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2018/2019 itineraries will be released in March & April


Matt
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In your all's experience, are the best prices when the cruises are released?

Generally speaking, yes, and that's why I've been booking my cruises way out. As an example, I booked the Allure almost two years before sailing. Not once did the price ever drop below what I paid and continually went up. Some of the higher categories dropped in price, but not enough to entice me to upgrade.

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Going to echo doc, I got in the habit of booking as soon as the schedule came out about 3-4 years ago (for the cruises that I have fixed windows on like Thanksgiving, Springbreak for example).

 

Haven't seen a price drop on a cruise I booked opening week since the "sale" started in May of 2014 .... used to check them all daily, dropped to about weekly now but draw your own conclusion ;)

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Another question..  will the schedule for the whole of 2019 open up?  I see the schedule is done until May 2018.. so will it be 18 months they add on?

 

No - this will be late 2018 through early 2019 (like through maybe party of May)

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Generally speaking, yes, and that's why I've been booking my cruises way out. As an example, I booked the Allure almost two years before sailing. Not once did the price ever drop below what I paid and continually went up. Some of the higher categories dropped in price, but not enough to entice me to upgrade.

 

Doc is spot on ..... we booked our Rhapsody cruise (Spring of '18) last September ..... I keep watching ..... it NEVER gets lower than what we booked it for....

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Doc is spot on ..... we booked our Rhapsody cruise (Spring of '18) last September ..... I keep watching ..... it NEVER gets lower than what we booked it for....

Of course, that's not to say other cruise lines won't lower their prices. We booked the Vision over a year ago, but Princess is offering nearly the same itinerary on one of their bigger ships or of London instead of Amsterdam. With a lower price, onboard credit, and lower airfare, it's tempting to jump ship (pun intended).

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I don't want to hijack this thread or turn it into "look at the great deals on other lines" but I will just say that I booked the Transatlantic "maiden voyage" (I'm sure it's not really the maiden voyage) of the new MSC Seaside out of Venice to Miami (21 days) in one of their Aurea Suites for $177 PP/PD.  I couldn't believe the price !  It is not as all-inclusive as the RCI Star Class but it's almost as good.  Their all-inclusive package does not include all specialty restaurants or internet but it does include all beverages and their top drinks are $8 vs $15 on RCI....plus it includes 3 shore excursions.

 

So I'm willing to try them out !  They also status matched our RCI D+ so we are [Voyager Club] Black level, which is their top loyalty level even though we have never set foot on an MSC ship before.

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MSC is definitely aggressive in their pricing, but FWIW, I have heard from other RC fans who tried MSC that it's a different kind of experience. 

 

No question that deal you found Raye is super-duper cheap, just sharing what I've heard.

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Here's what my TA, Heather from MEI, had to say about MSC when I asked her after booking with RC:

 

"I think you made the perfect choice for your family. MSC is a nice line, however, they are very much a European line. That means their service, food and ships are VERY different than what we ware accustomed to here in the US. Hence the complaints [on cruisecritic.com] you have seen. If you can keep an open mind to that, then it's definitely worth a try. Though, I would wait until it's just you and your wife - they are not a line that has much to do for children. Most of the passengers are adults. They are trying to attract more families with their new ships, but it remains to be seen how many families actually go, so I would hold off."

 

Basically, they're more "old school / old world" in their cruising style. Reviews I read indicate the shows are more cabaret than Broadway, food is definitely European, and those who buy a Yacht Club level suite (in their ship-within-a-ship design) get significantly better service than the commoners in regular rooms. Bearing in mind the earlier discussion on another thread about how reviews from CruiseCritic.com have to be taken with a healthy shaker of salt, there's definitely something to be said when even the TA is saying, "This would be a significantly different experience from what you get used to as an American cruiser."

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I have heard the same....so it will be an interesting chance to contrast.  I just hope it's not horrible, as I will be on there for 21 days !  

 

LOL

I don't think it will be horrible.  Just different.  I admit the Divina and now Seaside intrigue me, mostly because these are brand new ships that have a lot going on and are very inexpensive.

 

That being said, you can probably say the same about NCL and I have no desire to try them again.

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