What to Expect When Booking a Cruise

Ready to book your cruise but not sure what to expect, when to start, or which options to choose? We’ve covered it all and more below.

How far in advance should you book?

As is the case with most travel arrangements, the sooner you book, the better. Most cruise lines open reservations up to two years in advance, and it’s advised to book at least 6 months prior to departure. Once you’ve made the deposit the rate is secured in foreign currency, although that could still change depending on the rate of exchange. Of course that’s far from the only reason booking early is the smart choose. For one thing, it offers you more choice as less people will have booked and more options will be available. It also gives you more time to plan your trip, and to pay it off. In addition, many cruise lines offer early-bird deals, discounts and incentives to fill up their cabins in advance.

On the other end of the spectrum are last-minute deals, which can be very good but are not guaranteed. You can try hold out for a special, but it might mean compromising your ideal trip or worse, not cruising at all.

What to Expect When Booking a Cruise

What’s the best way to book?

Although it has become very easy to book all kinds of travel by yourself, when it comes to cruising going through a travel agent is undoubtedly the best course of action. Right off the bat, they have access to all the cruise lines, their info, and their specials in one place. What would’ve taken hours if not days of research for you, they can access with the click of a button. Not only that, but they offer personalised advice and can tailor your trip to specific needs. Their services extend beyond just the cruise, and they can arrange and book your entire itinerary including flights, accommodation, and any additional excursions. They are also on call and at your service from the moment you begin the booking process, throughout your trip, and even afterwards.

What’s the best way to book?

Which cabin should you pick?

Choosing your cabin (or stateroom, as they’re often called on cruise ships) is a very subjective experience and differs from person to person. It depends on your budget and what is important to you. Do you want private space outside of your cabin where you can relax? Are you planning to spend as much time as possible exploring and enjoying the ship’s amenities? Are you travelling alone or with a partner or family and friends? All these things play a crucial role in determining which cabin is for you. There are four main cabin types on most major cruise lines.

Inside or Interior cabins are the smallest of the lot and have no windows, this usually makes them the most affordable.

Outside or Oceanview cabins are similar to inside cabins, but feature a porthole offering a view to the outside world.

Balcony cabins are more spacious and have outdoor areas which let you get some fresh air without having to go out, up onto the public deck.

Suites are the most lavish of the lot and are larger than the cabins, often featuring separate living and sleeping areas and other additional perks.

Which cabin should you pick?

Should you get insurance?

You’ve heard the idiom, “better safe than sorry”, well that rings true when getting insurance for your cruise. Although things tend to run smoothly most of the time, unforeseen circumstances can force dates to be changed or itineraries to be altered, and insurance could be the difference between an alternative trip or no trip at all.

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