Hello Joe, welcome to cruise chat! The cut-off time before a cruise is 48 hours. Anytime before that you can book a cruise if there are cabins available. I'd check the web site of the cruise line you want to sail with. Good luck!
Wouldn't it be great if they allowed people to pre-register for an instant boarding. Say something like a 3 month registration period which would allow boarding from a particular port on any day. Maybe it's something I don't understand but it would be a boon to the cruise lines & cruisers alike.
It would probably be just an extra layer of paperwork they don't really need. I have a feeling ships sail at 100% capacity--maybe a couple of last minute no-shows; but not enough to justify all the additional administrative work.
Jill, I've done that too on a couple of lines. Not that I can go... but you never know. I do wonder what their definition of "last minute" is... from what I could tell with the emails, it's usually within a few weeks after final payment date. Are you finding the same? (I haven't signed up with Princess as they don't sail from a nearby port.)
RichC, years ago, it was possible to book standby. Actually, I don't know if that's still the case -- but it was for a specific cruise, and they'd let you know a couple of weeks ahead of time.
Jill SC, just curious; have you ever receoved a really last minute notification? I've been registered for that for about a year for the minimum amount of notice (I think it's one week) for any West Coast port, and have yet to receive a single notice. I get mail offers for cruises 2-3 months out, but nothing really last minute.
Rick- I also had signed up for "last minute cruises" from Princess & although I get email's every now & then they're always a way's out (months) & usually for ports like Australia, Mediterranean, etc. never for something like the Caribbean here in Florida.
Lisa- I can remember years back about the "standby" option by I could never sign up for it when I was working. I can recall meeting a Princess bus driver from Alaska waiting on the dock in Port Everglades with his family for a spot on the old Regal Princess. They had driven there from Alaska & were waiting for a week for an open spot on any Princess ship.
Jill- What did you mean by "ticked". I think I did that yesterday. I went to the Princess web site & logged in, preceded to look for any Caribbean cruise & it came back & gave me an option for only 2 empty rooms. Not exactly what I had hoped for. (and at prices I would never accept) Strange.
It was somewhere in the preferences where they asked you about where you want to go, when, etc.
I think that most of the last minute offers are for sailings about a month away, though it seems to me they used to be closer. I also haven't specified a port since I have to travel there anyway.