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Is there a best day to book a cruise for a cheap deal?

09 Aug 2022
Matt Hochberg

Is there such thing as a best day of the week to book a cruise?

Ovation of the Seas on a sunny day

In the world of booking airfare, there's been evidence that says certain days of the week will get you a lower price for a flight than others .

So does the same sort of logic apply that you might get a better cruise price if you book on a Tuesday instead of Saturday, or in the morning instead of after dinner?

I haven't noticed any kind trend, but I don't deal with cruise prices nearly as much as travel agents do. So to get an answer, I reached out to a few travel agents that specialize in booking cruises to get their take on if there's a better day to book a cruisr to save you money.

There is no best day to book a cruise

Cruise ship in Grand Cayman

In speaking with all the travel agents I asked for this article, none said there was any kind of trend related to day of the week being better or worse for cruise prices.

"There isn't a best day of the week to book a cruise, as prices change often," said Sharla Manglass, Travel Planner with MEI & Mouse Fan Travel.

"Some people seem to believe that waiting for Black Friday, WOW, or Kids Sail Free sales will be the best option for them."

Mindy Breitman, a Travel Advisor for Cruise Planners, points to the fact the algorithm controls the price, not the day of the week, "Weekends seem to be more people looking  and algorithms could make pricing increase on a particular sailing so I would say any weekday - and they can always be repriced."

Justin Wolfson, Independent Travel Advisor-Chubit Travel, agreed that day of the week doesn't matter, "I don’t believe there is a best day during the week to book a cruise, as many think booking airfare on Tuesday is best. "

Could there be a day of the week trend in another cruise market outside of the United States? 

Michelle Feilberg, Travel Curator for MTA Travel, didn't notice any price trends related to day of the week, "Not one specific day but what I find, here In Australia, is our busiest days for bookings are Friday through Monday."

Ms. Breitman said the only trend she saw with regard to timing was for suites.

If you're looking to scoop up a suite after someone fails to book it following a 24 hour hold, you'll want to stay up late, "I will say if someone is looking for a particular cabin to look at midnight especially for suites because any holds release at midnight."

Repricing is the real secret to a cruise deal

Each of the travel agents I spoke to for this article reiterated the importance of repricing, rather than looking for the day of the week to book.

Ms. Manglass tells all her clients to book early and reprice often, "The best advice I can give is to book when you're ready to book at the price you're willing to pay, and then if the price goes down, it's a win."

"Many cruise lines allow you to adjust your booking until final payment and beyond," Mr. Wolfson said.

Read moreDo cruise prices drop?

Odyssey of the Seas at sea

"Securing your booking on a Tuesday and the fare goes down on Wednesday it can be adjusted by your travel Advisor or cruise line if booked direct."

"I recommend securing your cruise as soon as possible to get the best overall rate."

Ms. Breitman said booking early to reprice later is her preferred strategy, "Better to lower your pricing than wish you booked it."

Trends when people want to book a cruise

Radiance pulling into Seward

One trend agents do see is when they see an uptick in new booking requests.

"Most people book in the wave season, meaning the first quarter of the year," Ms. Manglass explained.

Wave season is an industry term for the time of year when cruise lines tend to offer their best promotion. It traditionally takes place between January and March and is not just an arbitrary time of year to offer cruise deals.

"Wave season is no longer the only time we are busiest. I am typically busiest at the end of a month, or when new itineraries are released," said Ms. Manglass.

In Australia, Ms. Feilberg sees a spike in bookings tied to flash sales.

"Our flash sales are often mid-week (Tuesday- Wednesday) and our longer sales are often but not always starting Thursday-Friday."

"Our busiest days for bookings are Friday through Monday," said Ms. Feilberg.

Your cruise sail date, not date you book it

If there is one trend that holds up it's that you will find lower prices for a cruise that sails during certain times of the year.

Read moreWhen is the best time to book a cruise?

In the Caribbean, you'll find some of the lowest prices if your cruise sails these months:

  • January (minus Martin Luther King weekend or New Years)
  • First week or two of February
  • September
  • October
  • Early November (minus the weeks of Veterans Day and/or Thanksgiving)
  • First two weeks of December
Cantilevered hot tub on Freedom of the Seas

What do all these times of year have in common? School is in session and major holidays either just passed or are coming up. This means less people are able to take a cruise, and that lower demand sees lower than normal prices.

Read more8 ways to get the best cruise deals