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F1SteveF

P&O Deals, best time to book?

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Hi all, I'm a first time poster, and quite new to cruising.

 

My wife and I have recently enjoyed two wonderful cruises with Royal Caribbean (Baltic and Med), both booked on a 'buy one, get one half-price and free premium drinks package' basis. We are looking to do a Norwegian Fjords cruise in mid-2020 bit can't find anything suitable with RC but have found something with P&O and the new ship 'Iona'.

 

I am enquiring as to whether P&O offer similar deals to those we have enjoyed with RC? If not then what are typically the best deals or best time to book? There is a current offer of some onboard spend, is this a typically a good deal from P&O?

 

Any advice much appreciated. Thank you

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I have never seen those type of offers with P&O, however don't be fooled by the hype and advertising ploys by travel agents and cruise lines. In my experience booking a cruise on first release works out cheaper as long as you do get added perks or a good percentage discount, this also gives you an opportunity to select your cabin or a cabin in a desirable position on the ship. If you see a "must have" cruise then again early secures the cruise. If you are not particular about your cabin grade or position then booking late can yield some excellent prices, you will be allocated a cabin and may not get your first choice of dinner.

 

We are booked on Iona in 2020 which we booked on release, we did get OBC, the same cruise is now over £150pp more expensive, however this is a new ship and they tend to be popular. 

 

I am sure you will get lots of good advice based on other peoples experience, which unfortunately may become confusing. However you have clearly got the bug so enjoy whatever options you take.

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Welcome Steve.

Currently you won't find the same sort of deals with P&O, but the starting prices are usually far more realistic.

You will get contrasting views on the best time to buy. We always buy at launch and have always been lucky that our particular cruises have never dropped in price but often increased quite drastically due to selling well.

Others will say the best prices are gained at the last minute, but the big risk is you miss out.

A reasonable price and a bit of obc is about as good as it gets with P&O.

Good luck and enjoy.

Andy

 

 

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Thank you yorkshirephil and AndyMichelle, I appreciated your advice. I think on the basis that this is a must have cruise and I am very much a 'search the deck plans for a cabin' person then I think I should not wait much longer and get it booked!

Thank you 

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The first thing to remember is forget all the marketing hype and 'deals' with 'freebies'.  All that matters is the daily price.

 

I have tracked cruise prices across different companies and certainly a few years ago the cheapest price was when there were no deals.  As soon as 'freebies' were offered the price went up and far more than the cost of the freebies.

 

A few weeks ago I saw fjords trips with P&O in August for £549 for the week, inside cabin.  As it was less than a typical price of £100 a night to me it was good deal. 

 

Iona is a big ship and IIRC is only doing back to back Fjords trips in summer 2020, its a lot of cabins to fill.

 

 are currently about £100 a night.   If your dates are flexible it may be worth waiting and tracking prices.

 

We did get a bargain a few years ago with Celebrity to Baltics which came in at £100 a night for mid ship balcony cabin including basic drinks.  On board credit covered the upgrade to premium drinks package.  A few weeks prior it had been £150 a night and no OBC.

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As already stated P&O do not do much imaginative with offers.  I have heard of offers like £1 for a third cabin occupant. The prices do vary though allegedly according to demand.  P and O have three types of fare Select, Early Saver and Late Saver.  Select have lots of perks but are most expensive. 

 

Various drinks offers are available onboard but unless you drink a lot they are not good value. Drinks prices are reasonable and gratuities are not added. Also there is no daily service charge on P&O now. 

 

Best wishes, Stephen. ,

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If you want a specific cabin, specific dining arrangements etc, the earlier you book, the better. By waiting, you might get a cheapish fare for a grotty inside cabin  with early dining, but in that case I would prefer  to stay at home!

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14 hours ago, F1SteveF said:

Thank you yorkshirephil and AndyMichelle, I appreciated your advice. I think on the basis that this is a must have cruise and I am very much a 'search the deck plans for a cabin' person then I think I should not wait much longer and get it booked!

Thank you 

Good idea.

If you book select fare you get either on board credit,or free parking at Southampton or free bus to Southampton.

Additionally first choice for dining options and free shuttles in port.

Some cruises offer 5% off but if not ask your TA for 5% off for your business.

Best wishes Graham.

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In reply to the original question regarding when to book the answer is clearly as often as you can.

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We booked using the £1 third passenger offer booking a Fjords accessible Suite on Brittania when averaged out £1200 each. We also used this promotion for two cruises in April on Azura. Great deal for us as we travel as a Mum Dad and disabled son. Can’t wait to see if they do it next year. We also have had some great deals on the first legs of World cruises.

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13 hours ago, wowzz said:

If you want a specific cabin, specific dining arrangements etc, the earlier you book, the better. By waiting, you might get a cheapish fare for a grotty inside cabin  with early dining, but in that case I would prefer  to stay at home!

There are many that can only afford to cruise in an inside cabin and one thing for certain is they are not grotty and it is insulting for you to say that for those that cruise in them.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the replies. On the balance of the excellent advice we have now booked on a select fare basis a cruise departing early July next year.

Thank you

Edited by F1SteveF

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13 hours ago, wowzz said:

If you want a specific cabin, specific dining arrangements etc, the earlier you book, the better. By waiting, you might get a cheapish fare for a grotty inside cabin  with early dining, but in that case I would prefer  to stay at home!

Actually by booking late you can get reduced fares for all grades of cabin (other than perhaps suites which usually sell out fairly quickly). We tend to book balconies and by selecting a grade of saver with a limited number of cabins you can fairly much guarantee where you will be but save significantly if you are prepared to wait until after the final payment date to book.

 

Inside cabins have the same decor as other cabins, just no window, they are no more “grotty” than any other cabins. They suit many people, if they didn’t then the ships would sail half empty would they not.

 

I have never been allocated early dining on a saver, it seems to be popular with select passengers. In my experience you tend to be allocated freedom on saver fares but if I did get allocated early then I would just try it our for a change (or spend my time in the extra pay restaurants with the money I saved on the cabin).

 

In reply to the op booking really early or really late seems to be best for cost. If you want a specific cabin and dining time then book early, if you are more flexible then late could work for you (you can still get a select booking late but the choice of cabins is obviously much less).

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37 minutes ago, F1SteveF said:

Thank you for the replies. On the balance of the excellent advice we have now booked on a select fare basis a cruise departing early July next year.

Thank you

 

The folks on here are a helpful bunch so if you need to know anything else just post a question. Glad you got something to suit you.

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4 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

Actually by booking late you can get reduced fares for all grades of cabin (other than perhaps suites which usually sell out fairly quickly). We tend to book balconies and by selecting a grade of saver with a limited number of cabins you can fairly much guarantee where you will be but save significantly if you are prepared to wait until after the final payment date to book.

 

Inside cabins have the same decor as other cabins, just no window, they are no more “grotty” than any other cabins. They suit many people, if they didn’t then the ships would sail half empty would they not.

 

I have never been allocated early dining on a saver, it seems to be popular with select passengers. In my experience you tend to be allocated freedom on saver fares but if I did get allocated early then I would just try it our for a change (or spend my time in the extra pay restaurants with the money I saved on the cabin).

 

In reply to the op booking really early or really late seems to be best for cost. If you want a specific cabin and dining time then book early, if you are more flexible then late could work for you (you can still get a select booking late but the choice of cabins is obviously much less).

Early club dining seems to be most popular now. So it would very unlikely that anyone booking late would get that option. The least popular option seems to be second sitting and late comers tend to be put in there. As it happens that would suit us as that is our preferred dining.

 

i agree with book early or book late and if you have specific needs in respect of cabin, cruise or dining you would be better to book early.

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54 minutes ago, daiB said:

Early club dining seems to be most popular now. So it would very unlikely that anyone booking late would get that option. The least popular option seems to be second sitting and late comers tend to be put in there. As it happens that would suit us as that is our preferred dining.

 

i agree with book early or book late and if you have specific needs in respect of cabin, cruise or dining you would be better to book early.

 

I think it can depend on the itinerary, type of passenger and number of each type of dining room. On Oriana and Aurora there are roughly equal Club and Freedom places. I believe Early Club and Freedom (which passengers use like Early Club) are most popular.  A late non Select booking is likely to Late Club. This is great for us as it is what we like but we tend to book Select anyway. On Oriana I like to know where my cabin is located. 

 

Best wishes, Stephen. 

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Best deals are always on launch with P&O.  Nearly all our cruises have been much more expensive after launch finishes.

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41 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Best deals are always on launch with P&O.  Nearly all our cruises have been much more expensive after launch finishes.

 

‘How long do the launch prices usually last before they start going up?

 

When are the summer 2022 cruises likely to be launched?

 

Les.

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1 hour ago, Les_ldh said:

 

‘How long do the launch prices usually last before they start going up?

 

When are the summer 2022 cruises likely to be launched?

 

Les.

Summer 2021 will be launched in September this year, so 2022 not till Sept 2020.  Launch period is normally 3 months during which time the discounts (5-10%) are applied, however immediately after they go on general sale fluid pricing kicks in, so high demand cruises base prices could start to rise.

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5 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Summer 2021 will be launched in September this year, so 2022 not till Sept 2020.  Launch period is normally 3 months during which time the discounts (5-10%) are applied, however immediately after they go on general sale fluid pricing kicks in, so high demand cruises base prices could start to rise.


‘Thanks John.

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We booked a cruise to the Mediterranean for October 2020 on the day the cruises were first released and the price went up at 10 15am on the same day!!!

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59 minutes ago, ann141 said:

We booked a cruise to the Mediterranean for October 2020 on the day the cruises were first released and the price went up at 10 15am on the same day!!!

 

It would be interesting to monitor it over the coming year and a half to see where it goes price wise over that period. I suspect that as it is October, so probably during or around the school holidays, that the price will rise.

 

Other times of the year the price may rise for a bit and then fall nearer sailing.

 

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Our way is to look at the total price for the cabin we want, allow for any on board credit and decide if this price is what we are happy paying. If it is then we book if it is not then we don't. Once booked we don't look at that cruise again, that way we don't get disappointed if the price does drop..

 

We are not in a position to book cruises two years in advance and don't want to risk it and wait until the week before, we generally book around 6-9 months beforehand.

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On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 11:48 AM, ann141 said:

We booked a cruise to the Mediterranean for October 2020 on the day the cruises were first released and the price went up at 10 15am on the same day!!!

That might just be the cookies on your computer or something. We booked a cruise this week and after we had done so we noticed the price had jumped up. Logging on the next day or using a different browser showed the price was still the same we had paid.

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1 hour ago, gazwag said:

That might just be the cookies on your computer or something. We booked a cruise this week and after we had done so we noticed the price had jumped up. Logging on the next day or using a different browser showed the price was still the same we had paid.

The 'cookie monster' idea comes up on a regular basis on cruise and airfare boards. Just an urban myth I'm afraid. Pricing algorithms are much more sophisticated than us mere mortals can ever imagine!

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