When you cruise, your final payment is generally due 90 days out from the date of sailing. At that point the cruise lines know what their inventory is and they may start reducing the fares in order to fill all the beds on a cruise. From what I’ve understood, the cruise lines don’t make money on your fare but rather from the money you spend once on the ship whether it is from alcohol, the money you dropped in the casino, excursions that are booked through them or your purchases in the shops on board. They want and need to fill the beds and they will reduce and reduce fares to get those who can travel at the last minute.
I have found that you can get a great deal with a Caribbean sailing because there are so many cruises that are plying the waters of the Caribbean. Also, if air fares are high to Europe or beyond, then the number of passengers tend to not book because they don’t want to pay the higher airfare to meet the ship. That’s when fares can be reduced also.
I’ve been looking all summer for a reduced fare to sail from either Boston or New to Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Quebec and possibly Montreal. I am also willing to do it in the opposite direction. The sailing on the St. Lawrence has a short time – generally only a few months and because of that there tend to be few, if any, sales on these fares.
Right now I’m sure you’ll find great deals on Alaskan cruises. September tends to be the end of the season for cruising in Alaska but it might be a great year to do it in Alaska as they are having a very warm summer.
My daughter and I were able to take advantage of one of these cruises within one week of sailing and we found cheap airfare to boot! We booked passage on a Celebrity ship out of Fort Lauderdale for 5 nights visiting Cozumel and Roatan, Honduras. Sure , we only had a stateroom with a window and our stateroom was third from the bow BUT we only paid $250 each for this great vacation.
If you happen to have some free time, check out the last minute sales with the cruise lines. If you happen to decide to book a cruise, please refer back to my blog on booking a cruise for tips.