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When is the Best Time to Book a Cruise Vacation?

When you think of going on a cruise vacation, do you imagine exploring new places, delicious food (both on board and off), and admiring the sunset from the ship’s deck? If so, you’re on the right track. Truly, these are all part of what makes cruising a phenomenal experience.

So, when’s the best time to book a cruise vacation? These tips below will help you decide.

parents laying on beach chairs as their 2 children get ready to have fun on waterworks

Who is Going on the Cruise?

Summer holidays offer excellent cruising opportunities for families. The kids are out of school, spirits are high, and the weather is just right. Plus, there are plenty of great destinations just waiting for you.

A summer cruise is a wonderful way to make family memories. Kids will also love and cherish making their own new friends. Here are just a few of the onboard clubs and activities designed for kids and teens:

 little boy getting ready to cross skycourse on one of carnival’s ships

Seuss at Sea® – Arts & crafts, a character parade, interactive stories, and movies are just some of the whimsical activities your kids can experience from the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss.

WaterWorks® – An outdoor water park complete with waterslides, racing slides, splash pads and lighting effects. Let your kids take full advantage of cruise life as they splash the day away.

The Warehouse Arcade – Great for kids and teens, the ship’s very own video arcade is packed with all sorts of games they know and love, including multi-player games like air hockey and driving games.

If you’re not cruising with children, you may want to set sail during the school year when fewer families are on board. For a girls’ weekend, couples cruise or any other adults-only vacation plans, fall could be the best time to enjoy life on the cruise ship.

Any time of year, whether the kids are along or not, you can escape to the onboard Serenity Adult-Only Retreat™. This exclusive 21+ space is made for a break from the main deck’s nonstop action. Here, you can enjoy calm sea breezes while sipping cocktails. Aaah.

friends relaxing on beach chairs under a yellow umbrella in serenity, adults only retreat

Where Are You Cruising To?

With so many exciting cruise destinations like the Caribbean, Hawaii, The Bahamas, Mexico, Alaska and more, picking your ideal location can help you plan when to book your cruise.

Perhaps you’ll love the outdoorsy, rugged, and extraordinary wonders of an Alaskan cruise. Discover beautiful glaciers and wilderness and come back with stories to tell!

In Hawaii, you can get up close to a volcano, experience some of the world’s most famous beaches, and learn to hula at a real luau.

Or, head for the Caribbean! With a variety of destinations chosen from among the region’s more than 5,000 islands and cays, there is plenty of paradise to enjoy. A Caribbean cruise also offers a fascinating mix of cultures and flavors to explore.

Wherever you decide to go, Carnival has put together some incredible experiences and picked the best times of year for you to savor every minute of your cruise vacation.

man taking under water photos of blue striped fishes swimming in the caribbean

Plan for the Weather

No matter where you’re going, it’s easy to plan for the best weather. Cruisers to Alaska will want to go in the summer when the sun is out and temperatures are pleasant. Conveniently, most cruises to Alaska depart in these ideal summer months, with a few in the shoulder months of late spring and early fall.

If you’re dreaming of sand and sun, cruises to popular destinations like the Caribbean, The Bahamas, and Mexico depart all year round. In these sunny destinations, temperatures will vary only slightly from season to season, with the summer months being the hottest. Even in the wetter months, you’ll see short-lived rainfall that clears quickly and cools things off.

For Hawaiian destinations, you’ll have temperature and rainfall variations depending on when you go and which islands you visit. While the weather is quite pleasant all year round, summer tends to be the hottest. This makes it a great time to visit some of those famous beaches. The months from April to October are drier, while the wettest time is between November and March. Do some research to narrow down your favorite islands!

couple enjoying the beach in the caribbean on a sunny day as they lay on carnival towels

Book Early and Save

Booking early not only means you’ll get a great price, but you’ll have more time to look forward to and plan for your cruise! Studies actually show that anticipation is one of life’s greatest joys and having something to look forward to contributes to overall happiness.

You have options for your cruise, but here’s a hot tip – fall has some of the best prices of the year. After the summer crowds have died down and the weather is nice and breezy, you can take advantage of some great deals to amazing destinations. Where will you go?

Save Even More with Carnival® Mastercard®

While booking early or traveling during the fall are fantastic ways to save on your cruise vacation, FunPoints® help your budget too! How do you earn them? With a Carnival Mastercard. The fun starts with your very first purchase, where you can earn bonus FunPoints, which can be redeemed for a statement credit.

That’s not the only way to earn though. You’ll receive FunPoints on any purchase with Carnival Cruise Line and the World’s Leading Cruise Lines brands, as well as a FunPoint on all other purchases. That’s great news for those of you who love to shop!

Shore excursions offer excitement and adventure for the whole family at any time of year on a cruise. You’ll save even more money, when you book your excursions with your Carnival Mastercard. Choose your favorite excursions and book them on before your cruise to get a reFUNd.

Learn more

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carnival vista cruising to a new caribbean destination


If it’s new adventures you’re after, there really is no bad time to take a cruise. But if you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, if you want to book early for the best deals and availability, or you’re just looking for a great price, why not book now for a fall cruise? We can’t wait to see you onboard!

Dr. Seuss Properties TM & © Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.