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JIMESOPUS

Has this changed the way you book a cruise?

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We all are aware across the cruising industry that they have been very slow in refunding your hard earned money so I have to ask will you book that cruise one year ahead or at the last moment? I have been guilty of booking cruises sometimes two years in advance, to get that special cabin or location. I also seen prices go up and down as the months pass by only to kick myself for not waiting. We all have seen the threads discussing why or why not to wait but now I'm a convert to waiting until the last moment, I'll take my lumps if the cabin isn't prefect but keeping my money in the bank seems a better idea.    

 

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It will for me. I am in a weird position they changed my final payment date to 120 days instead of the 90. After the change it went downhill fast. Now I’m possibly on the first cruise out June 28th on the Breakaway. I thought I was ok with it until I was the test subject. Very selfish to say I wish someone else went first but I think it’s a normal human emotion.

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As it relates to NCL, we pretty much stick to bookings that are inside the 90 day pay period.  More like 60 days and sometimes even 30.  I find that fares are often (not always), reduced as you approach embarkation...especially if there are lots of unfilled staterooms.  I don't think this pattern of behavior will change for us.  We certainly won't book anything now for 2020 or even 2021 until we see evidence of cruise lines returning to operations.

 

We have, however, booked well in advance on other lines (Celebrity) that seem to have different pricing strategies.  Not sure how our booking behavior will be altered there...we had a cancelled cruise for April and I have already received my refund.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I’m a planner, and I’m one of those people who book two years in advance, and who looks for that odd cabin in a special location. It’s always been a good decision. When Cruise day finally arrives and I step into that cabin, I’m always grateful that I started planning early. And even with everything going on, that strategy is not going to change.

 

Even during this pandemic, I’ve booked a cruise for February 2021 (specifically to book a one of a kind cabin) and another one for April 2022. It gives me something to look forward to. Slow refunds due to massive cancelations in the middle of this pandemic won’t be the reason why I change my planning and booking patterns.

 

The way people think has greatly changed in the last two months, and it will most likely greatly change two months from now. In my humble opinion, most “decisions”  about future behavior that anybody makes in the middle of this probably won’t be the same once we are out of it and things start settling down. How many people said that they would never fly again after 9/11? How many actually followed up on that decision? 
 

 

Edited by Tapi

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We will continue booking ahead. In one case because we have a family cruise planned in 2022 for graduations and we wanted to make sure we booked the cabins we wanted. Price really shot up since then (POA). We have one cruise for June on Carnival which has been canceled (we are rebooking a longer one for next year) and another cruise in June leaving a few days after the canceled one so we are just sitting, waiting, and hoping it will sail. First ones on the ship is fine with me. I think there will be new protocols in place and everything will be really clean, so I am not worried. 

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2 minutes ago, Linda the Book Lover said:

First ones on the ship is fine with me. I think there will be new protocols in place and everything will be really clean, so I am not worried. 

Yep. Same.  I will have no problem being first for this very reason.  Hope you get to sail!

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Morning Peachy hope everything is good in your neck of the woods. I am south of the city we got  Heavy wind but no damage.

14 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

 

 

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1 minute ago, ellasmomanddad said:

Morning Peachy hope everything is good in your neck of the woods. I am south of the city we got  Heavy wind but no damage.

 

GM!  We were lucky as well...in Midtown...strong winds and rain.  Nothing like NW Georgia.  Looks like another beautiful day...hope you enjoy ☺️

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This won’t change how far out I book. The current events have changed very little about getting vacation time and weekend trades approved at work. I can’t really cruise last minute, the latest I could put in for vacation is the 10th of the preceding month. Booking that late I probably I’d have to sell my soul to get people to switch weekends around. For me to go on a cruise that involves 2 weekends off in a row I’m planning at least 6 months out.
 

I’m not inclined to make final payment on anything though until cruises are sailing again. That is part of the reason I canceled and rebooked my Alaska cruise.

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3 hours ago, JIMESOPUS said:

We all are aware across the cruising industry that they have been very slow in refunding your hard earned money so I have to ask will you book that cruise one year ahead or at the last moment? I have been guilty of booking cruises sometimes two years in advance, to get that special cabin or location. I also seen prices go up and down as the months pass by only to kick myself for not waiting. We all have seen the threads discussing why or why not to wait but now I'm a convert to waiting until the last moment, I'll take my lumps if the cabin isn't prefect but keeping my money in the bank seems a better idea.    

 

We usually booked one year in advance, and on board due to the fact that we received extra incentives from our TA if we did that, there have been other times that we have booked 3 weeks in advance. I guess it will depend on the circumstances and itineraries. One time, the price was so good that we booked a cruise almost 10 days out. New York to LA for 17 days. Again, i guess it will depend on the cruise and price.

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We have booked cruises on the first day itinerary was offered (more than 2 years in advance) & have cruised nine days after booking.

NCL's recent pricing has made booking in advance less attractive and COVID has made it worse.

We are retired and live close to both major Alaska cruise embarkation ports - our next cruise will probably be a last minute Alaska cruise but not soon - we will stay in Canada and enjoy road trips until COVID is well under control.

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In the shorter term, like for 2021 cruises, I won't book far out.   Those itineraries were set long before this crisis, and I wouldn't be surprised if ships and itineraries are shuffled around as NCL and the other lines recover from the economic beating they are taking.  After I feel the cruise lines have stabilized their operations, whenever that may be, then I will probably go back to booking a year or more in advance, as I like having the widest selection of cabins, and it's fun to have a vacation to look forward to.

 

I probably will never again book flights as far in advance as I used to, as their cancelation policies are so restrictive.  I won't prepay anything - water bottles, daily service charges, internet time, excursions - until shortly before the cruise.   And if the cruise is in Europe, I won't rush to get currency far in advance, as I now have  pounds and Euros in my dresser drawer for a spring cruise that isn't going to happen.  🤔  

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I never book more than a few months ahead of time,. and i never use a travel agent, i book right online at the cruises sites, i cut out any middleman ,so i can deal directly with the company if i need to.  

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I think it will change the way we book.  I am a planner by nature and like to have things booked really far in advance.  However, I think we will probably know that we are vacationing during a specific week and then book whatever works for our budget within 60-90 days.  

 

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I will not book far in advance. I will take my chances on availability and book closer to the sailing date.

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I will continue to book far in advance if I find something I want.  I never pay final payment before the final due date.  I always watch for price changes prior to final payment to request an adjustment if the price goes down.  I was lucky and didn't have any final payments due for the cruises I have booked in August-Oct, but I suppose it would be hard waiting for a refund along with the disappointment of not getting to cruise.  I know I will have to wait longer to cruise than I want as my husband won't be as anxious to sail as I am....

 

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No change in habits for me. I like to pick my cabin and am willing to take my chances to get it. 

I have had the price go down a couple of times and, having a great travel agent, I go the lower price without having to cancel and rebook both times. And, once, the savings was $800.

I book anywhere from 10 months to a year and a half in advance.

Anyone worried about what has now happened, happening in the future, should just put the minimum deposit and carry on as usual.

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