People are always on the hunt for a great deal—especially on big-ticket items like travel. If you’re like most people, you’ve likely spent days or even weeks searching and waiting for the lowest possible price on that airplane ticket you need. And there are all kinds of tricks and tips out there, like booking on a Tuesday or waiting until approximately six weeks before your trip. But what about booking a cruise? Is there a trick to getting the best prices on this form of luxury travel? Keep reading to learn when the best time is to book your cruise.
Generally speaking, the best time to book a cruise is actually right now! January to March is what those of us in the travel industry call “Wave Season.” This is the time of year when cruise lines and travel agencies alike are posting the most deals—and usually the best deals—for cruises. Not only are you likely to see significant drops in ticket prices right now, but you may also find other promotions like free upgrades, onboard spending credit, or prepaid gratuities.
So, if you’ve been thinking about taking a cruise, now might actually be the perfect time to book it! You can check out our own Wave Season promotions on our Deals page, where you’ll find deals that are specific to our agency, as well as promotions being offered by certain cruise lines.
Waiting and Tracking
If you’re not booking during Wave Season, then getting the best price on your cruise is quite similar to getting the best price on your airplane ticket: It involves a lot of watching and waiting for the perfect time to snap up that deal. Unfortunately, cruise prices can be a lot more difficult to track than ticket prices for a flight. So, if you’re planning to try this, we recommend having one of our travel agents do it for you.
Unlike airline flights, however, you won’t normally see a sharp increase in prices for a last-minute booking. Most often, the closer you are to the cruise’s launch date, the lower the ticket prices and the better the deals. Cruise lines want to fill up as many of those cabins as they can before they set sail, so the longer you’re willing to wait, the more likely you are to get the deal of a lifetime on that cruise.
The Trouble with Waiting
Of course, waiting to book that cruise does have its drawbacks. Even though prices aren’t likely to start climbing again once you get close to the travel date, you do risk having the ship fill up before you book. Or, even if the ship doesn’t completely fill up, you’ll have more limited options when it comes to which cabin you get and what amenities may be available to you. So, if you have specific expectations for your cruise, you may not want to wait too long.
Cruising during Peak Seasons
Again, like airline travel, cruises will be more expensive during peak travel seasons. Summer cruises and holiday cruises are going to be in much higher demand, so if you want to cruise at this time of year, you should expect to pay a bit more. Additionally, it’s not a great idea to wait and track the prices for too long. Cruises during peak seasons are going to fill up a lot more quickly, so that cruise you’ve been patiently tracking the price of may get completely booked before you have a chance to snap up a great deal.
Generally speaking, for peak cruising seasons, you should book your cabin as soon as you possibly can rather than waiting for a deal. However, you may still be able to get a good deal or promotion if you book that peak-season cruise during Wave Season.
Booking with a Travel Agent
One of the greatest benefits of booking a cruise through a travel agent is that you don’t have to spend time worrying about these kinds of things. Our experienced agents know the best times to book and can help you get a fantastic deal on your cruise or travel package. Give us a call today and let us know what kind of cruise you’re dreaming of. We’ll start looking for the best prices right away.
And remember, it’s currently Wave Season! So this is the best time of year to schedule your getaway. Contact us to start planning your vacation today.