Book now or later for this summer?

Jan 18th, 2003, 10:40 AM
  #1  
pamb
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Book now or later for this summer?

Hi,
The Fodor's boards were invaluable to me in planning our European trip last summer, and I hope you all can help with this summer's plans to take our family of four on a cruise.
We have been on one cruise before, Carnival's Fantasy, over Thanksgiving five years ago. This time, we want one of the newer ships; hubby and kids want Caribbean, so we're leaning toward Carnival Conquest out of N.O. or RCL's Navigator of the Seas out of Miami.
Prices I've found so far are pretty high ($900 pp and 2nd and $700 3rd and 4th is cheapest for Carnival and $1200 pp all four of us on Navigator). Are these best prices I"m going to find for July or should I wait another month or so to book?
Thanks,
Pam
 
Jan 18th, 2003, 11:21 AM
  #2  
Cathy
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Hi Pam! I am a teacher and I have this problem all of the time, since I only cruise in the summer. Summer is high season for Caribbean cruises and the only time you will find higher prices is over the Christmas holidays. Cruise lines take advantage of two situations 1) Many more families are able to cruise becasue of summer vacation 2) There is less competition - in the winter time, the European and Alaskan cruise areas are closed so every cruise line sends its ships to the Caribbean. Lots of ships for folks to choose from, lots of lower prices. Come summertime, the number of ships dwindles considerably. Fewer ships, more people - higher prices.

That being said, cruise prices fluctuate depending on lots of factors. If the ship is not filling, they drop the prices.

I am sailing on the Conquest in July and have already paid my down payment - did it almost a month ago. I did this because brand new ships are usually very popular and tend to fill up, especially during the summertime. The great thing is, if the price of the cruise goes down between the time you put down your down payment and the sailing, you either get a refund or an upgrade (if you have a good cruise agent).

If you wait, prices could go higher or the type of cabin you want could be sold out.

Both of the ships you want seem to be excellent and I know the Conquest is popular.

The Voyager class ships will be more expensive. I have sailed on the Voyager of the Seas twice.

Don't be afraid of sailing Carnival. Their newest ships are very nice. My brother, sister-in-law and I did the Carnival Pride last year and had a great time for a great price.

Good luck with your decision and please post if you have any more questions.
 
Jan 18th, 2003, 10:38 PM
  #3  
Paul Therault
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You're good Cathy.

 
Jan 19th, 2003, 12:32 PM
  #4  
Cathy
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Thanks, Paul!
 
Jan 19th, 2003, 04:53 PM
  #5  
pam
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Cathy, Thank you for your insightful comments. Do you think the Carnival Conquest will be more entertaining for a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old than the Navigator of the Seas?
Also, do you think those rates I quoted are normal, below average or above average?
Thanks,
Pam
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 04:12 PM
  #6  
pam
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top
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 04:22 PM
  #7  
Peter
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Can't speak for the Conquest, but the Navigator is one of RCCL's "destination ships" - a destination in itself. Our family sailed the Explorer with two teens and they loved all of the extra activities these ships afford - rock climbing, ice skating, full court basketball, mini golf, inline skating track, etc.
 

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