cruise ship in blue ocean

Why Now Is The Best Time To Book A Cruise Holiday

3 October 2019
Read Time: 5.4 mins
There are two types of people in this world: those that cruise and those that haven’t yet experienced the delights of cruise. 
 
If you fall into the latter category, welcome to the world of cruise. Now is the time to say bon voyage to your landlubber ways and ahoy to your new found cruisie lifestyle!     
 
It’s also the perfect time to jump into the world of cruise; October 1 marks the start of Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) annual Cruise Month, celebrating the start of the busy Australasian summer cruising season, when the association's member cruise lines showcase their best deals, ships and itineraries. 
a cruise ship towers over a town while docked in port Cruise is an excellent option to see multiple destinations with ease. Image: Getty.

Why cruise?

Imagine unpacking only once, having all your needs met without having to book anything separately and exploring multiple destinations on one trip. Cruising is one of the best ways to get more for less and completely relax whether you’re a single, couple or family and no matter where you sit on the less to luxe budget spectrum. There’s onboard activities to choose from, award-winning restaurants with celebrity chefs at the helm to dine at and so many on shore tours and excursions to enjoy. Cruising is the one-size-fits-all holiday you need in your life now.

What kind of cruiser am I? 

From the fun and adventure of sailing the high seas on an ocean cruise to discovering historic townships and landscapes on river cruises or indulging in the all-inclusive decadence of a luxury cruise, no matter your tastes there’s bound to be something that floats your boat. 
River cruise sailing past Wat Arun at sunset - why book a river cruise now Sunsets and beautiful sights as a river cruise ship floats past Wat Arun in Bangkok. Image: Getty.
Cruise ships are often worlds unto themselves too, packed with activities and attractions like waterparks and rides; spas, gyms, cinemas, theatres and entertainment hubs; plus kids clubs and a huge range of family-focused activities such as mini-golf and rock-climbing walls. Some cruise lines even have purpose built destinations (for example Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay island in the Caribbean). Depending on your tastes and circumstance, your cruise specialist will be able to recommend the best cruise line, destination or itinerary to choose.          

When to book

If you’re after the too long; didn't read version, here’s the short answer: EARLY. Many cruises – particularly themed and special itinerary cruises – sell out not long after release so if you want flexibility and choice, then it’s best to book as far in advance as possible. 
 
For example, now is the best time to book for 2020 and 2021 departures of all kinds including ocean, river, luxury and expedition cruises. Not only is October to March the most popular time for booking a cruise holiday, it’s also when you’ll find the best deals on all types of cruises no matter the destination. Choice is also best at this time of year; from cabin configurations to the range of fares available, you’ll find the widest choice during these months.   

Why book so early?  

Since cruise lines release their itineraries about 18-months in advance, this is usually the best time to secure your desired cruise itinerary and a range of other choices. This timeframe is also best for price according to most data as cruise lines aim to generate interest with lower prices earlier, and often increase pricing closer to departure dates.   
 
Cruises also sell out quickly. And unlike other DIY holidays where you can choose your own itineraries, if you have a set itinerary in mind, booking early is the best way to make sure you’ll be cruising where and when you want. 
cruise ships docking in Geiranger Fjord, Norway Majestic Geiranger Fjord in Norway is just one example of the exciting ports-of-call on a cruise. Image: Getty.
It’s also particularly important for families to book early as many ships impose age restriction limits for younger passengers. For example, depending on the particular cruise line’s rules and age brackets, if the cap on two to six year olds is reached before your family of four (including a six-year-old) attempts to books with that cruise line, your whole family won’t be eligible.

RELATED: 6 Cruising Trends To Try    


Last minute cruises

If you are keen on a cruise and not particularly picky about when, where and how you go, then there are definitely last minute deals to take advantage of. Check out the last minute specials here, or talk to your cruise specialist in store. 
river cruise on the danube at twilight See some of Europe's grandest waterways; stay close-to-home or get adventurous on an expedition cruise – the choice is yours. Image: Getty.

Why book with a cruise specialist

There’s a whole raft of reasons why booking a cruise through a Flight Centre specialist is best. From the choice of products, prices and itineraries to ensuring your trip is as seamless as possible, it’s the most stress-free and safest way to book:     
 
– Widest choice: Flight Centre experts are cruise specialists with years of experience booking – and taking – cruises with well established partnerships with cruise lines meaning they have access to more product than anyone else.  
– They’ll manage your trip from booking to sailing: Sometimes a cruise is booked years in advance and there are so many variables that need to be managed between when you book to when you sail. From pricing fluctuations to documentation, visas and flight release alerts, your travel expert will keep you on top of updates and help make sure it’s all smooth sailing.   
– Better product and more deals: Because cruise specialists live and breathe cruise, they’re best placed to find you the best cruise for your needs and situation, using their resources to customise your cruise holiday. 
– They’ll make travelling as a group easier: Your cruise expert has the ability to link booking numbers, which increases the chances of getting cabins closer together and arranging a table in fine dining restaurants on board. Depending on the cruise lines, you may be eligible for group discounts or rebates, too.
– They know the ins and outs of add-ons and extras: From booking shore excursions before they sell out to organising cruise cover, which is mandatory on some cruises, your cruise specialist knows how to manage the extra details so you don’t have to stress about it.

Set sail with our Biggest Cruise Sale on now and you could win $5000* when you book and deposit any cruise between 26 Sept 19 and 6 Nov 19!


 

Desta Cullen

A writer, editor and content creator for Flight Centre, Desta loves nothing more than hopping on a plane in the name of travel. From jumping off mountains in Turkey to exploring Amsterdam from two wheels or sampling the best of a Thai street-food market, the timbre of Desta's holidays have taken a detour since having her first child but hunting down the best flavours and good times is still the aim of the game.