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Booking early really is best


ang73
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I know it's pretty common knowledge among cruisers.  But to anyone new to cruising or just to confirm for those who've heard it before...book early to get the best price!! 

 

We booked within days of Royal Caribbean releasing our October 2016 cruise. So well over a year out from our cruise.   Our travel agent has checked EVERY sale that has come out since and not one has been able to give us a better deal than our original booking.  Even with higher percentages off, and even with OBC added, we still have a better deal.

 

So while of course I'm still hoping there's that one magical sale that will save us some money before final payment....I'm really glad we booked as early as we did since prices seem to only go up from there!

 

Happy Cruising :)

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Guest toodle68

I was looking at some cruises in 2017 and the only available cabins were on deck two.. I find it hard to believe that 3 different cruises were all booked that far out and wondered if they only release other decks later.. ?

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Yes, that's right!  Another reason we booked early is because we had scoped out a specific room we wanted on Freedom last time we cruised.  We were able to get that specific room by booking early!

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You are correct if you need to plan far into advance. I have found that close to the final payment date the deals can be better. Or just after the final payment date. Most of the cruises I have book have been after the final payment date and the price has been better that at release. But in order to make this work you need to be flexible with times and travel. Most people have fixed vacations so these late bookings would not work.  

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Totally agree as well. That's why I have five booked through 2018. For us in North Anerica, those no risk. The only disadvantage is coughing up the deposit.

 

I want to book Oasis in mid May 2018 for a family getaway for my sons graduation from college. What is the earliest i can do that? The website only shows dates in 2018 through April.

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Book another cruise of the same length in 2018 that's available and then transfer when your sailing becomes available.

 

Thanks. That is a good idea.  Are there any fees associated with changing to a later date and would I need to use any OBC I get by booking on the July sailing so as not to lose it?

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Thanks. That is a good idea.  Are there any fees associated with changing to a later date and would I need to use any OBC I get by booking on the July sailing so as not to lose it?

No fees. Just realize that the deposit amount is not refundable if you take the OBC on your current cruise.

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Also be aware that you could (and probably would) lose any other "booking incentives" that apply to the original onboard booking if those incentives are no long being offered at the time that you move your booking to another date.

 

When you move a booking you will only get the booking incentives/promos that are in effect at the time that you rebook...so if you were offered any special OBC, drinks or internet or dining discount packages as part of your original booking and that promo has ended by the time you switch to a new sail date, you would not longer qualify for them.  Of course, there might be some NEW promo that's going on that is even better than the one you originally booked under !  They are always making these changes so you never know what they're going to be offering !

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A few words should be used with caution; always, anytime, never, everyone..... because even if 1,000,000 agree it only takes 1 to prove the statement wrong. For most passengers booking early results in a better deal, but booking late or last minute can in some cases provide a much lower price.

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A few words should be used with caution; always, anytime, never, everyone..... because even if 1,000,000 agree it only takes 1 to prove the statement wrong. For most passengers booking early results in a better deal, but booking late or last minute can in some cases provide a much lower price.

You are not wrong, but speaking in generalizations, booking early tends to net a better deal on a more consistent basis.  No question there are still last minute deals, but I would never recommend relying on that, especially if there is a particular sailing or stateroom category you are interested in.

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I agree with you Matt, if you need to travel at a set time, to a set place, ship, and room..... book early as it opens and check for price drops. But if you can travel on short notice and are open to ports and ships, last minute works great.  

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Guest toodle68

We are planning to cruise Oct 2017. We have another cruise coming up in Jan 2017 and wondered if booking early beats booking during the Jan cruise?   I read the discussion on booking the next cruise on board and it seems like the benefits are not as great as they used to be?  

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On board booking benefits are not all that significant (except for reduced deposit).

 

Are you booking under US rules or another countries? If US why not book now and then cancel and book onboard if the onboard deal is better when the time comes ?

 

Cruises typically increase in price over time ... for example my Nov 2016 cruise was booked in Mar 2015, as of today it is 50% higher than when I booked it ... no sale they can offer gets anywhere close to that price .... maybe after final payment if they do a discount deal (Which they say they don't do anymore) it will get back down to being close but I haven't seen it on my last couple.

 

My Nov 2017 cruise is only up $150 so far from when I booked it in Apr 2016, but that's already more than any booking bonus OBC offer .... although I am hopeful a sale might give me a savings on this between now and taking it, I doubt it.

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Speaking of price increases, I was stunned when I went to check the price (Grand Suite) of my Navigator 2016 Christmas + New Year's cruise.

 

The original base per person cost of this cruise (cruise only) was $5454.  Today's per person cost is $10,505.  That's nearly a 100 increase !  Holy cow !

 

Now, I paid less than $5454 PP with my Club Royale discount (It came out to $3071 PP) and anyone purchasing today would get the 60% off second person price, which comes to $7353.50 PP but that's still a huge price increase.

 

Booking early was definitely the right thing to do here !

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