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How to find the best deal on a Royal Caribbean cruise

20 Nov 2015
Matt Hochberg

Everyone is looking for a deal when they book a Royal Caribbean cruise and there are definitely some good ways to save money.

Getting a deal on a cruise has a lot to do when you book your cruise and what time of year you are looking to cruise.

Here are a few good ways to save money on your next Royal Caribbean cruise booking.

Time of year

Keep in mind that when you book a Royal Caribbean cruise, the time of year you are looking to cruise has a great influence on the price.

In general, the more people that are also looking to vacation, the higher the prices.

For example, a cruise over a time when there is a school vacation will likely see higher prices than similar sailings in the weeks before or after.

For a good starting point, consider when schools are on vacation as times to avoid, since that is when a lot of families look to travel.

The best months for the lowest fares include

  • January (except New Years)
  • February (except Presidents Week)
  • First two weeks of March
  • October
  • November (except Thanksgiving)
  • First two weeks of December

Where you want to go

Just like the time of year, where you want to cruise can factor into the prices.

Summer in the Mediterranean, summer in Alaska, winter in the Caribbean are all good examples of high season demand, and that leads to higher prices.

By looking at different months, you can swing a much better rate.  

Look for what's known as "shoulder months", which are the times of year at the beginning or end of the prime season, when demand is less and prices are lower.

Use a travel agent

A good travel agent can really help you nail down some great rates because they are "in the loop" for all the promotions available today, as well as any new promotions that can be applied to your reservation.

Keep in mind that the price of a Royal Caribbean cruise is the same everywhere.  

The difference is a travel agent can help you figure out which discounts and booking incentives will benefit you the most, and assist with ensuring that any new promotions that come out will be applied to your booking.

When you book

These days, Royal Caribbean cruises have never been more popular, so the key to getting the best rates is to book as early as you can.

Ideally, booking your cruise 9, 12, 18 or 24 months in advance is the best way to lock in low prices.

Cruise fares are a lot like airfare, where the more folks that book, the less capacity there is and therefore, prices rise.

The days of last minute discounts are being eliminated, so you definitely want to book as early as you can to ensure you have the lowest rates.

What are your best tips on the cheapest time to book a cruise? Share them in the comments!

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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