If you are looking to go on a cruise, you’re most likely wondering when the best time is to purchase a cruise. Indeed, it’s easy to come up with cruise vacation ideas, but it can be hard to figure out how to get the best deals on cruises, or how to plan a cruise on a budget. Luckily, it’s not difficult to join the 19.9% (20,335,000 passengers every year) of Americans who have been on a cruise by buying your ticket at the right time:
Get the early bird specials by looking at the adjacent column next to the more expensive brochure rates, where you will see discounts. If you book your cruise six to 12 months in advance, which is a good idea for popular destinations, early-bird rates will abound. Cruise lines even tend to reward those who plan ahead with the best prices upfront. Fares tend to rise as the sailing date approaches, so try to plan ahead as much as possible.
One exception to the early bird rule is the “Last Minute” rule. About 60 to 90 days before sailing, cruise lines are able to get a good idea of who is coming and who isn’t (based on the list of passengers who paid the fare versus ones who simply put a deposit down). If there’s a lot of space to fill on a ship, it is likely that a ship will start offering deals on cruises, and different types of cruise packages.
Wondering when the best time is to purchase a cruise to the Bahamas is? Shoulder periods are times right before or after a high season of a given sailing region. Cruises are likely to be cheaper during those times, because the weather might be cooler or kids might not be out of school, which means there will be fewer families on board.
- For cruises in Europe, the best times for the cheapest prices tend to be in mid-March and April, as well as September to December. Keep in mind that the nights, and even the days, will likely be very chilly!
- Alaska cruises are extremely scenic and amazing, and a potential chill in the air during the months of May and September don’t deter from it at all.
- The Caribbean is a year-round destination, but fares tend to be lower in September after kids go back to school, and in October.
The average length of a cruise is 7.2 days — make sure to enjoy every second of yours!