Royal Caribbean Adds Booking Holds For Cruises

Booking a cruise can be frustrating because you never know whether you’re getting a good price. In addition, many people take cruises with family members or larger groups, and the logistics behind such efforts can be tricky.

Basically, unless you specifically book a refundable or changeable fare, when you push the “book” button for a Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Free Report or Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get Free Report cruise, you have committed to taking that cruise.

DON’T MISS: Southwest Airlines Has Good News for Passengers

Canceling or changing your booked cruise usually comes with penalties (if it’s possible at all), so that makes booking a little bit scary. In many cases, someone booking a cruise has to check with other people.

That might be a spouse traveling in the same cabin, or friends and family booking their own cabin. 

A problem can arise: When you look up a cruise price, then share it with the people in your traveling party, it may not be the same, even just a few hours after you first saw it.

Carnival has solved this by enabling people to put a 48-hour hold on their cruises.

You can go to the company’s website, plan your cruise, then place it on hold for 48 hours, which gives you time to consult everyone who needs to be consulted before the trip gets formally booked.

Now, Royal Caribbean has begun offering a similar feature.

Booking a cruise can be a tough decision as you never know when you’re getting the best price.

Image source: Royal Caribbean

Carnival and Royal Caribbean Use Demand-Based Pricing

Usually (but not always) the best time to book a cruise is very early or very late.

Rooms tend to be cheaper when they first go on sale. And as the sail date approaches, rooms can be heavily discounted on sailings that aren’t selling well.

If you want a specific ship or itinerary, however, early is usually better. And both Royal Caribbean and Carnival will generally give you onboard credit to reflect any drops in the price of your cruise, should that happen after you book but before the final payment is due. (Important: Neither cruise line will do that check for you. You have to pay attention and ask for it.)

Travel agents had always been able to place holds on pricing for Royal Caribbean cruises, but that feature has been selectively appearing for people booking on their own through the company’s website, reports Matt Hochberg of Royal Caribbean Blog

“The holds appear to be for about 48 hours and [are] not available for all types of sailings. It’s not clear yet what the methodology is for which sailings get the option to place a hold via the website, but the new feature is still in testing,” Hochberg wrote. “The courtesy-hold option has appeared and disappeared over the last couple of days, indicating Royal Caribbean is still testing the new feature.”

Should You Use a Travel Agent?

Royal Caribbean and Carnival do not require passengers to use a travel agent, but doing so can give you quite a few advantages. 

When you book with a travel agent, they can organize your travel group and ensure that you get all available promotions.

In addition, a good TA monitors the price of your trip and ensures you don’t miss out on a price drop. In many cases you can also get a better price and some on-board credit just by booking with a travel agent

The biggest advantage of using a travel agent, however, may come into play if something goes wrong before or during your trip. If that happens, your agent can contact Royal Caribbean or Carnival on your behalf, which can be a major time saver. 

Get investment guidance from trusted portfolio managers without the management fees. Sign up for Action Alerts PLUS now.

Related Posts