We are planning to be in Florida over the Christmas Holiday 2012, staying with family. Their home is close to Port Canaveral, and Carnival has the Sensation sailing out two days after Christmas for a four-day/three-night cruise. We are just wondering if we should book NOW because of this being over the holidays, or wait for last minute deals. We don't HAVE to go on a cruise, but thought it nice to do so. The kids (18 & 21) are tired of the same old Disney visits, so cruise would be something different. Our 18 yr old daughter would be happy just to hang around the pool or on a beach in her bikini, than to be running around visiting the sights. We would probably want two cabins, one for Dad and Son, and one for Mother and Daughter. Our son has been on a cruise before, but me, the Mrs and daughter have not. I am looking for suggestions on book now or take a chance on a last minute deal. And any other suggestions.
well to be honest anytime is a good time for a cruise. Carnival has the early saver program, if you buy now and the YOU notice the price has come down just request the price be adjusted. thats what I would do. The young people will love cruising. try for ajoining rooms, they will work well for your family.
If you want any chance of having the two cabins near each other, you really need to book now. Plus, as mentioned above, the early saver guarantee protects you in case the rate goes down.
I have cruised many times around Christmas and it is so neat to see the Caribbean ports all decorated for the holiday. Just seems a bit out of place to me since I grew up in Iowa where it is always freezing cold at that time of year.
Christmas cruises don't normally get less expensive. We have a Thanksgiving week cruise planned and the price has already gone up by $400 a person and I don't think it is going to drop in price. Too many people wanting to cruise at those times. Now if you were talking the week before Christmas or the Week after New Years, then you might see it come down in price. But as it was already mentioned, use the early saver pricing and if it does come down in price you can get refunded. Just be certain you want to go, because if you change your mind you lose your deposits with early saver.
Thanks to all for the advice. This will be a first time cruise for my wife, myself and our daughter. Our son had cruised on Carnival a few years ago. I finally have 'buy in' from all family members, so I am doing more research before booking. I am not sure whether to book this Carnival cruise through their website, or through one of 'their' agents, or through the travel agent at my AAA office. Any suggestions? Someone said because my son has cruised on Carnival before, that he could get a discount on his price.
You don't automatically get a discount just for being a past guest. Carnival may offer Past Guest promotions and you have to be careful with those too. A Past Guest promotion may offer an upgrade, a discount, or both. If you are booking far enough in advance the Early Saver rate can be better than the Past Guest promotions. Keep in mind though, the Early Saver rate has stipulations such as a Non-refundable deposit. However; with the Early Saver rate if the price goes down you can request an adjustment. This is the only promotion that you can ask for a price adjustment. It is the trade off for the non-refundable deposit. In your case it looks like the Early Saver rate is better than the Past Guest rate.
If you book through a local travel agent they can take care of all the bookings linking them together for dining. They can also help you out with any other travel needs such as a third party travel insurance.
We weighed what you all were sharing here, and have booked two adjoining cabins on the Carnival Sensation, departing Port Canaveral on December 27th. It seems like a long time off, but as of today, it's only 142 days till sail, and I am sure that time will fly. Something to look forward to, given the job's workload between now and then. I'll deserve a vacation come the last week of December. The wife even took on a part time job to pay for the cruise and airfare. What a sweetheart.