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Last Minute Cruise Deals

Tue May 15, 2012 12:24 pm

So I grew up in Florida for 19 years but never went on a cruise. Then I moved to Nebraska and have been on two now (both out of Port Canaveral, FL). I absolutely LOVE cruises! What a deal and great time they are! When we went on these two cruises, I would always hear fellow passengers talk about living near the port and taking advantage of great, really cheap, last minute sales on cruises. Now I live in Georgia, only about 6 hours from Tampa and 7 hours from Port Canaveral and I'm all for last minute deals on cruises, but can't seem to find any. Anyone know of these last minute deals and how one could take advantage of them? I'd love to hear about some of the deals you might have cashed in on and how you heard about it. I'd be happy to help these cruise lines fill up empty cabins at the last minute for great last second deals.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Tue May 15, 2012 2:21 pm

I suggest you join Cruise Critic

and subscribe to their deals. They will be sent to you directly by email and there's lots.

You can also join Cruise Critic forums and participate with all the other fellow cruisers.

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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Tue May 15, 2012 3:29 pm

The best cruise deal is that which you start planning for at least a year beforehand. I've been on three cruise trips (on the same ship from the same port    ) and save for the first one which was a complete surprise, as soon as we saw a deal on the newspaper we jumped at the chance. I celebrated my 15th and 16th birthdays and it was all due to seeing specials coming out as early as December of the previous year. Imagine cruising for 7 nights for $277 plus taxes which brought the trip to just a little under $500.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Tue May 15, 2012 6:47 pm

There's an excellent website called Vacations to Go. They have all sorts of can sort by destination, port of departure, dates, ships, star-ratings, etc. I have used them for my trips from San Diego down to the Mexican Riviera.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Wed May 16, 2012 12:00 am

You just have to sign up to all of the different travel deal sites. I get a few emails a day with deals and most of the best ones are within the next week or two.

Sign up for's Top 20, Top 25,'s newsletter, and maybe Kayak's list. Cruisecritic is pretty good as well
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Wed May 16, 2012 3:45 am

Check out; and even Costco if you are a member.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Wed May 16, 2012 4:06 am

At least with the big 2 Carnival and Royal; Carnival is flexible. They seem to be easier to be able to obtain a last minute cruise deal. I too love cruising. All three have been on Carnival's mid size slightly older but redone ships, the fantasy class.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Wed May 16, 2012 5:26 am

Don't count on last-minute deals though. Cruise lines will overbook their ships as they know that there will be no shows and last-minute cancellations. I think flexibility is key to getting a good deal.

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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Wed May 16, 2012 2:27 pm

You can get great cruise deals last minute, but you cannot be sure there will still be a reasonably priced flight available.

I found that 2 - 6 months before is the best time. As for me its of no use to pick up the early booking rates available about 12 months before sailing as I cant oversee whats so far in the future. I get good offers from "my" cruise line, about 20% - 25% below catalogue price usually about 2 - 5 months before sailing. If you are flexible and dont need a flight it indeed might be worth to wait until very close to sailing date as you can get bargains of 50% and more (on my first cruise I managed to get 70% off on a true luxury cruise!), but note that often filling out the manifest has to be done about two weeks before, at least if you travel abroad.

cruisecritic is a good website, also fine because it has a huge forum and thousands of cruise reviews.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Tue May 22, 2012 9:35 am

I booked a cruise departing next month, reduced from £600 pp to £249. It's with Cunard onboard Queen Elizabeth and I have an ocean view. Most people get the best deals by booking last minute. Some people have paid £1200 ocean view from Southampton to New York a year in advance to find out that 4 months before sailing, Cunard have balcony cabins on offer for £699.. so they cancel and rebook on the offer.
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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Thu May 24, 2012 8:24 am

I'd second We've booked through them a few times, including just in April. They send emails with 90 day deals and last minute specials. I think is another. And is a fantastic resource for info.

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RE: Last Minute Cruise Deals

Thu May 24, 2012 11:28 am

Its a case of shopping around. Sign up to the big specialist emails and also the direct ones from the cruise lines. Sometimes booking early can be better than late and vv. , I think most people know when they see a deal and when they do its time to grab it. Lots of cruise lines offer free OBC/Category upgrades and other perks for booking early. There is no set trend to it .

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