TravelHotelTours | Hotels, Flights, Cruises and Tours Deals: Your Guide to Cruising, When to Sail, How to Save

Your Guide to Cruising, When to Sail, How to Save


From sandy Caribbean beaches, to majestic fjords in Alaska, there's a cruise destination to suit every taste. Enjoy the view from the ship, and—once in port—take a closer look with special tours and activities from our Shore Excursions Group.

Alaska 
See whales, bald eagles, and seals right off the deck! Add gorgeous glacier fields and a fascinating culture and history, and you've got a truly unique Alaska cruise experience. If you want to extend your visit, look for land tours (pre- or post-sailing) available through our cruise specialists at 1-888-249-3978. These fascinating tours let you get an in-depth look at treasures like Denali National Park.


Bahamas 
This popular weekend cruise destination allows you to relax on beautiful beaches, enjoy consistently warm weather, and snorkel in one of the world's largest barrier reefs.



Bermuda 
An enchanting island famous for its pink-sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs, Bermuda has plenty to see and do. Play a round at a renowned golf course, take in the colorfully painted houses, or explore the stunning underground pools of the crystal caves.


Bermuda's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
Bermuda cruise info







Canada/New England 

Does colonial history, a romantic coastline, seaside villages, and beautiful fall foliage sound like your kind of vacation? Try a cruise to the northeastern U.S. and Canada.


Canada/New England's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
Canada/New England cruise info

Caribbean 

Enjoy crystal-clear water and pristine beaches year-round. A variety of cruise lines and itineraries (from 3-night to 7-night sailings or longer), fun water sports, and world-class diving and snorkeling make the Caribbean a great option for first-timers and seasoned cruisers alike.


Caribbean's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays are considered high peak.
Caribbean cruise info

East/West Mediterranean 

From Athens to Venice, take in rich culture and traditions, the finest local cuisine, centuries-old monuments and architecture, and world-renowned art and museums.
East/West Mediterranean's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays are considered high peak.
East/West Mediterranean cruise info
Hawaii 
Travelers of all ages will be charmed by Hawaii's beautiful golf courses, world-renowned beaches, and friendly, easy-going attitude. Plus, a Hawaii cruise is a convenient and cost-efficient way to visit all the islands in one trip!
Hawaii's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays are considered high peak.
Hawaii cruise info
Mexico 
Warm weather, great beaches, fantastic cuisine, and a rich cultural heritage make Mexico an enticing escape from the daily grind. Explore ports such as the Baja peninsula's Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and more.
Mexico's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays are considered high peak.
Mexico cruise info
Northern Europe 
Majestic fjords and lakes are only the beginning. From London to Copenhagen and beyond, a European cruise allows you to explore multiple countries in one itinerary—a great way to experience each country's historical landmarks, cuisine, and more.
Northern Europe's Peak Sailing Season
High Season
Shoulder Season
Low Season
No Sailings
Northern Europe cruise info

When to Sail

Check out the following graph for more information on each destination’s high, shoulder, and low 
seasons.

High Season
Higher rates typically occur during peak cruising times, such as holidays or the summer months, when the destination’s weather is most ideal. In high season, be sure to book early due to the limited number of cabins.
Shoulder Season
Shoulder season is when weather conditions and pricing fall between high season and low season. Fares during this season are still very affordable, as it’s before high tourist season normally begins.
Low Season
Fares often drop during low season, which is either early or late in the cruise season, such as May or September in Alaska or Europe. Many choose to take a chance on unpredictable weather for a more affordable vacation and fewer crowds.

*Please note: Holidays draw crowds, even in low seasons.

Destination by Season

Not sure what time of year is best for a cruise? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Fall
If you enjoy fall foliage, consider a September or October cruise to the east coasts of the U.S. and Canada. This is also a great time to sail to Europe, when you can beat the crowds and enjoy more moderate temperatures than the summer months. You'll also find less expensive sailings this time of year. (Note that early fall is hurricane season in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico; however, cruise lines can easily change course to avoid a storm.)
Winter
Exchange cold weather for some sun! Winter is a popular time to cruise to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Spring
Spring-break cruises abound in the Bahamas and Mexico. In addition, spring is a great time to visit the Mediterranean. For Alaska, try late spring—an affordable time to go, as it's right before high season when prices go up.
Summer
Alaska attracts a high concentration of travelers in the summer months, but it's also a popular time to enjoy Europe's sights. And don't forget the kids! With school out for the summer, this is a convenient time to get the whole family together, especially in kid-friendly beach destinations like the Caribbean or the Bahamas.

How to Save

With meals, entertainment, and lodging already included, cruises are an excellent way to travel on a budget. Here are some extra tips to help you save when you sail.
Wave Season
No matter when you plan to sail, consider making your cruise booking between January and March, when cruise lines offer some of their best deals of the year.
Repositioning Cruises
Another great way to save is when a ship is in process of relocating between seasons. You can cruise for less and enjoy more days at sea. Note that any airfare purchased won't be roundtrip, as you will be flying into one destination and out of another.
Low Season
If you're willing to chance unpredictable weather, consider cruising when rates drop and you can easily score the sailing date and cabin of your choice.

How to Choose Your Cabin

All cabins are classified as inside, oceanview, balcony, or suite. Before booking, consider the time you’ll spend in your cabin. If you want a spacious, relaxing space, you’ll likely want to opt for a larger oceanview, balcony, or suite. Plan to use it to just sleep and shower? An inside cabin might appeal to you.
  • Inside cabins are the smallest cabins, with no views, but are a good option for budget travelers. We do not recommend inside cabins for more than two guests.
  • Oceanview cabins have windows or portholes, and are great for those who prefer natural light and more space while still being economical.
  • Balcony cabins are ideal for those who seek a private outdoor space attached to their own room, where they can dine or just relax and take in the amazing views of destinations they visit.
  • Suites are generally the largest cabins onboard and offer the most exclusive amenities. They have windows and usually larger balconies, often with full dining tables. Some cruise lines even have a hot tub on your balcony or two bedrooms. Amenities vary from butler and concierge service to priority embarkation/disembarkation, dinner and spa reservations, and more.
The majority of cabins accommodate at least two guests; however, many cabins sleep more (often with pullman beds or sofa beds) to accommodate families or groups. Special large suites can accommodate as many as 14, such as Royal Caribbean’s Presidential Family Suite, featuring 4 bedrooms and a living room. For a more economical family option, we suggest connecting cabins. Keep in mind, cabins for 3 or 4 passengers and connecting cabins are limited and sell out quickly. (Specific occupancy details are listed on the cabin category page during the booking process.)
Cabin Location
Why do cabins with identical or similar descriptions vary in price? Typically, cabins located on higher decks and mid-ship are the most expensive because they have more balcony space and expansive views, and are easily accessible to outdoor public spaces and activities.
When choosing a cabin, consider the following:
  • Motion sickness: To avoid a queasy stomach, choose a cabin mid-ship on a lower level.
  • Proximity to public areas: Do you want to be by public areas such as the pool, entertainment areas, or the kids' clubs? Consider your preferences and choose a cabin near (or away from) these areas.
  • Noise: For a quieter location, a cabin that is both above and below other cabins—rather than above or below public areas like a basketball court or children’s areas—is a safe bet. Also avoid cabins that are low and in close proximity to the engine or anchor.
  • Mobility: Do you have mobility issues? Choose a cabin near an elevator for convenience.
  • Privacy: Do you want an exclusive feel to your cruise? Some cruise lines have cabins in private spaces with special restaurants and lounges, such as Norwegian Cruise Line's Haven and MSC Cruises' Yacht Club concept.
  • Views: If you want a view, try a balcony or suite.
    1. Forward-facing balcony cabins or suites are located at the front of the ship, allowing you the same views as the Captain.
    2. Mid-ship balcony cabins or suites are located along the sides of the ship, and are the closest proximity to public areas and activities.
    3. Aft balcony cabins or suites are at the very back of the ship. They offer 180-degree views of the ship’s wake, and the balconies are often larger in these cabins.