Never try this yourself.  You show up on the dock all set to book your cruise.  What you find out, however, is you can no longer do this.  These days’ cruise lines are required to submit their passenger list a day or two in advance.  This does not mean you can’t get great last minute cruise deals.   Follow the information below to secure the best last minute cruise deal you can.

The 90 Day Ticker

You will find me often referring to the “90 Day Ticker” at “Vacations to go”.  This is always my first and best resource for last minute cruise discounts.  There I have found some amazing deals like a 7 night Caribbean cruise in a balcony stateroom for $199.

My stepdaughter asked me to look for a short Mexican Rivera cruise for her and some fri
ends.  I found a 4 night cruise for as low as $159. I recommend you check this first when planning a last minute cruise.





You Better Shop Around

As I stated, I always check on “Vacations to Go” first for last minute cruise deals.  Don’t just stop there.  As good as the deals might look; you may be able to do even better.

I was checking deals one day and was comparing the deals from “Vacations to G
o” with deals from the actual cruise lines website.   Sometimes, but not all the time, I was able to find a better price on the actual lines site.  I also occasionally found perks like free cabin upgrade or free drink packages.  You will never know who really has the best prices until you compare.

If you know where you want to cruise to, sign up with Cruise, there you can sign up to be notified when your cruise reduces its price.  You can also do this for other vacations on

No Peaking

You will find that cruise prices during peak periods such as holiday weeks can be much more expensive.  I have found that, quite often, cruise prices go up during holiday weeks or just before.  However, after the holiday, travel tends to lull, and prices can go down.  Check around these times to check for good deals.

Use Local Ports if Possible

One thing that can really decrease the value of the great last minute cruise deal is flying to the departure port.  Additionally we all know that last minute flights can be very expensive.  Try to select a cruise that departs from a local port you can drive to.  Believe it or, some people will spend a fortune in airfare to secure that great cruise deal.  Always look at the “Out the Door” price to ensure your deal is really a deal.  Real my post on Free Cruise Deals for more information on this

The Devil is in the Details

Always read the fine print.  Inside cabins can offer a great price, unless you are claustrophobic. Perhaps your balcony stateroom has an obstructed view.  You could be promised a guaranteed cabin, which gives you no choice in your cabin location.  These details may offer problems for you.  Then again they may not.  The only way to know is to determine what this deal is getting you.

The key thing to remember is, research, be as flexible as you can, keep your passport up to date and READ THE FINE PRINT.  Happy hunting.

If you have any other tips for last minute cruises? Leave us a comment below.

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