I love to talk cruises, and lately it seems that I have been having the same conversation over and over again with people. As such, I have compiled a list to share of….
Despite popular opinion, it is not usually cheaper to book your cruise last minute. Planning ahead and booking early allows you to take advantage of launch fares before they disappear. Also, less expensive staterooms within each category usually sell out first, meaning they are not available to you if you wait too long to book. If lower fares do happen to become available before final payment time, your travel agent may often ask the cruise supplier to adjust your booking and apply the lower rates.
The earlier you book, the more rooms available for you to choose from. This is especially important if you have a family of 4 or 5. Most cruise lines have very few rooms that sleep more than 3 people, making it important to book early if you’d like to secure one of these room types. Need adjoining staterooms? They book quickly, as well. Prefer not to have a room too far forward or aft, next to an elevator or under a club? The earlier you book, the more options you have when it comes to those room decisions.
Hoping to eat dinner at the early dining time? Early seating is the most popular option in the cruise industry, and often books up long before the sailing is filled. If having early seating is important to you, book that cruise early!
Booking early gives you more time to look for good flights to/from your cruise. You can watch for fare sales and book when the prices drop, instead of being rushed to book a more expensive flight because your cruise departs soon. Trust me, I see this all the time. People book a last minute cruise because they got an fabulous rate, but end up paying a hefty price for airfare that works within the cruise schedule.
Deposits (except in a few cases) are fully refundable up until final payment is due, usually about 75 days before departure. If you have money to tie up in a deposit, go ahead and put it down. This locks in your rate and your stateroom choice, but still gives you an out if your plans change.
And here’s a bonus reason for you…
Scientists have discovered that the anticipation of an event brings positive, prolonged emotional benefits to an individual. By planning a vacation earlier, you get to experience the joy and happiness of knowing what is to come, long before you leave home. An extra benefit that costs nothing additional out of pocket!
What are you waiting for? Get started planning your next cruise!
Lisa is the owner of Dreams Delivered Travel. She loves animals, reading, and exploring new destinations. When not on vacation, she helps others turn their vacation dreams in to reality (and her services are always free).