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Booking A Cruise In Advance: Is It Worth the Savings?

book a cruise with Cruise DreamsCruisers have long held strong beliefs on if booking a cruise far in advance is worth the savings or not. While some say the savings are an added bonus to securing a cruise if your dates of travel are limited, others debate that booking cruises online far in advance gives you little leeway on negotiations, such as waiting to book last minute, and holds you accountable to your itinerary even if the weather isn’t ideal. With both sides having their own reasons, the real decision making about booking in advance is whether it’s worth the savings or not. This depends on what kind of traveler you are.

Why Booking in Advance Has Its Perks:

Booking far in advance, ideally, as soon as the itinerary you want is announced,
can help assure that you can cruise on very specific dates, including a holiday, school break, corporate incentive travel, and neighboring rooms for a wedding or family reunion travel.

Booking before the majority of guests can also potentially give you preference on floor levels and room views, if you’re particular about where your stateroom is located. If high-end suites, adjoining cabins, or cabins that accommodate three or more guests or handicapped cabins are something you prefer, these often book up quickly and would be safer to book in advance, rather than hoping for something in your favor is still available closer to departure.

Have frequent flyer miles you’re hoping to use in order to reach your departure port? Flights using frequent flyer miles often need to be booked well in advance, and therefore providing your airline of choice with the greatest amount of notice can ensure that you can use your points, as well as potentially receive the best value on the flight.

Lastly, if you’re planning on cruising on an unusual itinerary, such as a ship’s inaugural cruise or a cruise with only a few sail dates, in these cases, booking early is also suggested, as the amount of demand versus the amount of rooms is in the cruise line’s favor.

Possible Considerations Against Booking in Advance:

For every reason why booking a cruise line in advance can potentially provide you with the room you want and a fair amount of savings, there are also possible considerations against booking in advance that travelers should keep in mind.

Booking in advance 12-18 months ahead of departure, often holds you accountable of what you’ll be doing a year or more in the future. If you’re thinking about getting a new job, not all positions allow for flexible travel time and may not accommodate your request for your cruise line dates. Likewise, having kids or health concerns can also be up in the air, and need to be weighed on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re very adamant about laying out by the pool on at-sea days, and want to enjoy the Bahamas or Hawaii in all of it’s sunny glory, booking so far in advance doesn’t allow you to have perfect insight on what the weather may be during your cruise. Since ships depart rain or shine, the savings of booking in advance may not seem worth it, if your dates are during hurricane season and you’ll be inside most of the trip.

While there is a certain time frame guests can cancel or change their plans in these situations and receive a full refund, it’s not always ideal looking forward to an event for over a year just to cancel.

In these situations, if you have flexibility with work or school, booking a room close to the departure date one to three weeks in advance can be a great way to equally receive savings as well as having a better idea of what the weather and your schedule will look like.

All in all, there are a variety of factors that decide when the best time to book is for you. Discussing your options with your cruise agent can better assist your itinerary on a case-by-case example, and make sure that you not only receive the most savings, but that you do so on the cruise best suited for you as well. To see what savings are available for you, contact the Cruise Dreams Director, Kim Gibbons by clicking here!

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