How to Find the Best Last-Minute Cruise Deals

Cruise ship in Piraeus Harbour, Athens, Greece. Photo via Wikimedia, by Leonid Mamchenkov.

Cruise ship in Piraeus Harbour, Athens, Greece. Photo via Wikimedia, by Leonid Mamchenkov.

If you’re booking a cruise, you’re going to want to know how to find last-minute cruise deals. Getting away from it all on a voyage like this can make the perfect holiday, but if consumers aren’t careful, they can end up spending a small fortune on their trip. Luckily, there are plenty of hints and tips available to help people when they’re planning their next adventures overseas.

The term, “last-minute cruise deals” can have a few different interpretations. It can refer to trips that depart anywhere between several days and a few months in the future. However imminently you plan to embark on your vacation, you can benefit from keeping a few tips in mind. For example, January through to March is known in the cruise industry as the “wave period”. Traditionally, this is the busiest time for bookings and cruise lines tend to offer impressive deals. Booking at this time of year can therefore save people all-important cash – but you’ve got to keep your eyes open for the best deals!

In general, last-minute rates on seaborne voyages are available anywhere from 60 to 90 days before departure, and this is the time to snap up offers. This is often the last call for travelers to cancel reservations without financial penalty and so, at this point, cruise lines know exactly how many cabins are left. If there is more space than the companies would like, they try to fill cabins quickly by offering lower prices.

Folks looking for a bargain shouldn’t pin their hopes on peak travel times such as Christmas, New Year, Easter and mid-summer. Although it’s sometimes possible to find bargains during these periods, prices tend to be higher. Conversely, there is more choice during off-season spells, like the first couple of weeks of December and January.

Thanks to the internet, there is plenty of choice out there for people to make the most of and it’s really important that holidaymakers shop around. Many agencies now have special web pages that focus on last-minute deals. If consumers don’t see anything they like, they can always call travel agents. Sometimes, these firms have low prices that they only tell customers about over the phone.

Also, you should beware the dangers of opting for cruises that seem like good deals but that in fact leave you out of pocket. For example, a cheap cruise could work out costing a lot if expensive airfares (to and from the city the cruise departs from) have to be factored in. Before you make up your mind, make sure you calculate all the major costs associated with any given trip.

For the very best deals, it helps if you are flexible. Booking late means that consumers tend to get what’s left after other, earlier planners have made their choices. Those who opt for last-minute deals are therefore less likely to get in-demand suites or prime cabin locations.

As long as you are flexible and logical when looking for last-minute cruise deals, you can often book an awesome holiday without breaking the bank.


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