Experts say it’s best to book a cruise six to twelve months in advance at the best price, but you may be able to get a better deal if you have the flexibility to wait a bit longer. It can be difficult to find the right balance when booking a cruise. If you book too early, you risk paying through your nose. The best time of year to book a cruise is often January to March..
During this time, also known as wave season, industry-wide sales are made and the price of the cruise you’ve been dreaming of can drop significantly.. It’s also a good time to find booking promotions such as free upgrades, prepaid tips, or money on board. Again, the best time to cruise is if you want the cheapest price when school is taking place.. If you have to sail in summer or during holidays, expect a premium.
Is there a best time to book a cruise? We’ve asked travel experts for some valuable tips. Cruises are great vacations to book and go on all year round, but some seasons are better times than others to book a cruise.. If you want to book a cruise that offers the cheapest rates and the highest availability, the best time to book is in January.. Since it is after the holiday season, most people have either ended a vacation and have no intention of booking another one soon.
Regardless of the reasons, cruise companies find that not many people book cruises during these times, so you’ll often find the best deals of the year.. Cruise lines generally get good sales in January to encourage potential cruisers to fill their ships. Another advantage of booking in January is that you’ll often find the highest availability for the cabins of your choice.. The beginning of January is a particularly good time to book an autumn cruise, as many others have not booked these cruises..
Many people aren’t thinking about fall holidays in January yet, and you can use this time to grab some of the best cabins on the ship, often at cheaper rates.. I recommend that others plan so they can book their cruises in January. You’ll be ahead of the game if you’re likely to find more cabin availability on the ship and great deals to get your vacation off to the best possible start.. Cruise lines are generally very flexible in their approach to early deposits..
In my store, I often clearly tell customers to book as soon as possible if they think they want an itinerary, the earlier in advance the better. As long as there are clear conditions for a penalty period, time is on their side. That’s also because there are 7 billion other people on the planet who might want them too — some of them might want it so much that they deposit a deposit in front of you and then you’re the last in line. There is usually a very fair penalty period and a staggered deposit scheme that allows potential cruisers to pay an amount that is proportional to the duration or category of their sailing..
For example, a 3-night Bahamas versus the 7-night Mediterranean; or an indoor cabin versus a suite. So if they book far enough in advance, they have the best opportunity to choose a cabin that is right for them and not a cabin that is the choice of leftovers.. It’s a real thing, not on every sail, but it does exist. For many cruise lines, this means the flexibility to switch to a better promotion later if one is available..
Savings, sure, but also bonus features or whatever might be valid and is offered with the promotion. Stay flexible and book it for a week when there are no official holidays in sight and there is plenty of capacity, like in the Caribbean. This is of course difficult for most people who have to plan their vacation in advance.. Several times a year, the various cruise lines offer special promotions that can reduce booking costs by more than half..
The cost of a booking is not just the cost of the cabin. Very often, you end up spending more money on board, so it’s important that you get extra things for free, such as a la carte restaurants, WiFi, unlimited alcoholic drinks, and shore excursion credits. Then these sales come in handy.. That is why I always suggest that my guests find out in good time which cruise they are interested in.
And when the sale is complete, we can let them know and let them book relatively quickly.. When you book with a travel agent, you’re still getting some of the best deals. That’s because 82% of luxury cruise sales in the US are still handled by travel agents and our huge volume of bookings generally gives you better prices than if you were trying to book yourself. There are two key times to book your cruise vacation to save the most money.
If it’s a Disney Cruise, you’ll need to book as far as you can. This would be around a year before your sailing date.. Over time, Disney Cruise Line cruise prices are increasing due to limited availability.. It is very difficult to get a last minute Disney Cruise Line deal.
If you book Christmas week, summer, spring break, or when kids aren’t going to school, expect to pay the highest price for your cruise. Hurricane season sounds awful, but we spent many, many years traveling from Florida ports in September and October and had perfect vacations.. So plan your cruise vacation this off-season. Looking for a really cheap 3-day or 4-day extended weekend trip? Try Carnival Cruise Line, MSC, or Costa for really great prices.
You can even find great deals at Royal Caribbean.. These 3-4 day cruises are also a good way to try out a cruise for a first-time cruiser or a new cruise line.. Check out the bundled price for flights and transfers to and from the port. Then rate them yourself or ask a travel agent to put together the options for you..
Sometimes you can rent a limousine to and from the port for less than transfers from the shipping company.. Plus, you can get some great deals for hotel nights before and after the cruise near the harbor and don’t worry about missing out on the ship. Stop by the future cruise booking desk during your cruise. All cruise lines have them and offer you additional incentives to book your next cruise now..
You don’t have to know the exact dates or pay in full. You add your travel agent’s name to the reservation so they get a credit and can help you cruise when you get home.. At Pixie Vacations, we’re constantly getting last-minute cruise deals for Florida residents and they’re so good that we often think about moving to Florida. If you’re retired and enjoy cruises, you can get to a Florida port with a short drive from most places in Florida. Picture yourself waking up and just jumping onto a Caribbean cruise from your back door.
Check with your shipping company or travel agent what you can bring. Some cruise lines allow you to bring beer and wine onto the ship, and this can save you some money on days at sea when you want to grab a drink.. The winter months are the best time to book a cruise as cruise companies are happy to offer discounted prices as well as great incentives such as free upgrades so travelers can book during their quietest time of the year. It’s always best to use a cruise comparison site to find and buy great cruise packages at great prices.
President and co-founder of ShoreTrips Cruises from the USA. To the Far East or Australia, it’s best to book 12-18 months in advance. It is also best to book a cruise to Alaska one year in advance.. The wave season is the sales season, which in the past takes place between January and March, as a large percentage of cruisers book their trips in the first months of the year..
The new year, an empty calendar, and the cold winter months are making travelers think about vacations, and for this reason, cruise lines and travel agents often offer additional incentives.. Cruise and travel advisors, Bellevue Cruise Ship Center Like birds and whales, cruise ships also migrate to specific locations due to seasonal weather patterns.. This is why Alaska cruises take place in summer and not at Christmas time. While Australian and South American cruises are best during the winter holidays when the sun is good and warm..
With this in mind, I let my clients book at least 8 months from their chosen departure date. Do you need further encouragement (discouragement) The best day to book is a Sunday, usually a lie a day for most people, well not you, well not if you want to secure a cheap cruise. For more saving tips, book at least 2 months in advance if you can, and if you check cruises again, use an anonymous browser. Otherwise, websites will raise prices, recognize your IP address, and know you’re too sharp. When to book a cruise is a battle between cost savings and preference.
If you book early and sailing goes on sale, you’ll miss out on the savings. Conversely, the airfare may increase and offset potential savings if you wait to book. Cruise lines offer temptations (free tips, free drinks, free shore tours, on-board credit, etc.). When it comes to the best time to book a cruise, many people think they can save a lot of money if they book their trip at the right time.. For example, if you book at the beginning of the year, you can save money compared to booking in mid-summer..
The truth is, that is simply not the case. Think about whether there was a specific time when it was cheaper to book your cruise. If that was the case, a lot of people would postpone their bookings to this time of year.. The result would devastate shipping companies that want you to book sooner rather than later.
As a result, the rates are similar regardless of the time of year you book.. Where there is a difference is when you sail. As a rule of thumb, it is much cheaper to sail when school is taught. When school starts, families can’t just set sail, which lowers demand.
As a result, cruises can be hundreds less per person during the school year. Family Cruise Blogger, Cruise Mummy Cruise ships have a limited number of seats for kids of all ages, and family cruises are becoming increasingly popular. I’ve seen so many people miss out on being able to book a cruise because they left too late and there are no more places for kids — although there may still be plenty of adult seats left.. How you found this post useful.
Tell us how we can improve this post? As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. The best months to book a cruise are January to March, when almost every cruise line launches some sort of “wave season” promotion, and November to December, when Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales often start long before Thanksgiving and end days or weeks after.. Planning a vacation during the pandemic can be difficult, and booking a cruise comes with additional considerations and complications. Since booking many months in advance runs the risk of guessing your personal schedule and hoping for no surprises, I always recommend booking a refundable cruise fare to avoid penalties if there is an unexpected reason to cancel a cruise..
In the cruise industry, a last-minute booking is considered any cruise purchased after the final payment is due, generally 60 to 90 days before departure. But if Alaska cruise bookings are weak, wave season specials could be the best of the year as cruise lines use all the tricks to fill ships. When a cruise line really needs to fill rooms, it simply lowers the price of that cruise instead of offering a fleet-wide discount through a sale.. The table below shows the cruise price per person for both an interior cabin and a balcony room for a 3-day carnival cruise over a period of two years.
Cruise lines have a limited number of seats for kids of all ages, and family cruises are becoming increasingly popular.. For other cruise lines, you can use the same strategy or search a month before your vacation and pick up great last-minute deals. But why not have both? Saving money on this Caribbean cruise (or any other cruise) is easier than you think. You just need to know how the industry works, including the best time to book a cruise, when you can get an upgrade, and how to get the sailing you want without breaking the bank.