Most people who decide to go on a cruise have a hard time deciding when to book. Just about all cruise lines offer discounts on early bookings but you need to book several months in advance. What if you find a better deal in the meanwhile? What if you change your mind? What if.. In addition early bookings with very tempting discounts, there are also last minute deals which often have even a greater discount. So to book now or to wait?
It’s hard to tell really because no one really pays the so-called brochure rates which are supposed to be the normal prices (although they are probably quite inflated). Nevertheless, it is the brochure rates that serve as a basis for discounts. So if you book early, you will thus get a discount on the brochure price the height of which varies greatly from one cruise line to another, ranging from about 30 to 50 percent but usually closer to 30 percent. But you might also be eligible for special promotions that further reduce the price of the fare. Generally, the earlier you book the better because the prices tend to rise as the departure date approaches. To get a early booking discount, you should book at least 6 months in advance.
In addition to getting a better price for the cruise, early booking also enables you to get a better price for air fare and hotel which, just like cruise liners, offer discounts on early bookings as well.
By booking your cruise early, you won’t only save money. You will also have more cabins to choose from and you are more likely to get a better location. If you’re planning to go cruising alone, early booking is virtually the only way to get a solo cabin and avoid the single supplement which can add up a lot to the fare price. In contrast, those who are waiting for the last minute deals usually have to satisfy themselves with ‘leftovers’. They may pay less but they will be able to choose only between a few cabins (usually the ones that no one wants). What is more, there is no guarantee that they will get a space on the desired ship as the last minute deals sell out very quickly, especially if there is a generous discount.