If you are planning to go on a cruise, you should know how to get some deals. Check out our tips on how to get the best cruise deals.
There were 28.5 million cruise passengers in 2018. With so many fellow travelers, how can you make sure to get the best rate?
Interested in a cruise that doesn’t break the bank? We’ve got you covered. Here are 8 tips on how to get the best cruise deals.
1. Travel in the Off-Season
Like any type of travel, choosing the offseason is one way how to get the best cruise deals. This is because fewer travelers are competing with you to get those same spots. This driving down the competition and thus fares.
If you can, avoid traveling around school holidays like Christmas, spring break, and summer vacation. Usually, it will slow down after the New Year, before Memorial Day or Thanksgiving, at the start of September, and in the middle of December.
Most avoid the Caribbean in September and October due to hurricane season, but cruise ships will track and avoid the storms. Traveling outside of the summer to Europe is cheaper because of less than ideal weather. And Alaskan cruises are cheapest in May and September (the start and end of the season).
2. Book Early…
If you must travel during the popular season or on a particular date, book early, because spots will fill up fast. You’ll need to book that summer or Christmas trip months or even a year in advance. Prices are only likely to jump with time for these popular travel times.
Worried about booking too far in advance? Many cruises offer a full refund as long as you cancel far enough in advance.
3. …Or Book at the Last Minute
If you’re flexible with your travel, booking last minute can offer amazing deals. Usually, 60 to 90 days beforehand is when the best deals will appear. This is because that is the date the last payment on the cruise is due.
Remember, cruise ships do not like sailing with empty cabins. They lose out on all possible money from excursions, specialty dining, and entertainment. And the crew is unhappy because that means they’ll make less in tips.
4. Get Money Back for Fare Changes
Did you book early only to find a better deal? For most cruise lines, you can get some form of compensation or even a rate reduction. It depends on the company, but many will at least give you the amount as an onboard credit.
5. Do Your Research
Keep track of prices and be your own best-price finder! Keep track of typical rates for the cruise you want, and check in daily to see if the price has decreased.
Check out cruise line websites for fare checks and cruise bloggers for tips. You can find some of the best cruise deals with just a little bit of work!
6. Travel in a Group
Most cruise lines offer deals for traveling in a group, although the specific deals depend on the cruise line. Usually for every certain number of passengers you book together, one will travel for free. Other bonuses may include drink packages, prepaid tips, excursion discounts, or cruise credits.
7. Take a Repositioning Cruise
When cruise lines move ships across the world for a new season, it’s called a repositioning cruise. For example, Alaskan cruises have to move somewhere warmer for the winter.
These cruises are usually quite long but can be relatively cheap. They’re necessary cruises for the company that will travel with or without passengers. And they know that the longer passengers are on board, the more revenue they’ll make, so they want to make the trip as enticing as possible.
8. Consider Older or Smaller Ships
Finally, consider traveling on an older or smaller ship. Older ships are often as good as newer ones but are much cheaper. Smaller ships are less expensive because they can fit fewer attractions and amenities onboard.
Now You Know How to Get the Best Cruise Deals!
Now you know how to get the best cruise deals. So what are you waiting for? Start researching and book today!