It is, in many ways, the perennial conundrum that faces the holiday planner and the want-away cruiser: do you plan months, or even years, in advance or do you make a snap decision based on a whim and, if you’re lucky, some last-minute, discounted fares to sweeten the deal? Sadly, there’s no definitive answer as to the best course of action, both approaches have their merits and both can lead to a really great cruise depending, of course, on your needs and expectations.

Should I Book Early For The Best Choice?
In a word: ‘yes’! If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that the earlier you do decide to book, the more choice you’re going to have. For some people this is imperative as it means they can secure the cruise and cabin of their choice and then simply look forward to their cruise holiday. If you’re looking for a stress-free option, then this is almost certainly your best bet. However, you might still want to think about what’s important to you before you take the plunge.


What Are The Most Important Things About Your Cruise?
In order to decide where you sit on the ‘when to book my cruise’ spectrum you ought, perhaps, to ask yourself some fairly fundamental questions and consider who you’re travelling with along with their aims and aspirations. If it’s just the two of you and you’re both flexible on dates and destination then, unless you have very strong views on the type of cabin you want, you might be better served by waiting a while to see what turns up.


How Flexible Are Your Cruise Holiday Dates?
This can be a clincher. If you’re travelling with children or you’re limited by work or similar commitments, then it might be prudent to book early. Yes, cancellations do happen but school holidays and Christmas cruises tend to sell quickly from the moment they’re released. If you’ve set your heart on an obviously popular date, then it’s usually best to secure your cabin at the earliest opportunity.
You may not feel you’re getting the last word in cut-price cruise deals by booking early, but ask yourself how important this is when balanced against the possibility of missing out altogether. If your cruise revolves around a birthday, an anniversary or a week or two away that doesn’t clash with term times or your work schedule, then you’ll kick yourself if you can’t go because you left it too late! It’s also worth considering that cruise companies are generally very happy for you to book early and are apt to offer you incentives to do so: make sure you consider early booking incentives before deciding to play a waiting game.


Show Me The Last-Minute Cruise Bargains!
There are definitely cruise bargains to be had – last minute and otherwise - but, hopefully, it’s already clear that there are a number of factors that the shrewd cruiser needs to bring into play before finally deciding whether to book early or to hold off. The best deals are true bargains because they work for you. If you want to save a few pounds - and who doesn’t, these days? – being honest and straightforward about your requirements will pay dividends when it comes to picking the right cruise.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be flexible on dates and destinations, and not so picky about your preferred cabin, then you’re undoubtedly in a strong position to make the most of the last minute cruises and potential bargains on offer. Of course, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t mark that special anniversary or red letter day with a cruise that you secure way in advance and then bide your time before booking a second cruise as a last minute getaway gift to yourself! Now, that’s definitely a win-win in any cruiser’s strategy manual. Book your last minute cruise here