There can be a lot to consider and understand when you are booking a cruise. For many people, this is not only a sizable investment but it is also the only vacation that they will take during the year, so they want to get it right. Knowing a few tips from seasoned cruise travelers can come in handy when you are getting ready to book your dream cruise vacation.
Booking early offers several advantages. Not only are you likely to get a great price, but you will also have a lot of options that might not be available to those who book later or last minute. You can request a specific area of the ship or a type of cabin that is more unique and have a very good chance of getting exactly what you are asking for. But wait until that three month from departure timeframe and you will need to settle for what is still available. It is also important to know that you should continue to monitor the cruise pricing even after you book. Unlike airfare, many cruise lines will allow you to change your reservation or amend your booking to take advantage of cheaper pricing. In some cases, you can simply request a refund or credit for the difference, but other times you will need to cancel the original reservation and rebook at the new cheaper price.
If you are flexible on your booking dates and even the destination, you can also get some great deals by booking last minute. Booking during the low season can also secure some very reasonable rates. But before you snatch up a cruise in the coming weeks, be sure that you check out the cost of any airfare that you might need to get to the ship. In some cases, the last minute flight can be a deal breaker.
It might sound hard to believe, but there are times when using a travel agent will save you money. In many cases, the travel agency will buy a large block of cabins and resell them. If the cabins are not booking fast enough, sometimes the agent will sell a few cruises at a rate that is less than the cruise line charges passengers. It is also nice to be able to call your travel agent to request changes to your reservation, rather than having to call the cruise line.
Keep these few ideas in mind when you begin your search for the perfect cruise vacation. Knowing the best way to book your cruise is almost as important as knowing which cruise you want to book.