Book At The Last Minute
For those who can be spontaneous, flexibility can pay off. Check out our last minute cruise deals section, which features bargains on a variety of sailings leaving within 90 days — 90 days out being the typical point at which final cruise payments are due. In general, there are always plenty of Caribbean and Mediterranean cruise deals.
Other hard-to-fill cruises — such as shoulder season cruises and one-way repositioning sailings, where open-jaw airfare is required — can be deeply discounted at the last minute. Of course, booking last-minute airfare might wipe out any savings. Plus, you’ll have a limited selection of cabin locations and dinner seatings. But, if you’re flexible and can drive to a cruise port — or have plenty of frequent flier airline points to burn — it’s a great way to take a cruise without breaking the bank.
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Special Note: Cruise Deals After The Health Crisis
To say that COVID turned the cruise industry on its head would be an understatement. The industry has never seen anything like it before and hopefully nothing like it ever again.
So how does that impact getting a deal on a cruise? The advice above is still the best. For instance, the time of year you sail and the ship you sail will still have the biggest impact on the price you pay for your cruise.
That said, expect there to be fewer deals in the years ahead. With the pandemic, cruise lines sold off older ships while also putting a hold on ordering new ships. The result is less growth in capacity for years to come.
Assuming that cruising does get back to normal, thats likely to mean strong demand for a lower number of cabins. In other words, high demand with lower supply should lead to higher prices.
Do Cruises Get Cheaper Closer To Sailing Date
Remember often the best way to secure a great deal is to be flexible. If you can widen the range of dates for your cruise you are more likely to find a bargain. If you can stay clear of the peak seasons, the chances of finding an offer increase. There is also the chance to pick up a deal on a cruise due to depart in the very near future if staterooms become available!
We update our cruise deals page daily with all of the latest offers we can find. The deals shown always represent extremely good value for money. You can guarantee these cruises will be snapped up quickly. Hurry and book the best cruise deal now before someone takes the last stateroom!
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Last Minute Cruises & Late Cruise Offers
Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a last-minute bargain, we’ve got the perfect cruise deal for you. From NEW no-fly UK Coastal Cruises Summer 2021, to brand new Summer 2021 Greek Isles Fly Cruises – just take a look, call or book online! Alternatively, if you’re not in rush, check out our offers for 2022 cruises and 2023 cruises, including top cruises you may have missed.
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Time To Choose Your Best Cruise Deals
Norwegian Cruise Line regularly offers deals on select cruises throughout the year with multiple dates available for sailing! Youll find instant savings, plus Norwegians amazingly popular Free at Sea Promotion where depending on your sailing date and destination, offers may include FREE Shore Excursion Credits, Specialty Dining, Wi-Fi Packages or even an Unlimited Open Bar! Talk about the best cruise deals, wow!
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Why Choose Cruise Guru
More than just a place to find budget-friendly cruises, Cruise Guru prides itself on providing you with the best service you can find in Australia to plan your next voyage. We are proud to be one of the best cruise booking sites in Australia that offers visitors the largest range of cruises 2022 and cruises 2023 available online today.
Which Cruise Lines Are Known For Last
Fee says most last-minute sales happen on the larger ships leaving from U.S. home ports on Caribbean cruises, where there is a huge amount of capacity. Were talking sailings on the giant vessels of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and other similar lines. Itll be tougher to find a last-minute spot on one of the smaller luxury ships operated by the likes of Regent Seven Seas Cruises or Crystal Cruises, which book up far in advance.
On a conference call with Wall Street analysts in May, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank del Rio noted that the companys two upscale brands, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises, already were nearly sold out for all of 2019. Whats more, about 40 percent of inventory for 2020 was gone, too. If youre hoping to grab a last-minute cabin on one of those lines, youre going to struggle.
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Where Can Our Last Minute Cruise Deals Take You
From city skylines to deserted beaches, lush rainforests to dune-covered islands, Cruise Nations cheap late cruise deals can take you to almost any destination around the world, at unbeatably low prices. If you need a little inspiration for your next last minute cruise holiday, here are just a few of our customers favourite, late cruise, destinations:
Be Flexible With Stateroom Options
In addition to being flexible about sail dates, keep an open mind regarding the kind of staterooms and destinations youll find when booking a cruise at the last minute.
Certain itineraries have coveted staterooms that sell out months in advance. For example, veranda staterooms on Alaska cruises sell out quickly since everyone wants to see wildlife and glaciers from the comfort of their room during their trip.
If youre more concerned about how to find last-minute cruise deals than having a particular stateroom, then a discounted cruise deal is a good fit for you.
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How To Time Your Search
A good time to start looking for last-minute deals is about 90 days before a sailing. This is the final payment deadline for many cruisesthe point where customers who have put down deposits on trips must send in the full amount due or cancel. After the deadline, cruise lines have a much better idea of how many cabins they have left to sell, and they adjust pricing accordingly. If a ship is heavily booked after final payment, fares for the remaining cabins will remain high or go higher. If there are an unexpectedly large number of cabins left to sell, pricing could come down.
The final payment deadline varies by line and itinerary. At Royal Caribbean, its 75 days for shorter voyages. Regent Seven Seas cuts things off as far out as 150 days on some trips.
Rule #: Dont Buy The Wave Season Hype
You might have heard of wave season. This time of year running from January through March is supposed to be when the cruise lines offer the best deals. Thats due to the cold weather in most of the country making people think of warmer places combined with the passing of the Christmas holiday.
Our take? Wave season is hyped up, similar to Black Friday. Sure there may be good offers but not enough to keep us from booking a good deal when we see one a different time of year.
Remember, if everyone waited until the wave season deals, then the cruise lines wouldnt have anyone book the other nine months of the year. Youll find that the deals offered arent that much different than those found the rest of the year.
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Defining Value Is Key
How much of a bargain is a cheap cruise that requires you to spend twice as much on airfare? For instance, you’ll typically see more Anchorage-to-Vancouver voyages on last minute lists than the more affordable round trip Seattle itineraries. Why? Air is typically cheaper on the latter, which sails into and out of the same city. The former has you flying in and out of different airports, including one in Alaska where fares are often high. Account for that cost before committing.
Cruise During Shoulder Season
Cruises departing during prime travel times, such as Christmas, spring break, or the middle of summer, have a good chance of selling out long before you even start searching for last-minute cruise deals. Instead, look for cruises that sail during shoulder seasons when youre more likely to find a steal.
For example, if you want to get a good Mediterranean cruise deal, look for dates during mid-September or early October when schools are in full swing and most families with kids are back at home.
Those searching for a cruise around Australia and New Zealand should try and book a last-minute cruise from Sydney during the cooler months of October or April.
If you want to try finding a deal at the last minute on a Caribbean cruise, searching for dates during hurricane season is your best bet.
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Be Flexible On The Destination
It is also easier to find a deal when you are open to whatever is the cheapest rather than a particular destination or even a specific place of departure.
Before you start planning your cruise packing list, go into the process of looking for an excellent last-minute cruise deal without being set on a particular destination you might be surprised at what you find.
Approaching your research this way gives you the freedom to let the price lead the way and not the destination. When people look for a cheap cruise deal rather than discounts on a destination, they open themselves to experiences they may never have considered before.
Go For The Cabin Guarantee
If cabin location isn’t important, you might want to opt for a “cabin guarantee,” which basically means you’re assured to get a cabin in at least the category specified — and, if you’re lucky, even get an upgrade. However, you can’t choose your exact stateroom.
Many lines typically discount guaranteed cabin bookings about $50 to $100 per person off the advertised fares. However, if you’re prone to seasickness or sensitive to noise, you might want to reconsider the value of choosing your own cabin location so as to not end up near the elevators or riding the wave near the bow. Also, not all guarantee fares are eligible for booking perks, so ensure the value tradeoff is worth it before you commit.
If you’re willing to book in bulk, most cruise lines will offer free berths, depending on the number of passengers in the group. For instance, book seven or more double-occupancy cabins on Norwegian Cruise Line, and for every 10 passengers booked, one passenger can cruise for free. Each cruise line has its own threshold for groups some lines consider 10 guests/five cabins to be a group, while others require 16 guests/eight cabins.
Group leaders can choose to spread the savings across the group or keep it all for themselves. Groups can get other perks, as well. Norwegian offers group members a choice of complimentary amenities beyond its Free at Sea promotion, such as extra onboard credit or a cocktail party for the group.
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How To Buy Cruise Tickets At A Departure Port
Last-minute cruise bookings can save money for the flexible traveler.
The days of marching up to a cruise departure terminal with your suitcase in hand to book a same-day ticket are long gone, due in large part to U.S. Department of Homeland Security requirements. That said, if you live near a departure port and have a flexible schedule, there are a few ways you can still get lucky and snag a great last-minute cruise deal.
Look At The Slow Weeks
Youre more likely to find last-minute space on ships at reasonable or even rock-bottom prices during the slow seasons for travel in various destinations. In the Caribbean, that means the fall, when kids are back at school and hurricane-season worries are keeping some travelers away. In Alaska, where the cruise season only lasts a few months between May and September, the first few weeks and last few weeks of that period are good hunting grounds for a last-minute deal.
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Choose Shoulder Season Sailings
If you’ve already honed in on a destination, the best way to save is to focus on travel dates just outside the peak season. This might mean picking April or late September as the month to visit Alaska, March as your best bet to sail the Mediterranean and October for your Caribbean cruise — before or after the summer swell of family vacations. In addition to low prices, you’ll encounter fewer crowds on the flip side, the weather might not be as ideal for sightseeing.
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How To Find Cheap Cruise Deals
You need to remember that new deals and offers are added by cruise lines every day. So you a cheap cruise deal which is right for you might not be available the first time you look. If you dont find the cruise youre looking for, why not bookmark this page? Then you can come back to see our newest deals any time you like. Or you can look at our cruise deals page with even more great offers.
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Access Military Senior Or Residency Rates
A number of cruise lines have special programs for seniors, military personnel and even teachers. For example, MSC Cruises provides discounts of up to 10 percent to active and retired military families on almost all sailings. AARP members can find exclusive senior discounts on multiple lines when booking through the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia.
Many lines also offer residential discounts. Here’s how it works: In essence, a line’s revenue stream is based on a formula that requires a certain number of bookings from various cities, states and regions. So, if it’s not getting enough bookings from one particular place, it’ll drop the price slightly — say, in Florida — to entice more Floridians to book.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get a residential discount, but it can’t hurt to mention your home city and state during the booking process, just in case. Even if it only saves you $50, it’s still $50 in your pocket.
New York A City Like No Other
When most people think of New York, they’re really thinking about Manhattan, one of 5 boroughs that make up the most populated city in the nation. In fact, during work days, Manhattan sees its population grow to 4 million. That by itself would make it the second largest city in the nation, with Greater New York City being the #1 populated city in America, with 8+ million residents.
Manhattan is an island that runs 13+ miles from north to south and just 2.3 miles from east to west, but most everything visitors want to see and do is in an area that’s only about 60% of the island from Central Park on the northern edge to Battery Park at the southern tip.
Even this can be further reduced to the area from about 34th Street to 57th Street and then down south from Houston Street to Battery Park. From 34th to 59th Streets, you’ll find the famous Broadway Theaters, 5th Avenue shopping, the lower end of Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Macy’s and Madison Square Garden. From Houston Street heading south, you’ll find yourself in one of the most eclectic sections of the city, with art galleries, performance spaces and some of the most interesting clubs and bars in NYC, ultimately landing in the Financial District and world-famous Wall Street.
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How To Find Those Unsold Rooms On A Cruise Ship
There are a couple of ways you can go about this. If you are on a cruise lines email list you may get a message about last minute deals for particular ships. You can also visit their websites every day and multiple times a day, because yes, the prices can change that fast. Quite a few travel agencies also offer email newsletters with some of the best deals on these unsold cabins for last minute cruisers.
Send Deals To Your Inbox
The vast majority of cruise lines and agencies still rely on eletters to help fill cruise ships. Major cruise lines, such as Celebrity, Norwegian, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean, offer deals emails with ongoing promotions in addition to last-minute deals and short sales. For the hardcore deal-seekers who don’t want e-deals cluttering up their personal inboxes, we suggest setting up separate accounts just for bargains mailings.
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Want A Cheap Cruise Study This Chart
Before we get into the rules, we want to walk you through some of the research so you can see exactly what weve found.
First, we want to show you the most important resource when it comes to what you will pay for a cruise.
The chart below shows the per-person cruise fare for both an interior cabin and balcony room for a 3-day Carnival cruise during the next two years. This particular cruise sails from Miami, with a stop in Nassau, Bahamas.
We selected this cruise because it runs weekly, giving us a chance to compare the price of the trip over multiple years and see the trends in the fare.
There are a few things to point out in this chart, which we will detail later on
First, you can see from the blue line that prices to travel last minute are consistent with the same time a year later. In other words, you dont see that much of a discount if any by waiting until the last minute.
Second, notice the trends in the rise and fall of the prices. Cruise fares see large spikes during holidays and the summer. The basic rule of thumb is that if schools are out, then cruise fares are high. Cruising off season can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Of course, there is so much more to learn about finding the best rate on your next cruise. We go into full detail of all the rules you should follow to find the lowest rate possible