encourage people to delay booking.

 In the last 7 years  we have done many last minute cruises, after final payment...... just got to get away......we live in Southern California so Mexico, Alaska, PC and Hawaii are calling when rates are good and cabins don't matter and I simply gotta get away.....availability changes from year to year...2018, worked well for us...2017, we paid more for our " last minute cruises" and 2019 we were lucky to get on at the end of February, but no deal on that, we booked way in advance and pricing never budged.

 

Regarding those who have gotten price drops after final payments...it happened back in 2013-2015 out of San Pedro or at least you could get room upgrades....but in recent years  many available cabins go last minute to gamblers who have points, with California and LV casinos or on-line so they go "free"...so many sailings especially in the fall are full several weeks before sailing.

 

 

Edited by land lover
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen it go both ways. Good deal, higher fares, and have also gotten a couple of excellent price drops after final payment through a TA. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Only once did I do a very last minute booking.  It was a great short cruise for not much money.  Good upgrade guarantee.  But...with so many folks having FCC to burn and rumors that ships will sail at 60% capacity will make rooms more in demand.  That's just my deduction.  So much is unknown right now.  I have a cruise booked for next summer.  I sure hope it is a go since two other cruises (May and August) were cancelled.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

We were about to book a last minute.  Called our TA.  She told us about another, more competitive offer on essentially the same itinerary.  Celebrity ship instead of Princess. 

 

Another time, we called our on line TA to book and she advised us to wait three days.  She knew something that we did not know.  Sure enough we got an email quote from her three days later...the late booking fare had dropped several hundred dollars pp.   This is one reason why we deal with a TA instead of direct with a cruise line rep.

 

On one last minute Med cruise the itinerary and the fare were attraction.  But the one way cruise air home from Barcelona was fabulous from a cost and a routing perspective.  You just never know until you actually shop for a deal and are ready to plunk down your dineros.

Edited by iancal
Link to post
Share on other sites

iancal, I remember now that you wrote the earlier comment I referred to initially. I was especially intrigued by your tactic of 'watching two or three acceptable cruises'. Thank for further clarification. We are able to be more spontaneous since our last pet crossed over the rainbow bridge and that brought last minute booking to mind.

 

Must admit we are a bit more fussy over cabin selection than I implied. Must be Balcony, obstructed would be acceptable  if fare was OK . But no cabin with Lido or Horizon above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here.  We find, based on pre covid, that cabin selection really varies inside the final payment window.  On NCL, HAL, and Carnival booking inside final payment window has usually meant a guarantee.   Our good fortune, they have all been excellent assignments.  Once, on Carnival, our TA thought that we could do better so she recommended that we place ourselves back in the pool for a better assignment.  It worked! 

 

 We also find that after watching prices you get to know the strategy of the cruise lines in that area for that season but that strategy does change.  A few years ago in the Med Celebrity was always the first to drop.  Then Princess, then HAL. Hal was typically gty.  In most cases all three often dropped to a similar amount.   In Alaska, HAL and Princess have seemed to be the first to lower prices inside the final payment window.   But we go with the target price approach. 

 

We have always felt that if we waited to get the very lowest price possible we would be vacationing in our back yard.  Last year we found Celebrity Med last minute pricing high and HAL lower.  We passed on all of them and stuck to our land plans. We do the same on air and land arrangements.  We want a good price, does not have to be the lowest price possible. 

 

We find that in the past sometimes Princess, and more often Celebrity, will allow us to pick a balcony within  a guaranteed or higher class of balcony.  This help to reduce our risk as it were.  Occasionally we have been able to select the cabin on Celebrity and we have had selected the large bump our balcony cabins a few times.  Likewise on Princess were were able to select a cabin on the carib deck that had a huge balcony that included a large shaded area.....at gty prices.

 

We are not fussy. Our goal is a balcony cabin between two floors of cabins.  NOT under public seating area, not under the kitchen, etc.  So far so good after 20 plus cruises.

Edited by iancal
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Tedferg said:

since our last pet crossed over the rainbow bridge

it took me about a month to read that book the first time ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with Chris Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises!
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Royal Caribbean
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...