How to Save Hundreds on Your Next Cruise (Even If You Already Booked)

price alert save money cruise deal
Save hundreds on your fare with our price alert tool. - Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Cruise prices can fluctuate wildly, so we created a tool to help you monitor the prices of the sailings you're interested in. This is a pretty useful feature when you’re trying to save money on a cruise, but it's actually just as useful after you book. If the price drops when your cruise is still a few months away, there’s a chance you might be able to save some money by paying the lower price. It’s a feature we’re very proud of and one that has saved our members some serious cash. Here's a quick tutorial on how to set up a price alert, and how to know if you’re eligible.



1. How does it work?

cruise price drop email deal
If the price of your cruise changes, you'll get an email like this in your inbox.

Our 100% free price alerts will notify you by email when the price of a cruise you’re monitoring increases or decreases. It’s a great way to snag a deal when a cruise you like goes on sale.


2. But I’ve already booked my cruise…

price drop cruise alert deal save
Booking Early Saver on Carnival means you're (almost) always eligible for a refund if the price drops. - Photo by Carnival

Not a problem. You might still be eligible for a refund or upgrade! Just ask yourself these two questions:

Have you made the final payment? If you’ve already made the final payment (generally 60 to 90 days before your sail date), you’re likely out of luck. With one exception (more on that in a minute), cruise lines won’t honor lower prices after final payment, and if you try to cancel and rebook, you’ll almost certainly find that the cancellation penalty is greater than the savings.

Are you booked on a special rate? Some cruise fares are ineligible for price adjustments, including last minute deals, full- or partial-ship charters, and other special rates.


Tip: Carnival Early Saver Rates are the one special rate that guarantees you price drop protection up to two days prior to sailing. When you book Early Saver at least 3 months in advance for short cruises and 5 months in advance for sailings of 6+ nights, and pay for your cruise in full at the time of booking, if you find a lower, Carnival-advertised price up to two days before sailing, Carnival lets you choose between shipboard credit for the price difference or an equivalent category upgrade. Carnival offers the Early Saver program to encourage early bookings.

Haven't booked yet? Check our guide on How to Book a Cruise.


3. I think I’m eligible. How do I sign up?

Sign up on or using our app, Ship Mate.

Just head to our Price Alert Page and punch in the cruise you want to monitor. You can also sign up quickly while you search for cruises by clicking “Get Price Alert” below “View Deal” on any search results page, or use our app Ship Mate.


Tip: You don’t have to be a member to sign up, all we need is your email address. However, if you are a member, you can keep track of your price alerts from your logged in homepage.


Set Up a Price Alert!


4. I just got an email that the price of my cruise dropped… What do I do?

Apply for a refund or upgrade by phone or online. - Photo by Shutterstock

The price may have dropped but the cruise line won’t apply the lower rate for you automatically.

If you booked through an agent… Your agent needs to do the work for you and either reprice your reservation in the cruise line’s system, call the cruise line, or, in the case of Carnival’s Early Saver rates, file an online claim form.

If you booked through the line… You’ll need to contact the cruise line directly. Depending on their policies and the amount of the price drop, they may lower the rate on your reservation, give you onboard credit, or a offer free upgrade to a higher category cabin. If you have a specific preference among these three options, you can request it, but individual cruise line policies vary.


5. Things to Keep in Mind

These two cabins are both techincally "suites", but (obvoiusly) have very different prices. - Photo by Royal Caribbean

Pricing for specific categories may fluctuate independently. Our price drop updates alert you to the lowest available price in a “meta” category (Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, or Suite). The specific categories within each meta can vary, and just because one dropped doesn't mean they all have. If you don’t have a need to stay in a specific stateroom, rebooking to a lower priced category may allow you to take advantage of the savings offered by a price drop. Flexibility is key!

Cruise lines are not obligated to honor price drops. Most lines will offer some sort of compensation, but if for some reason the cruise line won’t honor the lower rate, canceling and rebooking is an option if there is no cancellation penalty. Still, there’s a chance that any travel insurance you purchased may not transfer to the new booking, and in most cases, you’ll need to pay at least a deposit on the new booking prior to your existing reservation being cancelled and refunded.


Set Up a Price Alert!

Join the discussion

Have you used price alerts to get money back?


Posted by EatSleepCruise

This is sounds like a great new tool. We always check the prices of cruises we book routinely to see if prices have changed. Normally, we book well in advance, 6+ months, and book inside cabins, so it is rare that we have seen prices change. However, our travel agent did once get a price drop for us after the price went down about $50, pp, for a cruise we booked, so monitoring the prices does payoff. Now, with price alerts, all the work is done for us and all we need to do is check our email! Bravo!

Posted by beachgirl644436

We always book ahead several months, but never had this app before w/the price alert. We are booked for a fall cruise, paid in full & our cruise price dropped! We were alerted, so called Carnival & recieved a refund of $750- to our CC - so amazing! Wish I had known about this before, but thanks sooo much!

Posted by KarenG56

We always book early saver rates on Carnival and I always checked the rates myself. I have gotten onboard credits quite a few times when the rate dropped. I am signed up for price alerts, but you only receive them if the base rate changes. You won't get notified if they add a special rate that's a little higher but includes free upgrades (which I've used to reduce my cost). So, I find myself checking the rate almost daily for any cruise I've booked. Also, with Carnival's Early Saver rate, you don't have to pay in full when you book. If you have a balance due and get a rate adjustment -- they reduce the amount you still owe. If you booked and had reduced deposits, you will want to make sure you have a large enough deposit or you could lose your reservation. If you booked using reduced deposits and find a lower rate -- call and get help with the rate reduction!

Posted by turnleys

This is a great tool if you reside in the US. Australian residents pay a lot more for cruises than our friends in the States. Its a pity that Australian residents cannot book a cruise through an American Travel Agent, In $US and pay the current exchange rate + 3% credit card conversion rate. It still works out a lot cheaper than booking with an Australian TA or through the Cruise Companies Australian website :(

Posted by laikanuki

If you are in Australia get a USA address to book a cruise in USA, worked for me and save me a packet

Posted by stephnep

I’m a first time cruiser and I’ve used this twice. Today, I called to request a price adjustment, and actually got it. A 4% drop. Doesn’t sound like much but it is $200. So...I’m feeling very pleased with myself right about now. Lol Thank you very much for this tool. This is a great site.

Posted by srfoxymom

How do you get these price alerts? What is the name of the app? Can you please share? Thanks in advance.

Posted by SimonTravels

You an sign up for our free price alerts right here on ( or on our Ship Mate app (

Posted by katnatjourney

We’re going to Alaska in May 2019 on RCL ovation of the seas. I was able to upgrade to a balcony stateroom from ocean view and save $360 using this service. I thought that I would not able to since I booked a non refundable rate, but my TA was able to get it changed. Thank you.

Posted by Dyzee

Are the prices shown US funds? I assume they are but I am in Canada. It makes a big difference.

Posted by SimonTravels

Dyzee, Unless otherwise noted, prices on are in US Dollars.

Posted by Sailing2020

Looking for Bermuda cruise out of New York or out of Boston the week before Easter 2020

Posted by PegLeg123

My only recommendation would be that with some cruise lines like RCCL, once you have paid the total balance due, they will not honor any current price reductions. Happened to me last year. Missed out about $300.

Posted by mtnflyer

I always book 9+ months ahead, so the prices can change many times. I think that I have always gotten one or more price drops on Celebrity. The latest price change on my next cruise got me a $600 price drop + $300 OBC. Sweet!

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