Friday, August 5, 2011

OMG We're back again

No, I didn't jump ship. This is still the NKOTB Cruise blog. But those tour mates had an appropriate lyric.

Rumors are afoot. Among hopeful first time cruisers, nerves are starting to set in. So what's a cruiser to do?

How to prepare for a cruise when no cruise has been announced

It is possible. Really, some preparation is necessary, since historically cruise announcements have come merely days before cabins go on sale. And, prices for the cruise aren't revealed until the moment of on-sale.

Step One: Honestly determine whether you can afford to cruise. With cabin prices, port fees, transportation, and on board necessities, it's nearly impossible to spend less than $2000 on the trip. In fact, you will probably spend a lot more. Don't count on being able to sell your spot to someone else if you decide later you can't make the payments. Last year some who canceled found themselves selling at a fraction of the cabin cost just to find buyers. And travel insurance won't help if you decide later you can't afford to go. The cruise is a lot of fun, but it's only a few days. It's not worth going into debt.

Step Two: Decide who you will room with. Will you have one roommate or three? If you don't have anyone in mind for a roommate, will you do the single room match program, or will you try to find someone on Twitter or the forums to book with? Keep in mind, only one person can do the booking, so you will either have to share credit card information or arrange payments. If you don't trust the roomie with this information, the match program would be safer.

Step Three: Start to think about what type of cabin you want. Make sure you and your roomies agree on whether you want a suite, a room with premium seating, or something closer to steerage.

Step Four: Along with your roommates, set a budget for how much you will spend on your cabin and commit to it. Check to see prices from last year (don't forget the port fees and taxes!). Since prices aren't released beforehand, many cruisers find themselves grabbing any room available without even looking at the cost. Be prepared by deciding how much you would like to spend and determining an upper limit if your first choice (or three) isn't available.

Step Five: Take a deep breath and wait for the time to arrive. As much as we try to sleuth out information, nothing is certain until it's announced. And nothing is announced until NKOTB is good and ready. But don't worry; we've got at least 10 months to prepare!

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  1. For the BSB cruise this year, we were given a month’s notice from the date it went on sale to the date of the first pre-sale (there was 2: past cruisers, and fan club members.)
    We were also given the full price list ~5 days – a week before the first pre-sale. Maybe Rose Tours are becoming more understanding?

  2. *er, the date it was announced to the date of the first pre-sale rather! (doh!)