Cruises are one of the best ways to travel and experience the world. To start with, you are surrounded by miles of water in an environment that is serene, with someone waiting on you hand and foot. You are also there with like-minded people, be it on a family or an adults-only cruise. Most cruises end up with friendships that last a lifetime, while others even end in marriage.
When choosing a cruise however, you might want to consider the beauty of waiting until the last possible moment before you book. It could be your ticket to a massive discount.
Here are some tips to help you secure a great last minute cruise deal:
Timing is everything
Booking your cruise at the right time could mean the difference between you getting a discount and paying full price. The best time to book your cruise is between 60 and 90 days before the start of the cruise. The main reason for this is because this is the only time that most cruise liners allow people to cancel their bookings without penalty. At this time, the cruise liners will know just how many cabins are available, and will often drastically reduce fares to sell out the ship.
Sometimes, cruise sellers have an authorized leeway when it comes to lowering the prices or offering different boking bonuses. This is especially important because some cruise lines have very rigid restrictions for travel agents when it comes to discounting and they prefer selling through a select number of authorized dealers. It is therefore advisable that you look around, since many agents will find a last minute cruise deal and post it on their website. Compare and find what’s best for you.
Go through the fine print
To avoid surprises, you should be careful when reading the terms of purchase for the cruise. Read every offer carefully and understand exactly what you are entitled to with the purchase. For example, tight inside cabins do not work if you are claustrophobic and outside cabins may have obstructed views. Last minute bookings will however mean that you might have to be a bit more flexible. Make sure to look for information on fees, government taxes and port charges so that you don’t get surprised last minute.
Understand Repositioning cruises
A repositioning cruise is when you sail across certain routes, or change seasonal home ports. They’re one-way, one-off cruise plans, and offer a chance to travel at a price that is significantly lower than average. This is ideal for travellers who like surprises, since you will visit a mish-mash of ports along the way. The catch however, is that you will have to foot your bill home after the cruise. If you can find one that matches your budget including the airfare back, then you are in business.
When booking a last minute cruise, do the math. If your budget works with the cruise deal all round, then that is the one for you. You should also make sure that your passport is up to date before the departure date.