When is the best time to take a cruise?
As with a lot of things, the answer depends…
- One needs to understand how cruise cabins are priced. Typically, a cruise itinerary is released for bookings around 18 months before sailing. This may be longer or shorter depending on the cruise line, destination, etc. At that time, a price is set for all cabin types. Usually, the cheaper cabins sell first. As cabins are sold, the price may increase on the remaining cabins. Prices are rarely static.
- If you are totally flexible on sailing date and departure port, waiting to the 60-90 days prior to departure could save you some money. But it may mean paying a higher airfare if flying is required. At times, there are last minute cruise specials; contact us for options though “last minute” in the cruise industry can be 3 months.
- Are you traveling during “peak season?” These times can see cabins sell quickly because the demand is so much higher. Examples of usually higher priced cruises are Christmas week and the weeks around July 4th as many people have a set vacation time. For peak seasons, book ASAP or be willing to pay higher fares or possibly not even getting a cabin.
- One cruise line has a “Guaranteed Best Price” which allows you to book early and be assured you got the best price. If a better price is offered after you book, you can get the difference back as on board credit. A win-win for everyone!
- Within cruise lines and cabin types, there are some other peculiarities. Disney Cruises are selling extremely well because of the demand on their two new ships. BOOK EARLY for them, looking at least a year out and maybe even farther to get the best prices or even just availability.
- If you are trying to put as many people in the cabin as possible to save money, book early. Most cruise lines have at least a few cabins that will sleep five without going into the suite category. These cabins often sell early. Some people want connecting rooms to put the kids in a separate room with a connecting interior door. These are usually limited on cruise ships and these sell quickly. Book ASAP for both of these examples.
If you are planning a cruise, give us a call and we can walk you through the possibilities so that you get the best cruise experience at the best price. We have personally been on over 20 different cruise ships and eight different cruise lines; there is a cruise just for you.