Should You Book Your Cruise Early or Late to Get the Best Price?

Is it better to book a cruise early or late in order to get the best price? Waiting until the last minute to book may offer some of the best deals but it may also lead to a higher price too. When cruises first go on sale they cruise line offers the cruise at a price that they think the market will bear. However, as time goes by,, the laws of supply and demand go into effect and the price will either go up or down depending on the number of rooms sold.

Many times it makes the most sense to book early. Early bookings offer the best cabin selection, which may be important to families who need larger cabins to accommodate 4 or more passengers or passengers who prefer a specific location or special cabin. Passengers who prefer a suite and don’t mind paying extra for it may also choose to book as soon as the new itineraries are announced so that they can guarantee one of these limited number of rooms. Booking early can also be an advantage on popular itineraries. As these cruises start to sell out the price of the remaining rooms may go up.

Waiting until the last minute, which is inside of a 90 day window, can sometimes offer some great deals for those who are willing to be flexible about itinerary, departure port, and their cabin. If a ship has quite a few un-occupied rooms available the price per person could drop dramatically. The main disadvantage of waiting until the inside of 90 days window is that airline flights might not be as affordable by then. Depending on the travel distance to the departure port a higher priced flight might actually make the total cost of the cruise more than if a passenger had booked both air and cruise earlier. Another disadvantage of late bookings might be less choice in dining arrangements. If passenger wants a fixed table and dining time, that option or preferred dinner seating might be closed when one books last minute. Sometimes the owners or penthouse suites, if un-booked might go for relatively bargain prices in a last minute booking.

If you are very particular about the details of your cruise, it is probably best not to wait and book a cruise as soon as you know when and where you want to cruise. However, a flexible passenger who can be happy with just about any cabin or dining arrangement and might be looking for simply a cruise vacation experience rather than a trip to specific port or area can sometimes find some bargain cruise fares by waiting until the 90 day booking window.