One of the best things about a cruise vacation is that months of planning aren’t necessarily needed before you go. Of course, lots of folks do book their trips pretty far in advance. But that doesn’t have to be the rule. A last-minute reservation on a cruise ship isn’t just possible, sometimes it’s desirable.
The Beauty of a Booking a Last-Minute Cruise
Many cruise lines sell last-minute bookings, whether you’re interested in traveling to the Caribbean, Alaska’s Inside Passage, northern Europe or even, say, Japan. With this type of fare, cruise ship companies are simply trying to fill unsold rooms. Cruises can be booked as little as one week before departure; just enough time to pack and go!
Space is usually limited. So, travelers might not get their first choice in destination or cabin beyond general preferences (say, the Eastern Caribbean over the Western Caribbean, or a mid-ship stateroom) but for folks who can be flexible, it’s a great way to make a luxurious vacation more affordable. Depending on what’s available, the last-minute booking options may also present the opportunity to see someplace you’d have never thought of going.
Cost Savings for Cruisers
In general, the fare for this kind of trip may be cheaper, too. Any room that sails empty costs the cruise line money. The company would rather sell the ticket for that room at a lower price than not sell it at all. And so for the savvy traveler, it’s possible to book a cruise for less than what the original fare was for that particular sailing.
Checking the cruise lines’ websites regularly, getting on their email list, or working with a reputable travel agent can help travelers keep an eye on fares and know when to buy in order to get the best deal. It can be a great way for a first-time cruiser to check out this style of vacationing without spending a lot of money.
A Pre-Planned Vacation, Just Waiting for You
With a cruise, the ports of call are already arranged. And once booked, it’s like an instant vacation. For folks with unpredictable schedules, who don’t like detail-oriented vacation planning, or who are apt to spontaneously decide to take a few days and get away somewhere, this is an ideal travel situation. There’s no hassle in making multiple reservations, figuring out where to stay or how to get there, and coordinating activities. A cruise allows passengers to participate in as much or as little as they like, making it a versatile and flexible vacation choice with minimal effort.
Cruise lines often reduce the prices on unsold cabins as the departure date of a cruise grows near. Not everyone can drop everything and book a cruise on short notice. But for those who can, booking a last-minute cruise is a great opportunity to grab a good deal on a vacation.