Looking for a Bargain? Try Last-Minute Cruises
Category : Travel | 3683 views | 2007-05-15 18:00:01
by Roy Witman
The thought of a last-minute cruise causes most people to think of booking a cruise that departs in the next two or three days. In all actuality, "last-minute cruises" are not really so last minute. Travel professionals define a "last-minute cruise" as one booked between sixty days and six months in advance. That gives plenty of time to find someone to water your plants and feed the dog before leaving.
The primary difference between booking a full-priced cruise and a last-minute cruise is choice. When paying full price, you - obviously - can select when and where you want to go and which type of cabin you'll occupy. With last-minute cruises, there's a tradeoff: a much lower price in exchange for more limited options. When shopping for last-minute cruises, you'll need to be flexible. Be Flexible with
Usually January, February, April, September and October are the best times to cruise. Families tend to stay home while kids are in school, making it less crowded during these months. Spring break (March), summer break (May, June, July and August) and holidays (November and December) will offer few last-minute deals.
Sixty days prior to sailing is when some amazing deals can be found. Most cruise lines allow cancellations without penalty up until sixty days before sailing. In order to recoup lost revenue from these cancellations, the cruise lines resell passages at tremendous bargains. If you have the ability to be flexible with your vacation time, you'll be in a much better position to get fabulously discounted tours.Destinations
You might expect that only the lesser desirable locations become available for last-minute purchases. Not so! People cancel cruises to destinations all around the world every day for a variety of reasons. This means you can find last-minute cruises to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Alaska, Mexico and other popular spots. Accommodations
Lastly, be flexible when it comes to accommodations. Although you may have wanted a balcony suite, you may be just as happy with an ocean-view room if that room is available at 30% to 40% off. There are also numerous instances when you will get a better cabin than you originally planned.
How much can actually be saved? Up to 75%! The key to finding and booking a successful and fun last-minute cruise is to have an open mind. Rather than deciding where you want to go then looking for cruises that match, be surprised! Decide you want to go on vacation, and let the available itineraries make the other decisions for you.
Roy Witman is Vice-President of Cruise Vacation Center at http://www.cruisevacationcenter.com
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