How to Save Hundreds on Your Next Cruise (Even If You Already Booked)
Cruise prices can fluctuate wildly, so we created a tool to help you monitor the prices of the sailings you're interested in. This is a pretty useful feature when you’re trying to save money on a cruise, but it's actually just as useful after you book. If the price drops when your cruise is still a few months away, there’s a chance you might be able to save some money by paying the lower price. It’s a feature we’re very proud of and one that has saved our members some serious cash. Here's a quick tutorial on how to set up a price alert, and how to know if you’re eligible.
1. How does it work?
Our 100% free price alerts will notify you by email when the price of a cruise you’re monitoring increases or decreases. It’s a great way to snag a deal when a cruise you like goes on sale.
2. But I’ve already booked my cruise…
Not a problem. You might still be eligible for a refund or upgrade! Just ask yourself these two questions:
Have you made the final payment? If you’ve already made the final payment (generally 60 to 90 days before your sail date), you’re likely out of luck. With one exception (more on that in a minute), cruise lines won’t honor lower prices after final payment, and if you try to cancel and rebook, you’ll almost certainly find that the cancellation penalty is greater than the savings.
Are you booked on a special rate? Some cruise fares are ineligible for price adjustments, including last minute deals, full- or partial-ship charters, and other special rates.
Tip: Carnival Early Saver Rates are the one special rate that guarantees you price drop protection up to two days prior to sailing. When you book Early Saver at least 3 months in advance for short cruises and 5 months in advance for sailings of 6+ nights, and pay for your cruise in full at the time of booking, if you find a lower, Carnival-advertised price up to two days before sailing, Carnival lets you choose between shipboard credit for the price difference or an equivalent category upgrade. Carnival offers the Early Saver program to encourage early bookings.
3. I think I’m eligible. How do I sign up?
Just head to our Price Alert Page and punch in the cruise you want to monitor. You can also sign up quickly while you search for cruises by clicking “Get Price Alert” below “View Deal” on any search results page, or use our app Ship Mate.
Tip: You don’t have to be a member to sign up, all we need is your email address. However, if you are a member, you can keep track of your price alerts from your logged in homepage.
4. I just got an email that the price of my cruise dropped… What do I do?
The price may have dropped but the cruise line won’t apply the lower rate for you automatically.
If you booked through an agent… Your agent needs to do the work for you and either reprice your reservation in the cruise line’s system, call the cruise line, or, in the case of Carnival’s Early Saver rates, file an online claim form.
If you booked through the line… You’ll need to contact the cruise line directly. Depending on their policies and the amount of the price drop, they may lower the rate on your reservation, give you onboard credit, or a offer free upgrade to a higher category cabin. If you have a specific preference among these three options, you can request it, but individual cruise line policies vary.
5. Things to Keep in Mind
Pricing for specific categories may fluctuate independently. Our price drop updates alert you to the lowest available price in a “meta” category (Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, or Suite). The specific categories within each meta can vary, and just because one dropped doesn't mean they all have. If you don’t have a need to stay in a specific stateroom, rebooking to a lower priced category may allow you to take advantage of the savings offered by a price drop. Flexibility is key!
Cruise lines are not obligated to honor price drops. Most lines will offer some sort of compensation, but if for some reason the cruise line won’t honor the lower rate, canceling and rebooking is an option if there is no cancellation penalty. Still, there’s a chance that any travel insurance you purchased may not transfer to the new booking, and in most cases, you’ll need to pay at least a deposit on the new booking prior to your existing reservation being cancelled and refunded.