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cruises closer departure

Do cruises get cheaper closer to departure?

Not everyone can afford an expensive luxury cruise trip. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it at cheaper rates. Read the article to know if cruises get cheaper closer to departure.

By Cruise Booking Team

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The most common question among cruisers is, ‘When should I plan my trip to obtain the greatest price?’ The cruise lines advise us to book early, offering itineraries 18 months or more in advance and touting incentives for early booking. But our pals tell us about obtaining a great price 2 months before leaving, and we're interested in the different last-minute deals touted by cruise companies. We'd want a simple method for calculating the sweet spot when cruise fares are at their lowest.

Do cruises get cheaper closer to departure?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for predicting the exact day when your cruise cost will be the lowest. What we can do is provide you with some tips on scheduling early vs. reserving late, so you can make an informed decision.

Booking a cruise last minute

Cruise operators may drop rates at the last minute to fill empty rooms on ships that sell out more slowly or unexpectedly see a wave of cancellations before final payment. Look for offers beginning 90 days before departure. On a weeklong trip, you may get inside accommodations at an affordable rate per person, per night, as well as fantastic rates on outdoor and balcony cabins, except for luxurious suites or great cabin sites. To get the most out of scheduling a cruise late, you'll also have to be flexible on particular ships, itineraries, and sail dates. You should travel to where the availability is; if your ideal cruise is already sold out, last-minute rates will be much more, and not less. Also, avoid booking late if you need to go to your home port. Last-minute flights may cut into your cruise savings.

Booking your cruise early

Many cruise lines offer their lowest pricing when itineraries initially go on sale, then hike the prices when the ships sell out. This is especially true for luxury cruises, as well as new and popular mainstream ships. Booking early also allows you to select your cabin (particularly if you desire a suite) and meal hours. In addition to reduced introductory pricing, cruise companies may provide early bookers with additional benefits such as free flights, complimentary accommodation, or onboard credit. Even better, most cruise companies only need a refundable deposit to secure your stateroom, so you may cancel without penalty if your plans change in the coming months. 

However, the cruise line's intentions may change between the time you book and the time you sail. When booking early, be flexible because the situation changes and the cruise operator retains the right to adjust your schedule or cast you off the vessel for a charter.

Also Read: How to get the cheapest rate on a cruise?

When to book a cruise to get the best deal?

Book a cruise early if you want to lock the deal at a solid cost, in your preferred stateroom on a certain ship and with the preferred itinerary – particularly popular ones that sell out quickly.

Book a cruise late if you want the best deal and are willing to be flexible with your cruise ship and itinerary. This method is best suited for cruisers who reside near a homeport.

If you miss out on reserving early but a last-minute cruise is too risky, you can discover a reasonable price anywhere in between. Simply browse for cruise company promos, such as fare discounts and extra-perk deals, and book when you find a decent deal. It may not be the best price, but you will receive a good bargain. To find the best deals on cruises, visit CruiseBooking’s website today.

Header Image by Katharina Bill at Unsplash

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