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How to Find Last Minute Cruise Deals
Savvy travelers know that getting the best price on a cruise is a matter of timing. There are specials for early birds, but the best deals for budget-conscious travelers are last-minute cruises. There is a simple reason for this: an empty cabin on a cruise ship is unacceptable to the cruise line. It’s not just the cost of the cabin that is lost; it’s the other spending, too: the drinks, excursions, gratuities and specialty dining. So, cruise lines fill empty cabins at deep discounts at the last minute.
When looking for a last minute Carnival cruise, for example, remember that the fare includes your cabin, meals, snacks, onboard entertainment and lots of other perks you might not think of: cabin stewards, baggage handling, room service, use of the water park or other shipboard games, and some special parties. Some fares may also include the services of a concierge, a personal butler who caters to every need.
Variations in cruise prices relate to the size and location of your cabin, the amenities that come with the room type, such as Spa Suites or Concierge Cabins, and the luxury of the ship. Some cruise lines are known for their luxurious accommodations (such as Oceania Cruises), and some are known for affordable pricing (see Carnival Cruise Line). There are also seasonal price trends, with great sales going on several times a year. The first three months of the year are known as “wave season” in the industry, a time when all the cruise lines lower their fares.
The best way to find cheap last-minute cruises is to look at itineraries and compare prices. For most ships listed on the Dunhill Travel Deals website, you can find itineraries with current prices and compare last-minute cruise deals to cruises a few months away. You may find a cruise leaving for Alaska in a few days that is half the cost of their mid-July itinerary. The offers listed on this page represent some of the best last-minute cruise deals we’ve found in our inventory.
Last Minute Cruises from your own Home Port
If you’re searching for a last minute cruise, you can save time and money by sailing from a port that’s closer to your home. “Home Port Cruising” means less money spent on airfare. You can find cruises from port cities in every coastal region of the U.S., from Boston to Los Angeles. Caribbean cruises leave from Galveston, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and many other ports. Cruises to Bermuda can be found from the ports of Boston, Baltimore, New York and Cape Liberty, NJ. When you’re looking for a quick getaway, try searching for cruises from a nearby port.
Whether you’re wishing for a few days in the Caribbean sun, or a refreshing voyage to the coast of Alaska, you can find a great cruise at a great price, leaving any day now.
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