How To Book A Last-Minute Cruise— 8 Easy & Useful Tips!
Booking a last-minute cruise is a rare deal-finding skill. But we promise you will land with a great cruise deal if you use the tips in this article.
So, are you thinking of booking a last-minute cruise? Whatever the reason, maybe you procrastinated your vacation plans or are looking for a great cruise deal. You have arrived at the right page. Here are the best tips to book a last-minute cruise.
Booking a last-minute cruise is a rare deal-finding skill. But we promise you will land with a great cruise deal if you use the tips in this article. So, why wait? Let's start!
Table Of Contents:
- The Best Booking Window?
- When Should You Start Looking For Last-Minute Cruise?
- Which Cruise Lines Can I Depend On For Last-Minute Availability?
- Target The Slow Weeks
- You Got To Be Flexible
- You Can Even Think About A Repositioning Cruise
- Try To Keep It Close To Home
- Follow Your Favorite Cruise Line Closely
The Best Booking Window?
In simple words, the number of days and months between the date when a cruiser books until the ship sails. Nowadays, the booking window extends up to a year. Yes, a full year between the time when most people book until you set sail.
For most people, the booking window depends on various factors like the itinerary, the voyage length, etc.
Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners, says: " he booking window is now a full year out for long itineraries in faraway places such as Asia. But it's three to six months for shorter, closer-to-home voyages."
Thus, the shorter voyages are where lie your maximum chances of getting a great cruise deal.
When Should You Start Looking For Last-Minute Cruise?
So, when should you start looking up a last-minute cruise deal? Easy! Just start looking up around three months before the sailing date. But why? Well, because those who have pre-booked the cruise have to submit the full fee by this time.
So, the lines have a fair idea about who will be on board and who has canceled. So, they are in the best position to strategize how to fill in the rest of the empty cabins.
The funny part is that last minute bookings need not always be cheaper. Depending on the availability and the resources, last-minute cruises can spike the prices up too!
This final payment line is different for various lines. From 60 days for some lines to 150 days for others.
Which Cruise Lines Can I Depend On For Last-Minute Availability?
Michelle Fee explains that most of the last-minute cruise booking happens on larger ships. And especially those that leave from US home ports. Lines like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruises with big vessels and capacity usually are available last-minute. You can even find a great cruise deal on these vessels.
Smaller luxury vessels like Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises fill up well in advance. They are mostly unavailable for last-minute cruises, and finding a deal on them is next to impossible. They get booked a year ago.
Target The Slow Weeks
The crowd does not stay constant on cruises. What I mean is there are slow weeks and rush weeks. So, what you have to do is search for a deal during the slow weeks. There are good chances that you can find a great cruise deal during these weeks.
A few such weeks are during the fall season when kids go back to school. The hurricane season is also during this time, and that wards off many cruisers.
Another great time is the few first and last weeks of Alaska cruises. They open for only a few months between May and September. And the first and last weeks can usually lend you a fantastic last-minute cruise deal.
You can also try our services for booking a great cruise deal. We offer the most affordable prices and do not take service charges as well.
You Got To Be Flexible
Come to think of it, the early planners usually take up the choicest cabins. Cabins like suites, connecting cabins, etc., get filled very early.
So, as long as you do not care about your exact cabin type, or even the line and destination, etc., you will find your deal a great deal. But you can never say what luck has in store for you. You might even get a cabin precisely according to your choices.
You Can Even Think About A Repositioning Cruise
So, first of all, what is a repositioning cruise? Many lines move their vessels between two markets according to seasons.
For example, lines move their vessels from the Caribbean to Europe in the spring. And then they bring them back to the Caribbean in the fall. These sailings are one-off, long, and have many sea-days. Such sailings do not appeal to all, so it is harder to fill such sails. This reason is also why there are many last-minute cruise deals on such cruises.
More great cruise deals can be found during repositioning sails from Europe to Asia in spring and back in fall.
Try To Keep It Close To Home
Why? Because it is relatively easier to find a crazy last-minute cruise deal than to find a similar airfare deal.
What is the point if all you saved goes into paying for airfare to reach the port of call? The overall value is what matters.
If you live nearer to the East Coast, a New York or Boston sailing can be perfect. And if you are closer to the West Coast, a Los Angeles or San Diego sailing would be ideal.
Follow Your Favorite Cruise Line Closely
Don't just follow them on Instagram and Facebook instead of becoming a member of their past passenger's program. You are then more likely to secure early access to deals, and there may be some special deals.
You can also sign up for the line's newsletter. It is another way to secure a great cruise deal.
Summarizing the above post, we can say that securing a last-minute cruise deal is not that difficult. You need to be in the right place at the right time. And you may land a great cruise deal!
And if you are up for it, a repositioning cruise is also a great idea. But whatever you choose, try to keep the port of call within driving range or at least at a small air route.
We hope all these tips help you find your ideal cruise deal. Cruisemoretravel also offers last-minute cruise deals, so now that you are here, do check for some great deals. And we assure you, you will get the best price here. We do not take any service charges and offer the most affordable prices.