Let’s face it, we love going on vacation, but the cost of that vacation sometimes brings a grimace to our face. There is a way through to go on a cruise and not spend an arm and a leg to do so. When looking to book a cruise and save money at the same time, you’ll want to consider a few important factors.
The main factor is when you’re planning on taking your cruise. Most people love spending their summers on boats and soaking up the sun, but that can cost you a pretty penny. Instead, if you’re willing to wait until the winter, you can almost cut the price of your vacation in half. Crazy right?
Today cruises are one of the most popular ways to take a vacation, and companies are looking to fill their cabins no matter what season it is. If you do a little research and you’re a bit patient, you’ll see that prices will drop in the slower times of the year. Waiting until an off-peak season to take your cruise will help save you a lot of money.
Here are a few other tips on how to save money when it comes to booking your next cruise.
1. Shop for an Itinerary
Instead of shopping for the most popular cruise line, shop for where you want to go. When it comes to booking your cruise, your itinerary needs to hold more weight than the cruise line you’re booking on. Look at the options when it comes to port and how long you’ll be at the port. By doing this, you can get more out of your vacation instead of rushing around the town because you only have three hours on land before your cruise takes off again. Although having a cruise ship with a ton of water slides or lounges will be nice, getting off the boat and exploring a new area will hold more memories in the long run.
2. Avoid Buying Airfares and Insurance from Cruise Lines
When you’re looking at booking your cruise, usually they will include your cabin, transfers, and airfare all in one. The price they offer might be reasonable, but often, the fares are overpriced. This may seem convenient for most people since it is a one-stop deal, but it doesn’t hurt to look at airfares yourself and see if you can save a little money.
Cruise Lines will also offer insurance policies for the trip you’re booking. If the insurance comes at an added cost, your best option is to decline it. You need to look at all the factors of the coverage when booking your trip, like will the insurance cover you if your cruise line goes bankrupt? According to travel insurance experts, most policies that come with the insurance your purchase have built-in exceptions that are not in favor of you. If you want to have insurance on your vacation, it is a better option to go to an independent source.
Top Cruise Lines
According to a recent ranking in U.S. News, the top cruise lines for the money include:
- Royal Caribbean International
- Celebrity Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Princess Cruises
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- MSC Cruises
- Costa Cruises
Did you know: Symphony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. She is the largest passenger ship in the world by gross tonnage, at 228,021 GT, surpassing her sister Harmony of the Seas.
3. Find Special Offers
You can look for special offers and deals from your cruise line of the choice website. Most of the cruise lines have a “special offers” page where they have cabins marked down at a discounted rate. While some of the pages are filled with junk, it doesn’t hurt to look and see what they have to offer for sale. It could be as simple as changing your date by a few weeks.
The website vacationstogo.com always have deals, especially on luxury cruises. Sometimes you can find discounted rates that are 60-70 perfect off. Last-minute bookings tend to be a better deal as well, so buckle up and do a little deal hunting.
4. Cruise to an Expensive Destination
Some luxury vacations spots can be hard to get to and expensive to fly to. Popular places have limited hotel space and are in high demand, making the prices skyrocket for anyone looking for an awesome vacation. Instead of flying into a great destination and booking a hotel, look to see if you can take a cruise instead.
With a cruise, you’re able to visit these pricey places, but the cost will be under control a little more. You can sleep on the ship and if you want, eat most of your meals on it as well. It might not be as luxurious as you want, but you will save a little money, and if you love the destination, you could always go back.
5. Shop for an Inside Cabin
Inside cabins are always a lower price than the outside cabins. Usually, when you book a porthole or picture window, you’re paying 30 percent more than if you book an inside cabin room. Sometimes it is nice to have a balcony and a fantastic view, but if you’re willing to settle for a little less, it will save you a lot of money. Inside cabins are always in high demand so try to book early if you want to save a little money on your cruise.
6. Look at a Repositioning Cruise
Did you know that cruise ships must be repositioned twice a year? This means a long trip to ports at unusual spots but that also means some amazing onboard experiences. The cruise line must move their ships to accommodate weather and popular travel sites, so they are willing to accept paying customers when they need to make this move.
Repositioning cruises (repo cruise) are advertised but not heavy like a typical cruise is. If you want a cruise experience like this, you will have to hunt them down and see if it suits your interest and schedule. The cruise is often cheaper than a regular cruise, so it is a great option to have if you’re looking for a vacation.
7. Avoid Excursions Offers via the Cruise Line
Excursions are a great thing to do while on vacations, and once you book your cruise, they will automatically try to sell you on a short tour. They will hype up the excursion, tell you it sells out quickly, and try to get you to book. Look carefully at these excursions though because the price is usually inflated.
When you step off the ship, it is easy to book your arrangements for the same excursion for a much more affordable price. The tour might not be the equal to what the cruise offers but booking one separately from your cruise line will save you a lot of money.
8. Watch for Expensive Add-Ons
Today cruises are adding a “premium dining rooms” where special gourmet dinners are not included in your original dinner package price. Cruise ships are known to add on gratuities and charges for a beverage that you might have thought would be included in your fare. Instead, you can look to for “all you can drink” packages they will instantly pay themselves off.
These are just a few helpful tips to try and save some money when looking to book your next cruise vacation. Make sure to shop around for pricing, look at the fine print, and search for the deals the cruise lines have to offer.
This article originally appeared on flyost.com