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andychris

Booking a last minute cruise?

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We may book a last minute cruise from NY.  Our options are only the dawn and the escape.  Lots going on in our family and can not book until about 3 weeks out for an early/mid august cruise.  I hate to book a cruise and final payment is due now.  Will buy insurance but it will not be a medical reason to cancel.  Do not want to lose the money.

Is there a good chance that there will be ocenview or balcony rooms left? Do these cruises usually sell out? Any help or tips will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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We usually book last minute, like one or two weeks before departure. There are usually lots of mini suites available. You can also book something lower and play the upgrade game. 

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I've always heard that you can get great last minute deals on cruises because they want to get the ship filled.  We've always wanted to be able to do that.  Just plan and go right away.  Can't wait until we are both retired so we can cruise on a whim.  Good luck with your planning.  🙂 

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Keep in mind, your cabin location may not be the greatest booking last minute.

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I booked a balcony guarantee on the Escape a week before sailing and ended up with an spacious aft balcony.  But then it is the low season right now.

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Keep in mind all local schools are still on summer break. I just checked for next week (Easter break) and can get a balcony for two, $2200 all in, but sail away, no perks.

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There will likely be cabins available 3 weeks out, but because it's high season you probably won't find any bargains.  If you think you may have to cancel last minute be sure to get good insurance with "cancel for any reason" coverage.  Good luck.

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Posted (edited)

Just did an Escape Cruise booking 3 weeks out last month.  Ended up with a mini-Suite with large balcony for $2,200 all in.  I bought VIBE access upon embarkation for $209 (won’t ever do that again) and adding some tips here and there for bar staff and waitstaff and a massage,  bought unlimited internet for the week, I think my final bill for EVERYTHING was $2,400.  But, I also had $400 OBC that I used.

 

I rarely book more than a few to 8 weeks out.  With NCL, that’s how I find the deals.  

 

As others point out, you may not get your first choice of cabin, but the hunt for what I want is part of the fun of it for me.

Edited by graphicguy

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6 hours ago, packer99 said:

Keep in mind, your cabin location may not be the greatest booking last minute.

 

But even this late it may not be that great. You never know.

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Booking last minute would drive the compulsive cruise prepper in me crazy.  My main worry would be that all of the better cabins would already have been "sold" during the upgrade bidding.  If you are having to coordinate flights, the cost rises the closer you are to booking, too.  If you aren't having to worry about flights, you'll know when you are actually booking if what you want is available.  Just in case, have something in the wings (like a land vacay) so you won't lose out on vacation time at work--if that is an issue.  If you don't have to worry about those issues, then I'm jealous!  And say, give it a whirl!

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We lived in the NY area (in Monmouth Cty, NJ) for over 30 years and booked last minute, sail-away/GTY Inside cabin rate on many occasions because we like to cruise on the cheap.  Just getting on to the cruise ship is the be-all, end-all to us.  We usually book off-season (September - Early December) because we get the best rates then.  We'd see a cruise we liked & wait till it dropped to "our" rate (lol) and book it with our NCL CC.  We even had one of our CC's calling us when the rate would drop.  We've done this mostly for cruises out of NYC.  We've tried to do this for other cruises that leave from other ports (in Europe, etc) but cannot do "last minute" deals because the airfare is usually too high.

 

As others have stated previously your cabin choice(s) will be limited.  Also if you're trying this at peak times (Summer, holidays, etc) you may encounter a sold out cruise.

 

We sort of envy the retirees in Florida who can do "last minute" as there are so many cruises out of FL ports!

 

Good luck!

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Thank you for all of your replies. We live about 30 minutes from the pier so will not need air. I guess we will wait until we know 100% we can all go and hope for a cabin to be available. 

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andy chris if you purchase insurance with cancel for any reason clause within 24 hours of booking your cruise, you can get all of your money back.  You just lose the fee you pay for insurance.  that might be worth it since you are traveling during the summer, when schools are out.  or you can wait and see.  it just depends on how picky you are about your room/how willing you are to wait until next year to take this cruise.

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19 hours ago, graphicguy said:

Just did an Escape Cruise booking 3 weeks out last month.  Ended up with a mini-Suite with large balcony for $2,200 all in.  I bought VIBE access upon embarkation for $209 (won’t ever do that again) and adding some tips here and there for bar staff and waitstaff and a massage,  bought unlimited internet for the week, I think my final bill for EVERYTHING was $2,400.  But, I also had $400 OBC that I used.

 

I rarely book more than a few to 8 weeks out.  With NCL, that’s how I find the deals.  

 

As others point out, you may not get your first choice of cabin, but the hunt for what I want is part of the fun of it for me.

Can I ask why you wouldn't get the Vibe again? 

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, andychris said:

Can I ask why you wouldn't get the Vibe again? 

Thanks!

Sure.

 

First, it was $209/pp.  That’s up from $99/pp not so long ago.

 

For what you get, like your own bar, access to some loungers and a hot tub, just wasn’t worth it.  I found bars waitstaff and bartenders I liked throughout the ship.  Received great service from them, too.  spice H20 provided mostly an adults only space to hang out with loungers....plus, it had the water grotto, which I liked a lot.

 

Fact is, I didn’t need access to the VIBE and had other similar venues (like the bar right outside the VIBE) I enjoyed as much, if not more.

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 6:23 PM, kitkat343 said:

andy chris if you purchase insurance with cancel for any reason clause within 24 hours of booking your cruise, you can get all of your money back.  You just lose the fee you pay for insurance.  that might be worth it since you are traveling during the summer, when schools are out.  or you can wait and see.  it just depends on how picky you are about your room/how willing you are to wait until next year to take this cruise.

I believe with cancel for any reason you get 75% of your money back.

 

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we always get sail away last minute cruises, you never know what cruise will be offered on a deal.  So yes the cruise your looking at could become sold out, The room location does not matter when you are savings thousands of dollars but that is just us.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2019 at 6:33 AM, andychris said:

We may book a last minute cruise from NY.  Our options are only the dawn and the escape.  Lots going on in our family and can not book until about 3 weeks out for an early/mid august cruise.  I hate to book a cruise and final payment is due now.  Will buy insurance but it will not be a medical reason to cancel.  Do not want to lose the money.

Is there a good chance that there will be ocenview or balcony rooms left? Do these cruises usually sell out? Any help or tips will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

in 2011 We did a last minute cruise, 10 days out. New York to LA, Inside cabin, was all that was left. Hindsight, it was a good price for 17 days, and i mean a really good price.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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On 4/13/2019 at 2:03 PM, Newleno said:

we always get sail away last minute cruises, you never know what cruise will be offered on a deal.  So yes the cruise your looking at could become sold out, The room location does not matter when you are savings thousands of dollars but that is just us.

I agree...last Oct 4 of us booked the Sun for a 6 night which was in Cuba for only one day.  $298 pp which included port charges and taxes and grats.....didn't find out about the free tipping until we  arrived in our rooms.  Sure it was an inside cabin ( huge with a sofa)...the $80 pp Cuba Visa was extra and so was the ins.....still can't figure out how they came to the price.

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On 4/13/2019 at 6:24 PM, spanishguy1970 said:

in 2011 We did a last minute cruise, 10 days out. New York to LA, Inside cabin, was all that was left. Hindsight, it was a good price for 17 days, and i mean a really good price.

Are the prices better for last minute through NCL directly or an agency?.

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34 minutes ago, andychris said:

Are the prices better for last minute through NCL directly or an agency?.

I was all set to purchase last minute from NCL after seeing a great price on their own website, I called their telephone number and the PCC quoted me a price $100 cheaper than they even had advertised! So the price was dropping faster than they could reflect in their own ad. Booked it as soon as he quoted it.

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It all comes down to supply and demand, sometimes you can get the last minute great deal sometimes not.  Prices are changing all the time.  Best way to nab a deal is not to be married to one cruise line.  I have seen great deals 2 months out as well, thinking that the price would get lower only to have the cruise be sold out.  You just never know but we have been very successful with last minute deals.  The most in advance we have ever bought a cruise was 6 weeks before departure.

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2 hours ago, andychris said:

Are the prices better for last minute through NCL directly or an agency?.

I have used the same Travel agent for the past 4 years. I used her travel agency because she offers better onboard credit and sometimes adds one or two more perks that NCL does not offer. For instance, on this coming cruise we got 200 dollars onboard credit for a balcony stateroom usually  50 dollars if you do it through NCL .

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