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Best Time to Book a Cruise – With Insider Tips!

Our Fox Travel cruise advisers get asked when the best time to book a cruise is all the time. We also get plenty of clients calling in to book their special cruise only to find out that it is sold out! Then they are left with trying to find something else, or worse, not taking a vacation at all that year. We want to help you out! We want to share with you when the best time to book a cruise is based on what type of cruise you are looking to book.

Best Time to Book a Cruise

We want you to have the best vacation ever so we want to share when the best time to book a cruise is. These cruises are some of the most popular that tend to sell out or end up having limited availability within a few months of sailing. Hopefully, this will help you plan your perfect cruise accordingly so that you don’t have any disappointment or settle for anything less than what you are looking forward to!

Quarter 1 – January to March

Start your year off right and give yourself something to look forward to!

A Christmas Cruise

Christmas River Cruise

All of these cruises offer limited sailings and availability, especially the  Disney cruises out of Galveston, and the Christmas Market River cruises. These cruises only have a limited time frame and number of sailings that they offer.  Christmas Market River Cruises run mid-November to the beginning of January, and Disney cruises are only in Galveston November through January and sell out extremely fast! This is why we put these end of the year cruises at the beginning of the year to guarantee that you get the best availability. Sure you can book later, but then you run the risk of missing out on the perfect stateroom or worse. Now is also the time to plan your Summer and Caribbean cruises. Usually, right after Spring Break in March, everyone starts jumping to try to book their Summer vacation and by the end of March availability starts to get limited, especially cruises out of Galveston including Carnival’s newest ship! Start early and book your Summer cruise now!

Insider Tip for Christmas River Cruises: Add on a few extra days to visit Munich which is less than 2 hours from Nuremberg.   Or arrive early in Nuremberg for Christmas shopping at one of Europe’s largest holiday events.  Love holiday music? Extend your stay in Vienna at the end of your cruise for world-class holiday musical performances.   But start early so you get the best hotel rates.  Our Fox Travel Advisors have booked many of these cruises and add ons so check with them for recommendations and reservations. Jim Bailey Co-Owner, Fox Travel

Quarter 2 – April to June

If you haven’t booked your quarter 1 cruises quarter 2 is the latest I would book for the best availability!

  • Mediterranean Cruise
  • Fall Foliage Cruise
  • Hawaii Cruise
  • Europe for Fall
  • Disney Themed Cruises – Avengers, Star Wars, Frozen
Best time to book a cruise - by Fox Travel

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Late Summer to Fall Mediterranean cruises will be booking quickly from this point on. Same with Europe for the Fall. New England and Canada Fall Foliage cruises only run through the end of September to the beginning of November. Anytime is a great time to go to Hawaii and with year-round cruises, you can pretty much book when you want depending on the date you wish to travel. However, if you are looking at booking Hawaii for Fall or over the Holidays then late winter, early spring is the best time to book. Disney Themed cruises always book quickly and with the Avengers and Star Wars cruises only running from January – April with limited sailings we recommend you book well in advance.

Quarter 3 – July to September

Don’t miss out to travel this year by booking your end of the year cruises now!

  • Holiday Cruises
  • Spring Mediterranean Cruises
  • Antarctic Cruises
  • Australia and New Zealand Cruises
  • Asia Cruises
  • Tulip Time River Cruises
Best time to book a cruise

Fox Travel owner, Donna, in Antarctica

Winter and Spring is the best time to book your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years cruises. Each cruise line does something special for these Holidays which makes theses sailings extra special and sell out quickly. Spring Mediterranean cruises are very popular because of the cooler temperatures and fewer tourists. Our winter is the Antarctic, Australia and New Zealand’s summer so now is the best time to book a cruise that will start sailing soon. Asia cruises are set to sail soon too so now is a great time to book them. Tulip Time cruises are a limited availability cruise available only in the Spring. Many people book way in advance so they can get in on this beautiful Springtime cruise.

Insider Tip on Antarctic Cruises: Most  Antarctic cruises, like National Geographic/Lindblad,  supply warm parkas with a removable inner liner, both of which can be used alone or together.   They’re normally yours to take home so don’t pack too much cold weather gear, you may be duplicating your wardrobe.    Surprise: Most Antarctic summer voyages encounter milder temperature ranges from 25 – 35 degrees,  day or night. Jim Bailey, Co-Owner Fox Travel

Insider Tip on Mediterranean Cruises: Many Med cruises that visit the Adriatic on their way to Venice often dock at Rovinj, a medieval coastal city founded by the Venetians long before Roman times.  This charming town is not to be missed if you get a chance to explore it.  Better yet, if you dock in Venice, Rovinj is only about a 3-hour drive so add on a few days to visit the fabulous Istrian Peninsula including Rovinj, Croatia’s second most popular tourist destination.  Your choices; visit Old Town and hit one-of-a-kind shops, bike, Scuba on wreck dives nearby, beach it, sail the coast or enjoy a progressive lunch or dinner, starting with a wine tavern stop followed by incredible local Italian-influenced pizza or dishes of meat and pasta or excellent local fish and seafood. Side note:  One of Europe’s largest nudist resorts is 10 minutes away at Valalta, with its own brewpub on site!) Jim Bailey, Co-Owner, Fox Travel

Insider Tip on Tulip Cruises: These are spectacular visual cruises that take you to see Europe when it is bursting with color. You will see fields after fields of beauty and photo opportunities you cannot imagine. In addition, the sights and smells of Holland are like no other country. Cruising is a delightful way to see this water-filled country. Debbie Parker, Travel Advisor, Fox Travel

Quarter 4 – October to December

End your year strong, or give yourself a Christmas gift (shhh! We won’t tell) and book these cruises now!

  • October is Cruise Planning Month!
  • Alaska Cruises
  • Summer Mediterranean Cruise
  • Europe for Spring
  • Spring Break Cruises
Alaska and Train Cruise

Alaska cruise and train vacation

With October being Cruise Planning Month, this is a GREAT time to plan your end of the year or following year cruise. Every cruise line gives some amazing deals and extra perks this month! So if you are looking to book something at the end of the year, October is the month to do it! Alaska is an extremely popular cruise to do and sells out every year with every cruise line. We recommend you get in early and book your Alaska cruise now to get the best staterooms. Check out Regent Cruise Lines amazing rates until March 31 on Alaska cruise and train vacations! If you have noticed Mediterranean cruises have been on almost all of the lists. There is a reason for that, it is one of our most booked cruises! Everyone loves the Med and with so many different itineraries to choose from you can continue to go back each season and see something new. Now is also a great time to book Europe for Spring and all your Spring Break local or international cruises.

Insider Tip on Cruise Planning Month: October is historically the cruise lines’ month to launch some of the best deals, lowest deposit and unique value-added features to entice you to book early for the following cruise year.   Some offer free upgrades, free or reduced liquor packages, spa discount coupons, reduced rate airfare, kids cruise free and other one-time-only offers. It is Fox Travel’s premier booking month as we know all the ins and outs of the cruise lines and what they offer.  Donna Daniels – Co-Owner Fox Travel

Insider Tip on Alaskan Cruises: Alaska is the Last Frontier.  There is always something new and exciting to see and do.  Whether you are traveling alone or with others, the quaint villages, the glaciers beauty, the abundant marine and land animals, and mountain scenery will ensure you are never bored.  Alaska is a “picture taker’s dream shoot” and a culinary buffet for foodies. It’s no mystery why these cruises are almost everyone’s bucket list and why I have been on several! Debbie Parker – Travel Advisor, Fox Travel

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We hope that you have learned when the best time to book your cruise is. If there is a cruise itinerary that is missing from this list, please feel free to add it to the comments below and we will add it to the list!

And in case you did not know, working with a travel advisor has a ton of benefits, including extensive knowledge, perks and savings and costs zero extra! Here are just some of the reasons your cruise will be even more epic.

Is right now the perfect time to book your dream cruise? Contact your favorite Cruise Adviser, Tahnee, Debbie, or Alma at 281-363-0808 or fill out the form below for more information.

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Tahnee McHenry

Tahnee McHenry has been with Fox Travel for the last four years and has been in the travel industry for over seven years.
She is also Fox Travel's Destination Wedding and Honeymoon specialist.
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