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JamieLogical

Think the price will drop?

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I have a sailing on the Escape booked for April 7, which means final payment is due Saturday. I am reluctant to make the final payment, because I think there is a likelihood that NCL will be dropping prices on this particular sailing. Here are all the details from when we booked:

 

  • We are booked in an angled BE balcony.
  • When we booked, NCL was offering their Take All Five promo plus free airfare.
  • The going rate for our BE category was $1179 per person at the time, but since we decline the free airfare, we paid $1079 ($100 off per person).
  • As of the time I started tracking inventory on November 9th, there were at least 100 BEs rooms still available and at least 631 total balconies still available.

 

As of right now:

  • NCL is only offering three perks on balconies, but we don't really have any need for or interest in the $50 excursion credit per port anyway, so that wouldn't be a real loss.
  • Between yesterday and today, NCL dropped their rate on BEs down to $1139 (still $60 more pp than we paid, because of the discount for unused airfare).
  • There are currently at least 100 BEs available and at least 610 total balconies available.
  • There are still many angled balconies available in all categories that have them.

 

So, here is my quandary. I have to decide whether to make final payment on Saturday or let my booking expire, potentially losing my specific room and my shore excursion credit and possibly even paying a higher per person fare. With so many rooms still available, I think the chances are pretty high that NCL will lower prices again. And with there being plenty of angled balconies still available, I don't even think losing that is much of a risk. I also don't think there is ANY risk of NCL going back to only allowing two perks for a balcony room. I am confident this new pick 3 out of 6 with the addition of airfare as a "normal" perk is here to stay. Despite the banner on the NCL home page saying the offer ends tomorrow, they have been running it continuously and if you look at the Terms & Conditions, there is actually no booking window listed. So while I might lose out on my $50 shore excursion credit, I don't think we are risking losing the WiFi.

 

What it really boils down to is whether or not NCL is likely to drop the prices by $60 or more sometime shortly after final payment is due. What do you think?

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Hmm, it depends on a lot of factors? Are you flexible in your time off from work? Can you book a cruise, say, 3 weeks in advance and be OK to go? As in, "if this one doesn't work out, well, we'll go on the next sailing?" . Your profile says Rochester, so I'd assume you can drive down to NYC for any cruise, so airfare isn't a consideration.

 

If you're relatively tied to the dates, and reasonably happy with your booking price, you might consider keeping your booking. If the prices drop, you can upgrade to a higher-category cabin like an aft balcony, or even bid for a suite.

 

If you're flexible on dates and the itinerary, and / or not thrilled with your price, cancel, and look to book 4-6 weeks out.

 

We have a little one now, and my wife is at home with her, so we're more sensitive on price these days, but we're also much more flexible on dates (since we only have one job to schedule around). I've decided that after my next cruise, I'm not going to book until a month or so out. The 120-day final payment ties up my money a lot earlier than the old 75-day final payment used to. Unless I'm committed to dates or an itinerary, I'm booking last-minute.

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I think that you were happy with what you booked and were willing to pay that price. Make your payment and enjoy your cruise. 

 

Don't waste the time/energy on trying to squeeze a few dollars here or there to get the absolute best deal possible between final payment date and sail date. 

 

 

Edited by Two Wheels Only

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As noted above, if you are flexible on your travel dates and are not set on a specific room or category it would be worth waiting it out.

Have you ever read the CC post below:

 

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1 minute ago, dcipjr said:

Hmm, it depends on a lot of factors? Are you flexible in your time off from work? Can you book a cruise, say, 3 weeks in advance and be OK to go? As in, "if this one doesn't work out, well, we'll go on the next sailing?" . Your profile says Rochester, so I'd assume you can drive down to NYC for any cruise, so airfare isn't a consideration.

 

I am very flexible on dates, but I am taking this cruise with my sister and she has already had to submit her time off request for this week in April (she had to get time off through May submitted by November 15th!). So we are definitely wedded to this particular week, if not this particular sailing. I think, realistically, we'll be sticking with this sailing though. It's my sister's First cruise and I like the idea of her doing it on the Escape, which was my first ship last February and my parents' first ship in October.

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Just now, JamieLogical said:

 

I am very flexible on dates, but I am taking this cruise with my sister and she has already had to submit her time off request for this week in April (she had to get time off through May submitted by November 15th!). So we are definitely wedded to this particular week, if not this particular sailing. I think, realistically, we'll be sticking with this sailing though. It's my sister's First cruise and I like the idea of her doing it on the Escape, which was my first ship last February and my parents' first ship in October.

 

Oof! Six months in advance?!

 

If that's the case, then I would say definitely keep your booking, and just keep an eye on prices. If they come down, grab a better cabin! An aft balcony or a mini-suite might fall in reach as you get closer to sailing.

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6 minutes ago, bww11 said:

As noted above, if you are flexible on your travel dates and are not set on a specific room or category it would be worth waiting it out.

Have you ever read the CC post below:

 

 

Interesting post and still somewhat relevant despite being several years old. I would love to see an updated version around NCL's latest cancellation policy. Final payment is now due at 120 days out and you now lose 25%, instead of just your deposit if you are in that second cancellation window, which is now  106-119 days out. So that would definitely affect the timing and severity of rate drops as compared to the original post.

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i'm back to work today from an 11 nt Epic cruise. 

 

we booked it at $1039 balcony beginning of year as a distinctive journey + 5 free at sea.  before the final payment we upgraded to $1079, with $50 more obc pp and on a deck three levels higher midship (deck 11 vs deck 8).  

 

the reason I say this is that Sail Away balconies reduced to $599 the month before our voyage.  the regular priced balconies actually went into the $1300s.  I did a $599 sailaway once on the Escape and it cost me money not having the UBP/SDP, but regular balcs were only $899.

 

 

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Jamie-

 

If you're happy with what you booked at the price you booked....go for it!

It's all supply & demand.  Also...is it intersession?  any holiday?

If you are going to penny pick about a few dollars and the value of the "freebies".....you'll drive yourself crazy.

Once you pay, avoid the temptation of price checking

Have a great cruise!

As far as what I think will happen to the price.....I'll check my magic ball and get back to you.

 

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2 minutes ago, April42749 said:

 

As far as what I think will happen to the price.....I'll check my magic ball and get back to you.

 

 

Haha! Please do! I honestly am not usually so penny-pinching, but in this case, I am actually paying for my sister as well, so everything is double for me. A $60 price difference is really $120 out of my pocket.

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7 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Haha! Please do! I honestly am not usually so penny-pinching, but in this case, I am actually paying for my sister as well, so everything is double for me. A $60 price difference is really $120 out of my pocket.

I get it....I completely get it.  But, you never know what way the price will go. 

For my recent Guy Harvey Escape....the only one I booked several months in advance....because I was sure it would be sold out etc.   Well, no, it was far from sold out.  The price went down really low a week or so before the sailing. (I could have booked separate cabins for my husband and at a lower total cost than our one guarantee balcony....and then pick the better one for sleeping.)  I was so annoyed that I lowered my gambling budget. 

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2 hours ago, Two Wheels Only said:

I think that you were happy with what you booked and were willing to pay that price. Make your payment and enjoy your cruise. 

 

Don't waste the time/energy on trying to squeeze a few dollars here or there to get the absolute best deal possible between final payment date and sail date. 

 

 

 

Agreed 110% with this statement.  If you were happy with the price when you booked.  Pay it and move on.

 

You never know what may happen as prices could spike for all you know.  Prices on my January cruise are now over $300 more than we paid on our category and some other categories are $500 to $600 more still with a decent number of rooms available as well.

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You also never know when a cruise may sell out or a group may take a large chunk of available space.  A TA may come along and reserve a group of 40 balconies all at once and all the sudden a large chunk of the inventory you were tracking is gone and puts a lot less pressure on NCL to lower prices at the same time.

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2 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

I have a sailing on the Escape booked for April 7, which means final payment is due Saturday. I am reluctant to make the final payment, because I think there is a likelihood that NCL will be dropping prices on this particular sailing. Here are all the details from when we booked:

 

  • We are booked in an angled BE balcony.
  • When we booked, NCL was offering their Take All Five promo plus free airfare.
  • The going rate for our BE category was $1179 per person at the time, but since we decline the free airfare, we paid $1079 ($100 off per person).
  • As of the time I started tracking inventory on November 9th, there were at least 100 BEs rooms still available and at least 631 total balconies still available.

 

As of right now:

  • NCL is only offering three perks on balconies, but we don't really have any need for or interest in the $50 excursion credit per port anyway, so that wouldn't be a real loss.
  • Between yesterday and today, NCL dropped their rate on BEs down to $1139 (still $60 more pp than we paid, because of the discount for unused airfare).
  • There are currently at least 100 BEs available and at least 610 total balconies available.
  • There are still many angled balconies available in all categories that have them.

 

So, here is my quandary. I have to decide whether to make final payment on Saturday or let my booking expire, potentially losing my specific room and my shore excursion credit and possibly even paying a higher per person fare. With so many rooms still available, I think the chances are pretty high that NCL will lower prices again. And with there being plenty of angled balconies still available, I don't even think losing that is much of a risk. I also don't think there is ANY risk of NCL going back to only allowing two perks for a balcony room. I am confident this new pick 3 out of 6 with the addition of airfare as a "normal" perk is here to stay. Despite the banner on the NCL home page saying the offer ends tomorrow, they have been running it continuously and if you look at the Terms & Conditions, there is actually no booking window listed. So while I might lose out on my $50 shore excursion credit, I don't think we are risking losing the WiFi.

 

What it really boils down to is whether or not NCL is likely to drop the prices by $60 or more sometime shortly after final payment is due. What do you think?

It is hard to say. Check out past trends on the fish website but one cannot completely rely on them.

My January 2019 cruise, price of some cabin categories went up around and just after final payment. It is still higher but steady. Trend watchers are expecting the insides to fall again a week before sail date.

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I have been watching prices on my Jan cruise, we booked 22 months ago. The prices just keep going higher. April is a huge spring break month, I would not chance it. You might end up paying a lot more. Now cabins on my cruise are 350.00/more per person...700.00. Stick with what you got

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We have actually been monitoring prices for several weeks now because we have the week of the MLK holiday off. We still have nothing booked and have several options on the table. NCL keeps dropping their sailaway rates but their fares with perks have actually gone up a little in the past 2 weeks. A balcony on a 7 day sailing out of Florida will cost us about $3,000. 

 

The reason I think NCL is going to regret taking this  route is because we can go stay in a nice 4-star all-inclusive in Punta Cana or Riviera Maya for about 1/2 that. For us, airfare isn't an issue since we're just using miles but even if we had to pay for a plane ticket the prices are only a $200 difference.

 

Yes, we like to cruise...but not at double the cost. We could go on MSC for about $2,000 including the drinks on us package but we just did the same itinerary the Seaside is doing over the MLK holiday.

 

We shall see what happens...but it looks like NCL probably won't be getting our business this time around.

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I am confident that prices will go up, but having said that.....this is a vacation and since you need to take this week, just pay it and negotiate later.  When prices dropped considerably after final payment for a cruise I booked, I used that as a bargaining chip to negotiate a better cabin.  Don't stress over NCL's nickel and dime push, plan what you think is reasonable to spend for the experience you want and let it ride.  Good luck

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I’m booked on the Escape in March and faced the same decision.  But with the get all 5 promo which I got as well, I couldn’t see passing that up.  Plus mine was casino at seas so even cheaper.  I check my cruise everyday and there is a lot of availability too, but prices have only gone up.  With the take 5 promo, I say keep the reservation.

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3 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Haha! Please do! I honestly am not usually so penny-pinching, but in this case, I am actually paying for my sister as well, so everything is double for me. A $60 price difference is really $120 out of my pocket.

Ummm...$120.00?  You just cost about $10,000 in lost labor from people responding to this at work!  LOL!  JMO 🙂

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You part name says it all, be Logical.  You were happy to book so be happy to pay at Final Payment.  You don't really sound like a gambler so don't gamble.

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JamieLogical, here are my thoughts.....

 

If only looking at the price of a cabin just before final payment is due and then shortly after final payment, every cruise we have been on the price has dropped - and we have been on 13 cruises with NCL.

 

But in our case, because we tend to book so far in advance, we still came out ahead by sticking with our original booking on 12 of the 13 cruises.

 

For example, a family suite for our March 2019 Panama Canal Cruise when we booked was $3299pp,  right before final payment it was listed for $4049pp, today a week after final payment it is listed for $3899pp (and there are only a handful of suites left - most are all sold out).   So there was a price drop after final payment,  but you would still have paid more than if you booked early.

 

So in my opinion I think the prices will drop  from the current price....... but will the drop be more than what you paid is the question.   We tend to book suites, and if you were in a suite, and there were a lot of suites left, I would have said wait, I think it will drop more than $60pp ..... but I’ve never tracked the cost of balconies so no opinion in how much the drop will be, but I would bet there will be a drop.

 

No matter what you decide, let us know what happens to the price after final payment, curious.

 

Either way have an awesome cruise!

Edited by deefer

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I would gamble for a lower price.  All NY colleges are done with spring break.  Public schools are not on their Easter/Passover break since that's 2 weeks later.

I would chance it. 

I hate that they have this 120 day rule now.  I would book at 45 days for the Escape. 


However....your sister is locked into her vacation.  It wouldn't be fair to her to do that.  If you want her to have the best vacation experience then you should just make your final payment.  

Pay and don't look!

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11 hours ago, MaryZ said:

I would gamble for a lower price.  All NY colleges are done with spring break.  Public schools are not on their Easter/Passover break since that's 2 weeks later.

I would chance it. 

I hate that they have this 120 day rule now.  I would book at 45 days for the Escape. 


However....your sister is locked into her vacation.  It wouldn't be fair to her to do that.  If you want her to have the best vacation experience then you should just make your final payment.  

Pay and don't look!

 

 

The gamble would be possibly giving up some perks and paying a *higher* fare in the end, not skipping the cruise altogether.

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From a cruiser with forty plus years of cruising experience, I would advise that once you find a cruise that you want at a price you are willing to spend, book it and stop checking prices.

 

I know that people will drove themselves crazy with daily checking and then trying to finagle some new deal because "they paid more," but if cruising is suppose to be a relaxing experience, why not start relaxing from the day of booking.

 

When people book at the price they are happy with, they have the specific cabins they want (guarantee rates are different).  If they wait, those cabins may be sold out.

 

In your case, you are cruising at the peak of spring break time (and yes, one needs to realize that there are colleges and other schools outside of the state of New York with varying break schedules), spring break cruises do tend to sell out.

 

No, you can't go by what you see on the website as far as cabin availability. Unless you call and book, you don't know what is really available.

 

And contrary to what many people would think "freestyle" implies, you are on a cruise line that has some of the most scheduling demands in that you will probably need to sit down weeks in advance to figure out your daily schedule and reserve your dining and shows.  Wait too long and reservation times are gone.

 

Also, more cruise lines are stopping the fare churning by passengers when once the final payment date comes, any requests for upgrades, OBC or other perks are being refused. You can not assume NCL will not take the same stance no matter what the posters on here say about PAST experiences.

 

Pay your final payment  and go do the advanced planning and reservations that your "freestyle" cruise lines requires.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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Ive been cruising NCL for years and I never book more than 3 months out! Why because its happened almost always that the price has dropped and I was out a lot of money!  I've learned that if the sailing is not a full ship before final the prices always drop! If you love that room keep it if not I would cancel and watch after the 60 day mark is when they tend to lower prices. Ive been getting great last minute deals doing this. I've booked up until a month out. Good luck. Check another website, can't mention the name here but you can see how full the ship is before hand.

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