Travel experts reveal the best time to book a cruise if you want the cheapest deals

By Staff

The best time to book a cruise holiday can also mean bagging some of the best deals according to insiders – we take a look at when you should thinking about planning your next sailing

If you’re looking to book a cruise holiday then you may want to get in as early as possible according to the experts.

With cruise lines opening bookings as early as up to two years before their ship set sail, it turns out that the early bird really can catch the worm. The experts at Iglu Cruise have revealed that the best time to book a cruise is one of the questions they’re most asked by holidaymakers – and while other holidays can be left last minute, when it comes to cruises it’s worth getting in early.

They explain: “If you book at least 12 months in advance, you are likely to have an excellent choice of dates and cabins. Family cabins and child places do get booked up even up to 18 months ahead of departure. Those after a solo cabin for example should be looking to snap one up 12-18 months in advance.

“Many new itineraries and early booking offers appear in December or January each year and this is a good time to keep an eye out for your preferred cruise. Waiting to book will reduce all options and choices. If you leave things to the last minute, destination, cruise line, cabin and dining time options will all be vastly reduced.”

It’s not the first time that the experts have warned passengers to plan ahead. According to Grace Sandwiith, the brand’s Commercial Director, booking early gets you the best pick of packages – and cabins.

She explained: “It is usually best to book early to be sure of the holiday availability you would like, there are often great deals and early booking incentives when new sailings are launched. If you know exactly what you’d like to book, booking early will ensure availability. Summer holidays are often in great demand which is why it’s best to book early for these.”

It wasn’t Grace’s only tip – she also recommends pre-booking drinks packages rather than waiting until you board the ship. She explained: “Where possible it is usually cheaper to pre-book your drinks package at the time of booking your holiday, you’ll get the best price and be confident that you know the cost of your holiday in advance. It is worth noting that there are a very small number of cruise lines where you can only purchase the drinks packages online.”

However, take note that if you’re offered a free cabin upgrade, you may want to consider your options before you jump at the chance. While you may end up with a nicer suite, you could be inadvertently forfeiting some other perks.

The experts added: “Whilst this sounds like a tempting offer at the time of booking, it does mean that you may relinquish the specific cabin you have chosen. Consider the pros and cons carefully before agreeing to a free upgrade, in case it places you in a location you would not have chosen.”

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