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cherrytwist

Cabin availability after final payment date

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I was just wondering if a significant number of cabins become available after the final payment date? I know a lot of people book early, but then have to cancel for whatever reason.

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Just now, cherrytwist said:

I was just wondering if a significant number of cabins become available after the final payment date? I know a lot of people book early, but then have to cancel for whatever reason.

 

Quite often yes, but each ship/itinerary/date is different based on cabin supply and demand. If sales are above or on track you won't see much price fluctuation... but quite often there are a LOT of last minute cancellations that leave a big excess of supply and THAT is when prices can be SIGNIFICANTLY reduced and you can get OUTRAGEOUSLY good deals.

 

I will often wait until the two weeks after final payment date to book my cruises... usually for only $50pp/night and sometimes all the way down to only $30pp/night! 

 

BUT... there are also times when prices go UP after final payment... because cabin availability has dwindled to such low levels. It's worth the risk to me because I am flexible enough to switch to a different cruise.

Edited by teecee60

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I am currently planning to cruise on Dec 15, 2019 out of Ft Lauderdale but haven't booked yet. We've even purchased our air. I am counting on supply exceeding demand and prices dropping in the next month or two. We are considering Princess and HAL for this cruise. 

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There is usually some cabins that come open after final.

People tend to hold cabins on a few different cruises because there is no penalty unless they have a non refundable deposit.  🙄

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FriendsWD,  our last cruise was a Dec cruise out of FLL.  Our experience with cabin availability and prices was the opposite of what you are hoping for on this itinerary and this time of year.   We booked a cabin for our son, kind of last minute.  Prices had not come down.   At final payment, the ship looked like it had tons of availability, but all of the sudden, it seemed that Princess sorted things out, and there was limited availability.   We did get an upSELL offer from a deluxe balcony to a very nice mini-suite location,  but it was NOT cheap.   We declined.  also since there were no inside cabins close to transfer our son.

 

I guess it is a big guessing game, and you just never can tell.

Not sure if waiting until the last minute would pay off, or not.

We know somebody booked on a similar December cruise, and the cabin they booked has, for now, gone up in price.

I think there has to be a lot of last minute availability for any good Drop and Go cheaper fares.

Edited by Wishing on a star

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Our first Christmas cruise was booked after final payment. It was sold out, and we were on a wait list.

We kept calling and we did get a cabin.  So, it can happen.  Since then we book all of our cruises as soon as the itinerary is released for cabin preferences and refare if we are able to.  We've not been offered an upsell either... well, supposedly we got offered one once, but our TA didn't get it... it was a mess, we no longer use a TA. 

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I've seen and taken advantage of some great Drop and Go sales.  One year they had 3rd & 4th person in a cabin for $1.  Granted this was for February and March going to the Caribbean.  We couldn't take advantage of that one, but so wished we could have.  You also have to weigh out the cost of flights.  Sometimes that close the flights cost so much that your overall cost is the same as if you booked further in advance.  I think if you are going January-March to the Caribbean you are pretty safe to wait and there will be cabins.  Most families don't take vacations during that time because of school.  We are different, LOL.  Every couple of years we take our kids out of school and go on a family vacation in February or March.

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5 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

I am currently planning to cruise on Dec 15, 2019 out of Ft Lauderdale but haven't booked yet. We've even purchased our air. I am counting on supply exceeding demand and prices dropping in the next month or two. We are considering Princess and HAL for this cruise. 

 

Be aware that cruises over the Christmas holiday tend to be more expensive and you probably won't get a great "drop and go" price. We always said that, when we retired, we would jump on the drop and go cruises but it hasn't happened. We end up booking way in advance and then end up watching the prices go up and up. We still think that "someday" we may snag a drop and go cruise but we tend to have our stuff planned out so that there really isn't a good time to grab the deals.

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56 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Be aware that cruises over the Christmas holiday tend to be more expensive and you probably won't get a great "drop and go" price.

I have 2x over Christmas. I would not have booked if the price hadn't been really good. Many people want to be home for a traditional Christmas, especially if they have kids and opening presents.

Edited by Coral

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1st 2 weeks in December you will always get good last-minute rates for Mexico/Caribbean

Once you come to vacation week,   sold out  is name of the game

 

We always wait until after final payment,  but never travel peak times.

 we just bought Fort Lauderdale-Buenos Aries 2 weeks beyond final payment .

Balcony cabins were  $1159 before final payment   and we paid  $743 

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Unfortunately, there are those that book as soon as a cruise becomes available to get the choice cabin locations without firm plans to go on the cruise as it is over a year or more out.   They just want the camel's nose in the tent..  They may have bookings on several cruises at the same time.  A lot of times, the cabins are cheaper at that time because capacity management hasn't kicked in yet to indicate if it is a good seller and they can charge more.  Then the people wait until shortly before final payment is due to "sort their potatoes" and start cancelling those they don't want.  The cruise line finds they have more cabins than they would like unfilled and may come down on the fare to fill them.  Plan B is work on upsales.    On the other hand, the opposite can happen.  They overestimate cancellations and find they are overbooked.  Then they start on Plan C,  move-overs..  If they don't work, they will go to Plan D, start free upgrades to free up the cheaper cabins in hopes of last minute sales. That doesn't happy too often these days as they can usually accomplish what they want with upsales.

 

One cruise line, I can't remember which, required double deposits on suites and sometimes made them non-refundable because they were tired of them being tied up and having to turn away potential bookings who go elsewhere only to find they have them unfilled after final payment and harder to sell as most last minute bookings want the cheaper cabins.  Of course, those that play that game will get refundable deposit cabins so they have to "guess" how many will jump ship and then, if they are wrong, find themselves overbooked.  

 

I have booked three cruises during their June 3 day sale for cruises over a year out because it is $100 pp deposit, free drinks, free grats, some obc, and good cabin location.  In every case, when the time has come to take them, the price has been up without those perks.  On the one I have booked for January 2021, the basic fare is now up over $300 pp.  It may go down, but would have to go down a whole lot to offset free grats and drink package.  If I don't like it, then I am only out the $200 tied up in the deposit for 18 months which I can get back by cancelling (lol).

 

 Bottom line is that it is a crap shoot which direction it will go.

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Wow. Just checked our upcoming TA. 14 days Barcelona to FLL. It's well after final payment and I thought it might be really cheap now. As it turns out there are almost no cabins showing as available on the ship. There is only one mid-forward OV left on Plaza and it's almost right across from the one we booked. It's listed for $1,133 per person more than we paid! Obviously this is one cruise where waiting for a killer deal after final payment wouldn't have worked. I was shocked as I know sometimes a TA can be a very good deal.

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43 minutes ago, Tucker in Texas said:

Unfortunately, there are those that book as soon as a cruise becomes available to get the choice cabin locations without firm plans to go on the cruise as it is over a year or more out.   They just want the camel's nose in the tent..  They may have bookings on several cruises at the same time.  A lot of times, the cabins are cheaper at that time because capacity management hasn't kicked in yet to indicate if it is a good seller and they can charge more.  Then the people wait until shortly before final payment is due to "sort their potatoes" and start cancelling those they don't want.  

Couldn't have said it better myself.  😉

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10 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

I am currently planning to cruise on Dec 15, 2019 out of Ft Lauderdale but haven't booked yet. We've even purchased our air. I am counting on supply exceeding demand and prices dropping in the next month or two. We are considering Princess and HAL for this cruise. 

 

4 hours ago, Thrak said:

 

Be aware that cruises over the Christmas holiday tend to be more expensive and you probably won't get a great "drop and go" price. We always said that, when we retired, we would jump on the drop and go cruises but it hasn't happened. We end up booking way in advance and then end up watching the prices go up and up.

 

Luckily for friendswithdave, December 15 is pre-holiday and prices are often relatively low for a cruise on that date.

 

For a cruise over the holdays, the prices can really skyrocket. A year ago we booked a Princess cruise for over the holidays with the 3forfree promotion. The current price for our category cabin is 51.5% higher than when we booked it.

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13 hours ago, Tucker in Texas said:

Plan B is work on upsales.    On the other hand, the opposite can happen.  They overestimate cancellations and find they are overbooked.  Then they start on Plan C,  move-overs..  If they don't work, they will go to Plan D, start free upgrades to free up the cheaper cabins in hopes of last minute sales. That doesn't happy too often these days as they can usually accomplish what they want with upsales.

I would think move overs would be the plan of last resort as it 'costs' Princess the most ..

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One reason we are OK with waiting to the last minute to book - we are OK with any one of three ships leaving on the same date and port. Two of these are HAL which I KNOW from past research in previous years has a lot of unsold cabins in December as the date approaches. I guess you could also say I'm a gambler - OK with the likelihood the price will go down but also willing to accept a higher price if that's the way the cards fall. I also check prices daily on a few websites. I'll try to return to this thread and share if I did well or regret my decision to wait to book our Dec 15 cruise.

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17 hours ago, Thrak said:

Wow. Just checked our upcoming TA. 14 days Barcelona to FLL. It's well after final payment and I thought it might be really cheap now. As it turns out there are almost no cabins showing as available on the ship. There is only one mid-forward OV left on Plaza and it's almost right across from the one we booked. It's listed for $1,133 per person more than we paid! Obviously this is one cruise where waiting for a killer deal after final payment wouldn't have worked. I was shocked as I know sometimes a TA can be a very good deal.

 

We took that cruise (well, backwards FLL to Barcelona)  last spring..the Emerald was packed and the price only went up as time went by. We met many people on board who sail it every year  and book it as soon as they can.

Edited by Gretchendz

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I'm not saying last minute deals are not there, because obviously they are. However, many lines are now offering their very best deals a year or more out. I think that the best last minute deals are slowly disappearing--especially for those wanting suites or mini suites (which can sell out quickly). We tend it  to book far out as we can.

 

Example, we decided to plan for Thanksgiving with the  2020 South America cruise (Eclipse!) on the Coral. We paid quite a bit less than the "book" rate. We used FCD to book so no more out-of-pocket for us to do this.  We got $1,300 in OBC, not including the shareholder OBC I will add later.  Also, free gratuities were included. Final payment is not due until July.   In the meantime, I will watch the fares and if a better deal comes along, we'll switch to it.

 

Last February, I took my sister on a short Mexico cruise. I booked early, watched the Black Friday sale and got the fare reduced.  From then on the prices only rose--and the ship sailed full.

 

If you really don't care which cruise you go on, it may not matter but we live in the Midwest and need to plan a little 🙂

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On 9/20/2019 at 12:23 PM, Colo Cruiser said:

There is usually some cabins that come open after final.

People tend to hold cabins on a few different cruises because there is no penalty unless they have a non refundable deposit.  🙄

I think that this may be why we are seeing more and more non-refundable cruises.

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4 minutes ago, 2 cruises a year said:

I think that this may be why we are seeing more and more non-refundable cruises.

I agree.  

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I submitted to Princess that ALL FCD's used should be NON-refundable and NON-transferable for ANY reason to avoid the 'hoarding' of cruises until final payment date ...

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Although you may save quite a bit of $$$, your choice of cabins will be limited. Cabin location is too important to us to leave to chance. Our days of booking cheap guarantees is over.

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