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Are Last-Minute Cruise Bargains Real?
Fox Business.com ^ | 9/17/2010 | By Paul Motter

Posted on 09/20/2010 9:01:10 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta

People often ask if last-minute cruise bargains are legit. Well, good news: they are, but no agency has exclusive access to them.

On one of Royal Caribbean’s most popular ships, Freedom of the Seas, we see inside cabins at $499.

On Oct. 3 you can catch a luxurious, 317 square-feet, deluxe suite for just $1,099 per person, cheaper than the usual balcony price.

This is a good example of how cruise pricing works. Cruise Lines keep prices steady, then lower them when the sail date gets closer. When the ship is nearly full, prices increase.

For example, the Sept. 19 sailing of Freedom has but one category available, the same deluxe suite mentioned above, but the price is $2,249; more than twice the price of two weeks later.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxbusiness.com ...


TOPICS: Travel
KEYWORDS: cruise

1 posted on 09/20/2010 9:01:12 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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Freedom of the Seas

2 posted on 09/20/2010 9:03:34 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

A guy in my St. Paul office signed up for one of these “last minute” deals.
It turned out to be designed for 80 + year old geezers...


3 posted on 09/20/2010 9:05:11 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

For some reason being stuck with all those people in that giant sardine can makes me nervous...


4 posted on 09/20/2010 9:06:25 AM PDT by refermech
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

We love RCI!


5 posted on 09/20/2010 9:08:22 AM PDT by Vor Lady
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
Because cruise ships derive significant revenue from on board activities (shops, casino, excursions) and they have largely fixed expenses (fuel, wages (the number of room attendants and waiters is static since they live on board)), it is imperative that they leave port as full as possible even if it means practically giving away cabins and free upgrades to do so. So yes, last minute deals are real, but they are generally only bookable through a travel agency. If you're willing to gamble a bit, ask an agent for their opinion on when the best dates to go are (shoulder season between autumn and Christmas), book a cheap airline ticket to one of the big cruise ports (Miami or Fort Lauderdale) and have your agent contact you when the deals start flowing, (usually two weeks prior to sailing) You might not get the exact itinerary or destinations you would have chosen, but the price can't be beat.
6 posted on 09/20/2010 9:12:38 AM PDT by festusbanjo (The Tea Party is what the Republicans used to be, the Democrats are what the Soviets used to be.)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Last May, we were on a Princess Line cruise. Our ship was tied up next to the Freedom of the Seas. We thought our ship was immense, but the Freedom of the Seas dwarfed it.


7 posted on 09/20/2010 9:14:54 AM PDT by Ax
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To: Vor Lady; festusbanjo; Ax; Eric in the Ozarks; refermech

We also love RC, and there are all ages aboard, including young couples with toddlers.

It can be a good value with the fine dining and all the entertainment aboard. We recently took a RC New England & Canada cruise that left from NJ. Since we live in PA, there was no flying involved. A big advantage....


8 posted on 09/20/2010 9:22:39 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta (PA)
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To: WVKayaker

I noticed you are a regular cruiser. Just wondered if you like RC...


9 posted on 09/20/2010 9:41:18 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta (PA)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
no flying involved.

Nice!

We're planning a family/friends cruise in 2014 to Alaska on whichever RCI ship is around. The teenagers want one of the ships big enough to have 'bad neighborhoods'; I just want a friendly and competent crew. The bad neighborhood comment came from a comic on Enchantment of the Seas in 2006.

10 posted on 09/20/2010 9:42:19 AM PDT by Vor Lady
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To: festusbanjo

I booked a two-week transatlantic cruise that even with taxes, port fees and tips, turned out cheaper than my recent one-week cruise.


11 posted on 09/20/2010 9:48:23 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: refermech
For some reason being stuck with all those people in that giant sardine can makes me nervous...

My hubby will NOT go on an ocean cruise. He says it's like being in prison, except in prison, you don't have to worry about drowning. ;o)
I'm planning to go on a Caribbean cruise next summer with my younger sister and our girl cousins. We get together every year, anyway, and decided that next year will be a great time, because one cousin's twins are graduating high school, and our only daughter is graduating college, so we're going to take the younger girls along with us!

Hubby and I would love to go on a European River Cruise. Yes, they're designed for the 60+ crowd, but hey, by the time we can afford it, we'll be in that demographic! We just like the idea of being able to visit several cities that have architecture from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, without having to drive to each one.

12 posted on 09/20/2010 9:48:23 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Vor Lady

I saw a few teens congregating on the Promenade later at night. I think most of them were in school in Sept.


13 posted on 09/20/2010 9:49:23 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta (PA)
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To: cll
I booked a two-week transatlantic cruise that even with taxes, port fees and tips, turned out cheaper than my recent one-week cruise.

Just wondering... which cruiseline and what are your ports?

14 posted on 09/20/2010 9:54:04 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta (PA)
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To: Ax

Last May, we were on a Princess Line cruise. Our ship was tied up next to the Freedom of the Seas. We thought our ship was immense, but the Freedom of the Seas dwarfed it.

Last December my wife and I sailed on the first cruise of the Oasis of the Seas. I have a photo of the Oasis parked next to the Freedom. The Oasis is almost 50 percent larger (by displacement). This weekend my wife booked a 7 day on the sister ship of the Oasis, the Allure. We’ll be sailing next May. I just love the mega-ships!


15 posted on 09/20/2010 10:02:48 AM PDT by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: festusbanjo; Dr. Scarpetta
I signed up on cruises.com , and get e-mails regularly from them about last minute 'bargains'. I've never been on a cruise, so I'm not sure how much of a bargain they are, but comparing them to the regular prices mentioned on the cruise lines sites, they do look pretty good!
16 posted on 09/20/2010 10:05:26 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Bflr


17 posted on 09/20/2010 10:09:51 AM PDT by marvlus
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

I can’t imagine. My wife and I went on Celebrity Baltic Cruise for 6 thousand dollars for 12 days in a Suite (did not even count excursions or drinks). We could have purchased a brand new car with what we spent, but it was such a wonderful time. Why would you want to go on the cheap? I did see the rooms that you will get for the bargain prices quoted here and they are awful. You want to at least get a Sky Suite if you are going to go on a cruise. Trust me!!! If you don’t want to spend money on a vacation than don’t go on a cruise. There are many other entertaining things to do.


18 posted on 09/20/2010 10:18:13 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: napscoordinator; Dr. Scarpetta
I cruise 3-4 times a year. Celebrity is great, if you like formality. The food is GREAT, staff wonderful, and the ships are SPOTLESS!

RCCL is the owner now, and the guy that made Celebrity is head of MSC now. They are a shipping family that started cruisers in the 90's. Italian food and service, and lots of clean air aboard. They give a lot of bang for the buck.

My ideal cruise begins with a flight to Italy, a week or two in the fall feasting on the local fare, then a 16-18 day transatlantic. I don't normally spring for the suites, but the price on these are cheap. Most cruise lines offer a discounted T/A both ways. I spend my money on shore, not the casinos. I don't spend a lot of time in my room, so I buy cheap. The ship is open for all...

Here is one from Spain to Miami next month! Click the pic for itinerary.

Oct 25-Nov 08, 2010 inside 699.00 USD window SOLD OUT balcony 1,099.00 USD Suite 1,699.00 USD

All prices per person + fees and taxes of around $150

19 posted on 09/20/2010 11:46:16 AM PDT by WVKayaker (Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.)
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To: WVKayaker

We went to Italy and Sicily for 2 weeks on a Globus bus trip in 2008. It was tough, with 10 different hotels. I’ll never do it again since I discovered cruising. You mentioned Celebrity, but do you ever cruise with RCI?

I agree with you about the casinos.


20 posted on 09/20/2010 3:42:33 PM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta (PA)
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To: SuziQ

Thank you


21 posted on 09/20/2010 3:50:49 PM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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