Do cruise prices ever go down?

Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Cruise prices change a lot more than you probably think, and sometimes low fares only last a few hours at a time. Some travel agencies will monitor prices for you and warn you of price drops for a fee. How does that work? As with airfare, cruise prices can move up and down over time (though not nearly as drastically). If you book a cruise and notice the drop in price later, you should call the shipping company and request a refund of the difference.

Cruise prices are not always cheaper closer to the sail date. Cruise prices are usually the cheapest, which are farthest from the sail date when they are first launched, or 60-90 days before the cruise starts. The prices of some cruises will drop at the last minute, but that doesn’t always happen. Depending on how big the price drop is, you may be offered a cabin upgrade or in-flight credit after negotiations, but it is rarely a cash refund.

Other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, offer comparable price adjustment guarantees. Many last-minute cruise prices (sold within 30-45 days from departure date) have prices blocked. As long as the price drops for the same ship and sail date that was previously booked and it is before the final payment date, guests can reevaluate their cruise as often as they like. Each shipping company has rules and regulations about whether your rate can be refunded if the price drops.

In most countries, Royal Caribbean allows you to reassess the cost of your cruise until the final payment date. Cancellation fees are usually waived before final payment is made, making it easier for the shipping company to adjust your price rather than cancel and rebook you at the new rate. Royal Caribbean allows crusaders to revalue their cruise at a lower cruise price if the price for that cruise drops at any point before the final payment date. In general, when the cruise routes are released for the first time, the price is the cheapest they will have.

If you leave it this late, you run the risk that the shipping company will only have a few cabins left and prices will rise. Once your cruise’s final payment date has passed (and you’ve made that payment), price reductions can be a bit trickier, but you still have a few options. In particular, these prices were for a three-day cruise aboard Carnival from Miami, which sailed regularly throughout the year. In fact, some lines refuse to lower prices as soon as the cruise leaves within a few weeks of departure.

The shipping companies then know how many cabins they need to fill and they can adjust prices accordingly. Then, at this point, discover days, weeks, or even months after the fact that your cruise price dropped after booking.


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