For those that love to cruise, there is an opportunity while onboard your cruise that will not only save you money on your next cruise but include special exclusive perks. The offers vary by cruise line and time period.
I think that Celebrity has the best offer when booking onboard compared to other cruise lines.
The minimum Oceanview category allows you to choose 2 perks from the following: Classic beverage package, Internet, Prepaid tips, or Onboard credit. I have done the math and the best two, in descending order in terms of value, are the beverage package and onboard credit. The beverage package alone is worth at least $413 for one person, not including gratuity, but the gratuity is included with this perk. The onboard credit can stack with other offers. On one booking I was able to get a total of $450. The Internet package for one device is around $212 (with 20% discount) and gratuities are $210 for 2 people for a week in Concierge Class.
You get a reduced deposit, as low as $50 per person. This is refundable but cancelling your booking is not a good idea as it is better to just transfer to another future cruise if you change your mind.
The pricing and offers are subject to whatever promotion is active while onboard, but you can modify your cruise at any time (before final payment). This is advantageous because if the price of your stateroom goes down, you can simply call Celebrity and rebook at the lower price and still keep your perks. You can even change cruises entirely, but while you may not be able to keep your perks (for example, they won’t let you keep your beverage package if you switch to a transatlantic cruise), you could score an equivalent in additional onboard credit.
You can transfer your booking to a travel agent, but I don’t recommend this, as they most likely won’t want to reduce the price if it goes down because that would lower their commission. I also hate being put on hold, shuttled to other agents I don’t know, and having to wait for documents to be emailed. By dealing with Celebrity direct, you can make changes as often as you wish and they email you a revised invoice right away. You booking will also show up immediately under your login with Celebrity.
You can get a free bottle of wine depending on the day you book onboard, usually at the beginning of your cruise when it is the slowest. This will usually be announced in the Celebrity Today listing of activities.
Reduced deposit of $100 per person.
Onboard credit of $100 per person.
While you may not get any perks, the main reason for booking onboard is to get a better selection of stateroom, based on availability. I was able to book an aft oceanview cabin on the Maasdam that wasn’t even available when I checked online with cruise agencies at the same time.
On my last cruise, there wasn’t even a future cruise vacation desk, just a sign advising to book online after the cruise within a couple of weeks.
Benefits such as reduced deposits, onboard credit, and stateroom category upgrades are only applicable for select cruises via https://www.carnival.com/cruise-deals/vifp-future.
Since the upcoming Panorama wasn’t one that I could get any of the offers above, I just booked online to get the best price and stateroom that I wanted. Carnival usually doesn’t lower prices as time goes by, so booking early is advantageous. You could wait until there is an online promo for reduced deposits, but this won’t usually apply to new ships that are coming out.