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trishstorm

Last minute cruise fares

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Looking to take a cruise this April 2019.  Knowing that the fare will be due in full at the time of booking just wondering how far before the cruise will the price drop.  The prices a week ago were almost $300 less than they are with this weeks “SALE”. TIA 😉😉

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it is a guessing game

if you see a price you can live with book it

sometimes  the prices will go up closer to sailing

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36 minutes ago, trishstorm said:

Looking to take a cruise this April 2019.  Knowing that the fare will be due in full at the time of booking just wondering how far before the cruise will the price drop.  The prices a week ago were almost $300 less than they are with this weeks “SALE”. TIA 😉😉

Depends on the cruise line. With a very few exceptions, exotic itineraries on premium/luxury/expedition ships never see price drops as the embarkation date gets closer. In fact, many of those ships fill up within weeks of the itinerary being announced.

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Last minute fares aren’t what they use to be. Most people I know get the best rates when they book up to a year before sailing. I normally book that far ahead myself.

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The rewards will usually go to those who are the most flexible in terms of dates, cruise line, ship and itinerary.  Last minute (which generally means inside the final payment period) deals are certainly out there, but often are not publicly advertised or shown on a cruise line's own web site.  Our best deals have come from high volume cruise agencies which make their best deals quietly known to those on their private e-mail lists.  Most agencies allow anyone to register their e-mail to receive these offers, but you must be registered.

 

How good are last minute deals?  Sometimes amazing and other times not so good.  In the past 3 years we have scored some amazing prices on both Princess and HAL.  Finding a great last minute deal on one of the ultra-luxury lines is much more difficult as these lines will sometimes let cabins go empty rather then offer good deals that will alienate their best customers.  Just how good is amazing?  We like to look at cruise pricing based on cost per passenger day...factoring in all amenities with their real value to us (not the cruise line's faux value).  We have managed to take a few recent cruises where our cost per passenger day (in a balcony cabin) was under $60.  On one 10 day Regal Princess cruise our real cost (after netting for all of our onboard credits) was under $50 per passenger day for a high category balcony.  

 

We have been fascinated by what is happening with Celebrity's new Edge ship.  Cruises on this ship have been marketed at very high prices and many have been led to believe that sales were excellent.  But now, we are seeing deals on this ship, often cloaked by promotions that can include lots of amenities.  The reality is that supply/demand drives most business decisions and if a cruise line guesses wrong and prices a cruise too high, they try to find a way to sell those unsold cabins/berths without making it too obvious (which causes issues among those who have already booked).  

 

My advice is simple.  Register your e-mail (or get another e-mail address for just this purpose) with multiple high volume reputable cruise agencies.  Be prepared to read through lots of offers (some good....most not so good) which has become a hobby for many of us seeking great deals.

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Royal Carib publishes a list each week, normally Saturday night.  Some great deals, some OK deals, some not so great.

 

But they may book quickly and not be available if you wait.  Or they might get better.

 

There is no way to know.  Book when you are happy with the rate.  If it is inside final payment, don't keep looking, there is nothing you can do about it.

 

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28 minutes ago, SRF said:

Royal Carib publishes a list each week, normally Saturday night.  Some great deals, some OK deals, some not so great.

 

But they may book quickly and not be available if you wait.  Or they might get better.

 

There is no way to know.  Book when you are happy with the rate.  If it is inside final payment, don't keep looking, there is nothing you can do about it.

 

Yep -- waiting for a cruise that you're considering booking to appear on RC's 'Tuesday Specials' page can be a real crap-shoot! We were patiently waiting for a February 5-niter on Indy to show up in the "Going, going, gone" category, but it never did. Fortunately for us, we did spot a real price drop, along with the '60%-off 2nd cruiser', and managed to snag two cabins at a great price. However, if we had persisted in waiting for our cruise to show up in the Tuesday Specials, we would have been out of luck!

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On 2/7/2019 at 3:27 PM, wwcruisers said:

Yep -- waiting for a cruise that you're considering booking to appear on RC's 'Tuesday Specials' page can be a real crap-shoot! We were patiently waiting for a February 5-niter on Indy to show up in the "Going, going, gone" category, but it never did. Fortunately for us, we did spot a real price drop, along with the '60%-off 2nd cruiser', and managed to snag two cabins at a great price. However, if we had persisted in waiting for our cruise to show up in the Tuesday Specials, we would have been out of luck!

 

Yes, IMO, the specials are more of a "hey, great price, and I can get off work, so what the heck" kind of thing, rather than a plan for a certain ship/itinerary/date.

 

I figure, when I retire, I may hit one or two a year, as I will remove the "get off work requirement."

 

Same thing with some of the airline deals.

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Not really much that I can add that hasn't already been said.  Other than that your question of how far before the cruise will the price drop is an incorrect premise in that there is no set policy with the cruise lines that say they will go down anytime after final payment. They can in fact go up. 

 

But if and when they do go down, it typically is to clear remaining staterooms in a given category that have not yet sold.  No way to predict this.  So If you see a price that you are happy within a stateroom category that you like, book it.  Chances are if you wait expecting it to decrease further you will be out of luck as others will buy them and they will be gone altogether.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:55 AM, trishstorm said:

Looking to take a cruise this April 2019.  Knowing that the fare will be due in full at the time of booking just wondering how far before the cruise will the price drop.  The prices a week ago were almost $300 less than they are with this weeks “SALE”. TIA 😉😉

 

There is just as much of a chance that they will go up as they will drop, especially during April this year which is prime K-12 spring break season.

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Last minute fares on a soft sailing are usually offered right after Final Payment date .

Cruise lines can not wait until what one may think Last Minute is , if ship is not filling.

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We typically book inside the final payment window.  We have seen prices increase and decrease in this window.  Like others have mentioned, establish a buy price and act without delay if it hits.  We typically follow last minute pricing on two or three ships that we like.  The first price that hits our number is the ship we book.   It pays to be flexible.  We are not so flexible inasmuch as we want an unabsructed balcony cabin.  This increases our challenge however we usually manage to score.

 

We also follow air pricing at the same time if required.  Our TA will have the cabin placed on courtesy hold for a few hours while we finalize air.  It works for us.  We rend to be very spontaneous travelers.  We have booked anywhere from 60 days out to 3 days out.  It is simply a supply/demand algorithm for the cruise lines.

Edited by iancal

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On 2/7/2019 at 6:55 AM, trishstorm said:

😉

On 2/7/2019 at 6:55 AM, trishstorm said:

... just wondering how far before the cruise will the price drop.  

 

Sounds like you haven't been around that long. In a nutshell, price fluctuate from the day the cruise dates are released to the moment of push back. Whole formula of days left vs number of unsold cabins. So your looking for a ship people don't want to be on going somewhere no one wants to go to during the off season. Supply and demand, simple

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It is definitely possible to get late booking prices on good ships during popular times.  We have done two ten day late booking cruises over Christmas.  One.Celebrity, the other NCL.  Both times we scored well placed balcony cabins.

 

You just never know.

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

It is definitely possible to get late booking prices on good ships during popular times.  We have done two ten day late booking cruises over Christmas.  One.Celebrity, the other NCL.  Both times we scored well placed balcony cabins.

 

You just never know.

 

Which is the operative phrase with all this discussion.  It is important that the OP understand this as I think they believe that it is a matter of fact that cruise ships will lower prices after final payment at some specified time.  Not so.  And as also mentioned, prices can go up....

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