Cruise travel: Is it smarter to book well in advance or wait and grab a bargain?

Adam Armstrong is managing director for Royal Caribbean in Australia and NZ. With more than 15 years' experience in the cruising industry, he has over 100 cruises under his belt.

Is it wise to book a cruise well in advance, or wait until the last minute and hope for a bargain?

For the ultimate summer cruise holiday, book early, no question. With more than 1.2 million Australians cruising every season, year after year we are seeing our summer cruises filling up earlier, particularly over the peak holiday periods and for the most popular suites and staterooms. That's why it is so importance to book early in order to secure the right sailing and cabin for your summer holiday at sea. Booking early also means you are likely to get your preferred sailing and cabin at the right price. While January is known for big cruise deals, Royal Caribbean's midyear offer is the best value cruise fare you'll see after that, with up to 50 per cent off the cruise fare for the second guest, and 25 per cent off for guests three and four in the one stateroom. Plus Oceanview bookings receive a free balcony upgrade throughout the month of June. It's incredible value.