I held my monthly Meetup for Cruise and Travel Lovers of North Palm Beach, Florida, yesterday and was asked a question I had never heard before. Someone looking for cruise deals and bargains asked me if there was a “waiting list” for cruises.
I responded that any cruise that was sold out should usually has a waiting list of people wanting to get a cabin should some other traveler cancel. These waiting- list- travelers are usually required to ante up a $50 per person refundable deposit, just so everyone knows they are serious about taking the trip.
My member said, “No, I mean can I go to the port and wait and see if there is an empty cabin and buy it right there and then and get a deal on the price? Why would the cruise lines sail with empty cabins if someone is willing to pay to sail?”
That was a new question for me! The answer is, “No. You can not sail “stand by” like you can fly “stand by” on an airline.” (Even flying stand-by requires you to have a ticket beforehand.) While you can go to the airport ticket counter, you cannot go to the cruise line ticket counter because there isn’t one.
In fact, you cannot even enter the port without having documentation that you are going on a cruise or have some other business there. Homeland security also needs to have your papers reviewed at least three days before departure. If you aren’t on the manifest, you aren’t going to sail.
If you are looking for last-minute cruise deals and bargains like this woman, please contact me or any other travel agent. We continually receive notices of unsold cabin space. If you can travel at the last minute, especially out of “season,” there are deals to be had and we get the first notices about them. If we know what you are looking for ahead of time, so much the better.This time of year, though, any cruises to warmer weather destinations are likely fully booked and would require you to get on a waiting list, which I am certainly happy to arrange for you.