5 Ways to Score a Deal on a Last-Minute Cruise
Looking for a last-minute cruise deal? Not sure where to start or how to research discounts on sailings? Following tips are the best ways to watch for bargains that could inspire you to book a cruise:
1. Sign up for alerts or price drops
Many travel agency websites have weekly — or even daily — email blasts that they send their customers to keep them informed on current promotions. Often, multiple agencies get the same rates, but it doesn’t hurt to sign up for a variety of deal “blasts” just to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
If you have a sailing (or a few) that you are interested in, sign up for a price drop to be notified via email when the price drops on the sailing.
2. Check out the “Deals” section on the cruise line’s website
All of the lines have a tab on their home page for the latest steals they’re offering on cruises. These are usually available for just a limited time — and only on specific sailings.
Also, check deals on Cruiseline.com where you can sort by destination, cruise length, percentage discount, and more!
3. Book in low or shoulder season
During winter, not only does the temperature drop but so do the prices for cruising This time of year is historically the low season for cruising. Except for holidays, most cruise lines see a dip in their occupancy, as many destinations — including the Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mediterranean — are most popular in the summertime. But remember, these are slow times for a reason: Research your itinerary and the average temperatures, as well as weather-related issues such as hurricane threats.
4. Check for rate cuts 90 days prior to sailing
Three months prior to sailing is a key date to remember, as that is when cruise lines typically discount unsold cabins. If there is a particular ship and sailing date you are most interested in, be sure to set a price alert to be notified if the price drops.
5. Be flexible with ports, times, and destinations
To get a really good deal on a cruise, you may have to be ready to travel on a whim. Although you may be able to find a great deal on a last-minute Caribbean cruise, it may not include your wish list of ports, so be open to trying other destinations. Remember, if you don’t live within driving distance of a major departure port — such as South Florida (Miami and Fort Lauderdale) or Galveston — you’ll have to factor in the cost of last-minute airfare, which will eat into your savings.
Join the discussion
What was the best deal you ever got on a cruise?