Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Game of Booking

You would think after over 30 cruises I would know more of when to book.  But even an experienced cruisers needs to realize when it is time to say "time to book, price isn't going to go down".

We knew a long time ago we wanted to do the Star Princess Vancouver to San Francisco Repositioning two day cruise.  Then to stay on and do the ten day San Francisco round trip Mexican Riviera cruise.  We started watching the price back in June.  Price was $919 for an inside, and $149 for two day back then. 

I swear we checked pricing every day.  Every day it was the same price, but I wasn't concerned I was sure it would go down and I advised Bernie that we should wait to book.  Note there were a lot of cabins still available, in every category too.

By mid July price still was the same and we then stated that if by the beginning of August the price hadn't dropped we would book. 

One positive is that the price of the two day had dropped $20 each.  And airfare was excellent, in fact it was so good we booked our return flight before we had booked the cruise.

Finally the day came where after doing some research we sat down and decided to book.  Why you might ask, well a couple of factors.

- balcony cabins were almost totally sold out
- the selection of inside cabins was getting less and we didn't want a cabin with upper berths (too many smacks in the shoulder) so we knew we had to book a specific cabin and only guarantees were available in most categories
- since we saved on the two day cost, and we saved on the flight we knew we were already ahead of the game
- lastly our travel agent bestpricecruises was offering an on board credit of $60 for the ten day and normally they drop that the closer you get to the sail day so we didn't know when that would be removed

The last thing was we found a cabin in category L for the ten day that met our needs and the same cabin was available on the two day.  So we booked the ten day inside category L with a $60 on board credit from the travel agent. 

We then went to book the two day cruise but the $129 price was for a category M and J and we had to take our chances and book a guarantee.  The category L cabin that we booked for the ten day was available still on the two day, but the price was more so we rolled the dice hoping Princess when assigning a cabin will put us in the same cabin for both legs.

Today I checked our personalizer and we got our cabin assignment, guess what.  Yup they did assign us into the same cabin for both legs.  Yeah.  So we got a few category upgrade and saved a bit of money. 

Now changing cabins on turn around day would of been fine.  We have done it before.  But now that we don't have to move we can be off the ship right away when we dock in San Francisco and enjoy the city for the entire day instead of packing up and moving bags.

So the moral of the blog today - even I second guess everything.