Book Early: Nine to 18 months before the sailing date you will have a super choice of staterooms. Besides, you can secure a lower price & also add-on savings like on board credit, complimentary beverages, gratuities or specialty dining packages.
Book within three months of the sailing date: Alternatively, you may find good deals on cruises by waiting until 3 months prior to the sailing date. Cruise companies often reduce prices at the last minute if they have space available, but you’ll have a limited selection of cabins.
Be Flexible With Dates: You could save hundreds of dollars for the same itinerary by changing your saildate from one week to the next . Also, when you cruise during the low seasons you get much lower fares : cruise around Europe & Asia in March/April, or September, October November, January & February . Your travel professional’s advice is valuable to find super deals.
A dedicated Travel Agent is your best bet! You could check cruise options online, but an agency that specializes in cruises will get you amazing deals plus unbiased advice and information at no extra charge. Travel agents are regularly updated about Special promotions on different cruise lines & also have access to group rates & exclusive offers. ( trust me, there are too many promos -which change too often – for you to keep track). You will Not save money or get good advice when you book directly with a cruise line. The simple reason is they try to sell only their product to you, whether it suits you or not. However a professional agent will choose the right cruise line and ship according to your desires and also provide valuable amenities like onboard credits or free gratuities & better rates for transfers, insurance, etc to maintain loyal clients. Beware of internet cruise agencies because these companies are in business only for money. They don’t care about you & really don’t want to talk to you, so they prefer if you book on their website. If you call them you won’t get a lot of special attention or good advice.
Book a cheaper cabin – which is usually an inside one & you can see exterior views of the ship on your cabin TV channel . The camera looking out over the bow usually gives the best views, and it’s almost like having a window to see the sunrise/sunset or the ship entering a port.
Avoid Cruising during Holidays: Fares for cruises during the school & major holidays & long weekends tend to peak due to high demand.
Bring together Your Own Group and You Could Cruise for FREE! If you have a gift for organizing events, just promote to your friends & family, set up a group booking for eight, double-occupancy staterooms through your travel agent and you earn your free cruise !!
Save up to $1,000 per person by booking a‘Guarantee’ Cabin: It ensures you’ll get the type of cabin specified — such as a cabin with a balcony, and there’s the possibility of an upgrade. But it doesn’t guarantee a location on a ship.
Avoid the Newest Cruise Ships: New ships usually have higher prices than older ships in each cruise line’s fleet. Slightly older ships often have some of the features of ships fresh out of the shipbuilding yards and offer a great vacation for a much lower price.
Ask your travel agent about Refurbished Cruise Ships: You can get the upgrades of a new ship on a ship that’s been recently renovated, at a lower cost. For example, Norwegian cruise line is investing $400 million on extensive ship revitalizations to elevate the entire fleet with the premium look and feel of the line’s newest and most spectacular ships. Your travel agent should be happy to do the research for you.
Take a Repositioning Cruise: which is when cruise ship moves from one region to another, such as from the Med. to USA. These positioning cruises have a lower ‘per day’ cost . Such cruises have few port stops, so they’re ideal for cruise fans who love the on board experience, rather than visiting many ports of call. The bonus is more ‘relaxing days at sea!
Don’t go by price alone to find the Best Value: Check what’s included in the fare and what amenities the cruise line offers. When there are attractive offers such as FREE unlimited beverages, FREE shore excursions, and FREE WiFi, guests will actually spend less even if the cruise fare is higher. ‘On board credit’ gives you cash to spend on the ship so look out for this offer. Norwegian Sky features a complimentary ‘Open Bar’ which could reduce the ‘On-board spending considerably for some guests!!
Spa and Salon Treatments are Expensive! Cruise ships now offer an extensive choice of facials, skin or hair treatments, body wraps and massages . Often there are savings of up to 50% on selected treatments when you are in a port. Check with the spa & in the ship’s daily newsletter about specials .
Don’t eat a meal Before You Get on Board: This would be a waste of your money. As soon as you get on the ship, you’ll find the restaurants open. If you’re thirsty while waiting to check in, water and lemonade are usually served in the check-in area.
Luxury cruise lines offer an all-inclusive experience: More things are included in the fare, so some lines give you better value for money.. If you want luxury experiences on one of the regular cruise lines, you’ll pay extra for suite accommodation, specialty restaurant dining, alcohol & bottled beverages, spa use, etc. When all these costs are added up, you could end up paying the same for a cruise on an all-inclusive luxury line that also includes airfare, shore excursions and transfers between the ship and airport. Uniworld boutique river cruises offer all these plus Complimentary audio headset system on all shore excursions, a variety of complimentary culinary experiences Free Internet and Wi-Fi access onboard
Be aware of On board charges: Check with your travel agent what’s not included in the fare. Most cruise lines charge extra for alcohol & certain beverages, shore excursions, ship staff gratuities, bottled water & soft drink cans from the mini bar.
Budget for Extras in Advance: You can book your Specialty dining restaurants, shore excursions and anything else you’re eager to experience, prior to boarding. That way, you may pay less & won’t be surprised by added costs.
Reduce the Cost of Excursions: On most sea cruises, you’ll pay extra to take shore excursions organized by the cruise line. The cheapest way to explore is by walking or taking public transportation on your own. Your travel agent may be able to book your excursions for a lower price — with a local tour company.
Save by taking a Package Deal: Your travel agent can offer a package with Airfare, transfers and pre-cruise hotel stay included; and the total cost will be less than if you booked all these separately. Sign Up for Email promo offers from your travel agent.