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?

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20 Answers

We are able to drive to port for some of our cruises, so that cuts down on the expenses. After we finish paying off cruise and get our flights booked and paid for if we don't drive, we prepay everything we possibly can. For our upcoming cruise in September (we are flying this time), all we have left to pay is airport parking and transfers back to airport. I can't prepay parking since my DD gets a corporate discount which requires showing her company ID on arrival. I squeeze as much as I can out of each paycheck for excursions, hotel, gratuities, etc. I watch for sales or use rewards points as much as possible.

One major issue I have is during the summer here, which is way too short by the way, I golf every weekend. So I can't pay down my cruises during that time. Golf is not cheap  here so I have to make a decision one way or another,

As for the cruises, We have everything we can paid before we leave, then there is just what we spent on board.

Yeah, DH's job doesn't allow him to golf very often, which is a big help to our budget (and marriage LOL)  I nearly passed out when I found out what he and our son-in-law were spending, and of course Dad insisted on paying for son.  

I'm retired,  I planned well in my 20's and early 30's so I have passive income now.  I have a travel budget and I look for good deals.  I do some research and I peace together the trips myself,  the air fair, the hotel and the cruise.  I cruise during the school year so prices are better and few kids on the ships.  I'm good with cruising on an older ship,  I do not need the latest and greatest mega ships (The older mid size ships get less kids since not all the activities)  I find it fun to do all the research and put a good trip together.  Re-positioning cruises are a great deal.

 

A few years ago I did a 14 night Rome to  Florida for $900.00 each for a balcony cabin on Celebrity.  Since it was expensive for the air fair to Rome we spent a week in Rome before the cruise.

 

My major issue is finding friends with the time off to go travel with me since all my friends my age are still working Sad  When looking for a great price a lot of time I book less then 90 days.   I cant plan a year or 1.5 years in the future.

I take advantage of when the cruiselines are moving ships for the season.  I had a short jaunt to Ensenada planned and rather than drive or fly to LA, I was able to get a bargain flight to Vancouver and sail down on the same ship for 3 days at sea.  Total cost $84.00.

 

It is the paying off that is the hardest thing... Sometimes we do book on the cruise you are on for specials or deals... This cruise I booked was 2 weeks after a cruise and I had a bad day... Booking was easy... deciding and paying... hard... But I want to try to explore pre-book options as well and see if RCI has cruise certificates if we don't book but have the benefits down the road. 

We like to book in advance because it gives us the opportunity to book the room we want. Even booking 14 months in advance we still had to go with our 4th or 5th choice for cabin as our first few choices were already taken. Can't help it. I am spoiled. First cruise we got upgraded from an outside window to a mid ship balcony and now I want one all the time. 

Midship balcony is a sweet spot.

 

I just discovered that we can use some/all of our timeshare points & apply them to our cruise. So instead of traveling to a resort, sticking food a refrigerator, going out to eat or fixing food, & finding activities to do while at the resort, we are booking cruises...for now. No tasks, except relax & enjoy!

 

We live within a reasonable distance from Charleston, Jacksonville, & Orlando so we plan to depart from those ports. AND we have timeshares in those cities that we can go to a day ahead of time, spend the night & relax before the day of the cruise.

 

Figured we are paying for those points, no matter how we use them, so why not maximize our vacation time. 

 

Yummy

 

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