Booking Tip

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By Nadia Jastrjembskaia, RCI Expert Plus

Your Next Cruise Vacation: Better to Wait or Book Now?

Oasis of the Seas Allure of the SeasI know how you feel as well as my potential clients. They surf the Internet, check out my web site, read 3-4 pages and leave undecided what to do next.

Here is a question: book now or wait with hope that prices will slush down.

According to Royal Caribbean bookings dropped by about 20% as compared to a year earlier in the first two weeks after the accident.

“We believe that a recovery of booking momentum is highly likely,” Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein told Wall Street analysts. “The question, of course, is the timing and strength of the prospective recovery.”

Royal Caribbean did very well before the Jan. 13 accident; bookings had been coming in at a brisk, better-than-expected pace, leaving less inventory for the year to sell. For example, Disney Cruise Lines reported 75% inventory sol for 2012.  Royal Caribbean confirmed that for the year as a whole, notwithstanding the sharp bookings decline in recent weeks, its ships remain more booked up — and at higher prices — than at this time last year. Adam Goldstein told that every day bookings are up. But this week, bookings are down only in the “low- to mid-teens,” percentage-wise, “with each day showing slightly better performance,” Royal Caribbean CFO Brian Rice said.

So, if situation changes cruise lines will be able to hold prices at before accident level. Still, that doesn’t mean the lines won’t be discounting in coming months. “Yes, we’d like to hold price,” Celebrity CEO Hanrahan told the Wall Street analysts. “But if we have to take pricing actions to fill ships, we’ll definitely do it.”

I offer clients a deal: they make booking at today’s price and take the best cabin available. I will monitor price and will be able to adjust price before the final payment. This means that people take an advantage of the best price. If RCI will come with special promotions I will rebook their vacation for a new promotion.

Please feel free to contact me in writing by clicking here.

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