I agree with you, this is not my first practice, it is better to buy tickets later, this is a marketing move)
I won’t be able to get suitable, and cheap, flights
That’s a good point Gill. I did find a massive bargain on a late cruise to Japan one year but I was going to have to fly via some tortuous route to get there as all the more convenient flights were taken. Definitely a consideration.
I also agree that late booking is the way to go, for bargains. I don’t really mind what cabin
I am in – usually always choose an inside as I only sleep and shower there – so that is not
an issue. BUT I worry if I leave it that late, I won’t be able to get suitable, and cheap, flights
to and from UK (plus overnight stay near airport). It’s a swings and roundabout situation!
Good advice Fossil, I will remember that!
I agree Coolonespa, I think if your flexible with dates etc leaving to the last minute is proving to be a good choice. There seems to be lots of new cruise ships being launched lately, the competition is going to be greater, so it’s going to lead to a price war – negative on that will be services compromised?
Yes, I will continue to monitor RC prices as that cruise is later in the year and if necessary go with comments on their Facebook page too!
Thanks for sharing this with us @Rachand & well done for getting the upgrades on Celebrity, always worth trying. I’d be tempted to try your social media approach with RCI as well, to see if they’re more responsive to disgruntled comments on Facebook rather than via the agent.
Its always a dilemma really, not just on cruises but all types of holiday. Do you book early & secure exactly what you want, when you want or risk a late booking that (whilst cheaper) may not be exactly what you wanted or indeed be fully booked. Very much a personal decision I think. My own experience was with a recent holiday to Sri Lanka. We booked fairly late with TUI & met a couple who had booked a year ahead & paid considerably more than we did (I never let on).
When is the best time to book your cruise? Cruise agents and Cruise lines will tell you the earlier you book the better, saying that’s when they give the best offers and you have the full range of cabins to choose from. However, recent experience has shown this to be untrue in the case of 2 cruises we have booked.
The first one with Celebrity X. To be honest this is the first time I have found Celebrity to be really discounting a cruise we have booked. This cruise we booked about 9 months ago. We booked a sea view cabin with drinks package included for over £1750 each. Friends had booked a balcony for over £2000 each. We each got $200 on board spend PER Cabin. Last week the sea view cabin was reduced to just under £900 each and the balcony cabin to just under £1000 each. Even if you add the drinks package at around £550 each we are still loosing out around £250 each, our friends nearly £500 each! This is serious money!
I decided to leave negative feedback on Celebrity Facebook page, saying I felt we had been “robbed”. Within a couple of hours I received a phone call from our cruise booking agents saying Celebrity were offering us a free upgrade to a balcony cabin, would we like it. Naturally we accepted, so this has helped us to ‘recoup’ some of the loss. Our friends were also offered an upgrade to a balcony on a higher deck with concierge facilities, which they have accepted though they are still out of pocket more than us.
I will add the discounted cabins were very last minute i.e. 2 weeks before departure date. So appreciate last minute booking isn’t for everyone.
My second cruise which is another 5 months time was booked a year before the departure sailing date. It’s with Royal Caribbean. They were offering buy one get 2nd fare half price on inside and ocean view cabins only. Now they are offering the same deal on all cabins, plus free gratuities and WiFi. I contacted the cruise agents to see if we could get the free gratuities and WiFi too. They contacted RC for me. The answer was no, but if we wanted to we could cancel the booking and re book. However to do this we would loose our original £300 booking fee! We didn’t take them up on this and I am really unimpressed by RC and my cruise agents stance on this.
A lesson learnt in both cases now, if we are happy to leave it to the last minute to book we will.