I am trying to figure out when the best time to book is... like the price curve. SO the price looks like it is pretty high a few days before but maybe a week or two before looks like it is pretty low. Is this right? What about further back? A month? Two? I don't mind last minute booking. Thanks!
I booked my October cruise last December--today the same category would cost me $300 per person more. If it were reversed and the price went down instead of up, I would still be able to get the lower price. My advice is to book early and watch the prices. Usually the prices are higher near the sailing date - especially if the ship is pretty well booked up.
There is no crystal ball answer to booking a cruise. The best time to book is when you've made up your mind that you definitely want to go on a particular cruise. You are taking a gamble otherwise. The best early bird discounts are 6-9 months in advance. By booking early you get the best selection of cabin location. If you need adjoining cabins,connecting cabins, or handicap, then booking early is a must. If you want a balcony cabin for a seasonal destination like Alaska or Mediterranean then book early. Re-positioning cruises or special one time runs - book early. Need to travel over the holiday or school break time - book early. If you can drive to a cruise, have the flexibility to leave at anytime, and don't care whether your cabin is inside, in the bow of the ship on the bottom deck, then you can wait until the last minute to book. It's a gamble.
Here's another example: My Sept 5th cruise was $882 pp for a D-3 category stateroom. Today I checked online and saw a senior special for a D-2 category stateroom for $799 pp. So now I'm going from a balcony cabin on deck 6 to a balcony cabin on deck 9. The cabins are the same size, but now I'm getting $166 back. I love it when things go my way!
so would like to know how you get money back, I booked a cruise last April, when we were ready to leave saw the price had dropped over $250.00 same category called the cruiseline and they said yes that happens sometime and that was it.
Was that a Royal Caribbean cruise with the $250 drop?
Each cruise line has it's own policy about giving booked passengers credit for a price drop. At some point they all draw the line and say you are not eligible. This is typically after final payment has been made, although as in Royal Caribbean's case they will try to upgrade passengers in lieu of a reduced fare.
If you have a travel agent the cruise line won't do anything about it--you have to go through your travel agent. I had already made my final payment and asked for the new cabin at the special price. My booking number stays the same, the only difference on my documents is the cabin number. The money I saved will be an on board credit. I've done this on a few other cruises in the past. Most of the time the price goes up, not down.
Our February cruise dropped $198pp for our cabin category after we made our final payment. I called each time it dropped and in a matter of minutes they gave us the new price. The total of $396 was given as an on board credit because we had already made our final payment.
It was nice boarding the ship knowing that we had a credit on our sea pass account.
In this case I booked directly with Royal Caribbean and called them direct after each price reduction.
I know that Royal Caribbean has changed their policies since then but I don’t see why they wouldn’t / couldn’t provide the lower price if it was before final payment.
2002 Adventure, Explorer
2003 Navigator, Serenade
2004 Voyager, Adventure
2009 Liberty, Enchantment
2010 Independence, Liberty
2011 Liberty, Freedom
2012 Freedom, Freedom, Independence
Feb 2013 Liberty
Mar 2013 Liberty
Nov 2013 Independence
Just to clarify, my post above was referring to Wendy-woo and her post.
Some cruise lines are tighter than others on giving out lower prices to those already booked. RCI is good about it. Princess isn't from what I know. I think Wendy-woo was referring to a Princess cruise.