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The best deals on cruises are during non-peak times when kids are busy in school and the weather is cooler or wetter. But travelers willing to be flexible can snag super off-season rates and often enjoy surprisingly good weather. Another advantage to traveling off-peak is avoiding huge crowds and long lines, which are often less pleasant than a brisk breeze.

When to Get Cheap European Cruises

Cruises in Europe include several packages. Generally, the cheapest are available in the late spring and early fall, at the beginning and end of the season. Mediterranean cruises offer the best deals in April and November. March and December are the best times to score a deal in the Greek Islands or Canary Islands. Book your Northern European and Baltic cruises in May or October.

When to Get Cheap Hawaiian Cruises

The best deals on Hawaiian cruises come up November through February. However, avoid the busy holidays if you’re looking for the best prices. Book early, at least six months ahead of departure, to assure the lowest prices. Calculate all costs, including airfare, before budgeting your trip.

When to Get Cheap Mexican Cruises

Mexican cruises offer their best prices in the fall. Often, travelers can get super last-minute deals. Since cruise lines aren’t sure how many cabins are booked until after the final payment deadline (60-90 days before departure) they often find openings after this date. You can get super deals when ships are trying to fill up empty slots.

When to Get Cheap Alaskan Cruises

The best time to snag great deals on Alaskan cruise packages is in May and September. If you’re trying to snag one of those last-minute deals, be flexible about departure dates, what type of cabin you prefer, and other details. People willing to overlook some things get the best prices.

When to Get Cheap Bermuda Cruises

Since Bermuda enjoys a temperate climate and fewer hurricanes than the Caribbean, there are more times when travel is both cheap and pleasurable. You can get the lowest prices in April through June (earlier is better) and in September and November (later is better).

When to Get Cheap Caribbean Cruises

There are two times during the year to score cheap cruises in the Caribbean, late summer through fall and again in December through early spring. If you’re booking during the fall, keep in mind hurricane season can always rock your plans. Check the cruise line’s policy regarding cancellations, rescheduling, and other potential mishaps.

When to Get Cheap New England and Canadian Cruises

The best deals on these cruises are offered in May through October. You might have heard that you can score super deals by showing up at the ship on departure and grabbing up unsold cabins, but this is no longer possible. Post 9/11 laws require cruise ships to have a complete listing of passengers days before departure. Always make your plans ahead of time.

Finally, be sure you’re considering overall value when booking a cruise, not just the bottom-line price. Take into consideration available discounts, such as upgrading to a nicer cabin, extra on-board credits, prepaid gratuities and free or discounted shore excursions. Above all, plan ahead and be open-minded. The best trips are the ones we fuss and fret over the least.