Last Minute Cruising: Tips for Getting a Deal

cruise last minute deals tricks

Nabbing a genuine last minute cruising  bargain is easier than ever, although you may not be able to just show up, suitcase in hand and secure a cabin.

Last Minute Cruising: Tips for Getting a Deal

These days cruise lines are required by law to submit passenger manifests within 24 to 48 hours of departure. Still there are good deals available, so allow Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or Oasis of the Seas become your floating hotel!

Last minute cruises — defined roughly as between several days to a few months in advance — offer savings to those of us who like to procrastinate or get a genuine thrill out of cruising on a whim.

Additionally, we routinely receive offers from cruise lines trying to fill ships on close-in voyages.

This is why you want to enlist the services of an expert travel agent, who can keep you alerted to these last-minute deals and you can benefit from the ship not being entirely booked.

But, like any deal that comes with a “too good to be true” price tag, buying a last minute cruise has its pros and cons.

Study these tips and tricks for cruising on the cheap and avoiding potential savings pitfalls.

Make informed decission

One of the best times to find last minute rates on a particular sailing is 2 to 85 days prior to departure.

The reason? This is the last call (for Royal Caribbean International, 7 nights cruise — for 90 days) for travelers to cancel existing reservations without penalty.

Most seasoned travelers know this, and many wait until the bitter end to make their final decision.

At that point, the cruise line will know exactly how many cabins are left — and if there are more spaces available than the cruise line would like, it will quickly (and frequently heavily) reduce the fare so that it can sell out the ship.

Here is your opportunity to take advantage of the ship not being fully booked, and save some money on a fabulous vacation with the cruise experts, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or Oasis of the Seas!

Let’s say you have a long weekend that was not anticipated.

Schedule a conference with me  and see if there is a cruise available to a desired destination – within your time frame and budget!

Deals on cruises during peak season

In general, you will not find peak travel times on sale!   There’s a reason why a cruise is being unloaded with little time to spare — and it’s not because it’s at high season!

Date-wise, you will not find travel bargains for Christmas, Easter, New Year’s or even Thanksgiving.  You might — but don’t hold out.  If holidays are the only time you want to travel, book those dates well in advance and you can be assured of the travel schedule.

On the flip side, you’re very likely to find plenty of variety in the Caribbean during peak hurricane season (September through early November) or during the pre-holiday (first week or two of December) and the post-holiday (first two weeks of January) travel quiet times.

But never rule anything out.

Some years, holiday cruises or peak summer sailings don’t sell out like they usually do, and there are surprise bargains on normally popular itineraries.

You may find that traveling “off peak” is much more enjoyable – less crowded and less stressful!

I have traveled several times at Christmas because I had the time off.  But, the weather was iffy, everything was crowded and the wait time everywhere was annoying.

Seriously, think about off peak travel.  It is so much more relaxing!

Nadia-jastrjembskaia-expert-Harmony-of-the-Seas
Nadia Jastrjembskaia, PhD. CLIA-certified cruise advisor in the rank of Elite Cruise Counselor

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