When to book a cruise?
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Answering the question “When to book my cruise?” is a tricky one. The answer highly depends on what is your goal. Generally speaking there are two best times to book: as early as possible or as late as possible. This answer will probably not come as a surprise to you and it’s not different than for any other travel product or holiday package. Yet there are some important things to keep in mind.
Book your cruise as early as possible
Cruise lines want everybody to book as early as possible. The more bookings they get long time before the sailing date, the better. They can better plan, optimize the staffing, make pre-arrangements etc. And more important: the earlier you book your cruise with them, the less likely you will be seduced by another company’s next marketing stunt. That’s why cruise lines come with great deals and cruise specials for early birds (12-18 months before departure date). As soon as the itineraries and brochures for the new cruise season are on the market, you can get big discounts for cruises. This can be a discounted cabin price or free onboard credits, kids for free, buy 1 get 1, etc. Not only can the price be a big advantage of early booking. You also have plenty of choicebetween different companies, ships, itineraries, cabin types etc.
Consider to book early if:
- You want a specific cabin type on a certain cruise
- You need to cruise on a specific date (holiday, honeymoon, school breaks, birthday,…)
- You want an unusual itinerary
- You are worried about getting (cheap) flights
- You just want to be sure
Last minute cruise
To maximize their ships capacity, cruise lines come with great deals and promotions 3 to 6 weeks before departure. Pricewise these deals are often much better than the early bookings, but choice is limited. Prices are valid for a certain itinerary or cabin type. And if you are unlucky cruise lines even don’t sell last minutes when they are happy with the capacity. It’s kind of a bet!
Consider to book last minute if:
- You want a super bargain
- You don’t care too much about cabin type, itinerary etc
- You don’t know when you will have free time