How to Save Money By Canceling Your Cruise

If you find a better deal on your cruise fare after booking, you may think that there’s no hope of saving the money already paid. However, according to a new analysis by leading digital cruise advisor Cruisewatch, there is still a potential to save a significant amount of money.

Why You May Want to Cancel – and Rebook

Recent research by, a cruise advisor known for its innovative price prediction, has shown that prices on cruises can drop significantly as the departure date nears. “Most cruisers tend to book their trips four to six months in advance,” explains Markus Stumpe, CEO of Cruisewatch, “but it could be very beneficial for them to cancel and then rebook their cruise at fares reduced up to 71%.” This is particularly true if the chosen cruise offers less-strict fee structures.

Cruise Line’s Cancellation Fees

Generally, cruise lines break down into three cancellation categories: soft, moderate, and strict.

Lines like Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Star Clippers, offer “softer” fees, and may charge only a 25% cancellation fee on average at least 30 days before departure.

Moderate lines, including Viking Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruise Line, Hurtigruten Cruise Lines, Cunard, Crystal Cruises, SeaDream, Princess Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line, offer a little more wiggle room, though they also charge about 90% for cancellations occurring within 30 days of departure. However, cancellation fees average only 15% 90 days or more before departure.

Strict lines, on the other hand, like Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Azamara Club Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea Cruises, and Seabourn tend to offer little or no refunds unless you cancel at least 120 days in advance. Within the last 60 days you normally have to pay a 100% fee.

How to Save Money

To illustrate the potential savings, take this possible real-world situation: Someone books his/her dream cruise on Celebrity Eclipse 150 days before departure and pays a total of $5,000. Forty days before departure, this person sees an offer on the same ship with a savings of 40%. At this time the cancellation fee on Celebrity is 20%, so the person opts to rebook and saves $1,000.


Cruise Cancellation Fee

Cruise Cancellation Fee by


What You Should Know About Cancellation Fees

Cancellation fee structures for most cruise lines are often very strict and difficult to understand, and multiple factors influence each policy. The length of the cruise, how far in advance you’re able to cancel, destination, cabin type, or cruise category can all contribute to the final cancellation fee. Booking special deals may mean higher cancellation fees. In most cases, deposits paid are also non-refundable. Often you will also need to draft a formal written document in order to cancel the cruise.

Alternatives to Consider Before Canceling Your Cruise

If the cancellation fees are prohibitive, there may be alternatives for recouping the difference in prices. Some cruise lines offer onboard credit as reimbursement for price differences, or offer significant upgrades where available.

Concrete Fee Cancellation Calculator

The best way to determine whether it’s worth it to cancel and rebook your cruise is to take a closer look at your cruise line’s cancellation policy. However, if you’re still in the planning stages, you are likely still comparing prices, policies, and packages. This time-consuming process is a must for those seeking the best deals, but using innovative new online tools can help save time in the short term, and money long-term.

Use this link to see your fees and rebooking options at a glance.


How to Get A 65% Cruise Price Reduction

Have you ever dreamed of boarding a ship bound for the perfect destination? Now imagine how you would feel about that same trip after finding a cruise price reduction of 65%. It isn’t just a dream anymore. Thanks to the innovative team at, you can find a cruise price reduction to nearly any destination.

Our site, a cutting-edge search engine that matches customers with cruises, recently released a report showing that the average cruise price reduction is 16%. The same report indicates that shoppers can find discounts of as much as 65%, if they use the right booking tool.

We regularly publish cruise evaluations, but have gone the extra mile to prepare an analysis of all cruises for the year. This analysis uses more than 6,000,000 data points to evaluate the average and maximum price reductions each cruise company has offered during a booking period.

Minimum and Maximum Cruise Price Reduction per Cruise Line

Minimum and Maximum Cruise Price Reduction per Cruise Line

The results are astonishing! The cruise companies use extremely different pricing strategies. Cruise companies can be divided into two groups. The first group has very flexible prices, while the other group offers more stable pricing. The cruise lines with flexible pricing quickly react to changing market situations. This flexibility allows them to balance supply and demand easily. It also allows them to offer great cruise price reductions! The cruise lines with the more steady pricing model prioritize stable and reliable fares. This pricing model prevents them from offering large price reductions on their cruises.

“The biggest savings are achieved by automatically observing price changes, then making a prediction as to whether a price increase or reduction is likely,” says Nina Stumpe, a cruise enthusiast and co-founder of Stumpe went on to say, “This information must be immediately made available to the end customer via modern alert functions so that they can decide on a booking. This is how cruise search works today!”

On average, consumers can see 16% savings over initial pricing. Savvy consumers can see up to a 65% cruise price reduction on select trips.

Holland America Line leads the group with very flexible prices. Holland America offers an average 23% savings over the initial price. Fortunately, sharp bargain hunters can find a near 60% cruise price reduction. Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Seabourn are other cruise lines that are pursuing a similar pricing strategy.

Carnival Cruise Line heads the group that pursues a more stable pricing model. Other major cruise lines like Costa and MSC also use a more stable pricing model, but occasionally offer last minute discounts. Carnival Cruise Line offers an average 13% savings, but will offer a cruise price reduction of 32% at times. Ponant, a smaller cruise line, frequently offers discounted cabins, but tends to wait until shortly before departure to offer a cruise price reduction.

“Our data shows that cruise prices fluctuate with cruise lines that officially claim to not offer discounts. Frequently, these lines will not offer certain cabin categories at a discount, but will make less expensive cabin categories available. The result is virtually the same for consumers,” explains Stumpe. “That is why it is important to monitor and keep track of price changes. It can help you save huge amounts of money.”

Next generation cruise search with Cruisewatch

We offer consumers free price drop monitoring. Our website processes massive amounts of data using intuitive software that will help consumers find the perfect cruise: at the right time, at the best price. Users can receive automatic alerts when prices are reduced or when good deals are on the horizon. A price forecast is built into the website. “Cruise lines invest massive amounts of resources into revenue optimization. We are leveling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology to make the right decisions,” says Cruisewatch’s co-founder. We are doing this to honor our motto: RIGHT CRUISE. RIGHT TIME. RIGHT PRICE.

Further analysis:

You can find more valuable resources on our website. For instance, have you ever wondered if it is cheaper to go on a cruise than to have a stay-at-home vacation? You can find the answer here. Consumers often wonder how far in advance to book their cruises. We answered that question in this blog post. Surprisingly, there is one day of the week when you can find the best prices on cruise tickets. Find out which day it is by reading this post.


See current price drops

Why you should always book a cruise five weeks before it sails

A study by, a next-generation cruise search engine with an innovative decision support system, finds prices for cruise sailings are cheapest five weeks before setting sail.

Have you ever experienced checking cruise prices and finding they are high and then upon checking again later prices have decreased? The biggest factor you should consider in saving money is to determine the right moment when to book a cruise, says Based on an elaborate study that considered more than 25,000 cruise sailings, cruise prices drop the lowest five weeks before departure.

Average Historic Pricing

Average Historic Pricing

The best discounts can be found in the weeks prior to sailing, with average reductions of 4 percent for interior and ocean-view cabins. But that is just the average. Not fully sold sailings can be discounted up to 40 percent.

“If you’re flexible regarding the cruise sailing, ship, or departure date, you can save big money by booking short term. But you can only choose between the last unsold rooms. If you are keen to get a special category, especially a suite, you should book your cruise early,” explains Nina Stumpe, a cruise enthusiast and cofounder of

Prices get more dynamic short term; more expensive cabins have less or no price reductions

“Cruiseline’s prices are steered mainly during the last 100 days before departure. During this ‘hot phase,’ the biggest price decreases take place, especially for interior and ocean-view cabins. Interestingly the balcony staterooms, which are more expensive, are reduced less, and suites don’t get any discounts,” Nina says.

See current price drops

Free instant cruise price alert

Cruise prices fluctuate with demand and supply. You can save quite a bit of money when booking at the right time. We will help you find that right time.

cruise price alertOur free monitoring engine keeps track of cruise pricing for thousands of sailings in the upcoming months. Now you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

  1. Never miss that sale or promotion again. We will notify you immediately when the prices drop.
  2. Even if you have booked before it pays to know about price reductions. Talk to your travel agent or cruise lines. Oftentimes they will offer you either a refund or some kind of benefits when prices drop significantly.

Using our monitoring service is free and simple. All you need to do is sign up. There are two types of alerts that we sending out right now, and we will be adding more features soon. The easiest alert is our general daily price drop information email. It is just one email containing the most relevant price changes for the day (across all monitored cruises).

You can also select specific departures on our site and enable notifications for these. You will then only get an email when the price of your selected cruise has been changed.

You can view all price changes in the last 24 hours on our special cruise price drop page.

Sign up for free cruise price alerts