Last minute cruises carry the benefit of ensuring you a thrilling holiday via the most affordable good deal. But, these kinds of good buys are not meant for all and that they involve some degree of flexibility. But once grabbed, the last minute cruises can offer a very comfortable itinerary that will include all the features, attractions, and amenities that others get during the advance booking. And for that, one need to have a basic understanding of the last minute cruises.
So, what is this last minute deal? Logically, speaking it is a discounted offer via which the cruise lines sell its unsold rooms or cabins. It is not uncommon to see that the cruise lines filling their yet to be sold cabins via the last minute deals that normally begin during the 30 days of departure. The information regarding such availabilities can be found on the Web sites of the cruise lines, from the specialized travel agents, and through the tour operators online. The specials are mostly rampant for the cruises that leave from South Florida. For booking, it is necessary for you to know as to where to find these last minute cruises. These can be seen at many places. For example, the cruise companies like the Carnival are specialized for their related Internet offers or you can take the help of the cruise-only travel agencies, particularly the ones in South Florida like Cruises Inc. that provide such deals. In addition, the premier online travel operators such as Orbitz and Expedia very regularly provide last minute discounts.
The main fact that one needs to understand is that as these discounts fill up the unsold suites, not all itineraries will offer such bargain price. Therefore, it is recommended to hunt for such deals for off-season departures like early spring for Alaska tour.
The benefit of a last minute booking is very evident: highly reduced rates! This is because the cruise lines will always prefer to fill the cabins at a lower cost rather than leaving them empty on board for the journey. Obviously, less money is always preferable than none. But, beware of the charging amenities on board via which the ship can grab the discounted amount from you.
Special discounts for Florida residents
The South-Florida-based cruise companies are known for their heavy discounts if you book at the last minute that is during the 14 days of departure. However, the only one prerequisite for this is that you need to be a valid resident of Florida and prove so via a residency proof. For the booking purpose, establish a direct contact with the line.
A common understanding is that an advance booking is better option for saving money. Yes, it can be true, but not always. In fact, go for the last minute deals offered by the various cruise lines, compare them, and book the best deal. This will surely save more.
First, ensure that you carry the accurate travel documents like visa or a passport. As the time period of the last minute deals is 30 days before departure, getting a passport, if you do not have one, is very difficult via the normal channels. Normally, it takes two months for preparing the passport.
Another concern is that a majority of the last minute specials do not include airfare. So, if you stay away from the port of embarkation, realize that you will need to pay for the flight and so your discount booking will go for a toss.
Lastly, keep in mind that only a limited amount of cabins are available for the last minute cruises and so you need to adjust with whatever you get. In addition, spa reservations as well as dinner seating are also booked on first-come first-served basis and again you might need to compromise here.
So, the last minute cruises offer great discounts, but also involve some hidden/optional costs as mentioned above.