I am not an expert on this subject however when I noticed you had no replys I thought I would at least post a comment. We have used both local travel agents and the internet. At first we had really good personal service from the local agent but after a time we begin to think she knew very little about cruising and various ports. We then started our internet search and have used two agents for the past 20 years and we feel we always get very good prices especially after we get on board and some of the folks start talking about what they paid. Our fares have always been excellant as far as we are concerned.We don't buy the first time we stake out our cruise and will shop around and almost always end up with one of our two agents.
Cruise deals don't come around very much. Most cruises are now sold out
about 60 in advance . In Canada I saw a TA that deals in last minute cruises.
You specify which cruise and how far in advance you want to book.
You put a deposit down . If the cruise becomes available you only
get a few hours to decide. The worsest cost is buying last minute airfare
SS Ithaca , Volendam , Mariner of the Seas (x2) , Veendam , Coral Princess , Island Princess (x3) , Emerald ,Sapphire (x3)
Just last week, I happened to pose this question to a representative from Vacations to Go. He informed me that as long as cabins are available, you can book the cruise with approximately 36 hours before departure. So whether it's 24, 36, or 48 hours max., you can book relatively late. Peter
Getting the best price on cruises is similar to playing the stock market. Sign up with several different cruise agents like Vacations to go and check thier emails twice weekly. You will see the price rise and fall just like the stock market. The best prices are about one month before the cruisedepending on the season. Most cruise lines like to fill their ships at least two weeks before and anything in the last two weeks is very tight for cabin selection and pricing. There is rarely huge bargains available shortly before the cruise. Thay may change if the H1N1 flu becomes a problem and cruise lines deny boarding or people cancel at the last minute.