When Is The Best Time To Book My Cruise?
Simply put, the best time to buy a cruise ticket is as early as possible. Why? (1) Cruises can be booked with a deposit that is usually about $100-$250 per person, but can sometimes be as low as $49 per person, with final payment usually due around 60 to 90 days prior to sailing; (2) cruise lines will, generally, honor any price drops that occur after booking, so long as the price drop occurs prior to the date that final payment is due; and (3) it is best to book as early as possible to secure one’s preferred stateroom because the stateroom choices are more limited closer to sailing as more bookings are made and the ship fills up.
That means that, if in October 2017, you book your preferred stateroom on a ship that will set sail in June 2018, and then the price of the cruise goes down prior to the date that your final payment is due – based on a June sailing date, final payment will likely be due in or near April – then you or your travel agent can contact the cruise line and ask that your booking reflect the new lower price and, generally, the cruise line will do so. It is very important to review the terms and conditions of the booking prior to booking, and also review the cruise confirmation documents received after booking, as details regarding refunds and modifications should be outlined in those documents.
With that being said, if someone has identified the cruise line, ship, itinerary, and dates on which he or she would like to sail, then it is best to book that cruise as early as possible to secure not only the booking, but also, one’s preferred stateroom.
It should be noted that cruise lines tend to showcase their best deals for the upcoming year during “wave season,” which is typically between January and March. However, for the past few years, I have seen very good deals, including lower fares and reduced deposits, offered a bit earlier than wave season. Those hoping to cruise can look out for cruise deals in November or December, and may still be able to reap the benefits of wave season deals between January and March.
Have you scored any amazing cruise deals based on when you booked your cruise?
Have you ever benefited from price drops after booking?
Please, share any booking success stories and/or strategies that may assist others in booking.