Best Time to Book a Cruise

Know when to book a cruise and set sail with Princess

The best time to book a cruise depends on where and when you plan on traveling. Some guests reserve theirs over a year in advance while others commit just a few weeks before. The choice is yours. But, if you plan accordingly, you can take advantage of seasonal promotions and exclusive onboard booking programs. Here are our best booking tips.

Future Cruise Deposits Program

To save money and earn rewards, the best time to buy a cruise may be on board. During your upcoming Princess cruise vacation, take advantage of our Future Cruise Deposits program. Depending on the duration and stateroom you choose, you can receive up to $300 of onboard spending money for use on a future cruise. Best of all, you don't even have to know where you want to go! Simply book within two years, and enjoy using your spending money on anything from spa treatments to specialty dining. Visit the Future Cruise Office on your ship to make a fully refundable $100 deposit, and dream away.

When to Book for Your Destination

Your destination is the first component to consider when determining the best time to book a cruise. Typically, global voyages, like our World Cruises, are longer in duration. Guests usually plan over a year in advance for these itineraries so they can carve out time in their schedules. On the other hand, those traveling on short domestic trips, like our West Coast Getaways, may only book a few weeks beforehand. Consider the following timelines for each of our destinations:

  • One year in advance: Voyages that offer fewer sailing dates should be booked the furthest in advance. Generally, these include global routes like World Cruises, Tahiti & South Pacific, South America & Antarctica, the Panama Canal and Canada & New England.
  • Six to 12 months before: For trips with departure ports abroad, book at least six months in advance so you can take advantage of cheaper fares for flights. Think Europe, Asia, Japan and Australia & New Zealand itineraries. We also recommend booking six to 12 months in advance for our Alaska voyages. Although the Great Land is one of our most popular destinations, it’s only sailable from May through September.
  • Less than six months before: For short domestic trips, enjoy easy last-minute bookings with convenient departures from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale and even New York for Canada & New England Getaways. Besides sailings from The Empire State, these departure ports can take you to Mexico, Caribbean and California & Pacific.

Year-Long Promotions

You know a good bargain when you see one. That’s why we always deliver the best cruise deals and promotions to help you save money while traveling the world. Look out for a number of exciting offers and great discounts ranging from free onboard spending money and gratuities paid on your behalf to major savings on cruise fares. Depending on the sale and the month, the cost to any destination could be reduced. Check Cruise Deals to see what we're offering when you want to book.

Booking for the Holidays

Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, the end of the year is one of the most popular travel seasons. So when is the best time to book a cruise for the holidays? You should try to schedule as far in advance as possible, especially if you want a certain voyage at a particular time. Most of our cruises can be booked through the next calendar year. This means you don’t have to wait to reserve your spot on some of our most sought-after itineraries.

Still unsure when to book a cruise? In general, the earlier the better. For help planning your trip, call 1.800.PRINCESS or contact a local travel advisor who can help determine your perfect timeline and find you the best rates for your next cruise vacation.