Chasing The Sky's Best Cruise Prices

I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to find the “right deal” on a cruise.  I was quite specific about what we were looking for — specific time, specific port, specific ship. Since it’s only a few weeks before that “specific date” it seemed reasonable that I would find a “last-minute deal.”

Here were my specs: November 22, Miami, Norwegian Sky (above).

It’s a five-day cruise and the prices seemed to be starting at under $200 per person (double occupancy). This was looking good. I called some of the cruise agencies listing prices on line — CruisesToGo, iCruise.com and CruiseDeals.com. I also called Norwegian, where I’d developed a phone relationship over the past few months with “Jason.” These things happen when you’re phoning about cruises.

Rather than bore you with all the details of my day on the phone, here’s the long and short of it:

• Starting prices are for inside cabins and, being the princess (or queen) I am, I wanted an oceanview, so I knew going in I wouldn’t wind up with the lowest price available.

• The prices at each level are not always available. For example, the best oceanview price I found was $259 but that “category” of oceanview wasn’t available, and the “next” one (different location, different deck) was more.

• Once the starting price gets us to phone, the people at the agencies have to try to convince us to pay a little more for the category that is available. It seems to me that the advertised prices are often sold out.

• There really were no last-minute deals, perks or onboard credits…and in the final analysis, cruise agents all seem to wind up having about the same price.

• In the end, I wound up calling my friend Jason, who sold me an oceanview for $269 (plus taxes, of course).

• It’s really not a good idea to look for a last-minute deal the week of Thanksgiving.

Oops.

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