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Is now a bad time to book? Advice for a 'newbie'?

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I feel terrible about the timing, but my husband and I have never had a formal wedding ceremony and no honeymoon.  We've been 100% kid focused for years and we are working on 'us' again.  We decided recently to book a vacation and settled on a cruise, and now all of this devastation has hit.  We decided to look anyhow, and we think we know what we want.  

 

We are/aren't newbies to cruising.  I cruised three times growing up, and once many years ago.  The only cruise I've ever booked myself was DCL and we barely could afford it, so I didn't have a lot of options.  My husband has never cruised.

 

We have decided on an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Sun in Summer/early Fall 2021.   Our other issue is what type of room to get. We were leaning toward a suite with a butler/concierge because we want to go all out for our one big celebration.  We take a lot of baths and shower together every day, and plan on spending quite a bit of time in the room. Also, he is a large (tall and burly) man and I don't want the balcony, room or bathroom to be too cramped.  I love the idea of chocolate covered strawberries and snacks and someone making all of our arrangements for us.  I'm not sure of everything that is included, but it sure sounds nice for what I do know. It will be a financial stretch but we can make it happen.  But I read that those are in high demand and there aren't very many of them.  It will cost us 1.75x what another room would.  The other option would be a regular balcony room.  It's unlikely we could shower together and there is no bathtub.    

 

What we can't decide, with all of the uncertainty, is if NOW is the time to book.  And we are unsure if going all in on the suite is a good idea or not.  Any advice for us?   I appreciate any insights you wise cruisers have for us.  

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I wouldn't tie any money up on booking at this point. The cruise industry will likely look very different when we come out of this. What ANYONE tells you happened last summer in Alaska will likely be VERY different in another year. Wait to find out how things shake out and which cruise lines survive.

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42 minutes ago, Markanddonna said:

I wouldn't tie any money up on booking at this point. The cruise industry will likely look very different when we come out of this. What ANYONE tells you happened last summer in Alaska will likely be VERY different in another year. Wait to find out how things shake out and which cruise lines survive.

 

 

Thank you very much.  Is it just a matter of wait and see based on public health, or prices?  Thank you.

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A year and a half from now things are likely to be  more stable — but if you are interested in booking top of the line accomodations, you are clearly not bargain hunters.  Waiting until you see how things play out might be your best bet.  There are very few certainties - but when it comes to summer cruises to Alaska, it is likely that there will be many choices - if there are any at all.  

 

“Wait and see” is a good approach at this point. 

 

  

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29 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

A year and a half from now things are likely to be  more stable — but if you are interested in booking top of the line accomodations, you are clearly not bargain hunters.  Waiting until you see how things play out might be your best bet.  There are very few certainties - but when it comes to summer cruises to Alaska, it is likely that there will be many choices - if there are any at all.  

 

“Wait and see” is a good approach at this point. 

 

 

 

We are definitely bargain hunters, but want the maximum experience we can afford on what we scrimp together.  

 

I'm a little confused by your statement that there will be may choices- if any.  Those seem like contradictory statements?

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3 hours ago, that_caviar_is_a_garnish said:

 

We are definitely bargain hunters, but want the maximum experience we can afford on what we scrimp together.  

 

I'm a little confused by your statement that there will be may choices- if any.  Those seem like contradictory statements?

Not really. Many of us expect that the coronavirus will have a catastrophic impact on the industry until a vaccine arrives.  If it arrives late next year, then there may well be little or no cruises next summer. If it arrives early next year then there should be many choices next summer.

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Posted (edited)

I just booked a cruise for 2021 (a 5 night Princess Cruise to Cabo) with a refundable $200 deposit. It’s nothing fancy, but I wanted to secure a specific stateroom. Whether the cruise happens or not, it gives me something to look forward to and to be excited about. In these times of uncertainty, it’s a diversion from what’s currently happening. As we get close to that date and things become clearer (not only with the cruise industry but with my company and job), I will then decide what I’ll do.
 

At this point in time, we can only speculate what the cruise industry will look like 6, 12, 18+ months from now. But I personally don’t think that we should become prey to the current situation and stop looking forward to the future. A big part of getting through these tough times is having hope, and for me, having cruise plans is a good way to accomplish that. 
 

When we cruised to Alaska for the first time a few years ago, I started planning over a year in advance, researching ports of call, ships, itineraries, etc. Starting your research now for an Alaska cruise during the summer of 2021 gives you plenty of time to get yourself familiarized with what will most likely be one of the most wonderful vacations of your lifetime. I wouldn’t plunk thousands of dollars on a cruise reservation this far out (with or without the current situation), but if you do pinpoint a specific ship and stateroom that you want, and you can secure it with a low, refundable deposit, I would say to go ahead and book it.

 

About your wish for a larger bathroom with a larger shower/tub, no matter what ship you select, you will not get that in a standard balcony stateroom so you’ll have to go the “suite” route. And even then, you need to check out the actual facilities because even suites can have small bathrooms. Should you splurge on a suite? How much is the luxury of having a larger bathroom worth to you? If the number in your head matches what the difference in price is, then go for it. If not, then pass on the suite. 

A few years back, my wife and I celebrated an anniversary at a time when I was about to begin a new job. We didn’t have a lot of money and all we could afford was a short, 4 night Pacific Coastal cruise in an ocean view stateroom with a partially blocked view. But it was an amazing, memorable vacation, which we will always cherish. Yes, it wasn’t the most luxurious vacation, but we loved it simply because we were together. I’m positive that no matter what you and your spouse choose, you will be making wonderful memories. 
 

 

Edited by Tapi

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13 minutes ago, Tapi said:

I just booked a cruise for 2021 (a 5 night Princess Cruise to Cabo) with a refundable $200 deposit. It’s nothing fancy, but I wanted to secure a specific stateroom. Whether the cruise happens or not, it gives me something to look forward to and to be excited about. In these times of uncertainty, it’s a diversion from what’s currently happening. As we get close to that date and things become clearer (not only with the cruise industry but with my company and job), I will then decide what I’ll do.
 

At this point in time, we can only speculate what the cruise industry will look like 6, 12, 18+ months from now. But I personally don’t think that we should become prey to the current situation and stop looking forward to the future. A big part of getting through these tough times is having hope, and for me, having cruise plans is a good way to accomplish that. 
 


 

 

Nothing wrong with doing some planning ahead of time and hoping. That can be very helpful.

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I would look at cruises for later next year

i agree with Tapi and it’s good to have something to look forward to.

On our bucket list is the Panama Canal 

We we’re planning on booking for January but are hesitant now.

Stay well 😊

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Posted (edited)

I would not give any cruise line a dime of my money at this  point in time.   I would wait to see how the cruise industry shakes out.  We are only at the start of this scourge.....we have a long way to go and the path is uncertain.

Edited by iancal

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12 hours ago, that_caviar_is_a_garnish said:

 

We are definitely bargain hunters, but want the maximum experience we can afford on what we scrimp together.  

 

I'm a little confused by your statement that there will be may choices- if any.  Those seem like contradictory statements?

 

Depends on how things play out, with the 2 likeliest outcomes being lots of choices or no choices at all.  No one knows - we are all guessing.

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As long as it’s in your budget suite is definitely the way to go , even more so for your honeymoon. I have cruised every type of cabin now we just do suites, extra space is great , not familiar with there extra perks but I am sure there are some.

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Given what you described in your original post, I think you’ll be happiest splurging on a suite.  Something fun you can do as part of your planning/researching is - as someone else mentioned - to look into the configurations of the bathrooms  in the suites on a few of the lines you’re considering.  There really is a difference in the lay-outs - some have bathtubs and many don’t.  And, suite bathrooms are generally - but not always - larger than non-suite bathrooms regardless of tub/no tub.  

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I am not a ncl person, but suites on most lines can vary a lot , on celebrity they go from 250 sq ft to 1000 sq ft , some with huge balconies with hot tubs, double sinks etc etc , look at everything before picking one , sometimes perks are also upgraded. 

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Personally I would not put money into a cruise. We don't know what the industry will look like at the end of this and we know they are loathed to refund money and who knows if after restructuring the credit they give you will be worth the same. I think if you plan a trip it is probably safest to plan something independent. That way you don't have to commit money straightaway and can adjust things yourself if a situation demands. Flexibility will probably be key to post pandemic travel.

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