Ruby Princess in Mexico

© Princess

Six reasons to book your cruise early

From getting the best-value fare to securing your dream stateroom, here’s why it pays to book your Princess cruise holiday well in advance

June 2024

By Liz Darke

Sometimes life calls for a last-minute getaway (a sunny escape during a washout British summer springs to mind!), but planning ahead comes with many advantages, especially when sailing with Princess. Here are six reasons to book your next holiday as early as possible…

Portofino, Italy

You can visit pretty Portofino in Italy on our Europe 2026 itineraries © Princess

You’ll get a great fare

Rewarding holidaymakers who book with us as early as possible, our just-announced Europe 2026 standard fares were at their best price at launch. Thus, it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for when our newest seasons come on sale. Having bagged a brilliant early-bird standard fare, you can get even more incredible value by upgrading to one of our all-inclusive packages, Princess Plus and Princess Premier. We call that a win-win.

You’ll have your pick of staterooms

By being one of the first to secure your spot onboard, you’ll have first dibs on accommodation. If you’re cruising on Sun Princess or Star Princess, you might want to splash out on one of our brand-new Sanctuary Collection Suites or Mini-Suites, while a Balcony stateroom might be your favoured option for admiring views while sailing around the glaciers of Alaska or the fjords of Norway. Booking early will also help you secure an accessible stateroom onboard should you need one, or accommodation with adjoining doors if you’re travelling as part of a large group or family.

You’ll have time to tick off the details…

By booking your holiday well in advance, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and confirm travel options. If you’ve confirmed when you’re cruising, and from where, you can arrange flights, public transport, connecting transfers, travel insurance, pet sitters and hotels far in advance, too, which often means getting the best times and prices on those as well. And if you’re setting sail during peak holiday times, it’s good to get in early and request annual leave before anyone else does!

Bay of Banderas, Mexico

Go whale-watching off the Bay of Banderas in western Mexico © Princess

... and plan plenty of fun!

Once you’ve locked in your bucket-list itinerary, it’s time to start plotting all the activities and experiences you want to do while on your cruise. From e-biking around the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, to spending the day at a traditional onsen in Aomori, Japan, to whale watching in the Bay of Banderas in Mexico, Princess offers hundreds of shore excursions, wherever in the world you’re sailing to. Due to their ease, value and outstanding quality, many of our onshore excursions sell out, so booking well in advance of your holiday guarantees your spot.

And if you’re embarking or disembarking overseas (instead of doing a roundtrip sailing from Southampton), why not extend your holiday and plan a few days there, either side of your cruise. For example, our Mediterranean cruises that depart from and return to Barcelona, Piraeus (30 minutes from Athens), Civitavecchia (90 minutes from Rome) and Trieste (two hours from Venice) are perfect for tacking on a day or two before or after your sailing. You can tick off bucket-list landmarks like the Acropolis, the Colosseum and Vatican City, Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, and St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace in Venice, in addition to the sights you’ll see during your cruise.

You can spread the cost

Unable to pay for your whole holiday upfront? With Princess Pay Monthly, you can put down only a small deposit (sometimes as little as £1!) and spread the cost of your cruise over equal monthly payments. There are no interest charges or additional fees, even if you choose to opt out and pay the remaining balance in full at any point. Booking months or years in advance also means you’ll have more time to save up for special treats and added extras while you’re away, like once-in-a-lifetime experiences (helicopter ride over Mendenhall Glacier, anyone?!), grand souvenirs, and moments of pure indulgence onboard, such as spa treatments and speciality dining.

You’ll have something to get excited about

Having a getaway firmly in the diary is always exhilarating, and research shows that the act of planning and anticipating a holiday can boost mood just as much as actually being on holiday. Once you’ve booked your cruise, do some destination research and compile activity ideas, venue recommendations, hotel and restaurant reviews and travelling advice in one handy holiday planner – this will not only be incredibly useful come departure time, but will also be the source of much excitement in the weeks, months or years before you set off. See you onboard!

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About the Author

Liz Darke

Liz Darke

Liz is the editor of Journey. She's a seasoned journalist, who specialises in travel, food and lifestyle. Always on the hunt for a hit of sunshine and fantastic regional cuisine, she's heading to Barcelona, Puglia in southern Italy and Mexico next. Oh, and bring on the local wine, too!