We normally use the 90 day rule. It seems as though cruise lines will start to discount cruises around 90 days before departure. We have done this the last 4 years and have gotten great deals. The only downfall is that if it is a cruise in high demand (like some 10 day cruises only done in the fall) you might not get the cabin you desire. So, book a guarantee. You never know, sometimes you may get an upgrade, sometimes not. It's a guessing game. We normally like the upper decks and nothing was available for this cruise, so we booked a guarantee obstructed. Have not been assigned a cabin, so we're hoping we got an upgrade. That's sometimes the excitement of it. But, can also be a disappointment if you didn't. So, if you want a specific cabin, then book a year in advance. Or, if you are traveling with a group, it's good to book as soon as the cruise is available for booking.
Is normally about six months for me to get good cabin selection, and if the price drops you can get the adjustments and credits. If is a new ship I want to go on though will book ASAP as they sell out faster.
If you dont care about cabin location and you are very concerned about price wait till about 30 days before hand. Usually there are great deals plus on board credit! If you are concerned about cabin location book early. There are benefits either way, it just depends on what you want.
We have booked 9 months out and 2 weeks out.
It depends on the cruise ...if it someplace you really want to go & they only do that cruise less often then book early and if you want a specific cabin book early
If it is the Caribbean you can usually get a good deal close to departure, if you don't care about the cabin location or the ship etc...
There are so many ships doing that cruise.
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress
I am planning a group cruise for October 2008. Would like to sail the Caribbean Princess, but the itineraries are not yet posted. If I need to book for 14 people, how soon should I? As soon as it becomes available? Or, maybe wait awhile? We are just doing inside cabins, but want to be together. Would like the same deck as the pool. (Lido) Any help would be appreciated as all of our group are first timers except my husband and I. Everyone is counting on me. (whew!)
Having booked over 300 groups in my days as a travel agent I would strongly recommend that you get a travel agent to help you. There are a lot of things (perks) that they can get you. Are the peole that are going family? friends? both? I would recommend you wait till the itineraries are published before booking, I mean what it its places you might not care for? Once you know this info the earlier you book the more relaxed you'll be while waiting. Also make sure those that say they are going are truely going. Its a bummer trying to get refunds and/or others to take the places of others. A travel agent will help you big time.
Thanks for your help guys. I wasn't sure of the best way to go to do this. I will definitely look for a TA to help with this. We normally book using Vacations to Go, or another web based TA (wherever we find the best deals), but will probably use a land based TA in our area. I have all these people on the referral list with Princess. By doing this, I should get a $25 credit for each cabin, plus I believe each couple gets this as well. What other perks would a TA offer?
Just about everything has been covered; all good information. My wife and I like to book nine months to a year ahead depending on the frequency of the cruise. I like to lock in a cabin, or at least a particular area; I don't care much for last minute surprises; besides, what's wrong with thinking about it EVERY DAY? Would just like to add that on Princess, you can get up to $150 per person shipboard credit when you book a future cruise while on a cruise--not bad!