Many people will agree that cruising is often the best and most convenient way to vacation. The fact that you have everything you need in one package is a huge benefit. When you book the trip, you have your room, activities, free entertainment and several free restaurant choices included in the fares. The fact that there are different cruises around the world means that you have numerous options when planning your trip. You can travel to virtually any destination you love and you can get there in style.
The fact that the cruise ticket price does not always come cheap is no reason to conclude that you cannot get a great deal. If you are wondering how you can save on a cruise, experts offer suggestions that range from picking the right cruising dates to departing from specific ports. There are different ways to save money if you are looking for a bargain. Take advantage of available onboard booking perks and discounts. It helps to contact a good travel agency to plan the best trip.
If possible, wait before booking
One secret that many people do not know is that many cruise lines offer the best prices close to the departure date. While many cruise lines will not admit this fact, travelers who have a flexible schedule have a better chance of getting great prices. By booking your trip about six to three weeks before the date of departure, you can save money. The downside to this is that you will have to settle for the cabins available, which often means the least desirable cabins. If you chose to sail to the Caribbean during hurricane season or slow travel time, you can benefit from great last-minute deals.
Keep up with cruise pricing
To benefit from great prices, you should watch out for sales and follow cruise pricing. The industry has plenty of sales, but you should realize that not all promotions mean big savings on the cruise fare. There are some short-term promotions that usually occur close to sail dates and they often result in decent savings. Monitoring the cruise prices over several weeks is the best way to find out if you are getting a bargain when you get the offered sale price. Look for sales that add value to the cruise experience either through dining and drinks packages, onboard credit or included gratuities.
Cruising close to home
Most people do not realize the options available when it comes to the cities in the US where you can depart from. There are ships that sail from different locations on year-round or seasonal basis. Do some research and find the most convenient location close to home. If you can drive to the port instead of flying, you can save on airfare. Many US cities have cruise ports and if you can get to one conveniently, your cruise to places like Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas, Canada and Alaska will be less costly. Talk to your travel agent about the options available when planning the trip.
Upgrading your cruise line
If you like to splurge on the best suites, specialty dining and other extras when you travel on premium or mainstream cruise lines, you may be better off upgrading to a luxury cruise. Instead of paying the extra cost on the regular cruise, book a luxury cruise where you can get the services that you desire. When you switch to a luxury cruise line, you will get extra services that range from specialty restaurants and wine to internet and other amenities. These are services that you have to pay for in the premium lines but they are part of the base fare in the luxury lines.
Booking the next cruise onboard
A good way to benefit from reduced deposit amount and leaving you with extra spending money is by booking the next cruise while still onboard. While this may not necessarily mean saving on the actual cost of the sailing, it does come with benefits. While most cruise lines do not require you to decide on the exact cruise ship and sailing date, you can purchase future cruise credit. This credit is applied to the next booking that you make. You can end up saving anywhere from $25 to $100 or more in the onboard credit that you will use during the future sailing.
When you decide to go on a cruise, you are likely to feel quite overwhelmed especially if it is your first trip. You are likely to be confused about details like how much you should pay, the type of cabin or suite you should choose and the best ship or cruise line for you. Fortunately, you can get all the help that you need when you want to plan the perfect relaxing getaway. Whether it is finding out about the best dinner seating, cabin locations or shore excursions, a travel agent will offer the best advice. Agents have the relevant experience and they also have access to special discounts.