Princess/true last minute deals
do you know if "buy today -sail tomorrow" type deals exist? We are retired and live close to Galveston which now has Carnival, RCC, Princess and Disney going out of that port so could literally do a sailing with one days notice. Anyway, I didn't know if the cruises ever offer such deals on say last minute cancellations, etc. I have read that the cruise lines don't have to turn in their manifests until the day of sailing to Homeland Security so, in theory, they could offer these deals but the question is do they and/or how to get on their lists for these type of situations.
Yes. I myself am signed up for Princess Cruise Line's "Stand By Fares." In fact, I got one on November 30th, and the first sailing from that date was for December 8th. If you have sailed with Princess before, you are a Captain's Circle Member. If you are, then get yourself signed up to receive specials, etc., on their site, if you have not already done so. They will ask you for your Captain's Circle Number in the registration process, and you can access that online as well, I believe. If not, call 1-800-PRINCESS to get those numbers. Once you have yourself signed up, in the Captains' Circle Membership area, there is a place to not only sign up for "stand by fares," but also how fast you can go. So you could click off one week, three weeks, one month notice.....if memory serves me correctly, one week was the closest. Then, they will email you automatically the specials that are considered standby, and you can book online OR call them. Now, are the fares necessarily the "best?" That is a question for debate. I use a cruise broker, and technically we are not supposed to give out information like that on AllExperts, as it is considered promoting. However, if you wish to do a "private" email to me, I will contact you off the AllExperts site to discuss this issue outside the boundaries of this site to be honorable to the rules. I can explain more then. If you have NOT sailed with Princess, I doubt this Stand By Fare applies. In fact I'm almost positive it does not. RCCL's fares are identical to brokers, by the way. They have changed their policies in that area.
RCCL has something called "happy hour" fares, but I would not necessarily consider them short notice. I sail the majority of the time with Princess, so I don't know about HAL and the others, but it certainly would not hurt to call them and ask.
By the way, none of the Stand By Fares I received recently were sailing out of Galveston. It is a nice cruise - we did it on Voyager of the Seas about three years ago or so.
I hope this helps!