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Timing a last-minute booking for lowest price

Timing a last-minute booking for lowest price

Jun 25th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 307
Timing a last-minute booking for lowest price

We're considering a cruise to Bermuda out of Baltimore this summer, and I was wondering what the strategy is for getting the rock-bottom price. Obviously there's a "game of chicken" factor involved in waiting to book until the last minute, but do the prices actually dip into the fire-sale range in the last week or so, or do they not drop any lower in the last month? Is it a better bet to contact the cruise line directly, rather than a broker?

My current point of reference is Orbitz showing "up to 61% off brochure price" for cruises leaving in the next couple months. (7-night Bermuda out of Baltimore on Norwegian for $599, ocean view.)
BaltoTraveler is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
You can never predict how the price is going to change. From Baltimore, there isn't too many ships so I'd guess there is a chance the price will go up rather than down. And it looks alredy good, so I'd book now. NCL lets TA discount their prices but Orbitz doesn't do it. So find some agency that does and you can save a little. Never mind "61% off...", nobody books at brochure price anyway. Look at actual total price.
spurs is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 123
Usually within the last two weeks before sailing is when you'll find the significant price drop - if they're going to have one! Just keep checking daily to see if the prices go down. I've seen them go down one day and up another, but then back down again.
jenalr is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
It seems to me that cruise lines always make you feel like you are getting a great price. One way or another. But if you need to be sure that you are getting the "rock bottom" price, maybe you can't really afford a cruise in the first place.
Aristotle is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,614
I've been looking into curising out of Baltimore also. THat $599 Bermuda 7 day price is available on Norweigan's website also. But it is obstructed ocean view and it a booking where Norweigan picks your room.
emd3 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,110
Just because you book at one price, doesn't mean that that's the final price. I know on Carnival if you find a lower price before you make your final payment, they will usually adjust it for you. And sometimes even after final payment you can receive an onboard credit. However, all this depends on what category or special you book under because they all have different rules.
cruisin_tigger is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 06:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 307
"Aristotle" writes: "But if you need to be sure that you are getting the 'rock bottom' price, maybe you can't really afford a cruise in the first place."

It's odd that someone would scorn the idea of timing a purchase to get it at the best price! It must be nice to be sufficiently wealthy that you casually spend more than you need to.
BaltoTraveler is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2009, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,730
Usually best price available between 60 to 75 days out. After that, it's luck of the draw depending on avalability.
Caution: some auction site off very low fare, example: $199 for 7 days. Read the fine print. There is administartion fee, booking fee, documentation fee, add that to port charges plus tax, you are back up to where it really should be. Anytime you get a crusie for $100 a day per person all in, you are getting a good deal.
Want cheap? Go to the places that noone wants to go at the wrong time of the year. You'll get deals. Example: Hurricanne season in the Caribbean, Early May and late September for Alaska.
Eschew is offline  

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