We finally decided to take a last minute cruise since we have an awesome schetchle.
We’ve always heard of the specials to fill the rooms at last minute, or even the last month or so before departing. Cuba sounded like a great place to visit—one of those better-do-it-now kind of places.
I noticed there were some deals for some 4-night midweek cruises from Norwegian.
We (I) decided to go simple and get an “Oceanview” room to save money. To be clear, this is actually just a standard window room but a step up from being housed in a closet type room.
OK, pricing time; We looked for the cruise 4 weeks away—calculating the time for a 21-day airfare purchase.
On Sept 15th the Oceanview room was $299 per person. On Sept 16th the same room was $279. (YES, $20 for being slow) However, when I decided to lock everything in on Sept 18th, just 3 days later, the price was now $249 per person. We clicked purchase and we were all set.
FEES, FEES, GRATUITIES.
- This is our actual billing per person for the $249 room:
- 249 Room charge
- 167 Taxes, port fees
- 80 Forced tips (20/day per person)
- =496 each $992 total for two people for 4 nights on the ship.
$248 total per night total with food, drinks, entertainment, gym, etc.
While the charges added up quickly, it was still a really good price on a nice enough ship. But not a super bargain like $249 implies.
Our cruise had free drinks, as well as the option for on-ship amenities such as: internet, meal upgrades, etc. We did not upgrade.
Tip: we did book an early embarkation time. I read to skip breakfast at the hotel and get on the ship ASAP and head straight to the buffet to eat/hang by the pool while waiting for the room to be ready. So, we joined LOTS of people munching away (and drinking) while docked with a nice view of Miami.
It had been 20 years since our last (first) cruise. This experience seemed more organized embarking, disembarking. Moving around the ship was easy. Even with 2000 passengers onboard (medium/smaller ship), there were many quiet places to hang out.
We did notice that our room was very quiet. We located 2 rooms from the stairs/elevators and NEVER heard any commotion. We did hear people talking in the hallways a couple times but it wasn’t bad at all. So even though everyone was loaded onto this floating city, it was quite calm…even for a booze cruise as it turned out.
I have to say even with 21 days notice our Southwest plane tickets were about the same as the cost of the cruise which was a bummer. We also stayed in Florida for 7 more nights to explore Miami Beach and the east coast beach towns. It was two vacations in one.
If we lived within driving distance of a cruise port with amazing destinations, we’d probably take a few last minute cruises each year…but I’d need to figure out how to manage the buffet. The food choices are brutal to the scale if you like eating.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.