What is the cheapest time of year to book a cruise?

The best time of year to book a cruise is usually from January to March. During this period, also known as wave season, sales take place across the industry and the price of the cruise you've been dreaming of can drop significantly. You can often find the cheapest cruise rates right when new cruise itineraries are released. We tend to find that cruise rates increase over time as more cabins are booked, so booking early usually guarantees the best price.

You'll find expert advice for first-time or experienced travelers, as well as guides to ports and destinations. Knowing when cruise lines are likely to offer promotions will help you develop strategies, but sales can increase at any time and not all promotions offer the cheapest rates. If you're traveling with children and have specific cabin requirements, it's best to book earlier than at the last minute. Currently, a cruise line can accept a reservation just a few hours before sailing, as long as boarding is still open and the ship's manifest (list of passengers and crew members on board) has not been presented to the authorities.

Whether you cruise several times a year or are new to the world of cruises, the purpose of the Royal Caribbean blog is to make it a useful resource to keep you up to date with news and emotions from Royal Caribbean. Price tracking allows you to observe the rise and fall of cruise fares over time, so that when fares fall, you'll recognize the price as an offer and you can jump right into it. While this can lead to big savings, a certain level of flexibility is needed before booking a cruise at the last minute. In the cruise industry, any cruise purchased after the final payment due date, generally between 60 and 90 days before the trip, is considered a last-minute reservation.

Even if you have a cruise about a few weeks or months away, it's almost always best to book a future cruise that interests you while you're at home and not wait to book the cruise on board. Booking in advance allows you to get the best price and have the most flexibility in terms of boats, cabins and itineraries. The best months to book a cruise are from January to March, when almost every cruise company launches some kind of “wave season” promotion, and from November to December, when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales usually start long before Thanksgiving and end days or weeks later. If all cruise cost factors are the same, the cheapest time to go on a cruise is when most others are busy or don't want to go on that same trip.

This is because the cruise fare may increase in the weeks or months leading up to your cruise, negating any additional savings in the onboard credit you would receive when booking on board. If you want to save money sailing with Carnival Cruise Line, a new study indicates that the best time to book is 10 weeks before your cruise. Only vaccinated travelers who are a short drive from the cruise port should try to book a cruise a few days before sailing. I guarantee that your cruise line will offer promotions during the winter, but that doesn't mean it's the best time to book.

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

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