In the cruising world, the earlier you book your cruise the better. Cruise lines have stated over the years about how late deals might not be the best deals and there is no better time to find the right sailing for you. Fortunately, nearly every cruising company has released their sailing programmes for the year and if nothing takes your fancy, then don’t panic, there will be plenty more sailings to be announced.
As we said above, late deals may not be the best deals and popular cruises can sell out quickly, leaving you with no choice but to pay a more expensive fare. Not just itineraries but cabin types can be an issue too. With the majority of the middle-tier staterooms usually being snapped up quickly, you may be forced into picking a higher or lower grade room, leaving you in a pricey dilemma or with a lacklustre cruising experience.
Some people may argue that deals fluctuate and waiting for the right deal for you is a better choice, but this can be misleading. Even if you were to have your gratuities pre-paid, waiting an additional three months may cause you to miss out on early booking discounts and offers. Weighing up the further cost of tips (which can be around $200 across your cruise, depending on length) against the saving that you can make on your cruise with 10% or 15% off, could give you an idea of which option is best. You can then start deciding where you want to spend your spare cash – in one of the ports or maybe on an upgrade? Plus, you won’t feel entitled to stay on board to make the most of your package.
(Tip: many cruise lines gratuities are optional, so you can have them taken off your bill at the end of your cruise.)
Arguably the most important detail to any cruise is the itinerary. This is what sets cruising apart from other travelling options, as you have the choice to see multiple cities while only unpacking once. Other more obvious benefits include amazing activities, delicious dining venues and stunning shore excursions, helping you to immerse in a life of luxury.
Booking early will allow you to secure your sailing and you won’t lose out on the itinerary of a lifetime. We suggest, once you have booked your sailing, doing a bit of research to find out what you would like to see at each port, where you want to eat and where the common tourist traps are.
Having something to look forward to is always a plus, especially after a long and stressful day at work. This will give you plenty of time to book any extras such as flights or shore excursions that you might need during your holiday. Flexibility is key before your cruise; if something important comes up, you can cancel your sailing and only lose the deposit. Cruise lines also tend to give the early bookers specific perks to sweeten the deal, such as free cabin upgrades and complimentary flights.
Booking early is always the safer option, your sailing will not only be secure but you will have more options than if you were to book later. We recommend families who are looking to get away during peak seasons book well in advance. Otherwise, you might not be able to get large or interconnecting cabins for the family.
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