Even if you do not have a set date, one thing is for sure: the next cruise will come. But when is the perfect time for booking your cruise? Should you book way ahead for early bird discounts? Or rather wait and decide where to go spontaneously?
In general, there is not one perfect time for booking your cruise. Timing is relative and primarily depends on your needs. The most important aspects are: your route and the ship, when bookings are available and seasons, holidays, as well as possible special needs of you and your party. However, there are certain times when you could get special offers. Therefore, we have put together some tips for you on how to find the perfect time for booking your cruise.
Cruise companies individually plan when to provide special discounts and offers and Cruise1st reflects those prices and offers from cruise companies, as soon as they happen, so you get the most value out of everything.
Winter is high season
Most cruisers plan their cruise holidays during the winter months to help them live through the cold days, and look forward to the nice weather and a good time. The joyful anticipation of hanging out at the pool or beach and the ocean view make the wait sweeter and worthwhile. Naturally, demand during that time is greater than usual. So, it pays to book in advance if you are looking for specific dates to go on a cruise, or on a specific ship and route.
Booking early saves you money
If you book early enough, you will most likely profit from early bird specials. These start the moment a cruise is available for booking and are limited in time and availability. Depending on the cruise line, the earlier you book, the better your chances of getting more options and at a cheaper rate too. This is due to the simple fact that cruise companies would like to fill as many spots on the cruise as soon as possible. Therefore, right after catalogues and cruises becoming publicly available, is the best time to look for your desired cruise and cabin. Being early allows you to not only choose the kind of cabin, but also its deck and location on the vessel. Since prices increase with time, it is good timing to book between six and nine months prior to departure.
Lead times with themed cruises
If you want to go on a themed cruise, for example an expedition cruise, you should book between 12 and 18 months prior to your cruise. Generally, expedition vessels are smaller and therefore have less cabins available. Other special cruises, including world cruises, maiden cruises and event cruises are very popular, so make sure to be fast with those, as well.
Last minute for the spontaneous
Even if you spontaneously decide you want to go on a cruise, it does not mean you can’t get a good price. This, however, requires you to be flexible as far as destinations and cabins. Prices are lowered again around 60 days prior to the cruise, in order to fill remaining cabins. In the high season, however, prices are not dropped as much due to the greater demand, but you can make great last-minute deals other times. You might not get the cruise or cabin that you have been eyeing in that case, though.
The best time to book a cruise for families
Families are bound to certain times because of their children being in school. Naturally, booking as early as possible is the best way to go. In this case, families can still get good prices, even during school holidays. As said earlier, not only are prices better, but there are more cabins to choose from too. Many cruise ships have cabins with connection doors, which are perfect for families with children.
Booking in low season
Booking low season is only possible if you are flexible regarding time. That means you go on a cruise when not many people are doing so. Not only is the cruise itself cheaper, but transportation and other costs involved are lower, as well. The whole cruise is less crowded, which for some might be more relaxing. Seasonality depend on the destinations, for example, warm regions are mostly preferred for holiday during colder months.