Travelers choose to cruise for a variety of reasons ranging from the outstanding value sailing provides to just a need to get away from time to time. Choosing to cruise and buying are two different animals though. After a cruise or two, travelers usually fall into predictable buying patterns and cruise lines know it. Around the time to pay taxes, we see reduced deposit sales.
After the expense of the December holidays, winter sets in and those in cold climates think of warm places. One of the best times to buy is also one of the least known times. Right now, with the 4th of July behind us and the middle of summer approaches is a great time to buy. Here’s why:
It’s The Slow Season For Travel Agents
Many cruise fans travel during the summer months for a number of reasons. Big ship cruising brings out families during time when school is out; there is just no other convenient time to sail. Smaller size ships sail full during summer months as well, full of travelers wanting to get up close and personal with destinations during nice weather worldwide. That means more cruise fans are actually traveling than dreaming about their next sailing. Follow that logic one more step and that gives buyers undivided attention from travel agents. Simply put: they have more time to research more and are hungry for business.
It’s A Little-Known Sweet Spot In The Cruise Pricing Cycle
In January, cruise lines first release itineraries for the following year or years. Initially, those prices will be higher than normal attracting only planners looking far into the future. Maybe a specific stateroom location is a high priority so they book when availability is best. Perhaps they just want to be first on the latest itineraries, even before cruise lines themselves have a clue how popular they might be. Whatever the reason, mid-summer sees across the board price drops on unrestricted fares that can be converted, should a better deal come along later.
Let The Realistic Dreaming Have Its Positive Effect
There is something to be said for having a cruise planned, even if far into the future. Sort of like the thrill of buying a lottery ticket, dreams ensue. Different than the astronomical odds a lottery ticket will be a winner, experienced cruise travelers know the payoff is real. The positive effect of having something to look forward to carries over into other areas of living as well. Easy to document: those with a cruise on the books take a long game look at buying everything from travel gear to mashed potatoes. Pennies saved along the way add up to dollars they can spend on board.
There are other times of the year that are a good time to buy a cruise as well, but they are more specific to certain groups of traveler. Seniors and solo traveler can often snag great deals on Fall sailings. Those who can travel at the last minute, booking less than 30 days in advance, find November and December with the exception of weeks that have holidays as fine times to buy. Mid summer? This is a great time for anyone, across the board.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.