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I have sailed with RC a few times. I have a booking for Symphony OTS for Mar 2022. I have never booked this far out so I am unsure how far in advance of the cruise do things like drink packages become available. What's the answer, seasoned veterans, will I probably be able to book things on this coming Black Friday or will I have to wait until 2021.

I know this is a long time in the future but I have to be planning something. I'm going crazy not being able to be in either vacation planning or vacation taking mode.

TIA

Steven

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44 minutes ago, stevendom57 said:

What's the answer

As was mentioned above, buy in as soon as you can....if it's reasonable. I booked the Odyssey for the March 26, 2021 cruise the beginning of this past May. At that time, the UDP was $89.00 pp/pd. I did not buy in, unreasonable. A couple of weeks later I check the price and it was $51.00 pp/pd, so I bought in. I routinely check the cp and if it goes lower (I doubt) I'll buy the cheaper and cancel what I have. By the way, today the price is $71.00 pp/pd. :27_sunglasses:

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My only concern with waiting until cruising begins again is that I fear prices on things like dining and drinks packages will shoot up once cruising resumes.  There have been some incredibly good deals on drinks packages recently so I went ahead and bought when they were low.  I fear they will jump once cruising starts again.

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5 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

My only concern with waiting until cruising begins again is that I fear prices on things like dining and drinks packages will shoot up once cruising resumes.  There have been some incredibly good deals on drinks packages recently so I went ahead and bought when they were low.  I fear they will jump once cruising starts again.

I've followed the same approach. My remaining concern is that I have some in the "uncertainty" zone currently that might be Lifted and Shifted  or rebooked if cruising doesn't resume on time ... and I really lament losing a good deal 😖

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14 hours ago, stevendom57 said:

About when should I start to see thing appearing on the CP?

Typically it will show up @1 yr out, so you have a long time before anything shows up.  My May 2021 Symphony cruise planner started opening up around end of April.  

My drink package is still way too high for me to bite.  It started at 81 and is down to 67.  When it hits the 50s I will bite. 

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13 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

My only concern with waiting until cruising begins again is that I fear prices on things like dining and drinks packages will shoot up once cruising resumes.  There have been some incredibly good deals on drinks packages recently so I went ahead and bought when they were low.  I fear they will jump once cruising starts again.

Agree.  I also look at Perfect Day @ Coco Cay purchases.  Cabanas go fast.   Aren't Cruise Planner purchases refunded quicker than booking cancelations? 

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Remember, it’s almost always going to be cheaper buying ahead of time vs on board. So I’d you know you’ll buy the drink package - just buy it if you can afford it. Then monitor the sales and rebook as necessary. If you aren’t 100% sure you will buy the package then it’s ok to wait for a good price. Just don’t miss a good price and end up paying more because the price goes up and you didn’t lock in the lower price. 

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1 minute ago, Bob_KY said:

Aren't Cruise Planner purchases refunded quicker than booking cancelations? 

Typically speaking, yes.  In the past, we've usually got our refunds in a couple days.  There have been mixed reports on this lately.  

To the OP, I've seen really dynamic pricing lately.  Our Freedom sailing for February had UBP priced @ $41 per day just over a week ago.  I didn't jump on it and it's now up around $60.  We'll just wait and see.  As is often recommended on here, buy at a price you're comfortable with.  If it drops, you can always cancel and rebook.  But do realize that you won't have that money to use immediately unless it's OBC. 

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42 minutes ago, Bob_KY said:

Agree.  I also look at Perfect Day @ Coco Cay purchases.  Cabanas go fast. 

THIS! 

I am always more concerned about pouncing on the "limited" items more than the UDP, DBP and VOOM since those items are not limited in numbers.

I was fortunate that when they dropped the Coco Cay Beach pass, they did it at $79.  I picked that up on day one under my husband's name.  If it drops more I will buy it under my name, and than go back and cancel the one under his account.  Believe it or not posters will tell you that between the time they cancelled and tried to repurchase at the lower price it was now sold out.  Hence, why you buy the new one at the lower price 1st and than cancel the higher price.

I am sure almost everyone here knows someone or a story about an angry passenger that lost their cabana.  Heck on my last yrs cruise, I met 2 different groups complaining and discussing this at the same time in the Solarium hot tub the day prior to arriving in Coco Cay.  We had a cabana so I sat there in awkward silence.

The other purchase that I buy right off the bat is a couples massage.  Yes, I know it is more expensive than on land, but between work and life we never find time to do one, this is our splurge.  Caveat: OBC usually covers it.  We always want day 2 (sea day) and usually late a.m. prior to lunch (no sunburn yet) This is their highest price time.  If it drops than I will rebook under my name and cancel the original.  I have never seen it drop from the earliest opportunity, only increase, yet I still hope. RCL does not set these prices, the SPA is leased to a 3rd party company, so they set their prices and sales.

 

 

 

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Yes, buy as soon as you are comfortable with the price point. Cancel and rebook as necessary. The only caveat: refunds are taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than the charge. For example I've now been charged twice for the same excursion, but have yet to receive the refund on the first booking. It's been over 45 days now. If you don't mind your money being tied up, go for it. I'm still waiting on over $3k in refunds.  I filed a dispute with RCCL Visa/BOFA last week.

Edited by Baked Alaska
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@Baked Alaska

We are in the same boat.  We booked a clamshell at Labadee.  Beach bed came up at a great price and we decided to cancel the clamshell.  We are still waiting and it is coming up on 45 days.

However, if you booked it with OBC it seems like it is back immediately.  The only problem is you now need a spread sheet.  This was OBC, cancelled re-booked, at lower price and purchased this with OBC and cc. This is your cc saying refund, and new purchase!

We are now at the point OBC is for DBP only!

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2 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

@Baked Alaska

We are in the same boat.  We booked a clamshell at Labadee.  Beach bed came up at a great price and we decided to cancel the clamshell.  We are still waiting and it is coming up on 45 days.

However, if you booked it with OBC it seems like it is back immediately.  The only problem is you now need a spread sheet.  This was OBC, cancelled re-booked, at lower price and purchased this with OBC and cc. This is your cc saying refund, and new purchase!

We are now at the point OBC is for DBP only!

I had to do an excel spread sheet so that I can keep it all straight!  I did tell RCI on my last communication with them regarding my refunds due to our Life & Shift; I told her that RCI should L&S the drink packages and internet packages and etc that are strictly RCI.  I told her that I understand the excursions as those may change but the others are all Royal's anyway.  She told me that I had a valid point and she would share this at their next meeting/briefing.  I mean it is a win-win for them really as they wouldn't have to do those refunds on top of everything else right now.

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