If you’re considering booking a cruise you may wonder if 2021 is a good time. I’ve just booked three cruises for 2021 and in this article, we will look at why I’ve made that decision and why you should consider also booking a cruise for 2021.
There are many things that will be different about cruising in 2021 so we’re also going to look at how to maximise your chances of your cruise going ahead and what type of cruises I’d recommend you book. Booking a 2021 cruise could be risky but it’s definitely the right move for some people and it’s the right move for me.
The video above is sponsored by The Cruise Line, a leading travel agency from the UK who just so happen to be from my home county, Sussex! They’ve just released a really cool app so that you can browse for cruises on the go and learn about the places that you’ll be visiting. It’s free and really easy to use so download it below:
Should You Book a 2021 Cruise?
There are a number of reasons why booking a 2021 cruise is a good idea. Prices are low, many people have refunded money or onboard credits to spend and the demand for cruising is still high. That said, booking a 2021 cruise is a risk, your cruise could be cancelled or altered with little warning.
There are many reasons to book a 2021 cruise and many reasons to do so sooner rather than later.
Using Refunded Cruise Money to Book Another Cruise
If you’re like me you may have had a cruise cancelled in 2020. I had originally planned to take my first Carnival cruise in May of 2021 which was cancelled. It took around 2 months for me to get my refund after the cruise was cancelled and as soon as that happened I felt the need to book another cruise.
Generous Future Cruise Credits
Many cruise lines have given incredibly generous onboard credit offers to those who decided to take credit instead of taking a cash refund. Some lines are offering 20%+ extra in the form of future cruise credit and some are even adding on additional perks on top. Most of these credits came with a year to be used but some perks are time-critical.
Reinvesting a Cruise Refund
I decided to reinvest my Carnival refund money into a cruise with Royal Caribbean. The original cruise was a 9-night cruise from Barcelona onboard what would have been the new Carnival Radiance. Carnival Radiance has been delayed and as Carnival doesn’t cruise very frequently I decided to opt for a refund rather than future cruise credit.
The Cruise That I’ve Booked is…
I booked a 7-night cruise onboard Anthem of the Seas. It was a brilliant price and was actually cheaper than the Carnival cruise which I had booked last year.
I will be cruising from the UK to Norway for 7 nights and I’ve actually decided to treat myself to a balcony which isn’t something that I usually do. I’ve always said though, some places are worth getting a balcony and I believe that the Norwegian Fjords are one of those places. I haven’t cruised with Royal Caribbean for a long time so am really excited to for this cruise.
Stay Close to Home if at All Possible
One thing that I am doing and would recommend others do in 2021 is to stay close to home when booking cruises if you can.
Not having to fly and stay in hotels reduces the risk or anything being cancelled and it’s just so much easier to cruise from a home port. I appreciate that not everybody has a port close by that they can cruise from and many people aren’t interested in cruising close to home but for me, I think it makes sense to tolerate the possibly cold and rainy weather to make the process easier. Cruising from a home port also makes it much cheaper!
Norway is beautiful and I’d strongly recommend a Norwegian Fjords cruise to anybody. To learn more about cruising the Norwegian Fjords including what to pack and when to go, check out this post: Norwegian Fjords Cruise 2020: 32 tips.
There are Bargains to be Had
For a LONG time, I’ve wanted to try P&O’s new ship, Iona. I cruised with P&O a few years ago and ever since I’ve been really interested in cruising with them again.
P&O are Britains largest cruise line and I managed to book 14 nights onboard Iona in January for only £829, that’s around $1000. That figure includes all fees, taxes AND daily gratuities. An absolute bargain!
This is, of course, the cheapest inside cabin onboard but to find a cruise on such a new and exciting ship for under $100 per night including gratuities is amazing. I almost always pick a ‘guaranteed’ grade of the cabin where you don’t pick your specific cabin. I have a video about why I always do this and why I don’t think that I’ve ever had a ‘bad’ cabin.
Many people have said that they’ll be moving to balcony cabins going forward because they are worried about being quarantined in an inside cabin. I have to say this doesn’t worry me. When Coronavirus first emerged cruise ships like the Diamond Princess were put into quarantine with guests quarantined to their cabins.
At the time no cruise line knew what they were dealing with and everybody was still learning about Coronavirus. We’ve come a long way since the start of the year and I don’t think we would ever see onboard quarantining on quite the same level.
Before cruising, cruise lines will have to create a plan about where they could quarantine passengers on land if necessary. The cruise line will need to have found and checked local medical services and possible hotels for quarantine.
One of the main reasons why ships had to quarantine at sea was that no country would allow the ships to disembark passengers infected with Covid 19. Now that we know better how to manage and treat Covid 19 I would hope that we won’t see this again.
Why Are There Cheap Cruises at The Moment?
There are a few theories as to why there are cruise bargains popping up at the moment. This could be because first-time cruisers have been put off of cruises or it could be to do with the fact that even frequent cruisers are worried about what the onboard experience will be like cruising post Coronavirus.
I teach a course called How to Cruise For Less where we look in detail at when is the best time to book a cruise and how to find the best price but generally speaking if you can booking cruises far in advance you can find cheap prices.
I’ve actually booked a cruise for Christmas of 2021. That’s almost 18 months away by the price was so good that I couldn’t resist it. You may be wondering how I can afford to book all of these cruises? Well, this leads in nicely to reason three.
Deposits are Low
Cruise deposits can be RIDICULOUSLY low. The deposits for the P&O cruises which I booked were just £42 ($53) per person!
In my mind, it’s well worth securing a cheap price by putting down a deposit of this amount. My Carnival cruise was more expensive than the Royal Caribbean cruise which I replaced it with and the leftover portion has gone towards the other two deposits.
A lot of cruise lines have made amendments to their cancellation policies recently and although I doubt that they’ll still be in place in December of 2021 they do provide some reassurance for those wanting to book a 2021 cruise.
Royal Caribbean has introduced a ‘cruise with confidence’ policy which means that guests can cancel up to 48 hours before they are due to sail and receive onboard credit for the value for the cruise. This policy is currently only for cruises booked before August 2020 but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see increased flexibility when it comes to cancelling and rearranging cruises going forward.
2021 is Far Away
2021 might seem as though it’s right around the corner but it really isn’t. A lot can change between now and then as shown by the last 6 months or so!
I’m still optimistic that we will see some cruises in Europe in 2020. I’m less confident about sailings from the US but only time will tell. There are already some cruises sailing in Germany and Norway and river cruises are slowly getting back to normal.
There have been various guidelines and approaches to how we will return to cruising coming out recently. It’s most likely that we will see a phased return to cruising starting with cruises with only one or a few nationalities. Cruises will eventually cruise further afield and be able to accommodate a greater variety of guests onboard.
This again makes me feel as though a close to home cruise is a good option. The cruise industry may not be completely back to normal by 2021 but we should be a few phases into the phases return to cruise plan!
To learn more about the plan from Costa Cruises (owned by Carnival), check out this video:
We All Need to Cruise and Cruise Lines Need Us!
By the end of 2020, we will all need a break, won’t we? None of us expected 2020 to be like this and it sure has dragged on! I suspect that when we return to cruising the experience will be better than ever. We will never again take for granted sitting on a balcony watching the world go by or enjoying dinner in the main dining room.
I don’t know about you but I feel more than ever like life is too short not to book that cruise that you’ve been meaning to book!
The cruise lines need us too. The cruise industry has been hit hard by this crisis, cruise lines have struggled and not all have survived. In the UK we lost a British cruise line this week called Cruise and Maritime which is very sad.
There are many many people who rely on the cruise industry, not just those who work onboard but those who work in the ports, tour guides, travel agents, entertainers. Booking a 2021 cruise isn’t right for everybody but it’s right for me. Here’s to a better 2021!
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