Booking far in advance

I have read many times where people book far out in advance or back to back cruises or multiple cruises in a years time.  Either they are rich or have the money and retired.  I earn a good salary but seem to only be able to go once a year.  How do they do it?

20 Answers

Booking cruises is easy, paying for them is the hard part.

Just due to time constraints and schedules I can't cruise every year. I tried every other year. 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 but 2015 got screwed up and we couldn't go. Now we are putting off the 2017 for the 2018 January cruise with the members.

Maybe they take advantage of the Zero down booking specials. I would also like to know if there is a tip to booking that I don't know about. Any feedback is appreciated. 😊

ToddRoh, I am like you, we work all year long and save up for the 1 cruise a year. This year we just happened to fluke out and have enough points to afford the flight. At the end of the day, the cruise is the cheap part, especially if you book with Carnival. For us, it is the flights that are killer. From the east coast of Canada to Miami or Ft. Liquordale it is anywhere from $660 and up per person.

I think booking a back to back would be ideal if you planned 2 years in advance, then that gives you the time to pay for it, the flights, etc with lots of time to spare. Especially if you are like us and like to have everything booked, and paid for in advance, like hotels, car rentals, etc.

John is right, booking is easy. We also purchase vouchers for future cruises. We buy them on board. That voucher becomes our down payment. For a B2B, you need to book far out if you want to have the same cabin both weeks. We book early because we require the handicap cabin. Remember, the earlier you book, the longer you have to pay it off. We know people who send $100/week, or $200/ month, whatever.

Now, there are also those who just put the trip on a credit card, and pay it off when they get home. We prefer to have almost no bill when we get home. We averaged one every 9 months or so. So, some years we would take two cruises.

I tried two cruises in a year and it about broke me, so I have it down to one. I currently have 3 booked (8/16, 4/17 and 1/18 (the wrong one unfortunately)).

Usually you will get a better rate booking way in advance, as well as a good selection of cabins. Unfortunately, should your plans change, you stand to lose your deposit, so it is a gamble.

(You also stand to lose out on being able to take the annual cruiseCrying)

We tend to book farther out so we have more time to pay them off. We usually only book when there are reduced deposit offers.

We booked our January 2017 cruise in January 2016 and we are also currently booked for October 2017. It will be the first time we are cruising twice in the same year, so we will see how it goes.

Thanks for the replies so far everyone. Now I don't feel so left out. The whole booking to far out worries me. Will I be healthy, will my Mom be healthy, will my work deny my leave at some point where I lose all my money (extremely rare to happen). I usually take the plunge around the 5 to 6 months out. I pay half and then quarter up the rest and start adding cruise cash to my account. I owe nothing when the trip is over. NOTHING.

Hi ToddRoh,

On the point of booking way in advance, we book that way because we want a specific cabin. Also, when we book B2B, we want the same cabin for both legs of the journey.

As for the cost of cruising, we look for deals or book while on board a voyage if there are incentives to do so.
One thing you might want to look for a reduction in booking deposit deal. If you book far enough in advance you can budget yourself a bit better for paying off the balance. It works for us.

Happy sails!

We are very lucky, we are retired and save all during our working years for vacations for now. We rarely went anywhere while working. That said, we still watch for bargains and budget our cruise dollars. Our Panama Canal cruise the December was purchased over a year ago at a reduced deposit and we have one more payment left. It was more expensive than most, but we put it in the budget and were able to cruise a few other times while waiting for this adventure.

Good luck and no surprise expenditures is also a good thing. The year we needed a new roof... no cruise.

I agree on the included cost of a flight. I live in NC and I like to cruise out of Port Canaveral. Its an easy 9 hour drive for me and 1 tank of gas. I stay at the Comfort Suite for a few nights so I do have a little extra costs but not like an airline.


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