Looking for last minute cruise deals? With a little flexibility, some insight and a few smart tips, you can be on your way to a fun-filled cruise vacation that wonâ€™t break the bank!
Whatâ€™s the Deal with Last Minute Deals?
With the popularity of early-booking and increased demand for cabin space, one would think that there may not be many last minute deals to be found. Think again. With only a few weeks left before sailing, some cruise lines are so motivated to fill every last inch of space, they are willing to offer deep discounts to all of those procrastinators out there and of course, those holding out for a good deal. So, hereâ€™s your first tip: Get on a waiting list.
Get on a Waiting List
Deal seekers can always count on cancellationsâ€”that means spaces that need to be filled. If you place your name on several waiting lists, chances are you will have a fair amount of hot last-minute deals to choose from. All you have to do is call the cruise line youâ€™re interested in or a travel agent to be put on a waiting list. Your agent or cruise line will contact you if a cabin suddenly opens up at the last minute. Itâ€™s always a good idea to be flexible about cabin class, which brings us to tip #2: Be flexible about cabin class.
Be Flexible About Cabin Class
Cruisers looking for a deal should note that the most expensive and unfortunately, the lease expensive cabins are always the first to go. Most of the cabin deals will be in the middle classes. If youâ€™re not set on a certain location on the ship or you donâ€™t need a top-tier suite, you are more likely to find a last minute deal your wallet will be happy with. While there are many, many rooms to choose from on most cruise ships, bargain hunters will find even more rooms on the biggest shipsâ€”tip #3: Seek out lots of inventory.
Look for Lots of Inventory
The more inventory (cabins) a ship has, the easier it is to land a deal. Carnival is the largest and most successful cruise line afloat. The majority of its fleet is in the Caribbean, so if thatâ€™s where youâ€™re hoping to vacation, you have a good chance of finding last minute deals through Carnival. Other large cruise lines include Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Cunard Line which includes Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2â€”two of the largest cruise ships afloat. Deals on these large cruise lines and many others can be found year-around, but certain times of the year make it easier to deal hunt than others.
Search for Deals During Downtimes
If youâ€™re not dead set on a certain date, try cruising during low season or non-peak times. September through December is a great time to find cruise deals as well as during the Month of May. Deals are also plentiful the first two weeks of December as well as the first few weeks of January following the holidays. Looking for Mediterranean Cruise deals? Mediterranean sailings in March, April, October and November tend to fill at a much slower pace than summertime cruises.
Last tip – to find cruise deals check out Hotwire.comâ€™s â€œHotwire Top Values.â€? www.hotwire.com.