If you’re a spur-of-the-moment person (or if you’ll do anything for a bargain), then you need to shop for the last-minute cruise deals. Within a few weeks to days of sailing, ships take inventory for the sold rooms minus cancellations.
What is leftover are empty cabins – which mean lost revenue. Since the ship is sailing anyway, the cruise line does what retailers do – they put the rooms out for deep discount prices.
Here’s where you can grab major deals on the best cruises, but you have to act fast. How good are these deals? You can save from 40% up to 80%. A quick search showed these examples within a 60-day window:
Seattle to Alaska – $3,000 reduced to $899
Miami to the Bahamas, $799 now $239 due to 2nd Price Reduction
The Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico, $1,669 now $479, 71% reduction
San Diego, CA to Mexico – $1,669 down to $499, 70% reduction
Even the exotic cruise locations can be purchased at a discount if you check daily and are ready to buy when the deal opens. You can take a trip of a lifetime at almost two for one deal, like these:
Fort Lauderdale thru the Panama Canal – $12,500 down to $6,500, 50% reduction
Lower Italy around the Mediterranean – $2,500, now $900 with 64% reduction
Honolulu around the Islands – $3,800, now $1,600, a 57% reduction
How do you find these deals? First, you need to subscribe to several discount cruise travel sites. Set up your information account with the specifics of location and types of cruise that interest you.
If you like a particular cruise line, you can also register at the cruise line site and set up a personal information account. On every cruise site where you are registered, set up an “alert” so you will receive an email when a cruise that fits your preference becomes available.
Don’t forget the local travel agent. Let the agent know about your interests in cruise travel and your willingness to be a last-minute journey. The agent may have clients who booked a cruise but for health or other reasons have to back out. If the agent knows you are interested, you can get a first chance at the deal.
Last-minute cruising doesn’t mean you’ll get a call from the ship saying be here in two hours. More likely, you’ll know a few weeks ahead of time. Since many ships have Internet Cafes, last-minute cruising can work for entrepreneurs who don’t punch the clock anyway but need to stay in touch with their businesses. Better still, just “unplug” yourself and really enjoy the cruise.
Remember to check your passport and keep it updated. Have a tentative packing list of cruise travel clothes so you can pack and go quickly. For the adventure-minded, the bargains are wonderful but so is the mystery of where and when you’re vacationing.