Royal Caribbean offer a price promise right up until sail date. This means if the price drops for your grade of cabin you can claim the difference. A few words of WARNING: Do not go down the to the High St to a travel shop as most of these clowns will not honour RCI's price promise. Go to a proper cruise agent such as the operators of this site, who will in most cases, undercut the High St mob & you should always confirm that they will honour the RCI PP. This PP is not automatic, it's up to you to monitor the price & notify your TA to make your claim. Neal's comment about late fly/cruise packages is worth noting, aircraft seats can be the stumbling block so his comment about having to travel 3 or 400 miles to the airport needs consideration. Finally if you can stretch to a Balcony for the Caribbean it's well worth it, but will spoil you for life. .......Wilba.
You've chosen the right area to cruise at this time of year and for a first cruise. Only a couple of sea-days - you might find more would be boring (seasoned cruisers might disagree, but trust me on this one). And lots of islands which are great for a day but could be having you pull your hair out if you're there for a week. Barring freak events, money is the only advantage I can think of for booking late - but it's a big advantage - worth several hundreds of pounds each, unless the cruise line offers a "price promise", and I dont know if that includes the lines you prefer. Lots of disadvantages to consider. Dont delay too long if your dates aren't flexible or you want a specific ship or itinerary. Or cabin type, or deck - balcony cabins usually sell out early, proving they're well worth the extra cost. Then outside cabins - though windows/portholes dont open. Then inside - best to avoid first-time, midday is as dark as midnight and can feel claustrophobic. Higher decks tend to sell out before lower decks, tho the advertised prices are often the same. But this can all be overcome- you can check out not only current prices, but also availability CABIN BY CABIN. So don't rely on the 'net, bell a few agents now & check availability & prices. On the 'net, save or print-off deck plans, then keep in touch with a couple of agents to keep abreast of availability (the agents who give you the best service, dont worry whether they're competetive). When availability of your preferred ship & cabin comes down to a dozen or less, it's time to decide & strike. Phone around for best prices from as many agents as you can handle, then armed with the best do another round of phone calls - you may be offered a better price, or on-board spending credit, upgrades, etc. Then if you want to push it, go back to the best deal & suggest that someone else has offered the same price for a higher deck & can they match it ? One other disadvantage of delaying too long is your departure airport - most cruise lines use chartered aircraft, which take all their fly/cruise passengers from about 4 or 5 departure airports, and you may be left with seats only available from Glasgow! There are cheaper cruise lines, so your choice suggests that price doesn't come top of your priorities - if I'm right, you're better not to screw-up by being too mean with the readies. All first cruises are great. Chris .
If you are not fussy where the cabin is located wait till last minute, We have cruised with RCL 8 times in the caribbean and never had a problem. Normally they fly you to Miami the day before the cruise put you up overnight and then transfer you to the ship the following morning. in time for lunch. Avoid flying into San Juan as it takes ages to get through immigration. Try PNO and they fly charter to either Barbados and Jamacia and you transfer straight to a bus in the airport perimeter and take directlyto the shhip and the same on return. This is fine is you want to avoid the major airports in the USA .