Booking Ahead - What are your options?
Book ahead. It all sounds well and good in theory but what if you’re not sure you can book a year or two years in advance? After all, none of us knows what lies in store so sometimes it’s hard to put hard and fast plans in place that far ahead. So what do you do if the cruise you want to take always books out months or years in advance?
Basically you’ve got two options. You can wait and leave it closer to departure time when you know for sure that you can travel. That means you run the risk that the cruise will be sold out, or the cabin grade you want won’t be available. Or it may mean that the early bird discounts have all gone and you may end up paying 30% more than the person who did book in advance. It also means that you may have to wait for a cancellation – which may come at the last minute and send you into a tailspin of having to travel very last minute. None of which is ideal.
The other option is to take out travel insurance. As soon as you put a deposit down on travel arrangements, you should look at taking out some form of travel insurance. Be careful though because not all travel policies are created equal. If you’re just putting a deposit down on a cruise that is departing a year or so later, look for a policy that has a “Loss of deposits” option. That means you can pay a minimal amount at the same time as your travel deposit and if anything happens so that you can’t travel (eg health issues) before you pay the full amount, the insurance will cover you for any deposits lost as a result.
Once you pay in full, make sure you pay the full amount for the insurance so that if anything unforeseen happens, you’re fully covered.
Another thing to look for is any deals where the deposits are fully refundable up until a certain point. From time to time you’ll find deals where you can book and, should you need to cancel within a certain time, you get everything back. Check the fine print though just to make sure you’re fully informed in case there are any terms and conditions.
The bottom line here is – unfortunately small ships in particular fill up way in advance. The first deals out are the best and as the ship fills up, the price only increases. So travel insurance is key. Chances are that nothing will happen that will make you cancel, it’s only the fear of it that holds us back. But making sure you are covered for any unforeseen event means you can go ahead and book the cruise you want, in advance, and take advantage of the best deals and secure the cabin you want.
To find out more and receive expert advice on travel insurance options and what it covers, request a call from one of our Ultimate Cruising experts so they can take you through the options and policies.