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To book early or late

I’m interested in the cruise lines marketing at the moment to encourage passengers to book their cruises as early as possible. Certainly I can see the advantage of this to the lines: if they get early bookings then they get all those deposits, and they won’t have to engage in fire-sales nearer the time of the cruise to fill the ship. The trouble is that at the same time as potential passengers are seeing the tempting marketing for next year’s cruises, they’ll also be seeing those aforementioned fire-sales for this year’s cruises.

For us, at the moment, it makes sense to book as early as possible: with both of us still working we need to get our holiday dates agreed by our employers a long way in advance. We booked this cruise on Arcadia in May 2009, for example; that’s almost eighteen months in advance. But if we were retired I think it would be different: I think we might be more interested in getting a cheap deal. So I have a feeling that the cruise lines’ efforts are doomed to failure. Do

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