If it’s January, the cruise industry sale called “wave season” for most cruise bookings is here. Virtually all cruise lines offer their best deals for cruise sailings of at least 6 months in the future, and including newly released deployments 2-3 years away, during the first month of the new year as incentives to travelers; this also enables the cruise lines to assure guaranteed sailings at full capacity long before the actual sailing. Some lines, especially smaller and/or luxury lines, continue through February and March with fantastic offers as well. Wave season offers highlight more value with possible options including upgrades for very small monetary increases or some indulgence (spa offer or drink package). We would like to offer some suggestions on how to search for your ideal lifetime memories cruise vacation and the best value for it.
- The first thing you should do (even prior to January if you can) if you have an idea of what you are looking for is to check online cruise websites for the lines you may consider sailing on for the time period you wish to sail, itinerary desired, stateroom category you are interested in — there are just 4 basic types: inside, ocean view, balcony and suites), embarkation/disembarkation ports, and general price range. Make a list of your available options. Then call your travel consultant for firm prices they can offer you and at Getaway Dreams Come True, possible additional suggestions based on your desires. Our host agency, Cruises & Tours Unlimited with more than 4,000 agents, will have great deals due to the quantity they book with each cruise line who in turn offers better deals to their travel partners and we in turn can offer that to you, our clients). Please do not book online as you will NOT get the best deal, but rather seek the unpublished offers through a travel agency (even if you have sailed with the cruise line previously as those amenities will be in addition to other offers). Independent brick and mortar agencies (not part of a conglomerate or host agency) will probably only be able to offer the same kind of deals you will find online with perhaps a small amenity unless you are interested in pre-booked group travel which has its own pricing schedule; you need not book during Wave Season for group bookings.
- Cruise lines tend to offer a longer booking period; i.e., a month-long deal (or maybe two months), with additional short-term offers within the same time period. The long-term offers are usually reduced fares, with additional amenities offers varying in availability for just a few days up to several weeks long. Always compare apples to apples and read the fine print that you will be agreeing to regarding any deal.
- Remember that all deals will apply to available staterooms, so when a popular category is sold out, you will not get that bargain (you may be able to pay for a higher category (upgrade) within the stateroom type, but it will still be more than you were planning to pay). First come, first serve is the rule of the day, so once you have determined when and on what sailing you would like to book, don’t delay in contacting your travel advisor to do so.
- Most cruise lines have reduced rates on all sailings currently in the booking system for deployments anywhere their ships sail for more than two years in advance. This means if you want to book a cruise for summer vacation of 2019, you will get the best deal now, not by waiting until January Wave Season of next year. As a general rule, the further out you book any cruise, the better the fare will be; prices increase as the sailing time nears until the last minute sales for a month or two prior to sailing, but remember the best staterooms will already be taken.
- Remember that a deposit (possibly reduced during wave season) will hold your reservation with the fares and amenities specified at the time of booking. In selecting your cruise versus another cruise line, amenities and reduced deposit options are what can seal the deal when fare rates are generally the same amount. Our consultant will guide you in comparing various similar options between lines.
If you are looking for great values on at least 6 months in the future sailings with a good selection of cabins on a sailing that very much interests you, we recommend you book during wave season; but remember there will be better fare deals available in the month or 6 weeks before sailing (if it is not sold out), but cabin choices will be limited. Also, amenity offerings may not be available at all if you wait.
Getaway Dreams Come True Travel Agency always spends needed time discussing your travel preferences so that we can always determine the desired appropriate lifetime memories vacation value for you. You will benefit from the remarkable combination of qualities resident in our travel practice which equates to our personality which you cannot find for any price anywhere.
You may wish to view previous blog posts in assisting you with your cruise or any type of travel: