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Old 01-22-2007, 10:22 AM
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Welp, we've decided to turn our 10th anniversary into a nice 7-day cruise. We're looking to book a cruise in March 2008. Just getting a head start and planning nice and early.

When we cruised before, we had no kids and lots of extra money. Now we have kids and less extra money

I can book pretty much any time, but I'm just curious if there is a sweet spot for bookings?

We're looking at 4 people (two adults and a 4 and 7 year old) single cabin. Since we have kids, I guess we're prefer outside cabin (though my wife and I couldn't care less if we have a window or not for all the time we spent in the room). Deck is also not so important as long as we're not close to the disco.

I want one of the new Voyager or above ships, and I prefer Port Canaveral or Tampa, so that would probably be Mariner of the Seas out of Canaveral, as I'm not sure if any go out of Tampa.

So anyway, my question pretty much is, is there a sweet spot time frame for getting the best deal?

Any pitfalls or potential concerns with two kids 4 and 7 on that cruise? We're going to schedule around the big "spring break" times once we see when they are.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:37 AM
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Shawn, welcome to cruise-chat.

If you are booking for spring break of 2008, then no there is no special time to book. Book now, pay the deposit then have your agent keep a watch on the prices, or you keep watching and let your agent know when you see the prices fall. If the prices go down, then it can be adjusted, but the price of course will not go up. I have seen the prices fall as much as $200 upwards per person after booking. The good thing about booking this early, you will have choice of stateroom and you will have longer to pay it off.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:07 PM
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I agree. Book it now so you get the best choice of cabins.

And use a cruise agent who will monitor the price and get you any price reductions if they occur.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:16 PM
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Great responses. That makes sense. I planned to use Cruisesonly.com, whom I have used twice before back in the day. Do you have any recommendations on other agents to use who have a good reputation at passing on those price cuts?
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:29 PM
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Shawn, it doesnt matter which agency you use, Royal Caribbean now has a NO DISCOUNTING policy. If an agent is caught discounting, then they will loose their rights to book with RCCL. A lot of agencies get around this by offering some type of value added..such as an on board credit, but, know matter who you go to the price is going to be just about the same.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cruise Specialist:
Shawn, it doesnt matter which agency you use, Royal Caribbean now has a NO DISCOUNTING policy. If an agent is caught discounting, then they will loose their rights to book with RCCL. A lot of agencies get around this by offering some type of value added..such as an on board credit, but, know matter who you go to the price is going to be just about the same.
My mistake, I meant, is it common practice to monitor pricing after booking and pass along the savings to the cruiser?

Also, what are the drawbacks of being low in the ship, say Deck 2? Versus being high up? My kids are pretty heavy sleepers and they're likely to be completely worn out by the time they go to bed anyway, so what's so good about being higher up?
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:20 PM
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Actually the lower you are the less motion you will feel. No reason to go with a higher catagory...in fact most of the cabins are the same size, but the price is dependant on which deck..the higher the deck the more money its gonna cost.

As far as monitoring the prices, some agencies will monitor it and some don't. Some will take the lower price, but not pass it on to you to make the extra $$, others will pass it on to you. Booking this far out, you will have a better chance of picking a good cabin, no matter what deck its on, then throughout the year, you yourself monitor the price if need be and if you see the price going down just contact your agent and ask them to get it adjusted.

I know myself, if I see specials going on, I will check my clients bookings to see if they will save the extra$$, and pass it on, much rather do this then keep the difference and loose a future client.

Just ask any agent you are considering using if they will do this for you...if not then move on to the next one. Never be afraid to ask any questions of your agent, they are there to look out for your best interest. If you think they are only interested in getting the booking, but not interested in what is best for you, then that is not the agent you need.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:20 PM
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The theory is, the higher up in te ship, the more side to side motion you feel. Likewise, the more towards the center, the less up and down motion. So, the "best" spot for those with motion sickness is low and midship. Now, having said that, the balcony cabins are higher up in the ship and some of the best are the very aft of the ship becuase of the shape of the ship you get a HUGE balcony. So, it realy depends on what you are looking for in a cabing. There are a lot of discussion on cabins type in this forum. But you really don't spend much time in the cabin. You sleep and change clothes... Pick a cabin that is comfortable for you and your family. If you MUST have a balcony, nothing beats on on the aft of the ship... It used to be that the higherup in the ship, the better the cabin. The still holds true to some degree, but its not as big a deal anymore.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:51 AM
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Great responses. I'm wondering though. When and if you made a list of the top 10 things you enjoyed the most on a cruise. Does your cabin usually make the top 10? Sure could save a ton of money on an inside cabin.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:11 AM
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Shawn, inside cabin is just fine, especially if the ports and activities are more important to you. If having light coming into your cabin is important then at least book an oceanview, but I have found that sometimes if you want to go back to your cabin to take a nap during the day and the curtains have been open the cabin is a lot hotter, inside cabins, nice and dark and cool during the day.

If you book a balcony you will find that you spend more time in your cabin. All depends on what you want to do on this trip. If you plan to use your cabin strictly for sleeping, bathing and changing clothes, inside is just fine.
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