If you’ve got the guts to wait, you can secure some pretty amazing last minute cruise deals: getting the same wonderful experience for the whole family, for a whole lot less than it would have cost if you had booked well in advance. That’s because the cruise companies would rather fill a ship than take it half empty – so to them it’s worth the drop in price. To you, it’s worth its weight in gold!
- The first thing you need to know is that the window of opportunity for a last minute cruise has changed from what it was. Heightened security measures in all forms of travel mean that you are unlikely to get any last minute deals within the final 48 hour period before your ship sails.
- Know the industry. A last minute fare, according to cruise companies, is a ticket for a ship that sails within the next 2-6 months. So you can actually start planning your potential cruise half a year in advance. Leave it until the last minute (two months) and you stand to get an excellent deal.
- Be realistic. Be aware, of course, that by their very nature last minute cruises are not the same as cruises completely planned on your terms. If you are lucky you will get the same trip that you would have planned anyway – but that’s not really very likely. So be prepared to make compromises on your dream cruise, to get the massively reduced price of a last minute departure.
- Know when to try. Peak season include Christmas and New Year. Book just before peak season and you stand a good chance of getting a deal. Go in peak season and you are very unlikely to find one. Not that you shouldn’t try – but you should be prepared for a lack of success.
- Know your window. Most cruise lines allow their passengers to cancel up to 60 days before embarkation with no penalties. Therefore, when you get inside the 60 day window you have the most chance of picking up on someone else’s cancellation. Because the line has already refunded a full berth to the cancelling customer it is likely to give you a deal rather than leave the berth empty.
- Know the difference between occupancy and per person. It would be heartbreaking to think you had scored a really cheap cruise deal for your family, only to find out that you have signed up to pay that amount per person rather than in total. The difference between paying for occupancy and paying per person can be huge. Make sure you enquire carefully about exactly what you are being quoted for.
- Be sure to research the kind of berth you are being offered. Even on luxury cruise liners there are some berths that you wouldn’t want to take if you could avoid it. Request information about the interior arrangements of the berth and its position on the ship.
- Finally, be very clear about extra fees you may incur. There are all sorts of charges that can be levied in addition to the price of a ticket – port fees, service charges and taxes for example. When you’re booking a last minute cruise you want to pay less, so be sure that you are going to pay less and that the additional fees incurred don’t ramp the price of your cruise up to a level that your budget is incapable of sustaining.
About The Author:The above article is written and composed be Roxanne Peterson who is associated with many travel and living communities as their freelance and staff writer. She writes articles in her free time which are related to summer and winter holidays, Golf Holidays, family vacation plans etc.