Going on a cruise is a great way to explore the world. Lucky passengers get to enjoy all the luxuries of a fancy resort while being transported from one fun destination to the next. However, these amazing amenities and travel opportunities come with a price. Cruising can be one of the most expensive types of vacation, but there are ways to make it more affordable! Follow these tips below to get the best deals on a cruise vacation:
1. Sail on Older Ships
As a general rule, older ships offer much cheaper cruise prices. This is because old ships are normally smaller and don’t have all the bells and whistles the huge new ships come with. Those who don’t care about having ice skating rinks and water slides on their cruise ship may find this to be a great way to save hundreds of dollars on a trip.
2. Join Email Lists
The easiest way to find out about cruise sales and deals is to sign up for cruise lines’ email lists. They will often send information on flash sales and exclusive discounts straight to the inbox. This is the perfect solution for those who don’t have time to search for the best cruise prices.
3. Have Flexible Travel Dates
Being flexible with travel dates can change the price of a cruise drastically. Christmas and New Year’s as well as summer break come with the highest demand, and therefore the highest prices. The autumn months are normally the cheapest times to cruise, as kids are back in school.
4. Check for Price Drops
Most people know this scenario: someone books a travel at one price, only to see the cost drop dramatically just days or weeks later. But people don’t have to lose money this way! After booking a cruise, all potential travelers have to do is check the price of the trip daily to see if the cost drops. If it does, the best thing is to contact the cruise line. Sometimes passengers can ask to be reimbursed for the difference. Most times they will accommodate the customer, even if it is in the form of on-board credit. If not, savings are as simple as canceling and rebooking at the new rate!
5. Buy Last Minute
Spontaneous travelers might consider booking their cruise last-minute (that usually means about 90 days out). Cruise lines sometimes offer good deals closer to the departure date in order to fill all the staterooms. But beware: booking airfare at the last minute might counteract any savings from the stateroom.
6. Use A Travel Agent
Using a travel agent can save both money and stress. Many people don’t have time to seek out the best deals on your cruise. And that’s okay! People can leave it to an expert. Travel agents work directly with cruise lines, so they can often score deals that aren’t available to the public. They might even be able to throw in some perks like on-board credit or free WiFi!
7. Be Brand Loyal
Finding an enjoyable cruise line and sticking with it can come with major money-saving benefits. For instance, booking a future cruise while still on the current one usually means the company will offer a better rate plus some on-board perks. Being a repeat traveler can also provide access to special lounges, free drinks and spa services, or dinner with the captain.
8. Try Guaranteed Staterooms
For travelers who aren’t picky about where their stateroom is located, booking a “cabin guarantee” rate can equal tons of savings. This means passengers are guaranteed a stateroom in their category but they can’t pick the exact one they’ll stay in. Using this tactic can mean up to $100 in savings per person! Plus, passengers might even get an upgrade if all the cabins in their category are full.
Cruising doesn’t have to be an expensive way to travel. With a little research and some flexibility, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars while experiencing the same luxury. These tips are so easy, there’s no reason to pay full price for a cruise again!