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Old Dec 8, 12, 11:07 pm   #1
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Are there cheap last minute cruises?

I hear about people going on last minute vacation/cruises a lot, but I've never actually seen one. I'm in a situation where I'm looking for a cheap cruise somewhere, doesn't really matter where, anywhere is good. I'm located in YYZ but I can fly anywhere if the price is reasonable.

Do these last minute cruises exist or are they a myth? If they exist, where should I look?
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Old Dec 8, 12, 11:12 pm   #2
 
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Old Dec 9, 12, 7:15 am   #3
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the info in the thread "last min bahamas" below might help...
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Old Dec 9, 12, 11:07 am   #4
 
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You do need to be flexible in the type of ship you are willing to go on. I just am not interested in the older, smaller ships that some companies still have in their fleets (I'm thinking of the Carnival Fantasy class or Royal Caribbean Majesty or Vision classes). Also, when you say last minute, how last minute? I mean, they don't tend to give away cabins even in the last couple days. And the popular ships and times of year, the prices usually go up as sailing approaches.
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Old Dec 9, 12, 4:15 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exc View Post
I hear about people going on last minute vacation/cruises a lot, but I've never actually seen one. I'm in a situation where I'm looking for a cheap cruise somewhere, doesn't really matter where, anywhere is good. I'm located in YYZ but I can fly anywhere if the price is reasonable.

Do these last minute cruises exist or are they a myth? If they exist, where should I look?
look on www.vacationstogo.com they have a 90 day ticker that shows what's available in the next 90 days or less. Always make sure and look directly on the cruise website before booking anywhere else. Sometimes the prices are no different and booking directly with the cruise line is much less hassle.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 3:09 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by MoreMilesPlease View Post
look on www.vacationstogo.com they have a 90 day ticker that shows what's available in the next 90 days or less. Always make sure and look directly on the cruise website before booking anywhere else. Sometimes the prices are no different and booking directly with the cruise line is much less hassle.
My best cruise deals are usually by using the "90 day ticker' at www.vacationstogo.com and then comparing a chosen cruise with www.cruisecompete.com. In every instance ( 3 so far) cruisecompete.com has beaten an already good vacationstogo.com price.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 2:56 am   #7
 
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Celebrity posts last minute deals every week at -

http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/E...s_cel_tues.pdf

The deals are typically are posted on Thursday or Friday and have to be booked on the Tuesday after.

Sending out a request on cruisecompete can probably save you another 5% - 15% over the cruiseline price.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 10:08 am   #8
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I'e noticed repositioning cruises which are generally less popular (i.e., the trans-Atlantic ones) tend to go cheap right up to the 2-4 week mark. Some of these sales only last a day or two though.
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Old Dec 13, 12, 10:42 pm   #9
 
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For last minute winter bargains, your best bet 1 to 4 weeks before the sailing date for finding dirt cheap cruises for 2 would be out of Florida ports - MIA and maybe TPA with the largest pool of unfilled cabins across all categories. What is a cheap or bargain to one is sometimes considered a virtual steal to someone else, and the category of cabin you are interesting in.

A good TA can be your best friend but so are those cruiseline's own websites, and you can signed up for email alerts as they become available, often posted & gone/sold out within 24 to 48 hours, sometimes less - as they sail the ships full at 102% ++ capacities.

A typical 7 day Caribbean itinerary out of Miami is as low as $399 for an inside cabin p/p based on double occupancy + port charges/taxes & fees for under $1,150 plus gratitudes of $90 x 2 persons - and some incidentials - roughly $1,500 total, excluding airfares - great if you got miles to burn & seating availabilities.

Out of NYC, NCL's Gem had last minute deals for 9 nights East Caribbeans, $499 p/p for oceanview cabins, and with the port charges/taxes/fees & gratitudes & incidentals added up - around $1,700 for 2 people. Unsold cabins were gone in less than 48 hours as words spread, many folks can just pack, drive to the port & go.

Plenty of helpful info & cruiselines specific tips, etc. over at cruisecritic dot com - FT's equivalent. Also, seeing some great deals over in Europe.
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Old Dec 22, 12, 2:49 am   #10
 
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I've gone on two transatlantic "repositioning cruises booked last minute with VacationsToGo.com for $399. Since I was traveling alone, I paid double for a private cabin but did not pay the 2nd person's port taxes.
Lines don't like to sell to singles early since they don't spend as much as two passengers. And thats where cruise ships make most of their money.
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Old Dec 27, 12, 3:54 am   #11
 
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Yep, lots of good advice above. Repositionings are usually the best value, especially if you like the idea of an ocean voyage rather than a cruise around a pond - plenty of sea-days in which to immerse yourself in the ship, the one-off activities and a good book on deck. If you are based in Toronto or more generally North America, then yes the VacationsToGo website is an excellent starting point:

http://www.cruisehotsheet.com/region...itioning-0.htm

and I agree, CruiseComptete.com can usually trim off a little on those fares.

If you are wanting solo-occupancy however, these fares don't apply. I find repositionings on MSC Cruises booked through a UK agent will usually be hard to beat - 25/35/45 per night solo occupancy of inside/outside/balcony (that is US$560 for a 14-night Transatlantic). This is cruise only, including taxes, before discounts.

With a repo, choose your start and end points carefully to get best value from your miles or to be covered by a low-cost airline. Also, timings. To avoid an unwanted and expensive hotel stay before or after the cruise, make sure you allow plenty of leeway in your flight times and ideally choose a carrier with more than one daily flight.
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Old Dec 27, 12, 4:05 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by x1achilles View Post
I've gone on two transatlantic "repositioning cruises booked last minute with VacationsToGo.com for $399. Since I was traveling alone, I paid double for a private cabin but did not pay the 2nd person's port taxes.
My best cruise deal was in November 2011 aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Sea from Palma, Mallorca through the Caribbean to Panama over 14 nights. The fare was $529 for sole occupancy of an inside guarantee cabin (inc. taxes) with a modest but welcome $20 o.b.c.. I then found an online discount voucher for repeat guests, which I was, for $200 off "per cabin". My US travel agent managed to apply the discount retrospectively but had to withdraw the $20 o.b.c. offer because the fare before taxes, upon which his commission was based, was now just $16!

I was upgraded to an outside cabin, paid for all-inclusive and never looked back.
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Old Jan 9, 13, 11:52 am   #13
 
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So exc, did you book and cruise?

I have to agree with vacationstogo 90-day ticker search, then comparing those rates on cruisecompete, and then taking it one step further by checking with two Flyertalk members (ak333 or BurBunny) who are agents to see if the rates can be beat or matched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmillea View Post
My best cruise deal was in November 2011 aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Sea from Palma, Mallorca through the Caribbean to Panama over 14 nights. The fare was $529 for sole occupancy of an inside guarantee cabin (inc. taxes) with a modest but welcome $20 o.b.c.. I then found an online discount voucher for repeat guests, which I was, for $200 off "per cabin". My US travel agent managed to apply the discount retrospectively but had to withdraw the $20 o.b.c. offer because the fare before taxes, upon which his commission was based, was now just $16!

I was upgraded to an outside cabin, paid for all-inclusive and never looked back.
timmillea, I was on the the same sailing. I got an unobstructed oceanview with $200 OBC for $617 total as a single. One of my dinner tablemates had use for my OBC, so my overall cost was actually a little less. That was my second TATL and I loved it.
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Old Jan 9, 13, 2:47 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by piyush View Post
Celebrity posts last minute deals every week at -

http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/E...s_cel_tues.pdf

The deals are typically are posted on Thursday or Friday and have to be booked on the Tuesday after.

Sending out a request on cruisecompete can probably save you another 5% - 15% over the cruiseline price.

RCCL does the same. Here is their link:
http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/R...ales_event.pdf

Booking with a cruise agent can usually get you some OBC as well.
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Old Jan 14, 13, 8:11 am   #15
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Last minute cruises

Very good advice above, but sometimes there are exceptions

Last week, booked the Liberty of the Seas 4/8 for 12 nights FLL-BCN. The doubles price was down to $369, and the single supplement was only $159, or $528 for the cabin. If you belong to Crown&Anchor, there was also a savings certificate for $115 off the price, bringing it down to $413. Apply a future cruise deposit and they added a $150 OBC as well. If you're a Diamond or higher level, they throw in 3.5 happy hours every night - that's a value I can't pass up.

However, if you snooze, you lose. I check almost every morning for the deals, and limit myself to just two cruise lines nowadays - it still takes me an hour plus.
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