7 Top Tips For A Successful Last-Minute Cruise

This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

There are some fantastic opportunities to get an incredible cruise deal if you’re willing to travel last-minute. While it’s often best to book far in advance, there are still some super-cheap deals available if you don’t mind waiting until a few weeks before you travel.

Of course, cruising last minute comes with its own set of challenges and quirks, so in this guide I’ve prepared my 7 top tips to help you make sure you get the best cruise holiday possible, even if your departure is only a few short weeks away (or less!).

HUGE savings on Marella’s last minute cruises!

Save over £600pp! Fares include flights, drinks, tips and more

1. Be Prepared To Pay In Full

One of the downsides of booking a last-minute cruise is that you’re going to need to pay your fare in full.

Booking in advance gives you the luxury of spreading the cost – paying a deposit upfront and then chipping away at the remaining balance until your final payment date, which is usually around 3 months before you sail (though this can vary).

With last-minute cruises, because you’re booking within that 3-month window, you’re going to have to pay the whole lot in one go when you book.

It’s fine if you have the cash available or have a credit card that can cover it, and since you may be getting a great deal you could actually be paying less than if you’d booked it and spread the cost.

But it’s just an important one to be aware of – make sure you do have those funds available to pay for the cruise.

2. Pack Wisely

A lot of people love the whole build-up to a cruise, including the chance to go shopping for a new holiday wardrobe. However, if you’re on a tight schedule, you might not have the time to go all-out and treat yourself to all-new clothes for your cruise.

That’s fine though – you don’t need to. There’s a good chance you’ll already have everything you need, and so packing wisely using your existing wardrobe can save you a lot of time and effort.

You might need to pack pretty sharpish, depending on how ‘last minute’ your cruise is, so having a few flexible outfits that can work for both casualwear and dinner would be a good way to go, and remember there’s always laundry services onboard if you need them.

3. Plan For Ship Days

There’s a chance that a lot of the best excursions may have limited space or be completely sold out, if you’re booking your cruise late.

With that in mind, it’s good to approach your cruise prepared to enjoy time on the ship on those busier port days.

Marella Balcony Cabin

There may be other opportunities for third-party excursions, or just to wander the port freely without a formal tour.

But consider spending more time on the ship too, since it’ll often be quieter – and on Marella’s cruise ships there’s always plenty to see and do, making the time spent onboard absolutely worth your while.

4. Explore Options For Getting To The Airport

Marella’s cruises all include flights to meet your ship, so the only planning you really need to do once you’ve booked is working out how to get to the airport.

It’s worth exploring your options, especially if you’d normally travel by rail and you’re looking at a last-minute booking. Train prices can be extortionate if not booked far enough in advance, and you might even find that a taxi from your door is even cheaper!

Airport parking doesn’t tend to jump up much in costs even as you get close to departure dates, so if you’re driving yourself you should still be able to get a good deal.

But it is absolutely worth exploring the options available, even if you normally have a certain way you like to travel to the airport, as you could make even more of a saving.

5. Check Your Passport!

A quick tip that anyone hoping to travel should always stick to – make sure your passport is valid for travel!

If you’re booking last-minute and you discover your passport doesn’t have enough time left on it, you’re going to have to book a fast-track renewal and potentially visit your nearest passport offices (which often aren’t very ‘near’ at all)…

But it is possible to get a renewed passport quickly, so don’t let it become an excuse not to book. Just check ASAP, and if you need to renew it, do it immediately as it can be very time-sensitive.

6. Be Flexible With Cabin Choice

Booking a last minute cruise can mean that you have limited options with cabin availability. If you’re someone who always books a balcony cabin, you might find that they’re all sold out, and that only insides remain.

It’ll vary depending on the cruise but my advice would be, if there’s a great deal, don’t let a less-than-perfect cabin choice put you off. You never know, you might find that you love the category instead!

And even if you don’t, think about how much time you actually spend in your cabin. If you’re typically up and about, exploring the ship or the port or just relaxing by the pool, does it really matter what cabin you end up with?

7. Book An All-Inclusive Cruise Deal!

My best tip for last minute cruises is to book an all-inclusive deal, like you’d get with Marella Cruises as standard.

That way, you know everything you need to pay upfront, and there is no scrabbling around to sort out a budget.

Your flights are included, so no need to worry about sorting those separately. Tips are covered too, which is one less thing to think about.

And you get a huge range of included alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well. There’s no need to pay a penny extra on a Marella cruise, if you don’t want to.

All of this just makes arranging a last-minute getaway all the easier, making it the ideal option for late bookings. And, of course, there are some amazing prices too.

Final Word

Last-minute cruises aren’t for everyone – you might not have the flexibility to take time away from work at short notice, or arrange pet-sitting services.

But I would recommend that everyone at least consider their options, especially with some of the amazing deals Marella has on offer for all-inclusive last-minute escapes.

And with these tips, you should be able to enjoy smooth sailing even in the rush of getting everything arranged in a short time frame.

HUGE savings on Marella’s last minute cruises!

Save over £600pp! Fares include flights, drinks, tips and more

Related Posts

If you found this interesting, please share!

Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me



Leave a comment