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Is there any deadline to book a cruise?

Know everything about booking your dream cruise to take advantage of the booking dates.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book A Cruise Now

Cruising is an excellent way to see the world with luxury, adventure, and relaxation. While many people diligently plan their cruise journeys for months, others desire spontaneity and wonder, "How late can one book a last-minute cruise?"

How close to departure can I book the cruise?

1. Booking a Cruise on Short Notice

You can book most cruises up to 48 hours before they depart. However, it is essential to remember that the possibility of booking last minute differs based on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary.

2. Factors to Consider for Last-Minute Cruising

Before you jump on a last-minute cruise deal, here are some crucial factors to consider:

3. Last-Minute Cruise Deals and Itineraries

Last-minute cruise deals are prevalent for specific itineraries. Popular routes like shorter-than-a-week Bahamas, Caribbean, and Mediterranean cruises can have great last-minute pricing. Furthermore, repositioning cruises frequently have last-minute availability when a ship travels from one region to another (for example, Europe to the Caribbean).

However, this does not eliminate the possibility of finding last-minute savings on longer or more popular routes. It's only that due to increased demand, they may need to become more familiar.

How Close to Sailing Can You Book?

Although you should be able to book a cruise just 48 hours before it sails, you cannot book after the ship's manifest (the list of passengers) has been filed to the authorities. To be safe, book three to five days before the cruise rather than just hours before departure. 

1. Flying to Catch Your Cruise

Consider the cost of flights if you must travel to your departure port. While last-minute cruise deals can be appealing, last-minute airfare deals are sometimes limited and more expensive. Check to see if you can book your flight through the cruise line to save the most money.

Last-minute cruising is especially beneficial for individuals who can drive to the port of departure. Passengers in Florida, for example, have several departure ports within driving distance that offer a variety of sailings.

2. Access to Onboard Extras

Booking a last-minute cruise does not imply that you will miss out on all of the benefits. However, you may have to settle for what is provided. Last-minute travelers may find that popular shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty dining reservations, and prepaid drink packages have limited availability. If you have specific activities or experiences in mind, book them as soon as possible.

3. Passport Considerations

Ensure your documentation is up to date for journeys requiring a passport. Passport renewals can take months, so expect to acquire a passport or visa at least 90 days before your trip.

Also Read: Thanksgiving Cruise Deals for 2023


Booking a last-minute cruise can be an exciting adventure, providing a spontaneous and cost-effective vacation option. While flexibility is vital, last-minute cruising comes with concerns, such as limited cabin options and potential flight issues. Nonetheless, the world of last-minute cruises awaits those prepared to embrace the opportunity and embark on a journey of adventure and pleasure. How late in the game can you schedule a last-minute cruise? As late as two days before departure. Visit for more information.

Tags: cruise lines

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