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The big question both first-time and seasoned cruisers are asking is: When is the best time to book a cruise? Even though there is no concrete answer, we, at Cruise1st, advise you to book early. By getting in early, you can score the perfect cruise holiday without having to deal with unreasonable cruise fares or limited availability.
From scoring early bird cruise fares to being spoilt with high availability, there are virtually no downsides to booking early. If you get in early, you will be rewarded in some way or another. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting in early.
Secure early bird rates
You can take advantage of special early booking rates when you get in early. These early bird cruise fares go live right when the booking window opens, so this is potentially 18 months prior to departure. Because these rates are only available for a limited time, you can get huge savings when you book early. But you need to get in early or else you’ll be paying standard rates like everyone else!
Cruise1st Tip: Save right from the get-go with our $50 deposit sale!
Dodge limited availability
In addition to scoring a fantastic deal, there are other perks when you book early. Thanks to open availability, you are free to book exactly what you want for when you want. If a specific itinerary or a certain cruise ship has caught your eye, you should already start thinking about stateroom categories. The sooner you book, the more likely your preferred stateroom category will be available.
If you book early enough, you might even be able to select not only the stateroom category but also the deck and the location on the cruise ship! Even if you can’t take advantage of the early bird discounts, you will at least be able to secure the preferred cabin, cruise ship, and itinerary.
Cruise1st Tip: Higher-level suite categories are popular but limited, which means they sell out quickly. If you’ve got your eye on an Owner’s Suite, make sure you book early before it sells out!
Avoid stress when planning for a family holiday
If you want to avoid disappointment, we recommend you don’t leave your booking too late, especially if you’re planning a family cruise over the holidays or during school breaks. Not only will you secure the best rates, but you will also be one of the first in line for the highly sought-after connecting and group staterooms.
Connecting staterooms are two neighbouring staterooms that are connected by a door. This makes them perfect for families travelling together because parents can still be close to their children without having to sleep in the same room. The amount of connecting stateroom on any cruise ship is limited, so be sure to get in early!
Cruise1st Tip: Over the holidays and during school breaks, cruise ships will host more children than usual. If your family requires a cot, a baby monitor, onboard children’s services, or anything else, request them early because they may not be available if you book too late.
Like voyages during the high season, cruises over the holidays are also in high demand. The most popular are Christmas and New Year’s cruises. Because school-age children are on summer holidays, many families are looking for cruises around this time. These popular cruises are unlikely to have any last-minute availability, so if you want to ensure your spot on a holiday cruise, book early!
Be the first in line for high season
If you’re looking for a winter escape, you must bear in mind that it’s summertime in the northern hemisphere – in other words: peak season if you’re cruising internationally. With promises of balmy weather and sunbathing by the pool, it’s no wonder why the demand for cruising is highest in the winter.
Cruise1st Tip: A summer cruise around the South Pacific is an absolute hit with Aussies!
Be prepared for increased passenger demand if you plan on booking a cruise holiday for the high season. Waiting to book will only ensure that you’ll be competing with other cruisers. You may have to compromise on your desired stateroom category, cruise ship, or itinerary if you don’t get in early.
Ensure your special needs are accommodated
Everyone is welcome on a cruise ship even if you have limited mobility, were diagnosed with a chronic illness, or are a dialysis patient. Cruising promises a low-stress holiday for people with special needs to just relax and enjoy. However, it is vital to ensure prior to booking that the cruise line can accommodate your special requests.
Nowadays, just about every cruise ship is equipped with a few wheelchair-accessible staterooms. The exact number of these staterooms varies from ship to ship, but one thing’s for certain: They sell out quickly! Book early if you’ll require an accessible stateroom or any other sort of special care during your cruise holiday.
Browse our website for the best cruise deals with the top cruise lines. If you’re ready to book your next cruise holiday long in advance, you can do so right through our website. If you need any assistance finding your dream cruise, ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345.