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CaptainPanda

New cruiser looking for deals

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Hi, everybody! I've been on a couple of cruises before when I was a kid, but this will be my first time doing everything on my own. I'm currently looking at one of the RC cruises to Cococay or Labidee in February. I know that the recommendation is to go with a travel agent, but I wanted to get an idea of pricing before I actually committed, and the RC website was fairly easy to navigate.

I know that the Labor Day sale is wrapping up shortly, and I'm afraid that I'm going to miss it. Does anyone know if RC has a fairly consistent schedule for sales events? If so, do you know when the next one might be?

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Usually the best pricing and cabin selection is when the itineraries are released to the public.  They are approximately 18mo-24mo ahead.  If you reside in the USA/Canada, you can book and re-price if there is a better promo for your sailing up to final payment. 

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There will ALWAYS be some sort of fake sale going on.  Your best best is to check back every few days to get a baseline of how much your sailing(s) move up and down so you get a ballpark range for comparison.  If you were to check today and the price just seemed TOO good, go ahead and book and be careful of the NON REFUNDABLE deposit fares.

 

You may reprice should the price drop more than 90 days prior to sailing.

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7 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Hi, everybody! I've been on a couple of cruises before when I was a kid, but this will be my first time doing everything on my own. I'm currently looking at one of the RC cruises to Cococay or Labidee in February. I know that the recommendation is to go with a travel agent, but I wanted to get an idea of pricing before I actually committed, and the RC website was fairly easy to navigate.

I know that the Labor Day sale is wrapping up shortly, and I'm afraid that I'm going to miss it. Does anyone know if RC has a fairly consistent schedule for sales events? If so, do you know when the next one might be?

Even though he RC website is easy to navigate, I would strongly recommend a travel agent. They will work to get you the best price, check prices in case they drop and can rebook your cruise for you if the price drops. That's their job and the best thing about them is that their services are free! Or should be if they are a good TA. They get paid by RC. I and others on this site would recommend MEI travel, but feel free to contact whoever you want. 

Happy Cruising!

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Check many sites..Royal's site is usually the MOST expensive. I would recommend always checking 3-4 other sites for best prices and/or incentives.

 

Just be careful when you book as the refundable/non-refundable difference can get you...

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40 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Hi, everybody! I've been on a couple of cruises before when I was a kid, but this will be my first time doing everything on my own. I'm currently looking at one of the RC cruises to Cococay or Labidee in February. I know that the recommendation is to go with a travel agent, but I wanted to get an idea of pricing before I actually committed, and the RC website was fairly easy to navigate.

I know that the Labor Day sale is wrapping up shortly, and I'm afraid that I'm going to miss it. Does anyone know if RC has a fairly consistent schedule for sales events? If so, do you know when the next one might be?

If the price before the add-ons is about $100 per night, you are doing OK.  Less than that I consider cheap, more than that is pricey for an inside or ocean view room.  Different ships/ports have higher prices.  Peak season can easily be 50% to 100% more. Sometimes the agent or the stateroom you select will qualify you for on-board credit or other perks.  I would urge you not to look at price alone, but consider the itinerary and what you enjoy doing.  Everyone else has had great tips for you, but cruises are an alternative to a resort, so they aren't really "dirt cheap" if they are real.  There are always additional expenses associated with the quality of the experience you seek.

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8 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Not necessarily. What's a 'Classic Cruise?'

Ships like Majesty, Empress, Grandeur, etc..  

you won’t get water slides, broadway shows, etc.. but if it’s relaxation and quiet you’re looking for that might be more up your alley. 

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12 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Not necessarily. What's a 'Classic Cruise?'

There’s a five night on explorer for this November out of Miami with Rooms starting at 196 a person. If CocoCay is a must do (which it is for me) there’s a five night on Majesty on 11/11 starting at 226 a person. 

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1 minute ago, Andrew72681 said:

There’s a five night on explorer for this November out of Miami with Rooms starting at 196 a person. If CocoCay is a must do (which it is for me) there’s a five night on Majesty on 11/11 starting at 226 a person. 

I agree @Andrew72681 those are some great prices. You can barely get a cheap hotel for those prices!

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Yes the recommendation is to use a travel agent.  And have that agent help you with pricing.  You dont have to commit to buy if you ask for pricing.  

 

Traditionally your best prices will be for the smaller ships (Majesty, Empress, Vision, etc) that dont have as many bells and whistles like your megaships like Harmony, Symphony, etc.  

Your next best pricing will be when school's in session.  This means avoiding spring break, summer vacation, winter vacation, etc.  Another good pricing is during hurricane season (july through october).  So that doesnt leave too much time that the prices are good and is even close to being convenient to sail.

So what is a bargain hunter to do?   Look for group cruises.  Group cruises can sometimes get special offers for their blocks of rooms.  Be those special offers some onboard credit, reduced deposit costs, or lower room cost.  Another option, set your per day cost for your cruise (include tips and taxes so you dont get any surprises on that cost) and keep looking (and this is where the travel agent comes in, they can check multiple times per day for the price you want to pay)  If you're comfortable paying 1000 for your cruise, and the website shows 1000, pull the trigger and put down your deposit. If the price goes down before the final payment date, you can reprice the cruise (usually.  Sometimes some special offers cant reprice and you have to literally cancel and rebook).  But if you're going for repricing, then you and your travel agent need to keep your eyes open.  If you're getting a non refundable price, the change fee is normally around 100, so your repricing should be a savings of over 100 to make the change worth it.  

Also be honest with yourself about the type of cabin you want.  Inside cabins are SMALL.  Great if all you want to use your cabin for is sleeping.  Not so great if you want to make your room more of a "home base"  Do you need a balcony?  Do you need more space?  Be honest about that question to yourself.   It might be inexpensive to cram a family of 4 into an inside cabin, but in the morning when everyone's getting ready to head out for the day, you have a bathroom bottleneck and 4 people trying to get ready for the day in under 200 square feet.  I'm not saying it cant be done, many do.  But be honest with yourself if this will work for you.  

 

And you're doing one of the best suggestions any of us here can have.  ASK QUESTIONS!  There are no dumb questions and no question is asked too much  (want to know if the drink package or the Key are worth it?  dont hesitate to ask!)

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2 hours ago, FManke said:

I agree @Andrew72681 those are some great prices. You can barely get a cheap hotel for those prices!

Yeah. Even though I’d probably not enjoy myself much on majesty, I’ve looked at booking that one as a solo traveler just for the six points. 

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