Let’s be honest here, there is no bad time to book a cruise vacation. However, there are several advantages to booking your cruise as early as possible that will not only help you save money, but will give you the best possible cruise experience.
Best Choice of Staterooms – One of the biggest advantages to booking your cruise as early as possible is that you get the choice of the best staterooms on your cruise ship. On some Carnival Cruise Line ships, there are just a handful of few highly desirable cabins like the wrap-around aft balconies on the Conquest class ships and the Scenic Grand Ocean View cabins (6K category) that can be found on select Carnival ships.
The best cabins book early and are usually sold out months in advance. If you want the pick of the best cabins on the ship, then you’ll want to book your cruise as early as possible.
Best Price On Your Cruise – By booking early, you are pretty much guaranteeing yourself the best possible price on your cruise. Why? Because with most cruise fares, you will be able to get the lower price if the price of your cruise drops before final payment. With some cruise fares (Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver), you can even get the credit all the way up until 3 days before your cruise.
So book early and put that savings toward shore excursions and other perks that will help enhance your cruise.
More Time to Search for Airfare – If you live within driving distance of a cruise port be thankful that you can save on airfare. However, many cruisers have no choice but to pay the added costs of flying to the cruise port. Last minute airfare can be expensive.
The earlier you book your cruise, the more time you have to take advantage of special sales that airlines run. Southwest is known to have flash sales from time to time that have cruise fares as low as $49 each way. Add in the fact that each person can check two bags for free, they are the perfect airline for cruisers.
More Time to Plan – By booking your cruise early, you have more time to plan your cruise. You’ll have plenty of time to research the ports that you will be visiting and pick the perfect excursions to compliment your vacation.
Also, many great excursions offered by third parties sell out in advance since they offer smaller groups for each excursion. You’ll be able to not only lock in the savings by using a third party, but also guarantee yourself a spot on a smaller, more personalized tour. Save money and have a better experience? It’s a win win combination.
Time to Get Family and Friends to Join You – Cruising with family and friends are some of the best memories that I have. By booking your cruise early, you’ll have plenty of time to get some of them to join you. And if you can get enough of them to join you, you may qualify for a tour conductor credit and get your stateroom for free.
These are just a few of the advantages of booking your cruise early. Also, since the majority of cruise deposits are 100% refundable, you can get your money back if you need to cancel before final payment. Of course, it’s always best to check the rules on the cruise fare that you are booking to make sure that it is refundable.