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dyxiegirl

Is buying your next cruise on board really cheaper?

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We are heading out for a 15 day rt to Hawaii in 6 weeks (2/2020), but are planning on another 10 day cruise for June 2021 to Alaska.  Based on things I have read in the distant past, the very best deal is when you book on board.  Is this true?  What kind of savings are we talking about?  Even just a couple hundred a person would be good, as the 2021 cruise is for 4 of us.  

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Unfortunately I've never been in a position to book a cruise while onboard but if I knew that I would be I'd do the research before hand to determine what the prices are for the cruise(s) I'm interested in taking. Then I would know exactly how good a deal I was getting onboard. Each cruise line has their own program and undoubtedly some are better than others.

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Thanks for replying.  Yes, that is what I am doing now.  I finally googled the right way and found Cruise Critic's article on this subject.  They described perks for each company. It seems that on some lines, the perks are significant.  Unfortunately, not on Princess.  So now I am waiting for the big sales in February. 

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10 hours ago, dyxiegirl said:

Thanks for replying.  Yes, that is what I am doing now.  I finally googled the right way and found Cruise Critic's article on this subject.  They described perks for each company. It seems that on some lines, the perks are significant.  Unfortunately, not on Princess.  So now I am waiting for the big sales in February. 

Remember you can always rebook.  In your case, I would probably book the best deal I could find with the cruise line prior to departure.  I would check on board to see if they can beat that deal.  If they can then book onboard and cancel the first cruise.  If not, thank the nice person that does on board bookings.  What ever you do, don't book non-refundable.

BTW, if  you can find a good TA that discounts, you can book on board and then transfer the booking to the TA.  That's the best savings.

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Excellent advice!  I have never rebooked a cruise, so I would never have thought of it.  This upcoming cruise I booked last February and kind of created a bidding war between Avoya, *****.com, and United Cruises. This time *****  won out, but 2 years ago Avoya did with the same $ but more on-board spending and a specialty dinner.  United looked really good, until I found out that all those miles they give you don't show up until after you return, so it is possibly years till you see them. 

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We usually book onboard.  For Royal Caribbean, booking while onboard, gets you some OBC, onboard credit, and paying only a small deposit.  We then transfer it to our favorite travel agent and get additional perks.

We did the same years ago when we last sailed on Princess.

Unfortunately, prices onboard are not lower or discounted.

Note: We call our travel agent often and check for price drops.  If there's a price drop, and it's before final payment, our price is adjusted to the lower price...pretty easy.

Happy Sailing to Hawaii and Aloha!

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I'm not loyal to any cruise line so I hesitate giving them my money up front. For example, I used to go on RCL every other year but haven't been on one since 2016 with no RCL ones in the hopper. I found MSC and they are very nice for our agendas and wishes.

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

I'm not loyal to any cruise line so I hesitate giving them my money up front. For example, I used to go on RCL every other year but haven't been on one since 2016 with no RCL ones in the hopper. I found MSC and they are very nice for our agendas and wishes.

Thanks for answering.  Previously, the only experience with buying on board was with the one Norwegian cruise we took.  At the beginning of the cruise, they offered a substantial coupon book of you put a $200 deposit on any future cruise.  So we bought it.  But the cruise was SO horrible that we made them refund our money, as we will NEVER go on another Norwegian cruise.  But we love Princess, so that won't eat issue.

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Last year, I was on a Carnival cruise and was prepared to book a family cruise for this year while on-board to get some discounts/perks. However, I couldn't find a booking agent or desk on board. maybe Carnival doesn't do that anymore. Not that it matters, I was pretty disappointed with that trip and don't think I'll be going on Carnival again anyways.

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we always book on board to get the lower deposit or perks. but this has changed recently. do your home work prior to going to next cruise office. we booked an 11 nite cruise on board and only got $100 obc. then transferred the cruise to my travel agent and he said if you give up the obc i can reduce the price by $600. DONE!!!!

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I just returned from a cruise and despite showing the cruise on board consultant the online price on my mobile she said she couldn't get me that price.
She even searched for last minute deals but couldn't find anything near the price on my mobile
Her Price for the same cabin category was 50% more

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Thanks for answering.  Previously, the only experience with buying on board was with the one Norwegian cruise we took.  At the beginning of the cruise, they offered a substantial coupon book of you put a $200 deposit on any future cruise.  So we bought it.  But the cruise was SO horrible that we made them refund our money, as we will NEVER go on another Norwegian cruise.  But we love Princess, so that won't eat issue.
What coupons were in that book and why was your Cruise so horrible

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Sorry for the delay.  We are in quarantine at Lackland from the Grand Princess.  I cannot stress enough how great Princess was while we were in quarantine on the ship in addition to a wonderful cruise.

To answer your questions, the coupon book, as best as I can remember, were mostly for small discounts to stuff like couples messages.  Mostly stuff we wouldn't use.  I have gotten these coupon books from Princess since then, and they are similar.  They say the coupon book is worth $700 or something, and there might be one of two coupons in the book that you would use, saving you a few bucks.

As for the cruise issues:  every port, disembarking was so poorly organized that people were cued up in the stairwells going up 5 flights. Tendering was worse.  They would advertise an event, like dancing, then no one would show up.  We would go the Guest Services for answers and they were either rude, ignored us, or told us they would get back to us, and they never did.  But the worst issue happened on Thanksgiving Day:  the formal dining rooms were so overwhelmed that there was a 3-hour wait for dinner, so we went up to the buffet.  While they had all the food, the quality was poor.  But the clincher was that they were serving pink turkey!  I told a server and they blew it off.  I had to track down the head chef to inform him that he was poisoning people.  The physical ship had issues as well, but that is dependent on the individual ship, so not important.  As I said, we will never go on a Norwegian cruise again, but would and plan to cruise with Princess even after being quarantined.

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True, Princess is a class act, among the best!

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I heard from a close friend that Norwegian didn't have any seafood on his cruise from Hawaii.

Is it true--no seafood on Norwegian?

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On 1/8/2020 at 4:44 AM, RocketMan275 said:

Remember you can always rebook.  In your case, I would probably book the best deal I could find with the cruise line prior to departure.  I would check on board to see if they can beat that deal.  If they can then book onboard and cancel the first cruise.  If not, thank the nice person that does on board bookings.  What ever you do, don't book non-refundable.

BTW, if  you can find a good TA that discounts, you can book on board and then transfer the booking to the TA.  That's the best savings.

Unfortunately with Costa, despite showing the cruise on board consultant the online price (on one of Costa's own websites) she said she couldn't get me that price.
She even searched for last minute deals but couldn't find anything near the price on my mobile
Her Price for the same cabin category was 50% more

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To answer the original poster
"No"

booking online is always gonna be cheaper because the onboard future Cruise consultant has to be paid a high salary along with free accommodation and food.

Plus he/she gets a lot of commission on all the bookings he/she makes

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