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Book your cruise early or late?


Matt
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Quik getaway always last minute & when price is rock bottom, I.e. 4 day Bahamas in the $120s - $130s. Major treks usually 9-12 months out & often onboard future cruise desk. We booked Serenade for Barcelona May 2014 on our Rhapsody Honolulu - Vancouver crossing in May of this year.

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I book way early because I don't live near a decent cruise port.

 

That being said, I'm thinking about surprising my other half. We're gonna go to FL for vacation in December. I think WHILE I'm in FL, I'm going to quickly book a last minute 4-night Bahamas cruise for a great deal. The worst that could happen? No good deals, and we're still in Florida. The best? It'll be a GREAT surprise! ;-)

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That being said, I'm thinking about surprising my other half. We're gonna go to FL for vacation in December. I think WHILE I'm in FL, I'm going to quickly book a last minute 4-night Bahamas cruise for a great deal. The worst that could happen? No good deals, and we're still in Florida. The best? It'll be a GREAT surprise! ;-)

It's not a bad idea.  Truthfully, you should see deals in like 2-4 weeks prior to your vacation (unless you're going to be down there for like a month). So it's still last minute, but not literally the last minute :D

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I book way early because I don't live near a decent cruise port.

 

That being said, I'm thinking about surprising my other half. We're gonna go to FL for vacation in December. I think WHILE I'm in FL, I'm going to quickly book a last minute 4-night Bahamas cruise for a great deal. The worst that could happen? No good deals, and we're still in Florida. The best? It'll be a GREAT surprise! ;-)

Hey, deal or no deal on cruises, Florida is pretty fab in December. Especially if you're vacationing there from Michigan!  ;)

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I am an early booker! Have to plan vacations at least four months in advance to get the time off on the work schedule! May try it the other way around and get the time off and see what's available...might get a great deal!!

I relish in planning a cruise well in advance.  To me, that's half the fun!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I always book early. Already booked our sept 1st 2014 cruise a week ago. Like matt, all of the previous cruise planning and research is part of the fun for me. I am interested however one day planning on vacationing near a port so I can try to book last minute. And when I say last minute I mean day that the cruise is leaving. I heard two different people on my last two cruises that cruised out of Jacksonville and port Canaveral say that they both lived locally and had there bags already packed and called the cruise line the morning of the cruise and said "I'm at the port, bags are packed. Do you have any rooms still empty and what's your best price to have me fill that room. One couple said they paid 105 per person for the 5 day cruise and 1 paid 125 per person for a 5 day. Obviously it could back fire if the ship is booked up bug I still want to try it sometime. Might get lucky.

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The last 2 cruises I have done I have booked 12 month's in advance to make sure we get the best cabin.

If you want a particular cabin (like hump balcony), this is a must.

 

I like to book on a cruise for the next cruise over 6 months. Savings, on board credit, and the cruise planning never ends! :)

That really is the best part of booking in advance

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I always book early. Already booked our sept 1st 2014 cruise a week ago. Like matt, all of the previous cruise planning and research is part of the fun for me. I am interested however one day planning on vacationing near a port so I can try to book last minute. And when I say last minute I mean day that the cruise is leaving. I heard two different people on my last two cruises that cruised out of Jacksonville and port Canaveral say that they both lived locally and had there bags already packed and called the cruise line the morning of the cruise and said "I'm at the port, bags are packed. Do you have any rooms still empty and what's your best price to have me fill that room. One couple said they paid 105 per person for the 5 day cruise and 1 paid 125 per person for a 5 day. Obviously it could back fire if the ship is booked up bug I still want to try it sometime. Might get lucky.

We booked our cruise foe next October last month.Like to book early.

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Just joined the group and I am enjoying the podcasts Matt.

 

My daughter and I are taking our first RCL cruise in May (multiple DCL cruises).  Booked it a few months ago to get the cabin type I wanted and to pay for the cruise and add ons over time.

 

However, single dad and she is away at college so I like the possibility of just taking off with a week or two notice.  I live in Miami so have access to the ports down here and work for myself with a flexible schedule.  I can see myself making the decision to go, drop the dog off at the vet, drive to the port and board the ship.  How do I find out about short notice "deals?"  Also, do any of these give breaks to solo travelers?  

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Just joined the group and I am enjoying the podcasts Matt.

 

My daughter and I are taking our first RCL cruise in May (multiple DCL cruises).  Booked it a few months ago to get the cabin type I wanted and to pay for the cruise and add ons over time.

 

However, single dad and she is away at college so I like the possibility of just taking off with a week or two notice.  I live in Miami so have access to the ports down here and work for myself with a flexible schedule.  I can see myself making the decision to go, drop the dog off at the vet, drive to the port and board the ship.  How do I find out about short notice "deals?"  Also, do any of these give breaks to solo travelers?  

Welcome to the boards and thank you for listening to the podcast!  :D

 

In terms of finding out about last minute deals, there are a couple of ways I find out about them...

  • I follow @RoyalHotDeals on Twitter.  It's Royal Caribbean's account with deals
  • I subscribe to weekly deal alerts from sites like TravelZoo.  They usually spread news about really good deals quickly
  • I've told my travel agent I want to know about good deals on Royal Caribbean  :lol:

You bring up a great point about finding out about these deals as a possible show topic or part of one.  

 

Since you live in Florida, you have the greatest access to last minute deals so take advantage of it!  In terms of deals for solo travelers, there aren't really deals just for people sailing solo but if cruise is cheap enough, even the single supplement isn't a bad deal.  I guess you need to find a friend to go with you!

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Just joined the group and I am enjoying the podcasts Matt.

 

My daughter and I are taking our first RCL cruise in May (multiple DCL cruises).  Booked it a few months ago to get the cabin type I wanted and to pay for the cruise and add ons over time.

 

However, single dad and she is away at college so I like the possibility of just taking off with a week or two notice.  I live in Miami so have access to the ports down here and work for myself with a flexible schedule.  I can see myself making the decision to go, drop the dog off at the vet, drive to the port and board the ship.  How do I find out about short notice "deals?"  Also, do any of these give breaks to solo travelers?  

 You do get 2x cruise points (for the RCCL loyalty program) as a single traveler.

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Thanks for the info.  Unfortunately Matt, I have no friends.  OK, I have friends but not sure how anyone would react to, "I'm booking a cruise tomorrow, and sailing in XX days.  Want to go?"  

 

I just saw your blog post on the latest deals.  I could do a solo 5 night Caribbean out of San Juan on 12/02 for about $700 including air.  That is a deal.  I would almost spend that on a three day weekend in the Keys.  Tempting but I am going to wait until after our May cruise before I start looking again.

 

This could be addictive. 

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