Cruises are the perfect example if you’re looking for a relaxed holiday. They are ideal for those looking to relax and de-stress. Lazing on the deck, soaking in the sunrise and the sunsets, enjoying the wonderful sights of seas or rivers, spotting dolphins and exotic sea creatures, hopping on and off ports, and the lip-smacking food and the parties — all of this can be enjoyed on a cruise. Once you have decided that you want to go on a cruise, you should start with the basic questions such as:
- How much can you spend?
- Where do you want to go?
- When should you go?
- Which cruise liner should you choose and how?
On an average, cruises make bookings at least 6 months ahead of the cruise date. You can directly book with the cruise line, a travel website, or with your travel agent. Most companies accept the cabin deposit as a booking fee, and the rest can be paid three months before the sailing date.
Booking a cruise early is advantageous as it gets you better cabins, with decks or better suites. Some companies offer perks for early bookings. If there is any change of plans and you need to cancel, you will also be eligible for a refund of the booking deposit. It is important to read the fine print and understand the company’s policies as it might vary from one cruise liner to the other.
What are last minute cruise deals?
Last minute cruises are for those who decide to go on a cruise suddenly. These deals are available from three months ahead or even a week before sailing date. But one should keep in mind that since many people book cruises in advance, the last minute traveler will find it difficult to find the right cruise in such a short time. However, with some effort and guidance, one should be able to find some amazing last minute cruise deal that is exactly worth their money.
10 tips to find the perfect last minute cruise deal
- Travelers can always search online and look for “last minute cruise deals”. Many liners list last minute cruise deals in their websites. If you feel that visiting each website is time-consuming, you can also log in to designated travel and cruise websites. It is quite likely that you will be able to find a deal that is available due to last minute cancellation.
- Cruise liners constantly update leading travel agents about any last minute cabin availability. Those liners, who want to fill up the booking much ahead of departure, share these deals with travel agents. It could be your lucky day if your travel agent can help you locate a deal that matches your preference.
- If you are active on Twitter or Instagram, you should follow handles who post promotional deals from travel agencies.
- It is best to make a short list of all the cruise liners that impress you and subscribe to their websites. You will receive email notifications of all the last minute cruise deals, promotional offers, and short sales from the respective liners. You can track them and decide accordingly.
- If you are looking for last minute cruise deals, an ideal time to look would be three months ahead of your proposed cruise date. This is because it is in this window that the liners have a clearer idea of cancellations and cabin availability. It is at this point that they reduce prices to get the canceled cabins filled. You could get a cabin two weeks ahead of a cruise, but you won’t be able to choose the type.
- Many last minute deals do not give you the option of choosing the cabin, even though a cabin is guaranteed. One should ensure that the liners do not allot a cabin located inside, or one that has an obstructed view, or one that is just too small. If you are particular about accommodation, restaurant availability, and ambiance, last minute deals could be a compromise. In such cases, you should try to understand the cruise liner’s policy on cancellation.
- Always choose a port that is closest to your location so you can drive down. Airfares could eat away any discounts you have made of last minute deals in terms of reduced cost.
- Shoulder seasons are the best time for a great bargain as liners are keen to have a full house.
- Many cruise liners offer a combination of airfare and hotel packages to fill up their booking — this is an advantage as it reduces the cost and tedium of individual booking. Exclusive and luxury liners could include deals that offer stays at luxury hotels.
- Effective cost cutting occurs when you book smaller liners as the lack of some facilities will reduce the cost. Similarly, maximum cancellations take place in longer cruises as people change their mind or if their schedules change.