Cruise lines want cruise ships to go out full on each sailing. A good rule of thumb is that prices are likely to be higher around any holidays or when kids are out of school.
What Time of the Year Do Cruises Offer the Best Deals?
Prices on cruises can greatly vary from one sailing to another.
What causes prices to change from week to week? It is all based on how well a certain cruise is selling. While some weeks (especially Christmas and New Year’s Eve Cruises) are notorious for having high rates due to a huge increase in demand, some weeks are generally the cheapest times to take a cruise.
It is worth noting that any week can have high prices if a specific sailing on a cruise ship is selling well, even if it is during a week listed below.
- 2nd week of January through early February – Great rates can often be found right after the extremely popular Christmas through New Year’s Eve season.
- Last week of February – Prices are often higher for Valentines Day week, who doesn’t want a Love Boat cruise? However, prices tend to drop after Valentines Day until Spring Break.
- Early May – After the popular Spring Break weeks, there tends to be a slight lull in early May before kids get out of school for summer. Once Memorial Day comes around, prices will go up.
- September after Labor Day – With kids back in school and hurricane season in full swing, great rates can normally be found from the week after Labor Day through October.
- First two weeks of December – Sandwiched between the popular cruise weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the first two weeks of December will often have great rates.
- View Top 10 Cruise Deals
Our recommendation? Book early and take advantage of price drops, guaranteeing that not only will you get the best selection of staterooms, but also the best price.
What are price drops? Price drops are when the price of your cruise fare goes down after you book. Most cruise fares will allow you get the get lower rate up until the final payment date. 4 Ways to Check for Price Drops
Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver Rate allows you to get the lower price up until just a few days before your cruise. You can get the cruise fare reduced up until final payment, and then receive onboard credit for any further reductions to your cruise fare after the final payment date has past. This is a great way to not only save money, but also get some free spending money for your cruise.