Cruise TipsBookingHow to Get the Lowest Price on a Carnival Cruise (Even If...

How to Get the Lowest Price on a Carnival Cruise (Even If the Price Drops Later)

Have you ever booked a cruise and found out a few weeks later that the price dropped a couple hundred dollars?  I’ve had this happen many times.

But thanks to a little something called “price protection” on special offers with Carnival Cruise Line you can make sure you always get the best price, even if the price changes.

Carnival Cruise Line Celebration in Mahogany Bay
Early Saver deals can get you the best possible price on a Carnival Cruise. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

One of the biggest perks with Early Saver deals with Carnival is the ability to get your cruise repriced even if you already paid your cruise in full.

Some cruise lines give you a 48-hour window to get onboard credit or a reprice if you find a price change within a short period of time.

And there are several websites that allow you to track the price of a cruise, so if there is a price drop you can cancel and rebook or contact the cruise line to get some onboard credit or a new cruise fare.

But there are some sailings with Carnival Cruise Line that allow you to get this price protection for free.

They are part of the Early Saver Sale deals you can often find on Carnival’s website.  This offer is not available on every sailing and as the name implies it’s geared for cruisers who book further in advance.

In this article we will show you exactly where to find these deals and what kind of perks you get.

Two Carnival ships in port at Cozumel Mexico
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Related: Cruise price protection: 3 Best tools for tracking cruise price drops

Early Saver Sales

Carnival has several kinds of sales rates you can get directly on their website.  Some of the most common cruise rates fall under categories like Super Saver, Pack & Go, and the Early Saver sales we will look at here.

While canceling a booking and rebooking at a lower price may seem like a straightforward way to save money, be aware that cancellation fees and other associated costs can zap any potential savings, especially if the price difference is minimal.

But with Carnival’s price protection from Early Saver deals you can make sure you always get the lowest price available, even after you paid for your cruise.  And it costs nothing extra.

As a general rule, Early Saver rates are available for cruises 3 months from the sail date on shorter cruises and 5 months in the future for cruises 6 days and longer.

Early saver sales on Carnival cruise ships
A recent example of Early Saver deals on Carnival’s website. You can check them out here.

What’s Included in Early Saver Rates?

For those Carnival cruisers who don’t mind booking cruises in the distant future, the Early Saver sales offer some of the best perks which can include:

  • Onboard credit of $25 – $50 per cabin ($100 with recent cyber deals)
  • Price Protection
  • Free room location choice
  • Free room location upgrade if available (in some instances)

You can check to make sure price protection is included when looking at the individual sailing.  Most of the time when you see “Early Saver” deals at this link on Carnival’s website, price protection is included.

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The “Cyber Early Saver Sales” do not currently display price protection perks on the website, but this does not mean that price protection is not included.

Sometimes Carnival is slow in updating terms of service and the fine print under these Early Saver deals, but they usually offer price protection.  However, these cyber sale rates are so low that it might not matter to you.

Related: Black Friday cruise deals for 2023

VIFP Club Member-Only Early Saver Rates

Every week or so Carnival will change the name and details of these early saver rate sales.  And for VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) members, there are even more options for early savers.

There’s really no reason not to join the VIFP Club with Carnival, since it’s free, takes only a minute, and you can check out exclusive Carnival deals even before you take your first cruise.

Currently on the Carnival deals page, there is a Cyber Early Saver rate through December 11, 2023 that offers the following benefits:

  • Free room upgrade
  • Up to $100 onboard credit
  • 50% off deposits
  • Price protection
  • Choice of room location

What Kind of Price protection Do I Get?

free price protection from Carnival
Clicking on the price tag button shows the perks that come with these deals. You will see price protection under these Early Saver perks.

Sometimes, people don’t book a cruise when they see a deal for fear that the price will drop later on.  With Carnival’s price protection you can book it now and not worry about future drops in the cruise fare.

This is because if you do find a better price later on you can just let them know through an online form and they will give you the difference in onboard credit or with a free upgrade.

The free price protection with these offers only applies to the cruise fare.   So, this does not include taxes, fees, or port expenses.

If you find a cheaper price that is available to the public and is not a group rate you may qualify to have your cruise fare adjusted.

According to Carnival’s website, “Early Saver price protection does not apply to group rates, membership programs, charters, select promotional fares, travel agent rebates, or other travel agent promotions not offered by Carnival to the general public.”

Price protection is only available for bookings made in USD currency.  And it’s good up until 2 days prior to sailing.  No downgrades are allowed.

Free cabin upgrade

To take advantage of the Early Saver perk of a free cabin upgrade, the same cabin category has to be available.

Cabin upgrades are based on availability.  These upgrades are not available if the original stateroom booked is an obstructed view or cove category.

Fine print details to note:

The deposit is non-refundable and non transferrable.  A $50 fee will be charged for changes to the ship or sail date made prior to the final payment.

Final Thoughts

Instead of waiting for the right price to come along, with Early Saver rates you can just book the cruise you want and know you won’t be overpaying for it.

I still recommend using a cruise price tracking tool like the ones mentioned at the link below to help stay on top of any price fluctuations.  If you have a lot of extra time on your hands and you want to check cruise prices every day you can do this too.  But these tools really are great for those wanting to capitalize on cruise price drops.

Read more: Cruise price protection: 3 Best tools for tracking cruise price drops

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on dozens of cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 9 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
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