I am looking to book a cruise in April, 26-30 is my first choice- but really any Thurs-Mon combo. Right now on priceline the lowest rate room that doesn't have bunkbeds is around $379. Is that good? It is a winter sales event, but I am wondering if a spring sales event will come by and lower the prices more-- or if I should wait until the day gets close to see if prices suddenly drop (risky I know.) What do you think? Jacksonville port aboard the Celebration is the one I have been looking closest at, but I am also looking at Elation out of Port Canaveral, Holiday in Mobile, and Inspiration in Tampa. The rest of those ships are around the $399 range for an interior stateroom on the worst deck with a queen bed.
I use Vacationstogo.com as a comparison on prices. Not that they are the lowest but it gives me a good idea of what the rates are running, I have never booked with them, I just use them as a reference.
Keep in mind that April is a prime sailing time,(spring break and Easter) ships do sell out and prices can go up the closer to sailing. I would book now, we are in what the cruise business calls wave season, some of the best prices are available now. If the price does go down before you make final payment and you qualify for the rate, you can ask your agent to have it adjusted.
And since the cruise you are looking at is a 4 day cruise, spring breakers will be more inclined (over a 7 day cruise) to book those. Although, the end of April is the very tail end of Spring break, so I'm not sure how much the tiem is effectingyour price. $379 for a 4 day cruise is not a bad price. But its not the best either. You could just call Carnival directly and if you give them a date range and a debarkation port selection, they can find you the best going rate. You may be able to get a 5 day cruise for that same amount. You aren't giving up anything by calling them directly, I have yet to see a travel site with a cheaper fair than I could get through my Carnival cruise specialist.
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007
HI, I use vacations to go also to judge the price. Carnival has always matched it. Check the price at vacations to go find the one you want and call carnival. As for the Holiday out of Mobile I love that cruise. The boat is in great shape for her age. and I love
Also remember that the Holiday and Celebration are perfectly ok ships.... but they do not have an atrium. After years of RV ads showing those glass elevators going up and down...I would not want someone to be disappointed. The rest of the Carnival ships have them.
I was also going through the same thing and I checked w/ Vacation to go, Expedia, & few others and all of them did not compare to calling Carnival on my own and getting the better price. I booked on the Elation. The TA's gave me prices ranging from $100-$150 more than Carnival
I belive that the carnival site is the best when it comes to finding the cheapest fares. They have a guarentee that if you find it somewhere else cheaper they will match that price or beat it by 5% one or the other. I know that i have yet to get it cheaper through my travel agent however she looks after all of the arangments so the extra money to me is worth the hassle. She has also always gotten me an upgrade in either from coach to first or from a balcony to a suit. However if you just looking for the cheapest rooms i would say go through carnival. As for waiting i wouldn't. You run the risk of the price going up rather then down. I have be following cruise prices for about two years now and in my experiance the only go down in about 10% of the cases. Carnval almost always goes up because they want to incourage early booking
DesireeOO - I have had the greatest luck booking cruises thru BestPriceCruises.com but rather than just booking via the internet I call them at 1-800-344-0401 and ask for either Stephanie or SallyAnne (Tell them Mr.Buzz gave you their name) the service is fantastic and in most cases insurance is included!!