When is the Best Time to Book a Cruise and Save Money?

Cruising is a great way to get away from it all and relax, but booking a cruise can be tricky, especially during the pandemic. To get the best deal on a cruise, you need to know when to book and how the industry works. Royal Caribbean wraps up its cruise season in April or May, so if you can book a cruise during this time, you'll find great deals. In addition, November is usually a month with less demand.

This itinerary doesn't have a peak season after the high season because people also love to travel north in September and October to see how the leaves change color. So the cheapest times to do this itinerary are April, May and October. By the end of October, the leaves are gone, and so are cruise ships by November. And most importantly, fly to the cruise port city the day BEFORE the cruise to avoid flight delays and not miss the ship.

While these tips are useful during normal hours or when booking a cruise well in advance, there are several factors to consider before booking a cruise right now. Although some cruise lines offer Panama Canal cruises most of the year (they close only during the heat and humidity of August), demand goes back and forth during certain times of the year. Here's a great overview of several cruise lines, as well as a specific breakdown of cruise families. This is my favorite cruise site, as it seems to find all the deals and makes finding a cheap cruise easy.

The real incentive is the heap of bonuses that cruise lines add to their promotions, making it difficult to stop booking a cruise (or three). Another cruise destination with a short season is Canada and New England, with cruise ships visiting the ports of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine and the maritime provinces of Canada. Cruising when schools are in session or during hurricane season will generally give you the lowest rates on Caribbean cruises. Cruises in Northern Europe and the Baltic have a shorter season, from May to early November, while the warmer Greek Islands and Canary Islands have cruises between March and December.

The cruise season extends throughout the year, with departures from the West Coast of the United States (only one ship, NCL's Pride of America, operates seven-day Hawaii cruises to and from Honolulu).Planning your vacation during the pandemic can be tricky but with some research and knowledge about how the industry works you can save money on your Caribbean cruise (or any other cruise). To get started on your journey towards saving money on your next cruise vacation, consider booking your trip in April or May for Royal Caribbean cruises or November for other cruises. Additionally, fly to your port city one day before your departure date to avoid flight delays and missing your ship.

Chandra Klingerman
Chandra Klingerman

Amateur food evangelist. Amateur beer advocate. Incurable zombie scholar. Extreme food trailblazer. Far horizon trailblazer.

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