Obviously, if you want to go on a cruise, your best bet is to make the travel arrangements in advance. After all, taking a cruise is not the same thing as taking a spontaneous weekend vacation. Cruises are not usually thought of as the type of vacation that someone else to spontaneous travel arranges goes for. There are however, deals to be had on last minute cruises if you know where to find them.
Believe it or not, the last minute cruise deals are often better than the "early bird specials" when it comes to travel arrangements. A simple Google search for "last minute cruises" will bring up a number of websites all competing for your business. If you are familiar with the various cruise lines, you can also go directly to the cruise line's website to see if they have any last minute cruises being offered at special deals. Another fantastic source of last minute deals is travel agents. Travel agents are fantastic at putting cruise packages together.
The best way to ensure that you get the best deal possible on last minute cruises is to pay attention to the following advice:
Keep a flexible schedule. If you are tied to your desk, taking off for a few days might not be an option, so if keep your schedule in mind when looking for last minute cruises. The more flexible you can be as to the departure dates and times, the more likely you are to get a deal you will not be able to refuse.
Sign up for any sort of alert program that a travel agency, website or cruise line has. Often the alert program will email its members when the cost of a cruise has dropped or if there is a special deal going on. Sometimes these alert program members are notified for "first dibs" on sale priced tickets.
You might also want to keep a few of your favorite travel websites bookmarked and check them regularly. Typically last minute cruises deals are posted in the middle of the week for the upcoming weekend. Just by checking in to these sites regularly, you might be able to find something affordable.
Make friends with a good travel agent. Make sure that the agent knows that you are a customer who likes to know about last minute cruises and are always glad to find good deals. This way the travel agent will know to keep you in mind if he or she learns of any sale prices. They might also know other ways for you to save money on your last minute plans.
Some of the best websites to have bookmarked are: Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, SmartTravel and, of course, Lastminutecruises.com.
Taking last minute cruises can certainly be a nice way to relax and get away from the rest of your "normal" world … if you can afford to go on them. After all, your vacation will not be nearly as relaxing if you know that you paid through the nose for it.