Why Should You Book a Cruise in 2021 – Do’s and Don’ts
If you’ve been asking yourself the question “Should I book a cruise for 2021 or 2022?” you’re not alone.
We’re finally done with 2020, and almost a year of suspended cruises in North America and much of the world. If you’re a cruise fan, you’re probably anxious to get back to cruising!
While we still don’t know exactly when cruises will resume, it’s coming closer.
Why Book a Cruise for 2021 and 2022
After not being able to cruise, there is definitely demand for when cruises restart and into 2021, 2022 and beyond.
This can mean that there will be less availability.
If there’s a certain ship or cruise destination that you really want, booking now for the the next year or two, can be a really smart decision.
In this post I’ll go over the best reasons to book a cruise in 2021 and beyond, as well as some tips on cruise booking mistakes to avoid.
8 Best Reasons Book a Cruise in 2021
1. Book your Bucket List Cruise
Truly, this might be the best reason to book a cruise for next year. While you can delay, if you’ve been dreaming of cruising to the Mediterranean, Alaska or South America, now is the time to plan for it.
One thing I’ve learned during this time, is that life is uncertain.
If you’ve been wanting to take a bucket list cruise for your anniversary, special birthday or for any other reason, this is your push.
Don’t put it off any longer, plan it!
3. Use your Future Cruise Credit (FCC)
If you have a Future Cruise Credit, or more than one, then you definitely want to book your next cruise. There’s just no down side.
However, I do have some tips below, for what mistakes you want to avoid when you book.
4. Best cruise cabin choice
If you want an aft balcony cabin or suite, there is even less availability. Booking early always gets you the best cruise cabin choice, and this is no exception.
Read more: 7 Best Reasons to Book a Balcony Cabin
5. Book your favorite cruise ship
There are some amazing new cruise ships on their way in 2021. Plus, while some new builds were delivered in 2020, due to the cruise shutdown they really haven’t been seen or experienced.
Are you excited to sail on one of the brand new cruise ships, like Carnival‘s Mardi Gras with the first ever roller coaster at sea, or Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas?
Perhaps you’re looking forward to the innovative Celebrity Apex, a sister ship to the Celebrity Edge or a Princess ship, the Enchanted Princess or Discovery Princess. Plus new ships from MSC, Virgin Voyages…
2021 promises to be a better year for cruising!
6. Reduced deposit promotions
Cruise lines are having sales and promotions to encourage future bookings, and one of my favorites is the reduced deposit promotion. This just makes it so easy to pick your ideal cruise and put a small refundable deposit to reserve.
Watch out for specials and deals this year during Wave season – usually January through March. There will likely be some enticing promotions to book a cruise and plan for late 2021 or 2022.
Cruise Tip: Get the best and most fair price
Here’s an easy way to save money on your cruise. Cruise fares can almost always be adjusted up until the final payment date.
So, if you book now and the price is lower in a couple of months, simply call your cruise line or travel agent and ask them to please make the adjustment.
Read more: 27 Best Ways to Save Money on a Cruise
7. Flexible cruise line cancellation policies
Thank goodness for flexible cancellation policies that cruise lines are offering right now. Let’s face it, even though we want to cruise, we’re all aware that there are still some unknowns.
When will cruises start and what what changes will we see once cruising starts back up?
While I personally believe changes won’t be so bad, and will actually lead to improvements in the long run, there are a few things cruisers will need to accept short term as a “new normal.”
This may mean that you’d rather hold off and cruise later in 2021 or even in 2022.
These more flexible cruise line cancellation policies will allow you to cancel even closer to sailing, and receive a full credit to reschedule your cruise at a later date.
8. Cruise prices may increase
I always wonder if cruise prices will go up or down.
However, the good thing about booking early is that you can almost always have your price adjusted and receive the lower fare or better promotion.
But… if you don’t book and the price increases, you’re stuck. If you want to cruise in 2021 or even 2022, it’s really better to book as soon as possible.
9. Have something to look forward to
This last reason is purely psychological. As human beings, we need upcoming events to look forward to.
I have no doubt will get through this, but we can’t deny that 2020 has been tough on many. If booking a future cruise to look forward to will make you feel better, consider it a mental health priority ;-).
Avoid These Mistakes When Booking a Cruise for 2021 or 2022
For all the reasons above, it’s a good idea to book a cruise for 2021 or even 2022. However, there are some things to watch out for, so you can save yourself a potential headache down the line.
10. Don’t book non-refundable fares
Personally I don’t like non refundable deposits and fares when booking a cruise far in advance. This is especially true during these times when cruises haven’t yet restarted and travel is still uncertain.
Give yourself maximum flexibility by booking with a refundable deposit.
10. Hold off on booking flights
Until cruises are sailing again and travel has returned to a somewhat more normal state, wait to book your flights. This is especially true for international travel.
It has been difficult for travelers to get a refund on cancelled flights from airlines the last few months, who were often issued credits. While you can still use air credits, it does limit your options.
Tip – Check out cruise line airfare
In some cases, cruise line airfare, can be reserved and payed when your cruise final payment is due. This allows you to book and get the best price now, while not having any risk.
As an example, when my Princess Alaska cruise was cancelled, our air was refunded as well. We booked with Princess EZ Air (flexible air option) and this ended up being a very good decision.
Read more: 6 Cruise Line Air Tips & Tricks
11. Remember to keep track of cruise payments
Finally, don’t forget to keep a log of your cruise payments and related purchases in a cruise travel planner. I keep a binder with all my notes, including potential cruise excursions and items I want to pack for my cruise.
If you or the cruise line cancels and you need refunds, you’ll be happy you kept track of expenses as well as how they were paid (credit card, gift card, FCC).
Will it Be Safe to Cruise in 2021?
One of the most common questions people have is about how cruises will be safe when they return. Cruise lines have implemented new safety measures and health protocols to ensure that cruise travel is safe.
Cruise lines which have been sailing in Europe, such as MSC, have been using these new protocols to cruise safely and successfully over several months.
This includes testing before and after a cruise, enhanced sanitation and upgraded air filtration as well as new technologies on board.
You can read more about the new cruise safety protocols in this post.
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Final thoughts: Should You Book a Cruise Now for 2021/2022
I hope these tips have been helpful to decide if booking a cruise now for 2021 or 2022 is worth it for you. While booking a cruise now has many advantages, remember that no one can guarantee that your cruise will actually sail (at least not yet).
If you want to err on the side or caution, consider booking a cruise later in 2021 or anytime in 2022. If you dream of being one of the first cruise passengers onboard (and won’t be too disappointed if your cruise gets cancelled), then go for booking a cruise anytime after the projected restart of cruises.
Do you have a cruise booked for 2021 or 2022? Please let me know in the comments below.
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