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Early Bird savings on P&O

(6 Posts)
Whattheydonttellyou Thu 10-Dec-15 22:09:25

We have booked our first cruise in April 2016 for our retirement! We took an early bird discount which halved the price we had been quoted by our local travel agent. We booked and paid a deposit through the Liverpool cruise club.

We do not know which cabin we will have on which floor (we have paid for a balcony cabin) nor what dining we will have. As this is our first cruise we have no real expectations, just very excited to be doing our first cruise.

Have I done the right thing by going for the early bird discount? My other half says whatever cabin we have or whatever dining we get it will probably be superb. I am starting to get a bit worried now that we need to pay the balance of the price soon.

What do seasoned cruisers find is the best to do?

nmg85 Fri 11-Dec-15 12:07:02

It entirely depends on what type of person you are to be honest. Some people want a specific location or a specific cabin where others aren't fussed they just want to cruise. Some want a mid ship location as you get less movement then at the forward or aft of the ship. For half of the price I would probably risk getting a cabin that wasn't 'amazing' however if the price difference was minimal I would always choose my cabin. My only concern would be getting a balcony cabin with an obstructed view (which they don't have on all ships), this could be anything from not being able to see the sea directly down, to having a lifeboat in front of the balcony or anything in-between. What dining you will have is less of an issue as sometimes you can change times / type while onboard. How much time do you think you will be spending in your cabin? If minimal then it won't matter either way realistically. Have you checked the prices recently to see what they are currently? You never know the standard price may have dropped and the difference may be minimal to change however you would probably lose your deposit. Where are you sailing to? At that time of year I am guessing Caribbean or canary Islands?

Whattheydonttellyou Fri 11-Dec-15 13:03:30

Thank you nmg85. I was thrilled to bits to get the price right down to half the one quoted for the same cruise by not having nominated cabin and dining and not having the on-board spend when we visited the high street travel agent.

We are actually going to Norway as we are not beach people and prefer wild scenery and walking, good food, relaxation and good company.

We have to pay the balance early Jan 2016 so the time draws near when we are committed. Would we be asked to pay the balance of the cruise before we know our cabin or dining?

We are happy to eat anytime and anywhere, as long as the food is good! We are not tied to any times in our daily lives and eat supper any time from 5pm to 9.30pm, depending on what we are doing and how hungry we feel. That is why the dining did not phase us but now I am wondering whether we should know what dining we have before we pay in full.

We probably would spend some time in our cabin, reading, relaxing on the balcony (we do know that we have a balcony cabin), maybe even having breakfast on the balcony when there is stunning scenery to see. When allowed (work and grandchildren sleeping over!) we like to have a little lie in til 9am as this is a luxury to us. An early night is also a luxury so we are now a bit concerned that we may have a noisy cabin. Friends have assured us that as first timers we would probably be upgraded to a good cabin so we book again. This is very likely if we enjoy cruising as we no longer need to include the whole family, it will just be the two of us for any cruise. Tbh we could do with the break from our dearly loved family as we are babysitting most weeks and with toddlers all day/night it is tiring.

I think I am having a first timer's wobble but know deep down it will all be ok. It is a lot more money than we have EVER spent on a holiday for ourselves, closer to past spends for the whole family beach holiday abroad, but this is a special one just for us.

nmg85 Fri 11-Dec-15 13:12:56

1. Norway is wonderful, have been the last 3 years so happy to answer any questions on ports if I can. Most of the ports can easily be done independently rather then paying for excursions which can be expensive.
2. Yes your cabin is usually not allocated until much closer to the time when they know what they have still available.
3. Ive not sailed P&O for years so not sure on their policy for dining. I have also not been on a cruise where I haven't chosen what dining I wanted.
4. Cabins may be noisy if they have a pubic area above or below them which is why I try and choose a cabin with cabins above and below. However for a cruise in Norway my concern would be an obstructed view balcony if I wanted to stay on my balcony for sail in and out.
5. Your friend is right cruise companies do give 'better' cabins to first time cruisers to encourage them to book again however better is usually higher up or mid ship rather then quiet.This doesn't always happen though and if you do book again I wouldn't pick a guaranteed cabin I would choose your cabin and just find a good deal.
Let me know if I can be anymore help :-)

nmg85 Fri 11-Dec-15 13:14:33

I have just seen a special offer come through for 2 cruises on P&O in April through cruise.co.uk so I would check your prices maybe x

Whattheydonttellyou Fri 11-Dec-15 13:51:36

Thank you again. I will check that out and also give the Liverpool cruise company a call just to ask about the obstructed view balcony cabins and whether it is likely we would have one.

It would matter to us as we would like to spend some time enjoying the view from our balcony.

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