How To Find The Best Last-Minute Cruise Deals


How To Find The Best Last-Minute Cruise Deals

How To Find The Best Last-Minute Cruise Deals

Are you on the lookout for a great cruise deal? Do you like a bargain when cruising? Then this article is for you as I explore how to find the best last-minute cruise deals.

One of the best ways to get a great price for your cruise is to go for deals for last minute cruises. This is ideal if you are flexible about the destination and line you are prepared to cruise with.

When to look?

The best time to start looking for these deals is between 90 and 60 days before you want to cruise. The reason is that most lines require passengers to pay the final balance for their cruising vacation within this time period. The cruise lines then assess how much capacity they have for those sailings, and work on ensuring the ship sails full.

If they have capacity, they are likely to offer lower prices or added benefits, like drinks packages, speciality dining or upgrades to fill every cabin. Another technique I have observed is they use, is to encourage existing booked passengers to go for upgrades as lower grades, like inside and Oceanview, are easier for them to sell at short notice on last minute deals than the suites and premium balcony staterooms.

Cruise lines want their ships to sail full as an essential part of their revenue comes from on-board expenditure by guests. Excursions, drinks, gambling, Wi-Fi, spa treatments and spending in the stores being the main ones.

What to consider?

If you are interested in last minute deals as a way to make cruising more cost effective, there are a four things I think you should consider:

  1. Focus on non-peak times of the year. You are less likely to find an incredible last-minute deal at peak times like school vacations and holiday times like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. The other thing you should do is avoid public holiday weekends.
  2. The more flexible you are the more options you will have. If there is a specific ship, on a specific itinerary at a specific time you want to go on, you probably are not going to find a last-minute cruise. But, if you decide broadly you want to go to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, South America or have a broad basic region you want to go to, and you are flexible about cruise line and ship you are on, this is going to give you the greatest chance of finding a deal.
  3. Focus on local ports from where you are, as getting a flight last minute is often expensive. Flight prices tend to go up the closer it gets to departure. So, while you might get a great cruise deal the savings may be negated by the cost of the flight to the port. So, I recommend focusing on ports that you can drive to or cruise deals that are fly-cruise offers with the flight included.
  4. Sign up for newsletters. This tip is an important one. Make sure that you sign up for newsletters with any cruise line that appeals to you. Cruise lines use their email newsletters to push out activities and promotions, especially related to last-minute cruise deals. The second option, and easier option, is focus on online cruise agencies that collate and bring together all the deals and their email newsletters. For example, in the UK there is I get their emails and also regular updates on offers by post.

How to find out more?

Watch my videos on getting great cruise deals and fares!

11 Best Ways to Get Lower Cruise Fares

Watch on YouTube:

10 Best Ways To get last-minute cruise deals

Watch on YouTube:

View more of my cruising tips.



Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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