The Best Time Of Year To Book A Cruise
The best time of year to book a cruise is often January through March. During this period also known as wave season industry-wide sales occur and the price of that cruise you’ve been dreaming of may drop significantly. It’s also a good time to find booking promotions, like free upgrades, prepaid gratuities, or onboard spending money.
When To Book Early
If you have your sights set on a high-demand sailing on a new ship or during school holiday dates the best time to book a cruise will be as soon as fares are released. This is the only way to guarantee a spot .
Cruise Critic explains that many popular sailings offer their best rates when fares first go on sale and then increase prices as the ship fills up. This rule is especially true for luxury itineraries, Disney cruises, and new ships.
Black Friday Cruise Deals
Black Friday can be an excellent time to shop for a cruise vacation, and youll always find a Royal Caribbean cruise promotion during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
However, do not wait to book a cruise until Black Friday. Instead, book the cruise now. Royal Caribbean allows price adjustments with no penalty until final payment date, so if you do notice a price drop when Black Friday rolls around, call Royal Caribbean or your travel agent to get the cruise fare adjustment.
Plus, you might find that Black Friday cruise deals are not very different from promotions youll see throughout the rest of the year. Unlike retail and technology stores, for example, cruise pricing does not drastically change on Black Friday. You might find that the Black Friday promotion is nearly the same as other promotions during the year.
Also Check: Vancouver Hotels Near Cruise Port
I Cruise To The Greek Islands In October
I took a cruise with the Greek cruise line Celestyal a couple of years ago, we cruised in October and visited 7 ports within 4 days.
It was a busy, but brilliant cruise.
For us, the temperature was perfect, and coming from the UK where the average October temperature is 10c, it was amazing to get away for some autumn sunshine.
To learn more about my Celestyal cruise, including what it was like cruising on the Celestyal Olympia, an ex-Royal Caribbean ship, check out my full review here: Celestyal Cruises Daily Photo Diary and Review
We embarked in Athens and visited Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini, all within 4 days!
We also found that the ports werent too busy but that we were able to do everything that we wanted to in each port.
I would definitely recommend cruising in the shoulder months.
The Prices Are Lower Than Peak Season
The prices for a Greek island cruise in the shoulder months can be considerably lower than the exact same cruise in peak season. This is because the demand is highest in the peak season so cruise lines are able to increase their prices.
Cruising outside of school holidays usually does reduce the cost of any cruise.
Read Also: Royal Caribbean Cruise Promo Code 2022
Can I Book A Last
While most of our advice points to booking a cruise earlier rather than later, you can occasionally find a cheap last-minute cruise deal on Royal Caribbean.
If a cruise is past final payment date and not all rooms have been booked, Royal Caribbean may drop prices in order to encourage more passengers to book the cruise.
While this may lead to great savings, a certain level of flexibility is needed before booking a cruise at the last minute. Stateroom, ship, and itinerary choices may be extremely limited, so keep an open mind before booking so you dont end up disappointed!
More information on last-minute cruise deals:
What Are The Least Expensive Months To Sail
If you want to sail for cheap, then we suggest looking at months like January, February, April, May, September and October. We find that rates during these months tend to be less expensive than for the same cruise if headed to the Caribbean. During these times fewer people are traveling, leading to generally lower cruise fare.
If headed to Alaska, then the months are more limited. The season runs largely from May through September. In this case the shoulder months of May and September offer the lowest prices.
Recommended Reading: 80 Series Land Cruiser Front Bumper
Best Time To Cruise European Rivers: May
Peak season for European river cruises lasts from May through September. And if you’re after the best of those European summer vibe, it’s a hard time of year to top. Cafes are packed, streets bustle with life and days are long and warm.
There are some caveats, though. Most cities and towns along any of Europe’s rivers will be crowded. In some cases, heat waves and low rainfall can cause European rivers to be too low for ships to sail. If that’s the case, most lines will opt for motor coach tours. Additionally, depending on where you’re sailing, July and August may mean some local cafes and restaurants are closed for summer holidays.
If you’re seeking a slightly cheaper river cruise in Europe, spring can mean flowers in glorious bloom and milder temperatures. Tulip-viewing itineraries in the Netherlands and Belgium are especially popular. Keep in mind that heavy rains and early-spring flooding can make the rivers swell and the locks impassable.
Many river lines also offer Christmas market cruises in November and December to Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. These tend to sell out quickly.
Best Time To Cruise Canada & New England Summer And Winter
Canada and New England sailings take place all year round often as part of a transatlantic crossing, or voyages to the Caribbean. These areas are beautiful in the summer, and picturesque in the winter, with mild snowfall relatively common. However, there is, perhaps, no better time to visit this region than in autumn. The leaves start to show signs of changing colour in September, with Maine leading the way in October with vibrant reds and oranges, quickly followed by Vermont, and New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island catching up in November. Travellers come from all across the world to witness the changing of the leaves, creating one of the most picturesque times of year on Americas East Coast, and in South East Canada.
With such beautiful scenery, weather, and activities during all times of the cruising season, it can be difficult to know when to sail. Rest assured that whatever time of year you choose to travel, you will find many wonderful things to fall in love with, even if you do experience a little bit of rainfall!
Find out more about Canada and USA cruises
To read more about the exciting destinations you can visit on board a cruise, including specific port information, .
Also Check: Dinner Cruise St Pete Beach
Taking A Cruise In April
Pros: April represents one of your last chances to get a deal on a cruise before the busy summer sailing season. Discounts and deals are still available up until about mid-May, giving you the chance to save a bundle on a trip compared to sailing just a month or two later. As well, the threat of snow is diminished in northern parts of the United States and hurricane season isnt here yet for port cities.
Cons: After Spring Break, its back to school and work for most people. That means many have a tough time taking a trip at this time a year. Thats unfortunate because April is the Goldilocks of cruise months it features affordable prices, good weather, and is before hurricane season gets cranked up, adding a wildcard to travel in the Caribbean.
Things To Do In Alaska In October:
Alaska Events in October: Alaska’s October calendar isn’t as full as other months, but you’ll find Oktoberfest in Anchorage if you’re a fan of brats and beers. , when the state became part of the United States. Head to Sitka to join in the multi-day revelry.
Alaska Wildlife in October: Bear sightings will be less likely in October as one of the state’s must-see animals begins the process of hibernating for the winter. Mating season for animals like caribou and moose continues into October as well, but you’ll likely have to be far north for those sightings. It should be easy to spot bald eagles in the fall and whale watching is possible .
Alaska Fishing in October: You’ll still be able to catch rainbow trout and silver salmon during October in Alaska. Don’t expect the same bounty or diversity of catches that you might find earlier in the year, though.
What to Eat in October: Winter squash and rhubarb are the must-eats if you’re after local Alaska food in October, and you’ll find beets, cabbage, and sprouts as well. Keep your eye out for mom-and-pop shops selling various jams, pies and other delicious creations as well.
Recommended Reading: Nova Scotia Cruise From Nyc
Taking A Cruise In September
Pros: With the busy summer cruise season past, students back to school, and summer vacations in the rear view mirror, September offers a shoulder season of sorts. While the Caribbean is still warm perfect for those that want to hit the beach and the water cruise fares are heavily discounted versus the expensive summer months. In other words, you get the warm weather of the summer with the lower prices of the fall. Its also the last chance to sail Alaska for the season, when crowds are fewer and fares are generally cheaper.
Cons: September actually marks the peak of hurricane season. Historically, the first week of the month is the busiest for storms and then activity quickly drops off later in the month. Still, even if your ship isnt directly impacted by a storm, it can cause issues at Caribbean ports.
When Is The Best Time To Go On A Cruise
One of the most frequently asked questions our experts get is “When’s the best time to cruise?” The answer, however, is not so simple and depends on many variables including your personal tastes, trip specifics, your budget and what destinations you want to visit.
With so many diverse regions to choose from and so many cruise options, this guide will help narrow down your options so you can make an educated decision when determining the best time to go on the cruise that’s right for you.
Don’t Miss: Sunset Cruise North Myrtle Beach
Whens The Best Time To See The Northern Lights On An Alaska Cruise
Seeing the northern lights from the cruise ship is a rare occurrence, but if youd like to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis from the balcony on your stateroom, then you need to book a trip in late September or early October.
To maximize your chance of witnessing the northern lights, get off the boat and join a land excursion to Fairbanks. The aurora season in Fairbanks lasts from the end of August to April and the lights can be seen four out of five nights if the sky is clear.
Best Time To Cruise Alaska: June
Alaska has a short cruise season that lasts from late April through October. June through August is Alaska’s high season, when weather is warmest and summer vacation season is in full swing. However, crowds and high fares are the norm at this time of year and rain is likely, especially in August.
If you’re after peak wildlife viewing in Alaska, though, high season is the best time to cruise the state. Bears, whales, salmon and caribou are far more abundant June through August than at other times of year. There are also numerous festivals in the port towns during the summer. You’ll want to book well in advance for an Alaska cruise between June and August, as itineraries tend to sell out quickly.
May and September can also be great times to cruise Alaska if you’d like to save a little money. Whale watching is good in both months, as gray and humpback whales migrate to and from the state. Other wildlife will also start to emerge from their winter slumbers in May or be in the middle of mating season in September.
If you’re choosing between May and September, note that May is the driest month of the Alaska cruise season, so you’re less likely to be rained out of your flightseeing tour, glacier walk or other shore excursions.
Also Check: 3 Day Cruises From San Diego
Summer Cruises To The Caribbean
Looking for an antidote to a too-crowded summer vacation? A summer cruise to the Caribbean may be just the ticket. When you cruise the Caribbean during June, July, and August, youll enjoy less crowded beaches and restaurants.
The Caribbean is one of the most fun places to go in the summer with your family since the kids are out of school. While the weather can get quite hot and humid during this time of the year, with some islands reaching 90 degrees on average in August, temperatures tend to cool down in the evenings, when they can hit a comfortable range within the low-70s.
During the summer, the chance of rain also increases, so make sure to bring a rain jacket or poncho in case you happen to get caught under some showers. Dont forget the bug spray either, as high humidity and rain typically mean there are more mosquitoes, too.
Planning An Alaskan Cruise
Cost and cruise itineraries will determine when is the best time to cruise to Alaska. But no matter which month you choose to sail, visiting Alaska is a thrilling cruise destination.
My family and I are veteran cruisers and our Alaska cruise stands out for many reasons. On our inside passage cruise in July aboard Princess Cruises we docked at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. The itinerary included Glacier Bay National Park and concluded in Victoria, British Columbia.
The wildlife sightings were incredible! We saw bald eagles in Juneau, and humpback whales and sea lions from our ship. One of the most exciting things was the glacier calving in Glacier Bay National Park. We heard a loud crack that sounded like a shotgun and then saw a wall of ice slide into the bay, creating a huge splash. It was a National Geographic moment!
Read Also: Largest Cruise Ships In The World
Things To Do In Alaska In May
Alaska Events in May: If you have the extra cash to spare, opt for one of the few cruises that visit Kodiak Island in May. The reward? Timing your visit with the Kodiak Crab Festival, which takes place on Memorial Day Weekend every year. Alternatively, birders might want to time their cruise with the Copper River Shorebird Festival, which takes place early in May in Cordova. Check ahead to make sure your itinerary will stop here, as it’s usually only featured on longer 14-day cruises to Alaska.
Alaska Wildlife in May: Shorebirds are easy to spot during May in Alaska, as migrating colonies arrive in full. Gray whales are likely to be seen on whale watches, as will humpbacks and orcas, particularly in the waters of Southeast Alaska. On dry land, bears are more common in May, though not as frequently spotted as they are in peak summer.
Alaska Fishing in May: King salmon runs start in late May and the season runs through September. Arctic char are numerous this time of year and you’ll also have luck scoring almost every type of trout in May . Even if you’re a seasoned fisherman, we recommend using a local guide to help find you the best fishing spot.
When Is The Best Time To Travel To Mexico By Cruise Ship
There are a variety of weather conditions that you can expect in Mexico throughout the year. In this way, there is really no such thing as a bad time when visiting Mexico. The best time to go will depend on what vacation you have in mind.
If you are looking for warmer weather and long beaches, If you want to see the countrys culture and history, then any other popular time of year would be better.
The best time to travel to Mexico by cruise ship is during the winter months. This is one of the best weather because it is pleasant, fewer crowds, and you will likely find lower rates for your cruise. The peak season for Mexican cruises is between . Warm temperatures are expected throughout the country. By late April, temperatures begin to drop, and cruise lines offer the best deals on their vacation packages to Mexico.
Cruise ships dock in Cozumel year-round, but they may not be able to dock if there is too much wind or heavy rain. In addition, many of the islands attractions close during the off-season because they are not open year-round.
Also Check: Celebrity Cruise Lines Official Site
The Weather Is Still Warm
Warm is, of course, a subjective word, to the locals the weather in the shoulder season could be described as getting chilly but for me, it was glorious.
The weather is fairly consistent in Greece, at least compared to the weather in the UK. Most of the time in May, June, September, and October the weather will range from around 20-25c.
Although it does rain on occasion the typical rainfall of October in a place like Mykonos is only 8 days a month totally roughly 2 inches of rainfall.