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Old 06-13-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
Asnell
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Finding low-cost "placeholder" cruise

What's the best way to find the lowest-cost "placeholder" cruise if we want to reserve one online (then change later to another itinerary)? I assume the 3-night cruises are the cheapest, but is there a time of year or specific itinerary that's typically cheaper, or a way to look them up by price?

Also, does the timing of the "placeholder" cruise affect the timeframe of the eventual cruise we actually take? In other words, say the cheapest available cruise to book is for January 2014, but I don't intend to cruise until sometime in 2015 or 2016. Is it better to book a later placeholder? Are there restrictions on how far out one can actually take the trip and have the shipboard discount still be valid?
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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You can just tell the onboard future booking agent that you want a dummy booking with a low deposit and they'll find it for you. Most likely it will be a 3-night as far out from the current date as possible but not into the holiday season. If you want to find this, you'd just have to search those dates (likely October - December 2014) to find the absolute lowest.

Currently, you may move an OBB as often as you'd like and still retain the OBB benefits. There is rumor that may change, but at this point it's just rumor.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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I find the cheapest 3 nt cruises to be in Sept, early Dec or Jan & early Feb.
It doesn't matter which one you choose but you just have to keep track of the final payment due date. If you forget to switch to a later date & this date passes, you'll lose your deposit (& your onboard booking perks.)

If DCL releases another year of dates to book, and I still don't have a cruise in mind, I just move it as soon as I can. I try not to let it get close to the final payment date.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
Dulcinea79
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# of Stateroom Guests on Placeholder Cruises

One question related to placeholder cruises booked onboard - are you required to book for your entire family at that time, or can you for example book a couple, and then add a couple of kids to your reservation later after you move the placeholder around?
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcinea79
One question related to placeholder cruises booked onboard - are you required to book for your entire family at that time, or can you for example book a couple, and then add a couple of kids to your reservation later after you move the placeholder around?
No issues at all with doing it. We have done just that with our last couple of dummy dates when we found what we wanted.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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As long as you add your kids as soon as you figure out your final date, you'll be fine. If you wait too long after booking there may not be room in the kids' clubs and/or life boats.

When we booked a dummy cruise onboard, the cruise agent chose the date for us. He said it was the designated date he'd been using for other place-holder cruises.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asnell View Post
What's the best way to find the lowest-cost "placeholder" cruise if we want to reserve one online (then change later to another itinerary)? I assume the 3-night cruises are the cheapest, but is there a time of year or specific itinerary that's typically cheaper, or a way to look them up by price?

Also, does the timing of the "placeholder" cruise affect the timeframe of the eventual cruise we actually take? In other words, say the cheapest available cruise to book is for January 2014, but I don't intend to cruise until sometime in 2015 or 2016. Is it better to book a later placeholder? Are there restrictions on how far out one can actually take the trip and have the shipboard discount still be valid?
I don't see a benefit to booking online, just to move later. One would book onboard, and then move online later. I question whether OP understands 'placeholder' (ie. onboard booking of 'dummy' dates).
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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I don't see a benefit to booking online, just to move later. One would book onboard, and then move online later. I question whether OP understands 'placeholder' (ie. onboard booking of 'dummy' dates).
I think OP meant "onboard" rather than "online" - whether it was an auto-correct or just a typo. The original post goes on to ask about how long the shipboard discount is available if pushing the date out.

And I believe you have to call to move the date, it can't be done online -- at least I haven't been able to do so. Once any reservation is made, it can viewed online, though.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dulcinea79 View Post
One question related to placeholder cruises booked onboard - are you required to book for your entire family at that time, or can you for example book a couple, and then add a couple of kids to your reservation later after you move the placeholder around?
If you are booking a "dummy" that you intend to change, then you may book for just 2 and add others when you select your final date. If you are booking onboard for a specific cruise you DO wish to take, it's best to book any/all passengers who may go with you. It's much easier to drop a passenger from a reservation than to add, though that can depend on the cruise and how far out it is. There needs to be availability in the muster station and also the kids clubs (if adding kids) to add passengers.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #10
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Can you explain the benefit of booking on board? I understand the 10% off and the on board credit. Do you get to keep the cost of the cruise locked in? For example if I book a future cruise for february at $499 then want to move it to june, does the price go up? Do I just save the 10% of the next cost? I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the true benefit of booking while we are on the cruise. I found a great deal for this cruise (our first) and worked with a TA to get on board credit and free insurance. Thanks for any explanations!
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Can you explain the benefit of booking on board? I understand the 10% off and the on board credit. Do you get to keep the cost of the cruise locked in? For example if I book a future cruise for february at $499 then want to move it to june, does the price go up? Do I just save the 10% of the next cost? I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the true benefit of booking while we are on the cruise. I found a great deal for this cruise (our first) and worked with a TA to get on board credit and free insurance. Thanks for any explanations!
Onboard booking provides for a reduced deposit at time of booking (10% rather than the usual 20%), a 10% discount off cruise fare, and an onboard credit for the future cruise (amount is based on length of cruise). Regardless of whether you take the cruise date booked or change it to a future date, you have "locked-in" a 10% discount, reduced deposit and the OBC amount. This is in addition to any OBC you get from a TA (say TA gives you $200 and you do a 7-night cruise with an OBB you get another $200 so you have a total of $400 in your onboard account before even boarding the ship). Plus the 10% discount off cruise fare.

But OBB cannot be combined with a *GT if you have a "great deal" like that now.

Cruise fare will depend on the specific cruise...all Feb. cruises do not cost the same nor do all June cruises. So if you change dates the fare will change, but you'd retain the 10% discount and OBC.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scmo44 View Post
Can you explain the benefit of booking on board? I understand the 10% off and the on board credit. Do you get to keep the cost of the cruise locked in? For example if I book a future cruise for february at $499 then want to move it to june, does the price go up? Do I just save the 10% of the next cost? I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the true benefit of booking while we are on the cruise. I found a great deal for this cruise (our first) and worked with a TA to get on board credit and free insurance. Thanks for any explanations!
June would probably be more expensive but you would still save 10% of the cruise you eventually take. If the cruise is less than a week long, you get $100 onboard credit. Longer than a week you get $200. onboard credit in addition to the onboard credit your travel agent is offering. If your cruise is $8000 you would put down a deposit of $800 instead of $1600. And save $800 off the fare, plus $400 in onboard credits.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:53 PM   #13
scmo44
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Thanks for explaining it! I will just have to look at the numbers when we are on board. I booked a gty rate this time, so a little different from *gt rate, so would that work?
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #14
Bjornda
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I have a semi-related question. If I book a dummy cruise on board with a cheaper deposit that the cruise I actually want, when I change my booking, I would likely have to increase my deposit to 10% of that cruise. Am I thinking this through correctly? Thanks in advance.!
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #15
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Thanks for explaining it! I will just have to look at the numbers when we are on board. I booked a gty rate this time, so a little different from *gt rate, so would that work?
There is absolutely no difference between a GTY "rate" and a normal rate. All it means is that they cannot assign you a room at that point. Because there is no discount, you can book a GTY room with any discount that does apply to you, like onboard booking, kids sail free, Florida resident, etc. *GT rates, on the other hand, are heavily discounted and highly restricted. We cancelled an onboard booking, losing the benefits attached, in order to move the deposit to a *GT rate because we weren't allowed to combine them.

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