Nope, that’s not a typo. I’m talking about 2021, two years away.
Last month, Royal Caribbean released its deployment schedule for Caribbean cruises through April 2021. Norwegian Cruise Line also has cruises available to book through that time frame.
Before you call me cray cray for talking about booking a vacation for 2021, hear me out.
Why Cruises Are Great For Families
I’ve been on 8 cruises as an adult, and 7 of those were with my kids. I don’t see us getting off the cruise bandwagon any time soon.
Cruises offer something for everyone. There are spaces and activities for every age group, which makes cruising a great choice for multi-generational vacations.
Kids as young as 6 months old through 17 years old can enjoy their own clubs with free play and organized activities. Parents can get a much-needed break while kids are in a safe space. That’s the entire reason we booked our first family cruise!
Adults can retreat to their own kid-free spaces on a cruise ship or do family activities with the whole gang. Your choice!
Food is included in the price (except for some specialty restaurants that are reservation-only). Does your kid want to order a steak every night? Go ahead! Want two desserts? Go for it.
Internet and cell service cost extra on a cruise (sometimes a lot extra), so a cruise is the perfect place for your whole family to disconnect. I enjoy my teenager a lot more when he’s not hooked on his phone.
With a cruise, you can see multiple destinations without unpacking. A cruise allows you to see three or more islands during the same week for just a day each, leaving you wanting more. It’s a great way to sample destinations for possible future land vacations.
Reasons to Book a Spring Break 2021 Cruise Now
Does the early bird always catch the worm? Just because 2021 is available to book, does that mean we should?
Cheaper Price: Often, the earlier you book the cruise, the cheaper it will be. Most cruise lines increase the price as more cabins are sold. Even though there may be future sales, somehow the price doesn’t go down by much if at all. I currently have two Royal Caribbean cruises booked, and neither have gone down in price in the months since we have booked.
Tax Refund Timing: Many people are hopeful for a large tax refund coming soon. A cruise deposit is a perfect spot to park your money!
Cabin Choice/Large Family: Booking now for a Spring Break 2021 cruise will give you a wide open range of cabin choices. On some cruise ships, there are only small number of certain types of cabins. For example, on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, there are only a handful of balcony cabins that can fit a family of six in one cabin. People tend to snatch those up early. If you have your heart set on a balcony that overlooks the aft of the ship, it’s best to book early.
Price/Date Flexibility: As long as you book a fare that includes a refundable deposit, you can change the date of your cruise or cancel the cruise without losing any money. If you think your spring break will be the last week in March but when the school calendar comes out it’s in April, you can change to a new week. Also, you can continue to get a price difference refund as the promotions change and if the price goes down.
Budgeting Help: If you book a Spring Break 2021 cruise now, you will have almost two years to pay it off. Instead of trying to come up with a $2000-3000 payment all at once when the final payment is due, you can pay $100-$200 each month.
Special Occasion/Motivation: Maybe you have a special anniversary, milestone birthday or a teen graduating from high school or college in 2021. A cruise vacation is a great way to celebrate such an occasion. Having something booked brings you motivation to keep plugging through classes or enduring a tough day at work.
Warm Up on the Inside: It’s absurdly cold in some parts of the USA at the moment! Planning a cruise right now, even though it’s in the distant future, might be just what you need to warm up on the inside. And why not plan one for a future January, so you don’t have to suffer through these freezing temps again next year?
Reasons to Wait
Flexible Schedule: If you’re not tied to a school schedule and don’t have to cruise during a specific spring break week, you probably don’t need to book a cruise this far in advance. As long as your schedule is flexible, you can try to get a last-minute reduced-price fare.
Spontaneity: Even though I’m a Type A planner, I know not everybody likes to plan this far in advance. Booking a cruise this far in advance is definitely not spontaneous. If planning this far ahead will make you stressed or feel tied down, don’t do it.
Short on Deposit Funds: Even though you will have a long time to make the final payment for a Spring Break 2021 cruise, you still need to put down a deposit. A family of four can expect to pay up to $1000 for a 7-night cruise deposit. If you can’t pay this without going into debt, wait.
Using Miles and Points for a Cruise
You can use miles and points from credit card bonuses to help pay for a cruise vacation. Leana used Citi ThankYou points to book a cruise for later this year. You can also use a card like the Capital One Savor card with a $500 cash bonus to offset the price of a cruise. And of course, hotel points and airline miles will come in handy for getting to the cruise port and staying overnight before the cruise.
Booking a cruise a year or two in advance is a good idea in some situations. Use a travel agent, and be sure that you book the refundable deposit rate, which isn’t always the first rate that shows online.
Are you dreaming of a warm weather cruise right now? How far in advance do you book your cruise vacations?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.