Everyone loves to save money on their cruise vacation whenever possible. Cruises don't have to be expensive, but at the same time they are rarely cheap, and every pound or dollar saved is money you can invest in your next cruise.
Because you'll want to surf again. Trust in me.
So if you're looking for a bargain, you might be wondering which month is the cheapest to sail. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but in this guide I will help you narrow it down.
What is the cheapest month for a cruise?
The cheapest month to sail depends on where you sail. In the Caribbean, it's usually May or late September/early October, which is known as low season. To Europe, winter cruises are cheaper, although Christmas can be expensive.
There are a number of factors to consider when booking a cheap cruise, all of which can affect the price. Not surprisingly, heSummer Vacationtends to be the most expensive time.
Remember to also check the school holiday times for the countries relevant to your departure: Caribbean cruises are more expensive during school holidays in the US, while cruises to Europe are affected by typical US, UK holidays and Europe.
But it's not just about avoiding school holidays, not least because many cruises aren't necessarily geared towards families. Other factors are weather and general demand.
For Europe cruises and some Asia cruises, this may mean booking a cruise when the weather is not too hot. However, it may also encourage you to save money by not booking a balcony stateroom as it can be too cold to fully enjoy them.
On a Caribbean cruise, it's not so much the temperature, but "bad weather" refers more to the hurricane season.
Not a risk: Cruise ships are equipped with the latest technology to avoid hurricanes. But it could mean that the sea is a little rough and it could also mean last-minute changes to your itinerary.
A Caribbean cruise during hurricane season isn't a definitive list of places you'll sail to; call it Plan A.
Keep reading:What happens if there is a hurricane during the cruise?
And it's not something that can be specified for whole months. European cruises are generally cheapest in early December when the weather can be quite cold and rainy and demand is low as people prepare for the Christmas season rather than booking an actual holiday.
But if you look at the end of December, demand can be much higher and with it prices, because people tend to go and browse around Christmas.
Another possibility is to consider transatlantic cruises in the typical mid-April and September/October months, when ships move from the Caribbean to Europe or vice versa. If you don't care too much about your destination and just want a cheap cruise, you can often get great deals on these sailings.
Keep reading:How long does a transatlantic cruise last?
In short, there is not a single month that is the cheapest. However, if you want to be flexible with your departure date and save money, look into:
- When there are school holidays in the region you want to navigate from
- What is the weather like and how might it affect your cruise?
- For other reasons, demand can be low in this part of the world.
This will help you find the cheapest times of the year to browse.
Cheapest month for a Caribbean cruise
The cheapest months for a Caribbean cruise are May, September and October. The high season in the Caribbean is from December to April, when it is drier: the most favorable months tend to have more rain and the risk of hurricanes causes changes in itineraries.
On a cheap Caribbean cruise, be prepared for your itinerary to change while at sea, and there may even be some rare instances where you will be late returning to port. It is important that you are robust.travel insuranceto cover loss of money due to missed connections or flight changes.
The Caribbean is a good choice for cheap cruises as it is also home to many of the older cruise lines that are even cheaper.
Cheapest month for an Alaska cruise
The cheapest months for an Alaska cruise are April, right at the beginning of the season, and September, at the end. Schools are still open and the weather is a bit cooler and more unpredictable than in the summer months.
In Alaska, of course, this is less of an issue: It's not like a cruise ship is hottest from May to September, and you can still have rainy days quite often. So the "cons" that come with booking a month cheaper are not so great.
Alaska shore excursions are generally very expensive due to the type of tours you're likely to take, so it's wise to save money by booking during the off-season when possible.
Cheapest month for a cruise to Hawaii
The cheapest months for a Hawaii cruise are from November to early December. This is when the weather is a little cooler, it rains a little more, and the crowds are at their lowest.
Hawaii is dry and hot during the summer months, and in April, May, September and October it evens out the heat with some more refreshing showers. Therefore, the cheapest months to sail in Hawaii outside of these months are during the winter, from November to March, but not during the holiday season.
However, as rates are lower, many Americans book from mid-December through March to escape the winter chill, and this can push prices up a bit if demand is high. That's why November and early December are the best options.
When booking a cruise to Hawaii, you must consider whether you are flying to Hawaii or arriving from another coast of the United States or Canada. Why is Hawaii so remote?Cruises to Hawaii can be quite long, so this can make them expensive.
The cheapest month to sail in Europe
While your sailing opportunities may be very limited, as many ships have crossed the Atlantic to navigate the warmer winter waters, the most favorable months for sailing in Europe are November, early December, January and February. For a larger selection of boats, choose April or September.
Many cruise lines will move their ships from Europe to the Caribbean during the winter months because there is a much larger market there to make the most of the warm weather.
There are some limited options in Europe for the winter, but expect cold weather and rough seas, especially if you're sailing the Bay of Biscay at the moment; this is not the time to browse this area if you suffer from seasickness.
The cheapest month to cruise Australia
The cheapest month to sail in Australia is usually May. This is the winter season for the southern hemisphere and this is also when Australian schools normally have sessions at this time along with most UK and US schools. June and August are other good options.
Expect the weather to be a little cooler; it would be the same as booking a cruise in the US or Europe in September/October. But crowds should also be much lighter, as Australia's peak cruise season is usually December through April.
Definitely avoid the Christmas period as it tends to be the most expensive - schools are on holiday and the weather is at its best.
Cheapest month for a Disney cruise
While it depends on the ship and location, the cheapest month to book a Disney cruise is generally February, when most schools return to school. This is the best time if you have school-age children or want to get them out of school for your cruise.
As a guide, Disney (including cruises and land vacations) tends to raise its rates for special occasions. So booking a cruise in November and December usually means you'll get a special Christmas cruise. And the same goes for late September and October, which are fun Halloween cruises.
A February cruise is out of season and doesn't have a special theme, making cruises more expensive. But remember that if you are coming from Europe it can be more expensive as ships are more likely to be in the Caribbean at the moment, so you will also need flights.
Cheapest Month for a Carnival Cruise
The cheapest month to travel during Carnival depends on your destination. Most ships are based in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico, especially during the winter season, and the cheapest cruises are in February or late April, which is the low season of low demand.
For carnival cruises in Europe, the beginning of September is usually the cheapest time to travel, as it takes advantage of the end of the school holidays. But you pay a lot more than that in the Caribbean: about $850 for an inside cabin for 9 days, compared to $350 for an inside cabin in the off-season Caribbean.
The cheapest cruises are usually transatlantic cruises. While not the cheapest, they typically run $750 to $850 per person for a two-week cruise in an inside cabin.
Cheapest Month for a Royal Caribbean Cruise
The best month for a Royal Caribbean Caribbean cruise is October, when hurricane season brings more rain and possible itinerary changes. Royal Caribbean's cheapest Europe cruises usually run in May, outside of school holidays.
At Royal Caribbean and Carnival alike, the ship matters more than the destination. There are many older, smaller ships in their respective fleets that don't have the number of features or dining options, and these will be much cheaper than the older ones.newest ships.
So if you're lucky on an older ship and manage to find a crossing during one of these cheaper months, you might be able to snag a cruise for a fantastic price.
Keep reading: Royal Caribbean ships listed by age
the end result
Finding bargains is always a good idea when it comes to booking a cruise, but don't let that compromise your vacation. If you love the idea of a balcony stateroom, don't try to book a cruise when it's cold and rainy or you won't get the most out of it.
But if you don't mind the cold or the rain and just want the cheapest cruises and can be flexible on your chosen dates, we hope these tips will help you save even more and pay for even more US cruises. Future.
- How to Get Cheap Cruises: An Insider's Guide
- When to book a family cruise with free child seats
- Why are MSC cruises so cheap?
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Traditionally, the cheapest months to book a cruise have been January, February, and March, which are also known as "wave season." The trio of months often welcome industry-wide sales that can extend further than just a reduction on cruise fares.Which cruise line has the cheapest prices? ›
- 1 Celebrity Cruises - Celebrity Solstice.
- 2 Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Jade. ...
- 3 Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Sky. ...
- 4 Royal Caribbean - Oasis of the Seas. ...
- 5 Royal Caribbean - Mariner of the Seas. ...
- 6 Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Spirit. ...
There's No Best Day to Book
Cruise lines generally release their lowest fares when itinerary schedules are first published, and then run sales every so often to encourage bookings.
If you're on a budget, the cheapest time to cruise the Caribbean is between May and November, which overlaps with hurricane season for a few weeks. Fewer tourists visit the islands when it's rainy, leading to significantly lower prices for Caribbean cruises, hotels, and tours.What day do cruise prices drop? ›
Cruise prices are usually the cheapest furthest from the sailing date when first launched or 60-90 days before the cruise sets sail. The prices of some cruises will decrease last minute but this doesn't always happen. Booking a cruise within the last 60/90 days may not always be the best way to get a bargain.What is the off season for cruises? ›
If you want to avoid crowds, cruise in early May or late August. April, September, and early January.Which are normally the lowest cost cabins on a cruise ship? ›
Therefore, the cheapest way to cruise is generally in an inside cabin. On all big ships, the base rates you see are for interior rooms. Prices will typically increase for more desirable inside cabins with extra space or in a prime location, and rooms with windows or balconies.What is the highest quality cruise line? ›
- Norwegian Cruise Line. Score 78.98. MSC Cruises. ...
- Royal Caribbean International. Score 72.49. Carnival Cruise Line. ...
- P&O Cruises. Score 76.61. Azamara. ...
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Score 76.63. Star Clippers. ...
- Grand Circle Cruise Line. Score 89.47. ...
- Atlas Ocean Voyages. Score 88.78.
The price range for a 7-night cruise in the Caribbean will run between $400 - $4,000 on most lines in a balcony cabin. Keep in mind these cruise rates are an merely an estimate, and prices can vary wildly depending on the cabin type, time of year, how many people in the room, and cabin location.How much should I budget for a 7 day cruise? ›
Are you a big spender on the ship? Then your vacation will obviously end up costing more. But as you can see, on a per-person basis the cost for a 7-day cruise can run around $2,000 when you factor in everything you'll spend. Shorter cruises will run around $1,500.
- Don't Wait for Last-Minute Cruise Deals on High-Season Sailings. ...
- Hunt Down Shoulder Season and Repositioning Cruise Deals. ...
- Use Cruise Critic's Deal Score to Know When a Deal is Really a Deal. ...
- Bundle Up for the Best Cruise Deals. ...
- Ask for a Price Drop Credit When Cruise Fares Change.
The average cost of a 7-day cruise is $1,500 per person based on double occupancy. However, this price can range from $700 to $4,000 per person, depending on the cruise line and specific itinerary.What is the cheapest month to go on a Mediterranean cruise? ›
Cheap Mediterranean Cruises
In the Mediterranean, all ports are busy when the children are out of school in the summer months. The months of October through April offer the best prices, with early fall being the cheapest time of year to cruise.
The months of September to November can be a great time to plan a trip for folks looking for the cheapest time to go to the Caribbean. The month of September is the very peak of hurricane season, making it one of the best times to find low prices at some of the most desirable inclusive resorts.What is the best month for Caribbean cruise? ›
December through April is the peak season for Caribbean cruising. During this time, you'll experience the best weather and some of the most entertaining holidays and festivals.What are cruise prices right now? ›
- 2023 Cruise Deals from $418.
- 2024 Cruise Deals from $433.
- 2025 Cruise Deals from $544.
- Balcony & Suite Deals from $149.
- Best Cruise Ships from $219.
- Cheap Cruises from $236.
- Family Cruises from $224.
- Holiday Cruises from $274.
Travel is not cheap right now. For those who want to escape this summer, that means splurging, whether you're filling your tank for a road trip or buying a pricey flight. But there's an exception these days: cruises. Cruise fares remain cheap as the industry recovers from pandemic lows.How many days is best for a cruise? ›
If you're bringing the whole family, a 5 or 7 day cruise might be the best way to make sure everyone has an awesome getaway. And for those lucky folks with even more time to spare, a cruise of 10 days or more will give you an incredible experience of all the best things a cruise has to offer.Do you need a passport for cruises? ›
Do I need a passport? We recommend that everyone taking a cruise from the United States have a passport book. Though some “closed-loop” cruises may not require a U.S. passport, we recommend bringing yours in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected medical air evacuation or the ship docking at an alternate port.Why are cruises so cheap right now? ›
Analysts say the differential in pricing is partly the result of the long shutdown of the cruise industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many cruise lines canceled cruises by the hundreds every few months during the pandemic, eventually remaining shut down for more than a year.
starboard side of the ship is best to stay on. Your decision will depend on a variety of factors, from your stateroom type to your cruise itinerary. Here are helpful tips for choosing which side of the ship will suit you best.Where are the cheap rooms on a cruise ship? ›
The standard (and least expensive) room on any cruise ship is typically called an inside or interior stateroom. These cabins often sleep three to four people and are located in the middle of the ship, with no exterior view of the vessel's surroundings.Are older cruise ships cheaper? ›
Plus, older cruise ships tend to be priced lower than newer ships in the fleet, with the potential to save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a cruise vacation.What is the number 1 cruise ship? ›
The lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you will feel. Even if you choose a balcony room, choose a low level and a room closest to the ship's center. The higher decks and cabins at the front (forward) or back (aft) of the ship will rock and roll the most.Which part of cruise ship is most stable? ›
The big allure of a midship cabin is its stability. You won't feel the rocking of the sea in a midship cabin nearly as much as you will in a cabin toward the front or back of a vessel. This is because ships are like teeter-totters. They pitch forward and back around a central axis that barely moves.
Bottom Line: As a rough guide, for a 7-night cruise you will need to bring enough clothing for at least 4 formal or semi-formal nights, a couple of casual evenings, pool and loungewear, and practical clothing for excursions on dry land.How much is a week cruise to the Bahamas? ›
We looked at a sample of weeklong cruises to the Bahamas across multiple cruise lines in fall 2023. Based on our findings, we've determined an average base price for roughly weeklong cruises to be $570.Are cruise prices all inclusive? ›
Cruises are all-inclusive. Meals, limited drinks and accommodation are all included in the base cruise fare. There are a number of exclusions, alcohol, gratuities, excursions, WiFi and speciality meals usually cost extra.What is a good amount of money to take on a cruise? ›
What Is The Average Amount of Cash to Bring on a Cruise? On a cruise, most guests bring between $100-$120 in cash per day to be spent on transportation, tips, gifts, food, and shopping. In a survey of 850 cruisers, 71% stated that they took over $100 per person per day when cruising.
So How Much Cash Should I Take on a Cruise? As a general rule, plan to have $50 to $100 each day in the local currency. Also, you may want to bring an extra $20 a day for tipping crew members. Make sure to include smaller bills for tips.Is it cheaper to cruise alone? ›
A good rule of thumb is that you can generally expect solo cruise cabins to start out priced higher than the per-person rate for a double-occupancy stateroom, but lower than the rate for a single person booking a double-occupancy stateroom, when factoring in the single supplement.Can I bring cash on a cruise ship? ›
You are certainly welcome to bring cash to enjoy your vacation experience. There are ATM services onboard and limited currency conversion services. There is a withdrawal fee to use the ATMs onboard.What does 2 for 1 cruise fare mean? ›
you pay one price, for example the trip is 6500.00 you get two tickets for the price of one that's all... cut that fare in half that's what you pay per person..How can I avoid cruise taxes? ›
- Ask the clerk for a the tax-free form and fill it out in the store.
- When leaving the country where you made your purchase, take your purchases, your receipt, your passport and the form to the customs desk and have your form stamped.
Do cell phones work on cruise ships? It's a common question with varying answers. Guests are free to utilize their cellular data or connect to our onboard Wi-Fi on any ship. But, please be aware that cellular data used on the ship or in certain ports of call will result in charges from your cell phone provider.How much does the average person spend on drinks on a cruise? ›
Prices start at about $18, per person, per day, and go up from there, depending on the cruise line and which drinks are included. Standard alcohol packages average $55 to $65 per person, per day, and the price likewise varies both by cruise line and drink inclusions.How much does a cruise ship captain make? ›
While there's no explicit salary data for a cruise ship captain, the average annual salary for a captain is $92,125 per year . These salaries can vary for several reasons, such as a captain's work experience, their certifications, licensure, employer and other accreditations.What is the safest month to go on a cruise? ›
November through April is the dry season, and these months are marked by unbelievably clear days when almost any plans you make are safe from the weather's interruption. For this reason, the dry season is one of the best times to go on a cruise to the idyllic Caribbean islands.What is the best month to cruise Europe? ›
The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are practically the best time to explore Europe via cruise holiday. So, ideally, you should book your cruise to Europe in April and May or September and October. This is if you wish to enjoy smaller crowds, decent weather, and reasonable prices.
July to August is one of the peak seasons for tourism in Mediterranean region when weather is weather is hot and sunny and water is warm. This is the perfect time of the year to enjoy the sea and soak up sun. However, May to June and September to October is the best time to take a Mediterranean cruise.What is the cheapest Caribbean island to stay at? ›
- The Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean, with options that will suit any traveler. ...
- Puerto Rico. ...
- Jamaica. ...
- Curaçao. ...
- Barbados. ...
- U.S. Virgin Islands.
On average, you can say The Dominican Republic is the cheapest Caribbean island to visit if you are searching for value-for-money all-inclusive deals. The most costly places to visit in the sunny Caribbean are St. Barthelemy and Anguilla.What is the safest and cheapest Caribbean island? ›
What is this? The U.S. Department of State rates Anguilla as one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, with a threat level of one (the lowest possible number). While petty theft does occur, visitors who leave their valuables at home (or in their hotel room) aren't likely to fall victim to this crime.
There are two Caribbean seasons: high and low. The high season runs from mid-December to mid-April and the low season is from June to November.What is the rainiest month in the Caribbean? ›
Rainfall/sea conditions: The rainy season kicks in by September for most of the Caribbean, continuing until November. October is the rainiest month for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.What month is best to cruise to Mexico? ›
This comes with torrential rains, strong winds and high humidity. Some restaurants, accommodations and other service may also close for the season in summer. All things considered, November, January, February and March are probably the best time to cruise to Mexico.What is the best month to cruise in the Caribbean? ›
December through April is the peak season for Caribbean cruising. During this time, you'll experience the best weather and some of the most entertaining holidays and festivals.Do cruise ship prices go down? ›
Like airfare, cruise fares can move up and down over time (though not near as drastically). If you book a cruise and see the price drop later, you should call the cruise line and request a refund of the difference. Many last-minute cruise fares (those sold within 30-45 days from the sail date) have their prices locked.What is the cheapest month to cruise Mexico? ›
Cheapest Time To Cruise To Mexico
While you can sail to Mexico year-round, the summer months are too hot for enjoyment. The cheapest time of year to cruise to Mexico is October to January, except for holiday cruises. I had sailed in both September and February when it was still hot but comfortable.
Cruise lines typically have discounted rates to fill up the ship in January; the same cruise departing at the height of the busy summer can cost hundreds of dollars more than in January. As well, when winter has gripped most of North America, the Caribbean still offers a warm getaway with lots of sunshine.How much money should I bring on a 7 day cruise? ›
As a general rule, plan to have $50 to $100 each day in the local currency. Also, you may want to bring an extra $20 a day for tipping crew members. Make sure to include smaller bills for tips. Fifty to a hundred dollars a day should be enough to cover small purchases, tips and snacks at each port.What is the cheapest month to cruise to Hawaii? ›
September through mid-December and mid-April through mid-June is the off-season or shoulder season for Hawaiian cruises. If you are looking for an affordable Hawaiian cruise vacation, shoulder season is a wonderful time to sail to Hawaii.What is the most expensive month to go to Mexico? ›
High season is considered to be November and December. The cheapest month to fly to Mexico is March.Are cruises cheaper than hotels? ›
Generally, the base cruise fare will be cheaper when comparing similar vacations. The amount of extra purchases you make for tours, drinks, spa treatments and other extras will really determine whether a cruise or resort is the better deal for you.Is January too cold for a cruise? ›
January is the perfect time to get away on a cruise. However, it can be the peak season for many of the warmer destinations. If you are willing to go last minute, you can often find great deals on a Caribbean cruise.