One question I get a lot is: "When is the best time to book a cruise?". Luckily I have the historic pricing data handy, so I don't have to guess.
But before we get into that, let's talk about cancellation fees.
Unlike flights, there is a big window of time where you can cancel a cruise and get your entire deposit back. For most cruises, this window is about three or four months before the cruise departs.
Many cruise agencies charge an additional cancellation fee. We think that's unfair and gets in the way of you maximizing your cruise budget, so we never charge any fees.
If you know which cruise you want to go on, take a look at its price graph on CruiseSheet. If it's at or near its minimum, and you're within the 100% cancellation period, book immediately. If the price goes down, just send me an email and we will rebook you at the lower price. That way you'll lock in the lowest price the cruise hits before the cancellation fees start.
On the other hand, cruises trend towards two points as the sailing date approaches: either very inexpensive or very expensive. If there's excess capacity on the ship, the line would rather sell a room for cost and hope to upsell you once you're aboard, but if there are few cabins left, they go for a premium price.
You can use this to your advantage if you don't care which ship you go on. For example, many ships make the transatlantic crossing from Europe to the United States in the fall. If you wait until the October to book, some of those ships will be sold out, but a few will have fares below $40 a day, including taxes.
So when should you book a cruise? If there's a specific cruise you have your heart set on, book it as soon as you can, and monitor the price. You can easily set a price alert with CruiseSheet to get notifications when the price drops. If you're less particular about the ship and itinerary, check out the last minute deals from your area. You may find the deal of a lifetime.
If you're still not sure when to book your cruise, email me and let me know what you're looking for. I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people find their perfect cruise, and I'd love for you to be the next success story.