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Beachgirl

When to book March Break cruise 2021? (first time RCL person question!)

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Hello there everyone!
I booked our first RCL cruise for March of 2019 a few weeks ago. We've taken Disney cruises in the past, but that was a few years ago (before you had to sell one of your kidneys to afford one!).

We are very excited to try RCL and here is my question. I see that RCL cruises are already available to book for March of 2020. That worries me, as I'd like to book that now but with the non-refundable $1000 deposit, it's a bit of a gamble (what if we don't like the cruise as much as we had hoped, which I don't think will happen, but still). 

My question is: will we still be able to get a good room (no noise) if we wait to book our March, 2021 cruise until we are on the RCL boat in March of 2020, AND are there any advantages to waiting until then like on-board discounts (Disney offers discounts for booking a second cruise while you are on your current one).

Any help would be very much appreciated and thanks so much!!!

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Gratz on booking your cruise. I bet you got a great deal on that March 2019 cruise 🙂 just kidding, think you are talking 2020, eh.  So, my two cents ... if you love cruising in general and you had fun on DCL, then you should be spoiled on RCL. 

Depending on the ship and route you'll experience some great vacationing. For us, we book as soon as possible.   Still waiting on summer 21 to open.  This way you can get the room you want.  As for waiting till your on your cruise, sometimes you get a discounted deposit or extra OBC or something else.   They can also attach your travel agent to your res you make on board.   But, waiting till March of 20 to book March of 21 might have all the good rooms taken. 🙂

If you have a travel agent, they should be able to get you a slightly lower deposit rate ... ours is only 500.  

welcome aboard ... 

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As a general rule of thumb, I firmly believe that booking as early as possible nets you the best savings.  I had March 2021 booked since December 2018.  Booking early allows you to secure a cabin of your choice while there is still plenty of inventory and allows you to track prices along the way.  If the price goes down, you can re-price.  If the price does not (in the case of my Symphony sailing this July which I booked back in November 2017), then at least you know you have secured the lowest price possible.

You could book a Refundable rate and then switch it to a Non-refundable rate when you are more sure of your plans.  While I have never done that, many here have.

The only value to booking on board is extra OBC, and even that is not very significant.  It depends on the length of cruise and cabin type.  It's "up to $600 OBC" but to actually get $600 is not very likely unless you are in a suite for a long sailing.  Even a suite on a typical 7 night sailing only nets you $300 on OBC.  In the case of my Symphony sailing, I have watched that cruise increase by over $1000 since I've booked.  I would rather take the early price without OBC rather than wait until I get to Next Cruise on board to get $300 in OBC.

 

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This past December we booked for March Break 2021 and the price has already gone up....so we believe in booking early if we know our dates.   Are you booking under USD/CAD ?  If the price does drop at all , then you can call in for a price drop.  And if it goes up, then you are locked in at the lower price.  (I think UK has different rules which is why I asked).  But note that you lose any promotions such as OBC with any re-price (and can get new promotions).  And as above, you have better selection of your room.  You mentioned non-refundable though so you would need to be sure of your ship and date as you would lose $200 pp if any changes.  (We always book refundable and then switch over to non-refundable when we book flights if the pirce is less).  

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We have March 2021 booked already (actually 2 weeks booked as I'm not sure of our Spring Break dates yet).  I always book the refundable deposit.  Yes, the price is higher initially but it is will still cheaper than waiting until November when I am sure of our dates as I know the prices will go up.  I also like the ability to change our plans if something comes up.  I have a Alaska cruise booked in 2020 but my daughter may study abroad.  If thats the case then we may go visit her instead of going to Alaska.  I like knowing I can change my plans and get my money back up to final payment which is 90 days before the cruise.  

We like connecting staterooms and those will go quick on March cruises so I book those as soon as I can.

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3 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

As a general rule of thumb, I firmly believe that booking as early as possible nets you the best savings.  I had March 2021 booked since December 2018.  Booking early allows you to secure a cabin of your choice while there is still plenty of inventory and allows you to track prices along the way.  If the price goes down, you can re-price.  If the price does not (in the case of my Symphony sailing this July which I booked back in November 2017), then at least you know you have secured the lowest price possible.

You could book a Refundable rate and then switch it to a Non-refundable rate when you are more sure of your plans.  While I have never done that, many here have.

The only value to booking on board is extra OBC, and even that is not very significant.  It depends on the length of cruise and cabin type.  It's "up to $600 OBC" but to actually get $600 is not very likely unless you are in a suite for a long sailing.  Even a suite on a typical 7 night sailing only nets you $300 on OBC.  In the case of my Symphony sailing, I have watched that cruise increase by over $1000 since I've booked.  I would rather take the early price without OBC rather than wait until I get to Next Cruise on board to get $300 in OBC.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe those OBC's are only good on the non-refundable. If you do refundable it drastically cuts back on the OBC. I want to say the last one I did was an oceanview 7night over a year away and my OBC was $50

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1 hour ago, JasonL said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe those OBC's are only good on the non-refundable. If you do refundable it drastically cuts back on the OBC. I want to say the last one I did was an oceanview 7night over a year away and my OBC was $50

You could be correct.  I'm not sure.  I always book non-refundable so someone else will have to confirm.

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