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Booking and planning a last-minute cruise adventure can be tricky. With more and more cruise lines enticing customers with early-booking deals, advance promotions, and more secure cancellation policies, last-minute cruise deals can be harder to find these days.
However, for travelers who love to be spontaneous, or cruise aficionados who make snap decisions, all is not lost! Finding the best last-minute offer might be harder than it used to be, but it is still perfectly possible.
Last-minute cruise travel is a great way to see the world and can turn a mediocre vacation into a true adventure. You might need to call your doctor to make sure your travel jabs are up-to-date and grab your large suitcase out of storage, but it is definitely worth it.
So for anyone with the uncontrollable urge to head out on the high seas right away, here are a few tips on finding great deals and preparing for a last-minute cruise!
How to book a last-minute cruise?
Be flexible with what you want
If you are booking your cruise last minute, you might not be able to find exactly what you want. So lean into this and be as flexible as possible, and you’ll automatically open up better deals. Suppose you don’t worry too much about the specific cabin you were hoping for, or even the line, itinerary, destination, or trip length. In that case, you’ll discover cheaper options and a whole world of possibilities.
Look for repositioning cruises
Repositioning cruises are when cruise lines need to move ships between major markets at certain types of the year, resulting in slightly odd itineraries. These sailings – from the Caribbean or Asia to Europe in spring and fall, for example, can be hard to shift and are often available at significant discounts.
Call your travel agent
While prices online tend to be the same across the board, traditional, in-person travel agents often have access to better deals. So pick up the phone and give them a call! You might find a better deal due to group booking prices or hidden special offers that aren’t available online. You can also discuss how flexible you are willing to be with the agent, who can then tailor what you want with what is available.
How to prepare for your cruise adventure?
Check your documents
In a rush to book and plan a last-minute cruise, checking your vital travel documents can be the last thing on your mind. But if you weren’t planning an international trip, there’s a chance your passport might not be valid (remember, you’ll need at least 6 months remaining to travel). There might be other documents you need, quickly check the Panama immigration process. Don’t forget to make sure everything is in order before you set off.
Get to know your ship and itinerary
If you’ve given your flexibility free rein, chances are you’ll be sailing on an alien ship, and you might not even know much about your itinerary. To get the best out of your last-minute cruise adventure, it is worth doing a little research into the ship you have ended up on, and looking into where you are going and what you are going to want to do!
Write a packing list
Packing for a last-minute trip can be stressful, and it is easy to forget a few vital things when rushing to fill your suitcase. So before you start throwing stuff in a bag, sit down and write your packing list. It will significantly help in the long run and ensure your last-minute cruise adventure goes as smoothly as possible!