As summer closes out, many of us are considering travel in the cooler days of fall. But is it too late to book a cruise for Autumn 2018?
Travelers have debated for years about the best time to book cruise vacations. One argument is you must book early-months in advance- because cruising is more popular than ever and many ships fill up fast. Another says the best deals are often found last minute.
Good news! It’s not too late to book an Autumn 2018 cruise! See all the fall cruise specials here:
However, there are benefits to both booking a cruise well in advance and waiting until the last minute.
Book early if:
You can only travel on specific dates, including pre-planned vacations, holiday vacations, school breaks, weddings, family reunions, corporate meetings and other similar get-togethers.
You want to secure the best price possible on air travel to the port of departure, or when you are using frequent flyer miles to buy an airline ticket.
You want a specific cabin type. This may include a certain suite or location, adjoining cabins or one that accommodates a third or fourth guests. Persons requiring a handicapped cabin should also book early to assure one is available.
You wait to sail on a ship’s inaugural cruise or want to travel to a particular destination with limited availability, such as Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands or a world cruise – these cruises tend to sell out quickly.
You like to eat dinner at a certain time and there are multiple seating times.
You want to put your cruise on vacation layaway and make manageable monthly payments.
You want to travel with a group. In these situations, it makes sense to book early to assure all guests will be accommodated. Plus, one can hold some cabins without names, allowing time to gather enough people.
You want to take advantage of special early booking savings.
On the other hand, some of the best cruise deals have historically been found just before ships are scheduled to sail.
Book last-minute if:
Your job or circumstances dictate last-minute travel decisions.
You are traveling with just one or two couples and everyone is very flexible.
You are very flexible about your cabin type and formal dining times.
You can pay for a cruise in its entirety, rather than in installments.
You want to leave from your own port city or can easily drive to the port of departure.
Your goal is to find a lower price than others may pay, typically offered by cruise lines to fill up a ship just before it sails.