Booking early vs. onboard discount?

Generally speaking, do you get a better deal booking a DCL cruise as soon as it is announced, or by using the onboard rebooking discount?

I know the answer can depend on the gap between the cruise being released and the time you are onboard to book it, but here’s my deal:

Feb. 6, 2016 Fantasy cruise, now featuring a Star Wars day, which is a big draw for my family. We are sailing on the Fantasy this year on June 6th.

Do I book the 2/6/16 cruise now before the rates go up, or do I wait to book until I am on the Fantasy and get the discount?

Basically, which price break is better in this scenario? The on-board rebooking discount in June or booking now, 3.5 months sooner?


Personally, I would book now. The Star Wars cruise is likely to be very popular, so you have no guarantee it will even be available (and even less of a guarantee that your preferred stateroom category will be available) by the time June rolls around.

The onboard discount is simply 10% off the prevailing rate, plus another $200 in credit. Right now, that cruise for 2 people, Oceanview is $3,270. If, by the time you book onboard in June, the rate has stayed below $3,855.55, you’ll have saved money by booking onboard (3855.55 minus 10% = 3470, minus the $200 credit). If it has risen above $3,855.55, you’ll have wasted money by waiting that long.

So yeah, IF the room category you want is still available by June, I somewhat doubt it will have climbed nearly $600 in price. But I don’t think it’s worth the fear that the cruise may sell out in the meantime.

I’d book now.

You could always re-check the discount when you’re on the Fantasy. If it’s lower, book that and cancel the first reservation. (You’d still be well within the cancelation period.)


What len said!! I’m waiting for the rest of 2016 to be released… I’m hearing April 1st?

@rvashko - Who’s going with you, what are their ages, and what kind of cabin are you looking at?

We might be able to use the Fare Tracker to figure out the price trend of similar cruises.

@len - two connecting Cat 5 cabins. Me, the missus, 3 kids (14/9/6 at time of travel).

I thought about the Fare Tracker, but thought the new inclusion of SW Day at Sea would have made historical comparisons moot?

I just went ahead and booked it. @len - will follow your advice and comparison shop while onboard this June. Thx!