When is the best time to book ?
This is an interesting question, and I’m sure you will get differing opinions and after being in the business for 27 years I have seen massive changes but this is my opinion of how the market is at present.We have cruises on sale up to 2019 now and the cruise companies certainly seem to be launching their seasons earlier and earlier each year.
When I check for availability for this summer it amazes me at how booked up some of the larger ships out there are ,where are all these people coming from filling these ever growing ships ?? The market is definitely booking up earlier than ever.
Unless you have absolutely no ties or date restrictions or want a specific grade of cabin i.e balcony cabins,midship cabins or 3 and 4 berth cabins, I definitely would not be leaving anything until the very last minute or you may be very disappointed this isn’t even down to price this is just availability.Plus if a cruise you are thinking about involves flights the cost of these tends to increase nearer to the date.River Cruises and Luxury liners also have reduced numbers of cabins to the Ocean liners so never a good idea to leave these as they do book up early.
June and September are also increasingly popular months and I have seen prices as high as August in September !!!
You can great some extra discounts also by booking your cruise whilst on board a cruise and the booking comes right back to us your agents. The deals you tend to get are extra money off , On board credit etc but what a great time to book when you are already experiencing exactly what you want or may want.
A great time that seems to be a good time to book is what is known as’ wave ‘ this is January and February time. The cruise companies all tend to be competing with offers.Certainly we saw one of our busiest times earlier in the year the cruise lines were all offering aggressive promotions and pricing to encourage passengers to book now and not wait.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that us as cruise consultants can offer you a better price than going direct to to the cruise line. We usually get the same base price but we can offer a incentive to book with us.
I believe the best time to book is when you get that feeling that you have got a great deal !! That may be a great deal to you as you have a drinks package included but may not be to others so you have to understand the value of the offer and I can help you with that.
The cruise market is definitely booking earlier so my advise would be don’t leave it late.