You have just returned from a fabulous cruise holiday and want to go on another cruise soon. Cruise Passenger gives you eight tips to help you save on your next cruise.
1. Wait until the last minute
If you have a flexible schedule, it can be worth waiting for last-minute deals that are offered to help fill the ship.
Last minute in the world of cruising is generally between three and six weeks before departure. If you’re really willing to push your luck and can stick it out until two weeks before a cruise, you may be able to pick up some great bargains.
The downside is that you may end up with the least desirable cabin such as an inside stateroom or a room in an unpopular section of the ship.
Booking last minute also presents the risk that your desired vessel may be sold out, forcing you to sail on an alternative ship/itinerary.
Cruise Passenger shortlists the best deals regularly. Check our Deals
2. Do the opposite – book way in advance
Much like earlybird air fares, cruise lines also have earlybird deals. These encourage travellers to commit to a cruise six to 18 months in advance in exchange for cheap fares, less pricy upgrades and value add-ons such as reduced air fares and complimentary beverage packages.
3. Don’t sail during wave season
It’s all about timing in the cruise industry and if you’re willing to travel during off-peak you can save a lot of money.
During wave season, prices go up because cruise lines know the more people cruising the more they can charge. However, during the off-season they’ll be keen to fill their ships and will do this by offering cheaper fares.
4. Travel in a large group
If you can persuade a group of friends to book a cruise together, you could find yourself saving on your fare or even cruising for free.
Many cruise lines offer the group leader a free cruise when they travel with 16 or more people– it may take a lot of planning and co-ordinating (particularly when there’s a large number of people), but it’ll be worth it knowing you didn’t have to spend a single dollar.
5. Book a package
If you are sailing internationally, your best bet is to find a deal that combines cruise, flights and accommodation. Sourcing each separately can be quite pricy, not to mention time-consuming as you try to ensure your flights match up with your cruise and your accommodation matches your time of arrival.
Travel agents and online cruise companies offer cruise packages that include everything you need, and often at a cheaper rate because they use preferred partners to offer competitive prices.
6. Book on board
You’re having so much fun on your cruise and you know you’re going to go on another, so why not just book your next cruise while you’re on board and take advantage of their offers.
Cruise lines are eager to see guests return, so they offer reduced deposits, fare discounts and/or free onboard credit for people who book their next cruise while they’re on a cruise.
If you change your mind, deposits are refundable and you can change your itinerary at a later date.
7. Repositioning cruises
During off-season cruise lines often relocate ships to summer destinations. However, rather than sailing the ships there empty, they offer repositioning cruises.
These cruises are often discounted heavily to entice passengers on board – this is usually because these voyages are one way and guests need to book a return flight.
8. Spend less on older ships
People are often searching for the ‘new’ in cruising.
Newest ship. New entertainment. New activities. New staterooms.
And although they are equally well equipped, classic vessels are often replaced by the newer ships.
Use this to your advantage, because the older class of ships are still great to cruise on and often much cheaper.
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