If you're planning a vacation, you might be wondering which month is the cheapest to book a cruise.
There's nothing wrong with saving a little money on your cruise fare, it just means you can spend more on excursions, cocktail parties or other vacations!
Cruise pricing is dynamic; H. they vary depending on itinerary, time of year, age of ship and planned departure. That is, the same itinerary on the same ship can be cheaper in October than in July.
Additionally, as availability decreases on all cruises, cruise lines will begin to increase prices on remaining staterooms.
Here's everything you need to know about when to book a cruise to get the most bang for your buck.
keep reading:What is the cheapest month for a cruise?
When can I book a cabin?
Once the cruise company releases future itineraries, which are usually twice a year, any cabin can be reserved until the week of departure! You can plan your vacation nearly two years in advance or hop on a last-minute cruise on the spur of the moment.
Most cruise lines currently have voyages up to April 2025 posted on their websites and available for booking. This means that if you're looking to book an Alaska cruise for June 2025, you'll have to wait a little longer.
If you want a luxury suite like the exclusive Concierge Tower Suite aboard Disney Wish, we recommend booking as early as possible before new itineraries launch. Despite the high price, they tend to sell out quickly, often over a year in advance. The same goes for Royal Caribbean's Ultimate Family Suite.
keep reading:The 7 Best Suites on Large Ship Cruises
Traditionally, these were the cheapest months to book a cruise.January, February and March, also known as "wave season". The trio of months often welcome industry-wide sales that can go beyond a simple reduction in cruise fares.
You might find a promotion that offers free upgrades, prepaid gratuities, or onboard credit to spend however you like. Sometimes the plans are similar to those available during the rest of the year, but the added benefits will get you a little more bang for your buck. Who doesn't want an extra $50 (or more) that you can spend onboard on things like spa treatments, excursions, drinks or eventraining costs.
Unfortunately, due to increased demand, some cruise lines do not offer deals as they have in the past.
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales, support and commercial services for Royal Caribbean,said a group of travel agentsduring a webinar that demand for new bookings is so high that they see higher prices.
"In the past, when the cruise industry has had a strong uptick like what we're experiencing now, prices are going up and we're not seeing all the dilution of current prices and we're not seeing that now... We're definitely seeing prices going up ’ Freed said.
Here are some ongoing wave season deals:
- Carnival Cruise Line: Up to 40% off cruise fares, reduced deposits and up to $50 onboard credit.
- Celebrity Cruises Semi-Annual Sale: Receive 75% off the second guest, save up to $800 per stateroom and receive up to $800 in shipboard credit.
- Holland America Line: Up to 30% off cruise fares, complimentary balcony upgrade and up to $400 onboard credit.
- MSC Cruises: up to $200 onboard credit and children travel free.
- Norwegian Cruise Line Free at Sea: Free second guest + Unlimited Open Bar, specialty dining, Wi-Fi, cruise credit and more.
- Princess Cruises Best Deal: Up to 35% off cruise fares, reduced deposits and up to $150 onboard credit.
- Royal Caribbean International: 30% off all cruises, up to $100 off, and kids travel free.
Please note that these offers aresubject to changeand may not be available long after this article is published. However, they can give you an idea of what to expect in the future.
In general, the cheapest time to book a cruise is as soon as possible. As the summer months approach and trips continue to fill up, base prices will increase.
very popular matches
When it comes to high-demand travel, such as maiden voyages or holiday trips, the cheapest time to book is when itineraries are published. These cruises are not just about the price, but also about making sure you get the cabin you want, as they are likely to sell out quickly.
Royal Caribbean's inaugural Icon of the Seas cruise initially sold out24 hours. Effective February 1, 2023, there will be no Inside, Ocean View or Balcony staterooms. If you want to be one of the first to board Royal Caribbean's new class of ships, it will cost at least $7,350 per person, double occupancy for a guaranteed junior suite.
As of February 1, 2023, the cheapest sailing on Icon of the Seas is October 19, 2024. Interiors start at $1,024 per person based on double occupancy. When itineraries were first published in October 2022, the cheapest trip was around $985 per person in a double occupancy. As more voyages are booked for the ship's inaugural season, we expect prices to continue to rise.
If you're hoping to sail on New Year's Eve, you'll likely get the best price by booking as early as possible.
If we compare two trips aboard Carnival Celebration from December 31, 2023 to January 7, 2024 and from December 29, 2024 to January 5, 2025, we find that the latter departure is cheaper, although the itineraries are exactly the same same are Amber Cove, San Juan and Santo Tomás.
An Inside Stateroom for this year's New Year's Cruise starts at $989 per person based on double occupancy, while the 2025 Ringing Cruise starts at $929 per person. At nearly $1,000 per person, suites are the most notable price difference. Because these are popular cruises, prices will continue to rise as more staterooms are sold and the holiday season approaches.
The bottom line is that if you plan on sailing during a popular holiday week (or even a weekend such as Labor Day), book as early as possible to maximize your savings and secure your spot.
Should you wait until the last minute?
Be careful if you expect too much on last minute cruises, they are a thing of the past. Many cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, reported record sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In other words, cruise lines no longer have an incentive to cut prices that low. The demand is there and many trips are busy.
If, for some reason, there is a cruise with a few empty cabins close to the departure date, it is very likely that the cruise company will lower the price to try to sell the cabin. Of course you have to be flexible. A last-minute cruise deal could mean you end up paying double (or triple) the airfare, sailing on a smaller ship with fewer bells and whistles, or visiting ports of call you're not too fond of.
Also, you might find yourself stuck in a cabin you didn't want, as the last cabins available are often the ones other guests didn't want. If you're hoping for a bargain for a suite or cabin with a veranda, don't be surprised if only the interior rooms remain.
I did a quick search on the Royal Caribbean website for cruises departing February 2023 and the cheapest result was a 3-night cruise aboard Navigator of the Seas, departing the 21st from Los Angeles, California to Ensenada, Mexico. An inside cabin currently starts at $399 per person based on double occupancy.
The same cruise starts at $281 per person for a voyage departing June 2, 2023. In fact, all three cruises on the same itinerary departing in June are cheaper than those in February.
Another downside to booking a cruise at the last minute is that prices are often locked in, meaning you cannot change the price as you will have to pay for the holiday in full when booking. Depending on your cruise line and the type of fare booked, you may be eligible for price protection.
if you or yourTravel agency, please note that the cruise fare decreases after you have made your deposit and before making the final payment, you may qualify for a lower fare.
While it's possible to find a great last-minute cruise deal, it's probably best to book your trip in advance to give yourself more time to plan. There are no guarantees when it comes to waiting for a last minute cruise and you may end up opting to cruise instead of setting sail on the voyage of your dreams.
keep reading:Unsold Cruise Staterooms: How to Find a Deal When Ships Aren't Full
The cheapest month to book a cruise will be whenFuture itineraries are published for the first timeor during the waves season months ofJanuary, February and March.
While that doesn't mean you can find a lot on cruises all the time, keep in mind that demand for cruises is currently high, so much so that some cruise lines have had to raise their prices during this year's wave. . season to combat demand.
If you're postponing your cruise vacation booking, we recommend paying your deposit as soon as possible while the surf season is still in progress and ensuring your rate includes price protection. If in six months or a year you notice that the rate has dropped, just call the carrier and ask them to accept the lower rate! And if the rate doesn't go down, you'll be happy knowing you got the lowest possible rate.
Do cruise prices get cheaper closer to the date? ›
Cruise prices do not get cheaper closer to the sailing date in all cases. 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.What day of the week do cruise prices drop? ›
You might want to consider what day of the week to search for cruises, says cruisewatch.com, a search engine for cruise price drop. According to an elaborate study that took into consideration more than 600,000 data points, cruise prices drop lowest in the middle of the week with Thursday seeing most discounts.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.What time of year is the cheapest to cruise the Caribbean? ›
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.How far in advance should I book a cruise for best price? ›
Experts say it's best to book a cruise six to 12 months ahead for the best price, but you might be able to snag a better deal if you have the flexibility to wait a bit longer.Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise? ›
Balcony cabins are great for giving you that much needed bit of personal space when you're both in the room. If he wants to nap but you're wide awake, a balcony offers you a place to hang out without worrying if you're making too much noise or using too bright lights.Is it cheaper to call and book a cruise? ›
Your rate is likely to be the same (or at least very close) to what you'd pay online. In addition, you can also get perks like onboard credit if you book on the ship.What are the worst months to take a cruise? ›
Storms in August and October have a moderate risk of developing into hurricanes while September has the highest risk of all. For these reasons, September is the worst month of the year to take a cruise.Will cruise prices drop for 2022? ›
Cruise lines will have to lower prices in the second half of 2022 to fill ships because cumulative bookings are "in a deep hole" compared with 2019 levels, according to a report written by Truist Securities equity research analyst C. Patrick Scholes.What is the average cost of a 7 day Caribbean cruise? ›
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.
What is the cheapest month to go to the Caribbean? ›
The cheapest time to go to the Caribbean is during the low season, which generally runs from May through August. The cheapest months are May and June. If you do not mind some rain showers during your vacation, you can score great deals for a Caribbean vacation.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.How much should I save for a 7 day cruise? ›
They provide the ultimate cruise experience. You should expect to pay at least USD 5,000 per person for a 7-day cruise.What day do cruise prices change? ›
Cruise prices change every day.Do cruises get cheaper the closer to departure? ›
As any seasoned traveler knows, you'll often find lower rates or free add-ons as the departure date approaches and the cruise line works to fill the ship.Can you not pay cruise gratuity? ›
Q: Can you refuse to pay gratuities added to your bill? Yes, though cruise lines highly discourage it and will work with guests if they are not satisfied with the service on their voyage to adjust the fee to lesser gratuities if necessary.Is it cheaper to cruise alone? ›
Cruise lines offering solo cabins quote fares averaging about 125 to 160 percent more, when compared to the per-passenger rates in shared double-occupancy room.What is the best floor to stay on a cruise ship? ›
You want to be as close to the pivot point as possible to feel the least movement. Avoid cabins near the front (bow) or back (stern) and on decks higher than the middle deck of the ship. So, on a ship with fourteen passenger decks, your best options are below deck seven.What deck is the best to stay on on a cruise ship? ›
The best cruise ship deck for many people is a lower deck because less movement will be felt there. However, for the best views, you should choose a higher deck. If you want to avoid taking the elevator, a mid-level deck would be best.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.
Is cruising cheaper than renting? ›
It's actually cheaper to cruise nonstop for an entire year than to pay rent and live in many major U.S. cities. That's the latest finding of a study by cruise search engine CruiseWatch.com.Which type of cruise ship cabin is typically the most expensive? ›
On cruise ships, the basic cabin categories are inside, outside (often called ocean view), balcony and suite — but there are subcategories, as well. Typically, inside cabins are smaller and cheaper; suites are larger and more expensive.Where is the best place to book on a 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.What is the average cruise ticket? ›
On average across cruise lines, the amount comes out to between $90-130 per person, per day. Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group saw an average around $90-100 per person, per day in 2022.What is the easiest way to book a cruise? ›
Many may wonder: Is it cheaper to book a cruise direct? Sure, you can book a cruise online—but it's a rookie mistake. Smart cruisers know the best place to book a cruise is with a travel agent. Though agents' roles have diminished in the mass-market travel biz, they remain crucial for cruising.How many days is enough 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.What is the number 1 cruise ship? ›
Norwegian Prima is the winner for the best new cruise ship of 2022 in the Ocean category.What is the #1 cruise line in the world? ›
Princess is the world's leading international cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of modern cruise ships, renowned for the innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities.Which side of the ship is better on a cruise? ›
The truth, though, is this: There's no “better” side of the ship. It doesn't matter where you're going, or what river you're sailing on, or even what ship you're sailing aboard. Both sides of the ship are created equal. The trouble with trying to pick a side of the ship based on something you'd like to see is this.Should I book a cruise now or wait? ›
Many cruise lines come out with their best fares when itineraries first go on sale, and then raise the rates as the ships sell out. This is especially true with luxury cruises, new or popular mainstream ships and Disney cruises that tend to book up well in advance.
Why are cruises cheaper in January? ›
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 be hundreds 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 many outfits do I need for a 7 day cruise? ›
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.Do you need a passport for a 7 day cruise? ›
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.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.. there is one airfare for two adults..Where in the Caribbean is most affordable? ›
The Dominican Republic is probably the cheapest Caribbean island to visit if you're looking for affordable all-inclusive deals.What is the cheapest Caribbean island to stay at? ›
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 month is the cheapest to go to Bahamas? ›
High season is considered to be November and December. The cheapest month to fly to The Bahamas is February. Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest The Bahamas flight deals.How many months in advance should I book a cruise? ›
Booking a cruise one to two years in advance is not practical for many families, so a great time to book a cruise is between six and 12 months before sailing. In addition to the lower prices, booking well in-advance of a cruise assures you of the ship and stateroom you want to reserve.What day of the week do cruise lines lower prices? ›
You might want to consider what day of the week to search for cruises, says cruisewatch.com, a search engine for cruise price drop. According to an elaborate study that took into consideration more than 600,000 data points, cruise prices drop lowest in the middle of the week with Thursday seeing most discounts.What months are off season for cruises? ›
If you want to avoid crowds, cruise in early May or late August. April, September, and early January.
Do cruise prices go up or down closer to departure? ›
The closer you get to the departure date, the cheaper the cruise becomes. Why? Because cruise ships don't want to depart with half-empty boats, so they drop prices steadily until that boat is leaving port, since for them empty cabins mean less money.Does Royal Caribbean get cheaper closer to date? ›
Royal Caribbean will sometimes lower a cruise fare closer to the sail date if demand is low, leading to low prices for those who can sail at the last minute. These last-minute deals tend to be found during shoulder season and on older, smaller cruise ships, but can offer nice savings for those with more flexibility.Do cruise prices change daily? ›
With most lines, if a price drops, you can get the lower price all the way up until you've made your final payment. Cruise fares change a lot more than you probably realize, and sometimes low rates last for only a few hours at a time. Some travel agents will monitor prices for you and alert you, for a fee, to drops.Will cruise prices drop in 2022? ›
Cruise lines will have to lower prices in the second half of 2022 to fill ships because cumulative bookings are "in a deep hole" compared with 2019 levels, according to a report written by Truist Securities equity research analyst C.Is it worth getting a drinks package on Royal Caribbean? ›
There's no question that a Royal Caribbean drink package can save you money if you can drink enough to make it worthwhile. Some people don't care so much about "breaking even" on their purchase, because they just like the fact they pay one price and all their beers, cocktails and other beverages are included.Can you order as much as you want for cruise? ›
Many first time cruisers don't even realize you can order anything you want in any quantity you want (within reason of course). You already paid for this food so you might as well enjoy it and eat what you want.Do cruise ships ever tip over? ›
A large cruise ship usually has several ballast tanks. So the combined effect of a ship's buoyancy, low center of gravity, and ballast keep the ship from tipping over.How much does the average person spend on a cruise? ›
On average across cruise lines, the amount comes out to between $90-130 per person, per day. Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group saw an average around $90-100 per person, per day in 2022.Do you need a passport for a cruise? ›
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.