The rules of engagement: last minute cruises

Last minute cruise deals reward procrastinators and appeal to those with who love travelling at a moment’s notice. However, one must be prepared when booking last minute cruises or risk making costly mistakes. Follow these guidelines to keep things shipshape.

Knowledge is Power

Cruisers must know when to find their last minute deals. Last minute in the cruise industry is not quite measured in minutes. Last call – the deadline for cancelling reservations by passengers – is anywhere from 60 to 120 days before departure. After that time, cruise operators will discount empty cabins in order to sell out the ship. This is the best time to begin looking for last minute cheap cruises.

Repositioning cruises occur when a ship’s new itinerary or route prompt operators to offer deeply discounted prices in order to relocate a ship. Passengers receive a one-way voyage to the ship’s new location. The disadvantage is the costly return flight. Still, one may find a bargain flight or use frequent flyer miles to keep costs to a minimum. It pays to be informed.

Keep an Open, Optimistic Mind

The best last minute cruises usually involve off-season travel. Perhaps the right date for a last minute cruise is available, but not the desired destination. Conversely, the destination is available but not on the available date. Choice cabins sell out first, so last minute passengers may not obtain their preference. Greater flexibility yields better bargains.

Ask for Help

Many travel web sites such as Imagine Cruising offer email alerts or newsletters to inform travellers of discounts, specials and last minute deals on cruises. Cruise agents have the knowledge and experience to help people find the best cruise deals or even organise their entire holiday.

Part of the fun of last minute cruises is the opportunity for spontaneous adventures and pleasant surprises. With proper planning, last minute cruise deals mean smooth sailing.

Picture courtesy of argusfoto

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