How early should you...

Hey all. DH and I became empty nesters last year. The night our youngest announced he was moving out, my DH said he knew I'd be a little depressed, but we'd get through it together. Yeah right! By the time he got home from work the next day...we were booked on a cruise!! LOL. My mom was a TA and had arranged all of our cruises before. She became ill while we were on the cruise (April)...and passed away last July. At first I felt...guilty, because I was away when she had the seizure and was diagnosed (glioblastoma-brain cancer), and decided there was no way I was going on another cruise...something else might happen. I was so sad last Christmas, but as the oldest I was tasked with filling mom's role of making the Christmas cookies (12 different kinds!!). I pulled out the folder with all of the recipes, began to cry, and must have been holding the folder the wrong way because everything came tumbling out. As I started putting the contents back in the folder, I found all of these pictures of mom...ON CRUISE SHIPS!! I stood there in disbelief, laughing through the tears and knew I had my answer. Happy

May 2017 we'll be taking our 3rd cruise since mom's passing, and somehow I still feel like a newbie, LOL. So here's the question that popped in my head today...How far out do you generally start booking excursions? We usually don't book through the cruise line,

Many thanks and happy cruising to all.

7 Answers

Sorry for the loss of your Mom. I hate to say that is something you never get over, You get used to it with time, but never over it. When my Dad was not doing well he insisted that I go on the cruise I had booked. He said he would feel bad if I missed a trip I had been looking forward to for months because of him. On that cruise I checked with him every day and it was fine. A few months after Dad passed I was on a ship and had a dream I saw dad on the ship sitting and looking out the window at the sea, he looked up and me and smiled, that's when I knew all was OK (Mom and Dad loved cruising) .

For Excursion I tend to book when on the ship, if the ship does not have anything interesting then we look for non ship excursions (Ship Mate app is great for that). The only thing I have booked early is concert tickets on Carnival Concert cruises. I also pre-send myself a 12 pack of water before a cruise.

P.S. congratulations on being an empty nesters..... now Life can really start with your new freedom.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check them out.

I tend to look at the ship excursions as soon as they are available, booking them early in case the only one I want gets sold out.

I tend to steer away from private (non-ship sponsored) excursions due to the lack of oversight (with a ship excursion, the line has their name on it so they share responsibility. With the private excursions, you are at the mercy of the foreign tour company, with virtually no way to recoup your money if necessary).

OTOH, the private excursions tend to be a lot cheaper; still not worth it to me.

Book them as soon as you are able. Especially with the mega ships. Many attractions both on and off the ship sell out quickly.

We book excursions through the ship to be assured of getting back before the ship leaves the port. We start looking as soon as we book our cruise, and when we something we like we book it. It could be disappointing to wait until closer to the cruise date and then have the excursion sold out.

Recently, Princess began allowing you to reserve excursions through your cruise personalizer without paying for them until the cruise. You can then also cancel without paying a penalty. They also will price match an excursion if it is identical.

If I see an excursion I really like, I will book it ahead of time. I always book through the cruise line.


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