Carnival’s Early Saver Rate is back – sort of…

A few days ago I wrote a post about how the Carnival Early Saver rate appears to be on the way out. We have been keeping an eye on a Southern Caribbean cruise for a while, and the Early Saver rate was nowhere to be found.


Good news is that a couple of days ago, the rate magically reappeared for our cruise. The bad news is that it showed up unannounced only a couple of days prior to the deadline to apply.

Why the Early Saver is great:
In my experience, cruise rates usually drop at the last minute, as the cruise line is trying to fill up those last remaining cabins. The Early Saver rate allows you to track prices up until 48 hours prior to departure, and any time the rate drops, the cruise line will either credit your reservation and you will pay a lower balance (if you haven’t paid it in full), or will give you an equivalent amount of cabin credit if you have already paid. We have saved up to $140 per cabin in prior cruises by using this rate.

The rate that we had originally booked was $20 per person lower, but I decided to rebook the cruise using the higher Early Saver rate. Originally, I thought I would gamble, but $20 was a safe bet, and it would let me monitor prices almost up until the date of departure, while our prior rate would lock 3 months before sail date and any future price drops wouldn’t benefit me. We are sailing on an inside cabin and past experience has been that those go for cheaper the week prior to the cruise.

After we cancelled and rebooked under the Early Saver rate, we noticed that the original lower price we had booked was still showing, so we were able to apply for the reduced rate and still have the flexibility of watching prices until the last minute.

While the Early Saver rate showed up for our cruise, I do think that Carnival is trying to phase out this rate. Either that, or they’ve gotten enough grief from customers like me who really like the rate, that they might have reconsidered. Only time will tell if the Early Saver rate will stick around for long, but in the meantime I’m happy to have booked yet another cruise under this rate, and watch the savings trickle in.

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