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Timmay77

Last minute cruise purchase : When is it the cheapest?

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Looking to possibly book the Sun out of Port Canaveral on March 23rd for a last minute Spring Break cruise. If we can score it, awesome, if not, no biggy. When is the best time to purchase? At the very last minute? 90 days before (now)? When do they drop the price the most?

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I did the very same. We leave Wednesday and booked the cruise about 5 weeks ago. It dropped again and we upgraded to a suite. However if you have specific location and cabin type wants it may not be a good idea. Lots of GTY bookings last minute. We do this pretty often when we just need to get away. About a month out I saw prices climb. With Spring break being your desired date I imagine ship will book up quicker and prices go up sooner, but you never know! Good Luck!

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The price frequently never drops.  In fact it frequently goes up and up.  It will all depend on how well the ship is selling for that cruise.  I'm guessing spring break is pretty popular.  If you book before final payment is due, you can cancel up until that time and get the new price is lower.  Otherwise, if you are just waiting for lowest prices, all you can do is wait until just before sailing and if you see a price you like, book it.  No way to tell.  

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You will never know when the price bottoms out.  Each sailing is different.  Nothing says the price won't steadily rise from here.

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My last few cruises were cheapest when first listed on the NCL website. 

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This is a 4 night cruise with tons of cabins in all categories. I would wait and watch. Could be some last minute deals. Last spring I kept watching a 7 night cruise to Bermuda. I ended up booking it 4 days before the cruise and paid $260 total for everything for an inside cabin for just me.

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7 minutes ago, hladygirl said:

This is a 4 night cruise with tons of cabins in all categories. I would wait and watch. Could be some last minute deals. Last spring I kept watching a 7 night cruise to Bermuda. I ended up booking it 4 days before the cruise and paid $260 total for everything for an inside cabin for just me.

I used to do this for cruises out of NY...especially winter cruises.  The week before the sailing they were almost giving away cabins...with no "single supplement".  Now....nothing is available for this month and Feb rates are in the stratosphere. 

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It is going to depend each sailing. I booked a cruise last month for the end of January on the Sky. I was happy with the price for both the sailing and airfare. I thought for sure it would go down in price as the sailing came closer, but it was my last day to put in for vacation time at work, so I booked. Glad I did I got it for $164, now it is up to $419 (this is for a solo cruise though when I booked there wasn’t a solo supplement, not they have it marked as solo discount). 

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I often watch cruise prices to see if a better price pops up closer to a sailing that I want. But, I am also a person who is flexible about which cabin I get. Many people on here who want a specific cabin will recommend that you not gamble in the price watch game which I understand because fewer cabin options may be available. For cruises that I have watched, I have not experienced that they do not drop at all. But, I watch them daily if I really am serious about it. They may go up for sure, but I have also seen them go down (and back up at times to be honest).  I have seen the drop just last for hours or a day in some cases, so I look frequently if I really want that cruise. I agree with others who say when you see a price that you are ok with to go ahead and grab it at that time and celebrate. Peak cruise times like Spring Break and Christmas are more of a challenge for price drops of course. So, I dont even consider those weeks. Its not that fun to me, lol.  So, it depends on how willing you are to ride the wave and see what happens. If you are ok with not going on the cruise, then there isnt much of a loss I guess. Good luck.

Edited by blueslily

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6 hours ago, Timmay77 said:

Looking to possibly book the Sun out of Port Canaveral on March 23rd for a last minute Spring Break cruise. If we can score it, awesome, if not, no biggy. When is the best time to purchase? At the very last minute? 90 days before (now)? When do they drop the price the most?

I usually go to Priceline and put in a specific date with the ports I can drive to. Example a couple years ago while staying in Naples Florida my son came to visit me. We decided to go on a cruise about a week before and I looked into Miami, ft Lauderdale, port canaverale and Tampa which are all drivable. Scored a 5 night cruise for 2 at $195.00 total. Booked about a week before sail away no drinks package. 
Being in Florida with a flexible time frame there are deals.

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2 hours ago, cementhands said:

I usually go to Priceline and put in a specific date with the ports I can drive to. Example a couple years ago while staying in Naples Florida my son came to visit me. We decided to go on a cruise about a week before and I looked into Miami, ft Lauderdale, port canaverale and Tampa which are all drivable. Scored a 5 night cruise for 2 at $195.00 total. Booked about a week before sail away no drinks package. 
Being in Florida with a flexible time frame there are deals.

 

Wow!

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5 hours ago, blueslily said:

If you are ok with not going on the cruise, then there isnt much of a loss I guess. Good luck.

 

That is pretty much where we are. IF we score one, great, if not, we won't be upset. We are going to to spend a few days on the beach, so really, ship, cabin, etc, doesn't even matter. We just want to have a little road trip/family time/beach get away.....

 

Thank you everyone for the advice!!

 

We are also looking at ALL cruise lines, the dates are the important part. We are not "cruise line loyal." Whatever works best.

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We booked several cruises with good deals but real last minute (one week or a couple days before the sail). 😊

 

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@april42749 Boy are YOU correct!!  I thought it was just me who couldn't find anything last-minute out of NYC!!

 

I think part of the reason we're not able to score the last-minute cruise deals we used to is that cruising itself has become SO much more popular than it was 2 or 3 years ago.  Look at all the new ships coming out this year & next; Carnival, RCCL, NCL, etc. wouldn't be spending close to a billion USD on new ships if they thought the market was saturated.

 

As several other posters have pointed out you do have an advantage of sailing out of FL where there's LOTS of choices for a cruise vacation, even during spring break!  I wish you the best of luck in finding something in your price range and, if successful, hope you have a great cruise!

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If you’re fortunate enough to have a relative in Florida with who you can visit? It’s perfect to drive down with the understanding you are going to score a cruise last minute. So many cruise ports. So many ships.
My parents have been on many out of their Florida condo. Many groups also go with busses for rides to and from port.

 Last minute cancellations happen all the time. Especially with elderly people.

Even happening to my father as he fell boarding and mother and he spent the time in Miami hospital. Thanks for cruise insurance.

Older we get the most important thing is cruise insurance.

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On 1/12/2020 at 8:26 AM, Timmay77 said:

Looking to possibly book the Sun out of Port Canaveral on March 23rd for a last minute Spring Break cruise. If we can score it, awesome, if not, no biggy. When is the best time to purchase? At the very last minute? 90 days before (now)? When do they drop the price the most?

Some travel websites offer a cruise price tracker and notify you of price fluctuations. It’s great for seeing the price move in either direction. Others might have excessive inventory of rooms. Seems like sometimes there are large groups cancellations. Could be Europeans who canceled for USA based cruise and vice versa.

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Jade sailings next month in Asia, between Hong Kong, Singapore has good last minute deals on Insides & Oceanview cabins, 10 or 11 nights. Airfares on your own aren't bad and if got miles to use, it's a steal. Very cheap hotel rates in HKG from last year's ongoing unrest.

 

Heck, it's cheaper than sailing to Nassau from NY if you can work out the time, etc.

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7 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

Jade sailings next month in Asia, between Hong Kong, Singapore has good last minute deals on Insides & Oceanview cabins, 10 or 11 nights. Airfares on your own aren't bad and if got miles to use, it's a steal. Very cheap hotel rates in HKG from last year's ongoing unrest.

 

Heck, it's cheaper than sailing to Nassau from NY if you can work out the time, etc.

The Jewel has great prices up until (Numerous itineraries) May, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Hawaii, and then to Vancouver.   If your thinking of South Pacific, think French Bee airlines to get you there or back from the states, el cheapo baby!

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