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I would say it depends on whether you are happy to take whatever cabin and dinner sittings are left if you book late. We always book early as that way we get the cruise we want, the cabin we want and the second sitting dinner and size table we want. This is important to us.
If, however, this is not a consideration for you then yes, wait until a couple of months before. Sometimes I have heard of people who have booked last minute and got a very good deal but then are not happy that they do not get the dinner sitting they have requested. We met someone on our last cruise who was complaining bitterly that they wanted traditional dining 2nd sitting but had to have freedom or anytime dining. When we asked how long before the cruise they had booked they said 6 weeks. There is no way someone would get 2nd sitting booking that late. People can request a change once they are on board but it is not always possible. Obviously for some people this is not important.
We have recently returned from a cruise on Oriana. We booked it 5 weeks before it sailed and we paid £799 for an outside cabin. Our neighbours have booked the same cruise on the same ship next year and have paid £1000 plus.
Sometimes if you wait then you lose the cruise but this is the chance you take, but never ever book more than 3 months in advance of the sailing.
I wouldn't say it was wise to advise everyone never to book more than 3 months in advance. As I require a single cabin it would be very unlikely to get an outside cabin on the Aurora for example in June. I booked my cruise for the 17th June next year on the Aurora on 4th August, and I had to take 3rd choice of the deck and cabin. Incedentally as a single person this cruise is costing me £3200, but this is the price I have to pay for travelling alone on a good ship at peak time in a cabin of my choice. If you're retired and can go at short notice you stand a better chance. Roll on retirement!
Thanks to all that answered my question, think i might just book early as then i have the cruise to look forward to and this will hopefully make Winter pass quicker!
It depends I would reccommend to book early if you know what cruise you want to go and what cabin you wish to stay in. However if you are not fussed about where you go or where you are staying then you can wait and grab yourself a bargain.
Probably no right answer we book ahead and take advantage of any early booking offers our agent tells us to monitor prices and get back to them if there is a noticeable price change.The advantage is that we get the cruise we want in the cabin and at the time of year we want,on the other hand if your retired or have a flexible holiday scheme you may pick up a bargain but compare prices current prices not next years as they are likely to be dearer?You could try the standby cruises on this page or some people find browsing the net in the USA can get some good results best of luck?
There are no hard and fast rules on the issue of late or early bookings. In general in the peak holiday season (when the ships are more likely to be full) heavy discounting is less likely, meaning an early discount offer will probably be as cheap as the late deals. In the less busy months a late booking will usually yield a much larger savings, however, you may miss out on a specific cruise but as there are plenty of other cruises available. I would also guess that one of the "benefits" of the credit crunch will be that those who can still afford to cruise will do so more cheaply, although the cruise lines involved may response by increasing onboard prices.