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View Full Version : When are cruises the cheapest?


tekaye
04-11-2012, 03:52 PM
My kids homeschool so we can cruise any time of year. But we are on a tight budget and want to save as much money as possible. Is there a time of month or time of year that is cheapest? Is there a period of time before a cruise that is cheapest (one year out? two weeks out?). Thanks a bunch!

DLW8
04-11-2012, 04:30 PM
There seem to be a few ways to get the best price on cruises.

1. Book as soon as the dates open up. This can mean about 18 months ahead of time.

2. Wait for a "Kids Sail Free" (KSF) promotion

3. Check cruises that are not that far away to see if there are any special restricted rates (IGT, OGT, VGT). These can have deep discounts but there are lots of restrictions - have to pay in full, no requests on cabin locations, no cancellation.

Also - while the last minute deals can be found, if you need to fly to Florida, that may outweigh the discounts on the cruise as last minute airfare may be more expensive. I am not sure where you are, so just wanted to throw that out there as well.

I would just start looking at the DCL website and plug in some dates to get an idea of how much it will cost at different times of the year and/or for any last minute restricted rates.

Good luck - whenever you decide to sail, you will LOVE it!

Trekker
04-11-2012, 04:49 PM
I've been doing some research and it seems that booking as soon as the dates open up still seems the best pricing.

Things like a "Kids Sail Free" (KSF) promotion are few and far between - usually only on a cruise route that DCL is having trouble selling.

(IGT, OGT, VGT) (I)nside - (O)ceanview - (V)erandah guaranteed usually can only be found after the penalty phase for cancelling has arrived - these rates are discounted big time from the CURRENT rates. But I'm finding most of the time the pricing on these is still more than if you book when dates are first released.

Something else I noticed lately for the Canada cruises. June - Aug have gotten pretty expensive as they fill up - But Sept is still a pretty good price - must be cause school is back in session.

kcashner
04-11-2012, 04:55 PM
There are a couple of ways to get great rates. First is booking the day the dates/rates come out. You can see some of those rates in the sticky at the top of the page. These are normal reservations that can be altered as needed. Many times, a cruise will double in price before the actual sailing date (but not always!)

The other way is to find a super special like "Kids Sail Free" or the IGT/OGT/VGT rates that typically are available on ships that are not selling out and usually appear 74 days or so before cruising (although sometimes they are released farther ahead than that!)

Example--last January a family of 4 could do a 7 night Mexican cruise out of L for under $1600 on a KSF special. I've tracked some of the OGT/VGT rates--we actually have a better rate on our day one booking than this promotion on dates near our cruise (it has not been released for our dates). If you are OK with booking 2 months ahead, you can sometimes find great deals. Keep your eyes open or work with a travel agent who specializes in DCL and follows Disney rates regularly.

DLW8
04-11-2012, 05:30 PM
Yes, I forgot to address the part of your question about what time of year.

Typically, school vacation times (Thanksgiving week, Christmas break, February vacation, March and April for spring break and summer) is the peak pricing time (just like at WDW)

We have sailed the week after Thanksgiving and the first week of December and had good rates. This year we are trying September and also got a good rate. While it is hurricane season, the Captain will not sail into the storm, so the ports may change if there is a storm, we are still taking the chance!

FoodLover
04-11-2012, 05:51 PM
As a previous poster mentioned, the cheapest times of year are when most kids are in school. They are also times when the weather might be a little (or a lot) less than optimal.

For Caribbean/Bahamas, January (can be a little cool) and September (very hot, very humid, peak hurricane season)

For Alaska, May and September (weather a little cooler than in peak summer)

Also, most repositioning cruises are less expensive than round-trip sailings, but this may be offset by having to buy two one-way plane tickets. (For example, to LA and Orlando for the LA-Port Canaveral Panama Canal cruise.)

Mary
MouseSavers.com

tekaye
04-12-2012, 01:51 PM
(IGT, OGT, VGT) (I)nside - (O)ceanview - (V)erandah guaranteed usually can only be found after the penalty phase for cancelling has arrived - these rates are discounted big time from the CURRENT rates. But I'm finding most of the time the pricing on these is still more than if you book when dates are first released.




Are these found on the DCL website?