how early

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Nov 8th, 2003, 10:48 AM
  #1
duh
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how early

How early should you make reservations for an Alaskan cruise? I have to go a a certain time.
 
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Nov 8th, 2003, 11:29 AM
  #2
esd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We booked our September cruise to Alaska in January. We found a really good rate on the internet that our TA was able to come within a few dollars of matching. In fact, went I called her to tell her about it, she didn't think it was for real! I don't know if January is, as a rule, a good month to book but maybe some fodorites can say. And it wasn't just Alaskan cruises, there were some other really terrific rates floating around at about the same time.

Good luck..and you will love Alaska!!
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Nov 9th, 2003, 01:33 AM
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Better is to look for an agent that offers low cancelation fees and book the week you want now. Alaska has been in oversupply for several years and bargains are to be had for those who wait. Less than $500pp inside is common. Most important- track trends YOURSELF, don't leave it for a ta to do, easy to follow via several web agents. Immediated notify your ta of price drops and request an adjustment. Especially be agressive in your search a week or so before final payment. Be VERY informed of what you are purchasing, there are less desirable routes offered. Look at routes, price, glacier, time in ports.
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Nov 9th, 2003, 08:07 PM
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If you are counting on a specific date, any travel agent worth his/her salt should be able to keep tabs on availability for you. Out of curiosity why are you waiting? Looking for the best deal or finances not there?
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Nov 10th, 2003, 08:49 AM
  #5
 
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We are cruising to Alaska in July, 2004 and I booked it about six weeks ago. I will continue to watch prices and if the price goes down, I should be able to get a refund or at the least an upgrade. Once I make the final payment (which will be in April), I may not be able to get a refund, but I may get an upgrade or on-board credit.

If you want to go at a certain time, I think I would book it soon.



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Nov 10th, 2003, 01:20 PM
  #6
duh
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The reason for the delay in booking is there is not a TA in town, not decided on ship or balcony or not. Sounds like I should just pick one and find somewhere to book it. Do you book on line?
 
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Nov 10th, 2003, 01:50 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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After deciding just what itinerary and cruiseline (research all this on line and reading message boards such as fodors.com and cruisecritic.com, or cruisemates.com), get a price quote from cruisequick.com

I've used cruisequick.com several times with excellent results. You do not need to ever see or call your travel agent. It can all be booked on line, and anytime communication through emails etc.

Not to worry about anything. Just begin doing your own research to decide what ship and dates. Cruising Alaska is a wonderful experience!
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Nov 11th, 2003, 01:54 AM
  #8
 
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I haven't used a face to face agent in 20 years. Before online services, I called "800" numbers across the country. I now book most everything online. Compare several options and if you know what ship, cabin etc. very very easy to do. Consider www.cruisemates.com bargain finder- you put in your plans and agents contact you with their best offers. I did this my 9-1 sailing $475 inside. I need nothing more than a valid ticket and after 31 cruises haven't been "burned" either.
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Nov 11th, 2003, 05:42 AM
  #9
esd
 
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I would find the cheapest on-line rate (using ship, date AND category) and then check with a few TA's in my area to see if they can match it or come close.
My TA has come within about $20-30 on our last two cruises and since she doesn't charge me for using FedEx, the difference is even less and well worth the prompt, personalized service I receive. Plus I've met her, like her, and know where she lives!

Good luck on finding your cruise and getting the best deal out there!!
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